Saturday Morning Links

1. This piece from Jennifer B. Calder is the realist and saddest thing I’ve ever read. A husband takes his life, leaving his wife (Jennifer) and 3 children. I don’t even know what to say about this, it’s one of the best things I’ve read all year.

2. The Whippett arrives ever week or maybe every other week and it’s one of the best things that I read each week (or whenever it arrives in my mailbox). It is usually something that I’ve never ready or thought about and I very much enjoy it each week.

3. Ever heard of Lake Bled? Me neither. Lake Bled is in Slovenia. There’s a church there with 99 stairs dating from 1655 and it is good luck to carry your bride up the 99 stairs the day of your wedding. You can also take a pletna, a wooden boat, across the lake.

Photo by Jaka Škrlep on Unsplash

4. One of the most confusing things that I don’t understand is how a carbon offset works. I really don’t even know what it does or is. Outside Online’s Tim Neville explains what it is (this is just a part of it):

Halverson climbs out of the trench and looks around. Pickups. Cows. A scar of freshly turned earth. The pipeline will bring water to tanks stashed among the thirstier corners of his ranch, which will allow him to run more cattle and earn more than he could before. But the trench does even more than that. Thanks to the pipeline, Halverson can now harvest carbon out of the sky and be paid for it.

“For ranchers of my age, this is, like, something from Mars,” he says.

The Halversons are one of four families in Montana behind a new effort called the Montana Grasslands Carbon Initiative, which seeks to pay ranchers to fight climate change by letting the grasses grow tall across their rangelands. If you change the way cows graze, the thinking goes, you can give huge swaths of chewed-up grasslands time to regrow properly. More grass means more photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert light energy into food. More photosynthesis means more carbon dioxide is siphoned out of the atmosphere and excreted back into the earth as organic compounds. That makes the soil richer with nutrients, oxygen, and water, which in turn leads to healthier grasses.

5. The Smithsonian with the roles of slaves of the Confederacy in the Civil War is something that I have not read before and it was history that I needed:

Anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 enslaved people supported in various capacities Lee’s army in the summer of 1863. Many of them labored as cooks, butchers, blacksmiths and hospital attendants, and thousands of enslaved men accompanied Confederate officers as their camp slaves, or body servants. These men performed a wide range of roles for their owners, including cooking, cleaning, foraging and sending messages to families back home. Slave owners remained convinced that these men would remain fiercely loyal even in the face of opportunities to escape, but this conviction would be tested throughout the Gettysburg campaign.

On the first of the new year, Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which emancipated enslaved people in the states that seceded from the United States. The news quickly filtered through Confederate ranks and was certainly discussed among the army’s enslaved servants. The Proclamation, in effect, turned Union armies into armies of liberation, functioning as a funnel through which newly freed men could enlist in one of the black regiments that were filling up quickly throughout the North as well as in occupied parts of the Confederacy. Conversely, the Proclamation highlighted even further the degree to which the Confederate Army represented a force of enslavement. Lee’s decision to bring his army north into free states in early May, following his victory at Chancellorsville, was fraught with danger given the dramatic shift in Union policy; his soldiers’ rear guard, the support staff of enslaved labor, were at risk of emancipation.

Saturday Morning Links

Well, there’s a lot of things to like about this week. I actually have too many links saved up that I want to share.

1. You ever heard of Parc Ela in Switzerland? Me neither, but it is a nature park in the canton of Graubunden and is supposed to help protect the biotope, which is the whole kit and kaboodle. The park is actually a private park, 600 square kilometers. Wonder if we could ever pull off a 600 square kilometer park in the U.S.?

Photo by Joao Branco on Unsplash

2. Outside Online’s Luke Whelan talked to Kyle Burgess, the guy who went for a run and then encountered a mountain lion.

There’s that point in the video where she does those three pounces, and there’s one of them where she gets within, I’d say, four feet of me. That’s honestly when I thought she was going to get me. I tensed up and kind of squinted my eyes a little bit like, Ooooh, this is going to hurt. My heart rate was going. I was able to keep myself relatively calm, though, for the most part, because I knew if I psyched myself out, I’d probably make some irrational decisions. I knew I had to keep a level head and stay in the moment and kind of just keep making rational decisions so that I could get out—and the mama cougar could get out—of the whole situation. I knew that she just wanted me away from her kids. She was just doing her job as a mom. There’s nothing wrong with that. I just happened to roll up on the baby cubs at that moment.

