Tim has been an inspiration to me since I first heard about his act of civil disobedience in December. I was so impressed to get to know him better as I introduced him and what he stands for to some of my colleagues at the Outdoor Industry Winter Market in January. To me the strategy of his defense team is brilliant. I think it has the potential to be for climate change as the Scopes trail was to evolution. Now here’s a l little update I just got from Tim. I hope you’ll join me in supporting him, if not financially, then perhaps by helping spread his story to others. I think it’s THAT important.
A Word From Tim DeChristopher
Over the past six months since I disrupted the BLM oil and gas auction, I have received a huge amount of support in many different forms from around the world. Some of you have supported me financially, some helped spread my story, and many of you have given me kind words of encouragement. I have deeply appreciated this support, and it has paid off in several ways. After the fraudulence of the December 19th auction was exposed, most of land on which I bid has been at least temporarily protected from oil drilling. On June 12th, the BLM withdrew their demand for $81,000 from me. I believe all of this was made possible by the public outcry all of you helped to create over my case.
As the criminal case against me proceeds, I now have the opportunity for a much bigger impact. My legal team and I will be arguing that my actions were justified by the moral imperative of stopping catastrophic climate change. With the help of some of the worldâ€™s most respected climatologists, we will be proving in the courtroom that climate change is a real and serious threat to my future. This can set a vital legal precedent for our responsibility to ensure a livable future for our children. Dr. James Hanson has recently said that legal battles may be our best strategy for creating the paradigm shift we need to address the climate crisis. This is especially relevant now that Congress has made it clear with the Waxman-Markey bill that they will continue putting the interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of my generation.
To make this case as effectively as possible, I need your support. My excellent attorneys, Patrick Shea, Ron Yengich, and Liz Hunt, are volunteering their time, but they estimate expenses for legal research, depositions and witnesses to exceed $100,000. Iâ€™m learning firsthand that the quality of our justice system is based on the finances of the defendant.
Please send a donation today and pass this message on to all the people you know who care about the climate crisis. I believe it is so crucial for this trial to face a jury that I have chosen to risk imprisonment by refusing any plea bargains. Whether you can donate $70 or $7, your support is critical in making this a landmark case that turns the tides in our struggle for a livable future.
Some Relevant Links:
Make a Donation:
Take a Stand for Climate Change.
After working for more than a year, the web site for the grass roots Colorado geotourism effort was launched Friday in a riverside ceremony in Buena Vista, CO with a high-profile ribbon cutting and support by Gov. Bill Ritter and State Sen. Gail Schwartz. The complete sharing-enabled press release about the event can be found here http://pitch.pe/16677
The folks in Denver thought we could only muster 15 people so when 50 sustainability-minded folks showed up in a town of just 2,500 people, well . . . it’s hard to say how much more perfect the launch could have been for this project that is propelling a concept in which I so passionately believe is the absolute right direction for the future. As I told the governor, we hope that one day all tourism will be geotourism..
Jackson Kayak’s new tandem whitewater kayak, the Dynamic Duo got lots of river time on Colorado’s Arkansas River while the Jackson Kayak Fun Tour was in Salida for the 61st Annual New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater Festival. Even mere mortals were getting in on the action. It helps when action heroes reigning world freestyle champ and former Olympian Eric Jackson and son-in-law Nick Troutman, reigning Canadian National Freestyle Champ, are your paddling partners.
The 61st running of the New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater festival concluded last night. Some highlights included the always fierce competition of the Foam Boat World Championships, pro freestyle kayaking and a new mountain biking event.
While Jackson Kayak pioneered and sponsors the annual event in Salida, every community with a little creek can host foam boat championships and watch kids go nuts! Despite the name, some foam boats were actually made of wood. Shaped and decoratively painted, the boats are pure expressions of creativity. At FIBArk, there are two main events. In the extreme downriver race, about 10 or so yards in length, boats are thrown behind a dam (in this case a folding table) and released to meander to the finish line, dependent only on gravity and the natural currents and obstacles of the creek. In the freestyle event, participants toss their boats into a little waterfall feature and a judge scores the “ride” on tricks, creative use of the feature and amplitude. Boats that flush out are allowed to be thrown back into the feature until the 30-second whistle blows. Watch this quick highlights reel from the Foam Boat Championships. The downriver race is first followed by rules and a sample contestant from the freestyle event and the awards ceremony.
Foam boaters can grow into to professional kayakers and it’s the pro event at FIBArk that draws huge crowds to the banks of the Arkansas River. For a roundup of the pro event, check out my post on the Salida Citizen.
If you’re a cheese connoisseur and happen to find yourself either in the North of France or, if you’re lucky, a very good cheese shop in Paris, you must try the rare Maroilles cheese. (pronounced Mar Whahl) Don’t let the pungent aroma scare you off, as it did me the first few times I was presented this cheese. Once you taste it it’s creamy goodness (45% fat), you forget the overpowering smell.
