Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

More About 4WheelBob at Two-Heel Drive

Tom Mangan has posted more info about 4WheelBob’s ascent of White Mountain. Here’s a brief excerpt – follow the link for lots more good stuff!

Favorite images from our White Mountain adventure. If you’re too busy to check out all 48 pictures posted at Flickr.com, I’m posting some of the faves. At some point I may post an in-depth narrative of all the fun and games, but I’d just as soon avoid the blog becoming All Bob, All the Time (methinks Bob, one of my most devoted readers, would agree)… [Two-Heel Drive]

Here’s my favorite of Tom’s photos.

Bob confronts the peak
(Photo: © Tom Mangan. Used with permission.)

August 26, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on More About 4WheelBob at Two-Heel Drive

4WheelBob in the News

From Tom Mangan at a href=”http://tommangan.net/twoheeldrive/”>Two-Heel Drive (Click on Tom’s link for the full story):

4WheelBob profiled in the Contra Costa Times. Ned MacKay, who writes a weekly column about the East Bay parks, mentions Herr Coomber.

… “I don’t go anywhere in a hurry,” Coomber says, “But I do get there.”

The article mentions Bob’s gearing for his latest White Mountain summit attempt in a couple weeks, which [Tom is] planning to attend and record for posterity. More at this thread at backpacker.com. [Two-Heel Drive]

August 7, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on 4WheelBob in the News

Tom and Bob

Tom and Bob remind me – as if I needed reminding – why those blue parking spaces are relevant in surprising places like at the top of Tioga Pass…

Travels with 4WheelBob.

“This looks pretty steep through here, ” I say. “You sure you want to try it?”

“You can’t let six feet of trail defeat you,” Bob says. What happens next is an unforgettable hiking-with-Bob moment…

July 9, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Tom and Bob

Reinventing the… two-heel drive?

Tom at Two-Heel Drive is preparing to switch from many daily posts to one major weekly post. Here’s a bit of what he has to say for himself:

Reinvention time. OK, so all my hard work of the last 20 months (OK, goofing off, but still…) has earned me an audience of about 200 people a day who actually visit my site and wonder when I’m going to get to the point.

OK, I’m getting there.

… from here on in I’m going to focus on places to go in the Bay Area and stuff I think might interest folks who hike around here. …

I probably won’t have as many daily updates, but the weekly hike write-ups will continue.
[Two-Heel Drive]

Hike on over (sorry, couldn’t resist) to Tom’s blog for the details and to subscribe to his feed.

June 28, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Reinventing the… two-heel drive?

Colin Fletcher Dies

Backpacking icon dies:

Colin Fletcher, a backpacking guru who wrote the book on the art of a good walk, died Tuesday at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. He was 85.

I think it is fair to say that Colin Fletcher‘s writings had the earliest and biggest effect on my developing interest in backpacking when I was much younger. My first recollection of Fletcher comes from high school, probably before my first real pack trip. A friend, with whom I eventually took my first pack trip, came from an outdoor family and either he or his father loaned me a copy of The Thousand Mile Summer, Fletcher’s great recounting of his epic walk from one end of California to the other. At the time of his walk there was no Pacific Crest Trail and I’m not even certain that the Muir Trail was a fully evolved thing – so Fletcher made his own route. In typical idiosyncratic Fletcher Form he managed to include the peak of White Mountain in his journey. He wrote a similar book about his journey though the Grand Canyon, The Man Who Walked Through Time.

Fletcher’s best known book was his seminal equipment and technique guide, The Complete Walker. This volume came out in multiple versions and influenced a generation (or two) of backpackers. Fletcher’s books were not the typical dry “equipment guides” that we often see – they were full of his unique and humorous (but, when necessary, profound) characterizations and opinions. To this day, I still use a number of them:

“When in doubt, doubt.”

(I wonder how many readers recall others? “Noah’s cape” and “Noah scape” anyone? ;-)

Ultimately, The Complete Walker was not really about what gear you should buy or what techniques to employ in a given situation – though you certainly could get that information from the book if you wanted. His books were – and are – a grand lesson about how and why to enter the wild world and how to be open to and, in so many different ways, prepared for that experience.

From the preface to the original edition of The Complete Walker – my copy of which sits on my lap as I type this:

“I was gently accused of escapism during a TV interview about a book I had written on my length-of-California walk. Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back home to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains.”

Exactly. ;-)

June 14, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Colin Fletcher Dies

A Couple Noteworthy Two-Heel Drive Posts

Tom of Two-Heel Drive shared a couple of posts that caught my eye yesterday. First, he reports that…

The Walkies. Elizabeth King, keeper of the Walktopia blog, dropped me an e-mail this morning reporting she had named Two-Heel Drive the Best Hiking Blog…

Congratulations, Tom!

Then, he tips his dusty and a bit sweaty hiking hat to one of my favorite Pacific Coast (heck, American) authors, Wallace Stegner and includes some of Stegner’s words about the value of wilderness…

Found this link to his “Wilderness Letter” at the WTA blog.

Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved–as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds–because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there–important, that is, simply as an idea.

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June 5, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on A Couple Noteworthy Two-Heel Drive Posts

Putting their lives on the line to keep others safe in Yosemite

Putting their lives on the line to keep others safe in Yosemite

A story in SFGate about Yosemite Search and Rescue:

Once little more than a rag-tag group of climbers who volunteered to help rangers in emergencies, a separate search and rescue program was established by the park service in Yosemite in 1974. It is now a force of at least a dozen highly trained technicians, with support from 20 expert rock climbers, nearly 100 park rangers and dozens of specialists — from scuba divers to search dogs — who are on call when circumstances demand.

There is plenty of demand. There were 219 search and rescue operations in Yosemite National Park last year, 216 in 2005 and 207 in 2004. That’s approximately 40 more missions every year than a decade ago, park officials said.</blockquot>

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June 2, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Putting their lives on the line to keep others safe in Yosemite

Photographers, Zabriskie Point

(An old article – posted here so as not to lose it during the site transition.)

PhotographersZabriskie2007|04|04: Photographers, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell". ("sales")    keywords: photographers waiting for dawn zabriskie point death valley national park california bright sky clouds color photograph

Photographers, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

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April 14, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Photographers, Zabriskie Point

Waiting for Dawn II, Zabriskie Point

(An old article – posted here so as not to lose it during the site transition.)

WaitForDawnII2007|04|04: Waiting for Dawn II, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell". ("sales")    keywords: person woman waiting for dawn zabriskie point death valley national park california silhouette rock wall bright sky color photograph

Waiting for Dawn II, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

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April 14, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Waiting for Dawn II, Zabriskie Point

Waiting for Dawn, Zabriskie Point

(An old article – posted here so as not to lose it during the site transition.)

WaitForDawn2007|04|04: Waiting for Dawn, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell". ("sales")    keywords: person woman waiting for dawn zabriskie point death valley national park california silhouette rock wall bright sky color photograph

Waiting for Dawn, Zabriskie Point. Death Valley National Park, California. April 4, 2007. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell. (Sales)

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April 14, 2007 Posted by | People | Comments Off on Waiting for Dawn, Zabriskie Point

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