Category Archives: environment

San Felipe, Thanksgiving 2011

 

San Felipe Panorama

San Felipe Bay

Cactus

The Valley of the Gods

Kinsee and I went to San Felipe with her family and Derrik for Thanksgiving. More pictures on Flickr.

Lake City, Colorado

Lake City, Colorado is the spot where Alfred Packer ate five of his fellow travelers while stranded in winter 135 years ago. I’ve heard that Packer is the only person convicted of cannibalism in the US, but I’m not sure if that’s true. You might know Alfred Packer from the fantastic Cannibal: The Musical, a musical retelling of his story.

We headed out early Saturday morning for Lake City, Colorado, about a three hour drive up into the mountains to do some backpacking. Some friends were supposed to meet us there, but they decided to take the “short cut” over Cinnamon Pass and couldn’t make it over, so it was just Kinsee, Walter, Mona and I. The trail was only 4 miles but over 2000 feet of elevation gain. It got steep in some parts but not too bad. We got to Waterdog Lake and were the only people up there.

I was a little disappointed that the surrounding mountains weren’t more rocky and that there was no good beach or jumping rocks at the lake, but it was nice regardless. We camped around 11,100 feet and the weather was perfect. As is usually the case (unless you’re in a canyon) the hike out was much quicker and easier than the hike in.The physical geography of Southwest Colorado reminds me so much of that of Andean Patagonia, from El Calafate to Bariloche.

Below are some more pics from Lake City and Waterdog Lake.

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Clear Lake near Silverton, CO

Waterfall on the Clear Lake/Ice Lakes Trail

Waterfall on the Clear Lake/Ice Lakes Trail

Walter

Walter

Miss Mona Pretends Shes in the Jungle

Miss Mona Pretends She's in the Jungle

An old (copper?) mine

An old (copper?) mine

Wildflowers and Thirteen Thousand Foot Mountains

Wildflowers and Thirteen Thousand Foot Mountains

Small pond below Clear Lake

Small pond below Clear Lake

Walter Walks on Ice (Theres no picture of Walter falling through the ice, but it happened)

Walter Walks on Ice (There's no picture of Walter falling through the ice, but it happened)

Clear Lake, 11,960 Feet

Clear Lake, 11,960 Feet

Kinsee and Jeff at Clear Lake

Kinsee and Jeff at Clear Lake

La Boca Center for Sustainability

Sunday morning we took a trip down to the La Boca Center for Sustainability to check out their farm and, if we liked what we saw, sign up for their CSA. La Boca is an old railroad town on the Pine River just north of the Colorado/New Mexico border, about 35 miles for our house. More than just a farm, La Boca practices and teaches principles to farm/ranch sustainably.

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Gabe the Assistant Director of the center was our tour guide for the morning, showing us the property where the grow the crops, raise the animals, and even his low impact housing. Towards the end of the tour I found out that Gabe went through the Ecological Horticulture program at UCSC and knew/worked with Amy at Freewheelin’ Farms. That was the farm we got our CSA from when I was living at Zami House. Small world. We signed up for their CSA, hopefully the food is as good! (And if anyone knows where I can get duck, emu, ostrich or any other “strange” eggs in the Four Corners area, please leave a comment!) Kinsee’s pictures are below.

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Celebrating Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey died 20 years ago tomorrow. I’d never even heard his name until at least 10 years after he died. But since the first page I read in The Monkey Wrench Gang I’ve been captivated by his writing. I’ve read nearly all of his books since. I agree with him on a lot of things, and disagree on a lot of other things, but I always find his writing thought provoking and entertaining.

Monday at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango there’ll be some people gathering and reading to celebrate old Cactus Ed. I’m excited to go and meet some like minded people, hear Ken Wright and Kate Niles (among others) read and just have a good time.

There’s more info at The San Juan Almanac and Maria’s Bookshop.

I’ve Said it Before…

…I Love Santa Ana’s.

Urban Tumbleweeds

Urban Tumbleweeds

Some Thoughts on the US-Mexico Border

The REAL ID Act allows the Department of Homeland Security to disregard all environmental laws to protect our borders. I don’t think they’ve started filling in the canyon on the border near the Tijuana Estuary yet, something that will cause all sorts of environmental problems with run off, erosion and effect plenty of birds, but it’s in the works.

Today I just read a story about the DHS using the REAL ID Act to start building roads in designated wilderness east of San Diego in preparation of building the triple border fence. Wilderness designation is supposed to keep the land free of human influence, a road and border fence are definitely human influence. A couple of years ago a border patrol spokesman said the area wouldn’t need fencing because the rugged land was fence enough, but apparently something has changed and they’re going ahead with it anyways.

One of my favorite things about much of the designated wilderness areas east of San Diego on the border are that they’re not wilderness for humans. There are few trails, few natural wonders for people to visit, but plenty of wide open space for the environment to be left alone. What wilderness designation was meant for. But no longer for the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area.

The blog post linked above (and here it is again in case you missed it, because I think it’s important to get the word out) is the first mention of this I’ve seen. Nothing in the newspapers, no other press. The DHS is doing a lot of stuff with very little public input.