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    « November 2009 | Main | January 2010 »

    Fun Divided By Three

    Chalkboard_logo The Dirtbag Diaries is on the air. Host Fitz Cahall introduces today's podcast:

    As outdoor types, we love rating systems. We'll rate anything. Rapids. Climbs. Ski runs. Now, we've gone and tried to rate the unrateable -- fun. Fun divided by three -- it's this concept that has been floating around campfires for years.  It dictates that there are three types of fun. There is type one fun and type two fun, but today, we are going to explore type three fun. This is the epic. The suffer fest. This is collarbone breaking,  giardia-getting, soaked-to-the-bone, carnage. If it sounds horrible, that's because it probably is. What does type three fun entail? Why do some people seem particularly drawn to these types of adventures and what could possibly motivate us to embrace type three fun? Today, we bring you answers.

    Download "Fun Divided By Three"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links and more information on the music in today's podcast. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz on Facebook and Twitter.

    Backyard Corridors: What migratory animals come through your area?

    2 yard I like to start the day in my backyard hot tub, sipping on a cup of strong coffee and soothing sore muscles. It's a great way to ease in. There's also an added benefit. Spending a half hour outside each morning, sitting quietly in one place, provides an opportunity to observe the ever-changing rhythms of nature - among them animal migration.

    [Backyard view from the tub. All photos by Jim]

    My home is in Ojai, a small town in a small inland valley in Southern California, where most of the migratory animals are birds. Orioles are among the splashier visitors, and therefore hardest to miss. Every spring, when a pair of hooded orioles arrive from their wintering grounds in Mexico for the summer breeding season, I reconnect with the wonders of migration.

    Continue reading "Backyard Corridors: What migratory animals come through your area?" »

    Octo in Indo

    Ed camping out in Indonesia with his FCD Octo surfboard at the ready

    Editor's note: With the Pacific Ocean starting to wake up, now's a nice time to hear from our friends at Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD) surfboards.

    From the FCD inbox -

    I bought a 6'10" Octo model from you guys a year or so ago, and thought you'd like an update...I spent a few months this summer camping and traveling throughout Indonesia, and found some pretty great isolated waves by going slow and keeping to the coast. The board served me well and hopefully will continue to provide lots of enjoyment over the years.

    You can see the board behind our tent in one of the photos, and the wave we found we camped at for 3 days and never saw another surfer except some friendly fisherman, that's the wave on the first day, and last day.

    Thanks for the great board, and I'm sure to come back to you guys for my next one.

    - Ed

    Click the jump to see a picture of the wave these guys scored alone for three days.

    Continue reading "Octo in Indo" »

    What does the Future Hold for the Teton Watershed?

    Early Teton float Patagonia owners Yvon and Malinda Chouinard joined Friends of the Teton River this summer on a trip down a wild stretch of the Idaho waterway. Their trip commemorated a float the Chouinards had taken down the same stretch of river 35 years ago, before construction of the notorious Teton Dam. Unfortunately, the trip was not a celebratory one - Friends of the Teton River's Amy Verbeten explains:
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    Thirty-five years ago, biologist and early Wild and Scenic Rivers advocate Frank Craighead, his son Charlie, Patagonia founders Yvon and Malinda Chouinard, photographer Jeff Foote, and others, organized a multi-day paddling and fishing excursion in Teton Canyon. Photographs from their trip were some of the last taken before the canyon was inundated by the ill-fated Teton Dam.

    The original Teton Dam, authorized by Congress in 1964, was protested on the water and in the courts, but this had little effect on slowing construction. Geology and weather provided a far greater challenge. On the morning of June 5, 1976, as rapidly melting snow filled the reservoir for the first time, water began to gush from the porous rock abutting the sides of the dam. Within hours, the entire structure collapsed. Eleven people perished, entire towns were destroyed, 13,000 head of livestock were killed, and tens of thousands of acres of farmland were stripped of topsoil. Congressman Leo Ryan, chairman of the House subcommittee which held hearings on the disaster, described it as "one of the most colossal and dramatic failures in our national history."

    [Preparing to float the Teton River in protest of the original dam, Yvon Chouinard, Mary Hutz, Jana Craighead, Malinda Chouinard, and Ted Major, Jr. rig boats before winching them down the canyon wall in 1974. Although more accessible put-ins exist, the infamous “Bitch Creek slide,” and the whitewater below it, makes for the most adventurous trip down Teton Canyon. Photo by Frank Craighead.]

    Continue reading "What does the Future Hold for the Teton Watershed?" »

    Urban Drifter - Video Recap of Rob Machado's Screening of "The Drifter" at Patagonia Cardiff

    [Video: Urban Drifter by Ian O'Roarty via YouTube]

    For those of us who couldn't make Patagonia Cardiff's recent screening of The Drifter with professional surfer Rob Machado, here's a sweet little recap from filmmaker Ian O'Roarty. Rob and Jon Swift played live music for the crowd as they filed into the venue and after the movie during the bonus surfing footage. The event was free but over $600 was donated by the crowd to benefit the Rob Machado Foundation. Special thanks to Wegener Surfboards and Nixon Watches for their contributions.

    You can follow Patagonia Cardiff on Twitter and Facebook for news on future events.For more music from Jon Swift, check out Sweetgrass Productions' latest ski/snowboard film Signatures.

    Taking Home the Tools - Reflecting on the 2009 Tools for Grassroots Activists Conference

    Seminar Today's post comes to us from Hans Cole, Patagonia's Environmental Grants Manager. Hans' job is all about supporting grassroots environmental groups through grant money and training, and helping to plan and run Patagonia's environmental campaigns. He facilitates the Grants Council that decides which environmental organizations will be recipients of many of Patagonia's annual environmental donations. He also leads the team of Patagonia employees who plan and run our regular Tools for Grassroots Activists Conference. Here's Hans with a brief re-cap of this year's Tools Conference, which took place October 14th - 18th.
    _____________________

    Grassroots environmental work is the ultimate endurance pursuit. It can take years, even decades, of grueling campaigns to pass a wilderness bill, fight off a coal-fired power plant, save a local river, or pull a species back from the brink of extinction. What the people on the front lines of these battles often lack (and maybe what they need most), is the chance to step away from it all for a couple of days – to connect with others like them, share ideas and new skills, and recharge for the next round. They need a community. The Tools for . . .

    [Tools Conference participants learn strategy from veteran activist, Tina Andolina of the Planning and Conservation League. Photo: Tim Davis]

    Continue reading "Taking Home the Tools - Reflecting on the 2009 Tools for Grassroots Activists Conference" »

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