3. MEL Magazine’s Zaron Burnett III cooked through the Guy Fieri cookbook and we maybe learn a lot about who Guy is.

The most rewarding aspect of Fieri’s cookbook are the glimpses you get into his personal story (like the one about his sister, who sadly died in 2011). It humanizes him beyond the frosted tips and bleached goatee. His cookbook is like if a memoir had some recipes. To this end, on Amazon, nearly all the reviews fail to mention the recipes. They gush not about the food, but how the cookbook is a great way to get to know Guy Fieri.

I agree. His recipes aren’t the reason why anyone should read this cookbook. Instead, you should read it for his choice anecdotes, like his arrival in New York to appear on the Food Network’s reality competition that launched his career, “I arrived in New York wearing a leather jacket, shorts and flip-flops, and stepped out of the cab into six inches of snow. I was the last one to get to the set — all the contestants were sitting in the common room, and they started running tape. Everybody had been to culinary school, and I said, ‘I own three restaurants and didn’t go to culinary school. I learned in restaurants. I don’t bake — I’m just Guy.’ I thought for sure I was dead.”

4. Texas Monthly’s Aaron Chamberlain is on the backstretch, week 7 going from Marfa to Comstock.

5. Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop on an Ohio mechanic who loses his sufboard and it ends up in the Phillipines.

Saturday Morning Links

Good morning. It seems like it has been a while I’ve done links, but it’s only been a couple of weeks.

1. Texas Monthly’s Aaron Chamberlain continues his bike ride around the perimeter of Texas and summarizes week 5 and week 6. Week 5 is mostly west Texas in general, but week 6 is from Kermit to Marfa and pretty spectacular:

Thankfully the wind died for a while, until I reached the Giant mural. I personally enjoyed this installation much more than the Prada store. But guess what, the winds came back and persisted until I reached Marfa. I was whupped pulling into town. I grabbed a sack of food from Dairy Queen on the way to our house rental. There I met three other cyclists; two of them had ridden most of the way across Texas last year, and the other was currently riding from Los Angeles to North Carolina. I got to our rental and devoured my meal. I had not rented the house, and I didn’t know who had. Javier refused to tell me, saying only that the renter would be arriving soon. About twenty minutes later, my benefactor pulled up outside. It was Anthony Galloway, my wife’s cousin, who had driven all the way from San Diego to meet us. This was a hell of a surprise. Unfortunately, I was too beat to show my true gratitude. Luckily, I had the next day off to hang out with Javier and Anthony. Then I would be turning south into Big Bend country.

2. OutsideOnline’s Nick Heil missed going to bars so he built one in his backyard so friends could come over. His experience sounded the same as me building a fort for my kids, despite having no experience building anything. The hard work and the satisfaction of completing it was something I really enjoyed.

3. Ever heard of Milford Sound? Me neither. It’s a fiord in the South Island of New Zealand and supposed to be one of the most visited spots in the world. The Maori name is Piopiotahi, which sounds a lot cooler of a name, and translates to a single piopio, an extinct bird, but harkens back to the legend of Maui trying to win immortality for mankind, Maui died in the attempt and a piopio flew there in mourning.

Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

4. On my list of things I really want to do, via FieldMag, a guide to hut-to-hut hiking in the Austrian and Italian Alps. The photos seem unreal and not of this planet.

5. I thoroughly enjoyed this, via New York Times a photo essay of the daily life of the caretakers of Britain’s small islands.

Saturday Morning Links

1. The family and I went to northwest Arkansas, Eureka Springs was where we stayed and it was absolutely beautiful in the fall. I don’t know why we picked it, other than my wife and I had talked about going for some time and just never made it there. I’d also add that it is only a 6 hour drive away, which means that we’re not spending a day driving to Colorado or New Mexico (which I love going there as well) and a day driving back. We arrived in Eureka Springs on Sunday evening, stopped by the grocery store, and cooked dogs and brats for dinner. We were on the north side of Beaver lake, which means that the sun set in the backyard for the most part, so that was a nice way to spend the evening.

2. We woke up the next morning, did a short hike near our cabin, stopped at Leatherwood City Park to check out, and then went into town for half a day. I knew that Miranda would want to buy soaps, bath bombs, and bespoke chapstick. It’s the one thing she really likes buying and I’m happy to oblige. A lot of these Southern towns sort of do the same thing, which is they have cutesy shops and that’s just sort of the deal. Downtown Eureka Springs is really neat, lots of old buildings and we were told that the older buildings were basically hand-made from immigrants. We had lunch, and then we had an appointment for the zip line in town.