According to most internet references, the cheese was first produced in the 10th century by a monk at the Abbey of Maroilles. The cheese was allegedly a favorite of several French kings including Philippe Auguste, Francois I and Cahrles Quint. This delicious cheese is just one of 27 of France’s 365 varieties of cheese to earn FrenchÂ label of origin status and is also recognized for its regional uniqueness by the European Union.
The cheese originates from the cows of Avesnois. During production, after the cheese is washed it is aged for two to three months in the caves of Thierache which only allow for the development of the particular flora that gives the cheese is unique flavor. During this time it is regularly turned and brushed, promoting the development of bacteria that forms the rind which changes color from yellow to reddish orange.
The thing I miss most about living in France is the great selection of cheese and the terrific number of really fantastic everyday wines at everyday prices. My favorite cheese will probably always be Maroilles.
This past weekend i had a chance to combine the ecotourism aspect of geotourism with field testing the uniquely versatile Buff headwear.
Lower Eardley Canyon may not be the tighest slot canyon in Utah but it certainly poses its own unique challenges, especially to a rookie canyoneer such as myself.
As long slogs up steep peaks are to bagging 14ers in Colorado, long slogs up hot, sandy dry washes are part of the game when it comes to canyoneering in Utah. The hike to the mouth of Lower Eardley Canyon isn’t that bad but the hike to the top is long and route-finding is challenging. Once in the canyon itself, the route is evident since there are no side canyons. After a few dry or barely wet but hoppable or wadeable pothole obstacles, comes the series of six rappels into six potholes that demand swimming. I read that sometimes, right after a flash flood when the water level in the potholes is higher, it’s possible to just jump rather than rappel into these potholes.
According to other, more experienced canyoneers, Eardley makes up in swimmer potholes what it lacks in the type of slithery tight slot passages of other popular slot canyons in Utah.
Verdicts: I look forward to my next canyoneering adventure. Trusty Buff seems a perfect choice for canyoneering headwear. Geotourism - at least that part of it that savors the natural environemnt -
is alive and well in the slot canyons of Utah.
My favorite time of year is coming up, Memorial Day weekend heralds the arrival of the newest installment of Mountainfilm in Telluride, May 22 - 25 this year.
This is one of my favorite festivals maybe anywhere in the world. I like to tell folks it’s a film festival with soul. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Telluride, CO, Mountainfilm attracts, film, filmmakers and adventurous spirits of all ilks and nationalities to share in the storytelling and story shaping of issues of import to the mountain lifestyle, mountain cultures and the indomitable spirit.
The first time I stumbled upon Mountainfilm was about 15 years ago, entirely by accident and a stroke of good fortune. It was a rainy Memorial Day weekend in Colorado, as that weekend tends to be, and I was tent camping in the cold rain/snow mix at Ridgway State Park. As luck would have it I found a flyer about Mountainfilm. Sounded interesting and, more than anything, the lure of being inside, dry and warm and watching movies had immense appeal.
I will never ever forget the lunchtime picnic discussion with some legendary mountaineering I had only read about until then: Paul Petzoldt, Charlie Houston, Brad and Barbara Washburn and Bob Bates. Throughout the picnic the panelists answered any random question from the crowd, fireside chat style. The mountaineering pioneers told of weeks spent just trying to determine the best approach route to climbs that have now become standard routes up some of the world’s most famous, daunting and highest peaks. Brad and Barbara talked of developing techniques for taking photos of Alaska out the open door of an airplane in decidedly un-OSHA approved style. The outward appearance of these senior versions of the legends of American mountaineering belied the incredible exploits and achievements of their youth. It was imminently clear that while their bodies might be withering, their spirits clearly were still as vibrant and undaunted as ever.
The details are a little foggy but I will always remember being so impressed about a story Petzoldt, visionary founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School, told that day. It was a story from his participation in the first American expedition to K2 in the Himalayas. While on this climb, Petzoldt set a record for the longest continuous time at an altitude of more than 20,000 feet without artificial oxygen. Later, he was asked to speak at a meeting of Air Force brass who wanted him to tell them about the effects of sustained exposure to thin air since the military was just entering the era of high altitude flight. At the time, commonly held belief was that you would die or go crazy without supplemental oxygen at such lofty heights. Although Petzoldt had clearly demonstrated to the military crowd that he had not died, at the end of his speech, out of the corner of his eye he spied an officer with a lot of medals on his chest making the cuckoo bird symbol with his forefinger making circles around his temple. Incensed, Paul said he took the microphone back and told the audience he had one last story to tell. He spoke of sitting at 20,000 feet being so overcome with raw emotion from the beauty dawn broke over the HimalayaÂ that he was inspired to write a poem. That day in Telluride, Paul recited the poem with a strong voice and no hint of faulty memory, just as I imagine he had for the military brass decades ago. I wish I had written down that poem. Something about that moment, that spirit, has stuck with me and is part of the enduring magic that keeps me coming back to Mountainfilm.
