As folks get rolling out to the U.S. National Parks and the rest of the great outdoors for Summer, here are three things to know plus one bonus idea.
1. Watch for the AM radio sign for the latest updates and tune in!
This is usually posted as a road sign as you’re driving in toward a national park
Sometimes the park’s official website will also note it
In one case, this was invaluable to listen to heading into Utah’s Zion National Parks last Spring, as droves of people were coming in and it informed us of scarce parking and the existence of a shuttle ahead of time. At Moab, it gave us early warning of all the internal campsite closures due to road construction so we knew to look outside the park perimeter.
2018 Food Tank’s First Summit
in the Pacific Northwest: Growing Food Policy
Have you ever attended a conference and walked away super inspired, then wondered a week later if anything stuck?
I wasn’t sure what to expect of Food Tank’s first summit held in the Pacific Northwest. In the end, it was a net positive. Having taken time to mull things over, there are even some unexpected learnings which will stick with me and help me grow going forward. Writing this review actually helped me process some of it, so thanks, Dear Reader!* I’m hoping the food-interested folks reading this, and the others who participated will help keep this learning going.
This was the nudge to finally draft this post I’ve had in mind. I hope those of you over 21 find it handy as we head into holiday travel this year. Kris and I like to bring a little craft beer back from travel as a souvenir to enjoy with friends. We’ve logged, him especially, a lot of airline miles with beer in luggage and gotten some routines down to accommodate.
[insert 10/22 photo of luggage, brighten and crop, draw arrow, caption: you can see I went with multiples of optional step 4]
Do you ever go grocery shopping and discover that you’re picking up 150% more than you intended to buy, that you are really hungry, and now you’re trying to figure out how to bike or walk it all home?
I recently picked up a new trick for those reusable sacs (usually cloth or polyester of some sort) with sizable handle-loops. It keeps me covered when I am carrying way more than any sane, less-ambitious urban nomad would carry. Continue Reading
When I was a kid in Minnesota, I went to this one summer day camp where they taught us, among other things,* to waterproof regular matches by painting clear nail polish on them. Years later living in Seattle, I diligently painted and dried each match this way. That’s the Dahlia Lounge matches you see in the picture. Then for about 4 years I brought them with for car camping and found they were annoyingly hard to strike, delaying my access to delicious and/or experimental dehydrated camp meals. I ended up defaulting to regular ones, like the ones above from Fish and Game Hudson here. Conclusion: you could also always go for survival matches like the ones above, or regular ones in a ziploc bag. Sometimes DIY is overrated.
*I vaguely recall them also teaching us to cut radishes into rose shapes…
Here’s one from my significant other’s mountaineering class. I froze my ass off camping in in Bryce Canyon so you don’t have to.
While camping, you can fill a large nalgene (or other water) bottle with hot water before bed, and put it in your sleeping bag for extra warmth all night! If you find the surface a little burn-y to your skin, you can wrap a bandana around the bottle.
Bonus warmth points if you drink all the water once you wake up. Staying hydrated, friends!
Just bring your stickered bike helmet in when you arrive on two wheels, and not only will you save marginal cost on gas and car maintenance, but literally get a discount when, say, buying a cup of coffee. If your coffee is ridiculously expensive at $5, getting 5 cups of coffee already breaks even for buying the sticker.
Note: they did not pay me to say this, just thought of it as I was finally buying a sticker after seeing it the 100th time at a local Seattle coffee shop.
“To know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize one’s littleness, to sense dependence, and interdependence, indebtedness and responsibility.”
-Howard Zahniser, author of the Wilderness Act of 1964
Downtown Fairbanks was more cosmopolitan than I expected (ok ok, I did not expect tons of urban life). Upon reflection, it warms my heart to say that visiting a place viewed as remote in the lower 48 turned out to involve many warm encounters with quirky, friendly folks. Even in a place with so much amazing, non-human-related nature, the people were a big part of what made the experiences so memorable. Thus, the quote above. Perhaps it is partly the unforgiving environment that forged a culture of down-to-earth friendliness among those who live here.
We witnessed various shenanigans on a Sunday in Fairbanks, some you’ll have to ask me in person for a recounting. Beyond those:
Travel Pro-Tip of theDay: my co-explorer and I often run into limited device-to-charging-cord ratios when we travel. Either one of us has packed a cord but the other overlooked it, or there appear to be too few compatible outlets wherever we’re staying. Besides using a plugged in laptop as a USB port for phone cables, we’ve learned some other solutions over time:
It’s a two-fer!
You can often use the tv for usb cables to charge your devices. In the most recent case of Fairbanks, AK, our cabin had a tv with no live feed, but the USB input was still there for power.
If you’re at a hotel or other large establishment and forgot a charging cord, check with the front desk for a compatible cable. Odds are, just as you forgot yours at home, others often forget theirs in their hotel room. Thanks, anonymous fellow travelers!
What wonders the Universe provides, humble and great.