Ken Sleight-Seldom Seen Smith

Ken Sleight was an old river runner/desert rat who was the inspiration for Ed Abbey’s character “Seldom Seen Smith” in The Monkey Wrench Gang.”

I like that he calls Lake Powell “Lake Foul.”

“It was probably foolish and masochistic of me to have hung around and watched it happen. But I just had to. At first it would rise a foot overnight, and you saw things you loved go under. First it was Music Temple. Then it was Gregory Natural Bridge. Then Cathedral in the Desert. I’d think of those fools that said this was a good thing, that we needed this dam. Then I’d see Hidden Passage or some other lovely spot with no name go under…it was unbearable.

“And I’ll always remember the sign at Rainbow Bridge. There was a Park Service sign along the trail and it read: ‘God’s Work. Tread Lightly.’ The next week, the lake came up and buried the sign and the trail.” By late 1964, the reservoir had reached Hite and Glen Canyon was gone…for now.”

https://www.canyoncountryzephyr.com/oldzephyr/archives/ken-sleight.html

http://continuum.utah.edu/features/fighting-for-the-wild

Martin Litton

Martin Litton was an uncompromising conservationist of the West, and another legendary foe of the Glen Canyon dam.

He was the movement’s Jeremiah — the crier in the wilderness who spotted the threats, condemned the desecraters and rallied the leadership to the defining preservation conflicts of the early 1950s through the ’80s.

David Brower, who as the Sierra Club’s seminal leader in the last half of the 20th century was compelled to make some of the compromises Mr. Litton fought, was known to call him “our conscience.”

–New York Times

NY Times obit

About Martin Litton

Roger Reisch-GUMO NP

I discovered his obituaries in the regional media websites (Trans-Pecos Texas, Southern New Mexico) when I was looking for info for  the NPS ranger I’d met way back in my earliest trip to Dog Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

(I include the NPS page here, but I’ve also captured the page to a PDF if the park service changes the link in the future.)

https://www.nps.gov/gumo/learn/news/park-mourns-the-passing-of-roger-reisch.htm

I’ll start from way back when. Continue reading Roger Reisch-GUMO NP

Wheeler Peak-New Mexico Highpoint

[Original date August 31, 1997]

Trip report from a hike to the summit of Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico (13,161′) undertaken August 31, 1997.

Wheeler Peak is the highest point in New Mexico at 13,161′. The hike to the summit via Bull of the Woods is about 15 miles round trip, and has an elevation gain from 9,000 to 13,161′. This climb is non-technical during most of the summer. But extreme care should be taken during the thunderstorm season-July and August-since much of the Wheeler Peak trail is above timberline and exposed. Getting to and off the summit before thunderstorms this time of year will entail a near-dawn departure.

Continue reading Wheeler Peak-New Mexico Highpoint

History of Backpacking Gear

The “History of Gear Project” site is remarkable!

This guy has, crudely in some respects, patched together an interesting series of pages and links on the historical roots of most backcountry gear and gear companies today. A lot of this information is not easily found even with today’s wide-reaching search algorithms.

From the origins of companies like Sierra Designs, legendary Berkeley-based Ski Hut,  little-known Oregon outfits…if you have any interest at all in how what you carry on your back came to be you’ll be engrossed in these pages.

 

Tents

Here are some of the tents I used back in the day:

You can just see the corner of this old canvas tent.197711_3_29

 

Photo 12 of 102 (1)
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado, ca. 1997

Continue reading Tents

John Muir Trail Thru-hike 2002

I completed a North to South thru-hike of the John Muir Trail in 2002. Here is a trip log of my hike.

John Muir Trail day 1 – 3 Continue reading John Muir Trail Thru-hike 2002

Arizona Highpoint-Humphreys Peak

Humphrey Peak Wikipedia

In August 2003, on the way to California to my brother’s wedding, I camped near Flagstaff, Arizona and climbed Humphreys Peak, the high point of the state.

Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint

The hike starts off in the “Snow Bowl”, a ski area, then winds its way up through the forest until it gets to timberline. Then it hits a saddle; go left to get to the summit of Humphreys.

Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey's Peak hike AZ Highpoint
Humphrey’s Peak hike AZ Highpoint

 

 

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