If you haven’t been to the festival yet and you love mountains, mountain people, flora and fauna and are open to joining in more than a few lively discussions and debates about issues affecting mountains and the earth and its oceans from which they rise, you’ll love Mountainfilm. Mountainfilm and its sensitive, exuberant and thoughtful presentation of films and filmmakers about mountains and the people who love them underscores the heart of geotourism: preserving and cherishing sense of place, unique cultures, and a deeper respect for all life on this pretty blue planet.
I love to cook so one of my favorite things to do while traveling is cook along with and learn traditional recipes. This recipe was passed on to me by a friend I met sailing in the Caribbean. Lilly was French and showed me that authentic French Onion Soup, doesn’t use any chicken or beef stock - just onions. Like many traditional recipes, measurements are less precise, since the technique is usually passed down from generation to generation.
In a large soup pot melt @ 1/4 to 1/2 lb of butter then tan 3 huge softball-sized diced yellow onions
Meanwhile, half-fill a small saucepan with white wine and some cognac and heat but don’t boil.
When the onions have tanned, cover well with flour.
Flame the cognac/wine mix and add to the onions.
Add water and generous amount of salt, pepper and tamari
Float butter-pad sized sides of Gruyere or Swiss cheese and homemade toasted French bread croutons.
This past fall I got to spend three weeks on one of the teensier of the constellation of teensy islands that comprise St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A person of average fitness can bike the hilly island in a day with time to spare before the sun sets. There’s a certain distinctive yet casual rhythm to the day, and the days of the week, that’s easily habit forming; a completely laid-back chill vibe and not much of any tourist hustle. The water was so warm that even a cold-averse wimp like me could just plunge right in. Locals would go to the beach and just bob around in the blissfully warm waves and catch up on the day’s gossip. It was just what I was looking for! No decision bigger than whether to snorkel, swim, walk the beach, trundle over to a different beach, or mix it up and hop a local cooperative van into town.
We stayed in Marie Kingston’s sweet little cottage right at the end of idyllic Lower Bay beach. There aren’t any chain hotels here and I hope there never will be. One of the biggest hotels on the island - at least as of this fall - had little more than a dozen rooms. Lodging prices weren’t too bad, especially since we arrived just before tourism season kicked into swing, but stocking our little cottage with food was a pricey proposition due to the high cost of food transport, since little is grown locally. The sea still supplies sustenance from subsistence fishing. Whaling continues as it has for centuries, the islanders are limited by international covenant to just four per season, still chased and caught by a few brave men in traditional whaling dorys.
So I was psyched when about midway through our visit, Jacqueline’s Nature Zone opened. She had just harvested the first of the season’s veggies and herbs on what must be the prettiest garden plot on the planet, right across the skinny two-lane road from the most delectable beach on the island. Jackie’s business is mostly seasonal, dependent on the annual influx of tourists and yachties. Compared to the Carribbean and Bahamas farther north, this is a sleepy part of the western Atlantic so business is rarely described as brisk. A patient woman, Jackie persists, convinced that demand for her locally grown food will steadily increase. She likes knowing where her food is grown, how the plants are nurtured and that they are free of pesticides. Jackie explained that most of the produce in the grocery stores comes from nearby St. Vincent, where she said farmers still drench their crops with powerful pesticides.
Oddly, the locals don’t think much of Jackie’s garden goodness. One exception is Fernando, whose namesake restaurant has a well-deserved reputation as one of the very best on the island. Fernando at his Hideaway
Usually though, when Jackie offers native-born neighbors a sample, they spit it out.
With a diet dominated by canned goods, rice and beans, Jackie’s greens and veggies taste too strange to most locals’ palates. On the contrary, I adored everything she grew. Intriguingly, something in the soil added a hot zing to some of the veggies. Not to miss: Jackie’s crazy good ginger basil pesto! I love to cook, and did so aboard charter sailboats for a couple seasons. As most cooks and chefs agree, nothing beats fully ripened, fresh-picked organic produce, so you can trust me when I say Jackie’s produce is worth seeking out.
Once upon a time, the islanders used to grow more of their own food, though it was no easy task on the freshwater scarce island. A local lady told me that when she was a little girl in the ’60’s, folks used to grow, harvest and process cassava. She described to me the ways they used to cook and process the plant using every bit of it for food, starch and more. She also told me how locals used to grow more corn then, and on Guy Fawkes Day they’d put big giant cassava rendering pots in the middle of town, cove the bottoms with sand, place the the pots over a hot fire and have a giant popcorn celebration.
Cassava and corn and small gardens are rare here today. As more and more modern conveniences arrived on the island, local food productions and traditions withered away. Jackie said the locals think she’s crazy for growing her own food. I think she’s brilliant and I hope she’s there next time I go back.