We basically had to talk Fitsum into doing the zip line before the trip even started. He agreed to do it and I’m really glad that he did. We arrived at the zip line place of business, got suited up and we were on our way. The first 6 lines were basically practice. Showing us how to use the brake, when to slow down, etc. To start off, Fitsum was scared and said he couldn’t do it, but he did. Youssouf didn’t blink. Not one time did he blink. He was off and running. By the time we got to the 7th line, it was 2,000 across, 300 feet above the ground, and went 45 to 50 miles an hour. The first person who rode that sucker seemingly rode for 30 seconds. By the time that we went, I think Fitsum was last and he really didn’t want to do it, but because he was less than 100 pounds, he had to go with the guide, which was perfect because he would go if he could go with her. Fitsum makes the ride, gets off, and says, “Now I know what it’s like to be alive.” The entire experience was great and well done, the guides were all terrific as well. They were patient with the kids (and adults).

3. That was the end of the day and I don’t know how it could be topped. The next day we got up relatively early and made our way to Whitaker Point. I think we arrived around 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning .It’s about a 2 hour roundtrip hike and the idea is that you hike to this point where it basically looks like you’re standing on a really dangerous cliff, but it’s really not that dangerous. Yes, you do hike close to the edge of some cliffs, but if you’re safe it is fine. It was a good and pretty hike. Again, Arkansas in the fall is good stuff.

That afternoon, we head back towards Eureka Springs and the boys wanted to go to a cave, so we go to Cosmic Cave. I think the boys loved it and caves, in general, are really neat. We head back into town, and I think we go out for dinner in Eureka Springs.

4. The next day, we aren’t sure what to do. We’ve done with going into town and there’s not a ton of hiking in the Eureka Springs area other than Leatherwood Lake. Hiking around the lake didn’t really appeal to us. So we headed to Hobbs State Park with the hope that we’ll enjoy it. We do. Before we even get there, a motorcycle passes me on the way and not more than 30 seconds ahead of us. We don’t actually see what happens, we only see the aftermath. A deer apparently jumps out in front of the motorcycle driver, he hits the deer, which was dead on arrival and across the highway, the rider was laying on the shoulder of the road and I stop the car, pull over and call 911. The rider was fine, he had a broken collarbone and probably a concussion as he had memory issues. The local emergency response was a woman in a small truck and two guys in flatbed trucks. No ambulance or anything like that. We leave the scene after everyone has shown up and it’s already been an interesting area.

We stop at the park headquarters and they recommend a half-day hike which ended up being fantastic. We ended up hiking to a lake where there were kayakers having the time of their lives. The water was calm and the paddling seemed effortless.

We told the boys that there was a cave nearby and they want to do another one, so about 5 minutes away was War Eagle Cave and again, the boys loved it. The entrance to the cave is huge, not a small hole. Big enough for bats to fly through, which is really fun. A totally different cave and the guide was really informative. We had take-out for dinner and we called it a day.

5. I’d definitely recommend going to the area. If you like hiking, there is a ton for you. If you love mountain biking, I think you’ll love it as people talked about that aspect quite a bit. Almost everyone we were around wore masks. Guides, waiters, cashiers, etc. They all wore masks. I’d recommend for sure. We’d probably have to work a bit more to find hiking that we like, but we probably would stay near Hobbs State Park.

Saturday Morning Links

1. I usually stay away from sports here (except for running), but we’re going to get a little sportsy today. Via NPR, the No. 3 Iroquois Nationals team was not part of the lacrosse 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama because they weren’t a sovereign nation. In comes the Ireland team, who gives up their spot so the Nationals can play. Lacrosse was invented by Native Americans and was named Lacrosse because “la crosse” means “the stick” in French. And talk about sacrifice for the Ireland team is pretty special.

2. Let’s continue to keep up with Aaron Chamberlain who continues to bike the perimeter of Texas. week 3 meant beers and Texarkana to Vernon and week 4 was Vernon to Dalhart:

I woke before sunrise so I could get a jump-start on the winds. I had to ride forty miles to Stratford before turning south to Dalhart. Heading west on Highway 15 in the dark was a little spooky, with no lights but my bike light and the stars. There wasn’t much to see for the first hour. I could only hear cows bellowing somewhere in the blackness. An hour outside Stratford the crosswinds had picked up substantially, but the idea that they would soon become tailwinds kept me going strong. In Stratford, I had a perfectly normal lunch of egg rolls and tater tots. The fried food was comforting since the temperature in the morning had been in the high forties. Back on the road, this time heading south on U.S. 54, I soaked in the sun and relished the powerful tailwinds. Nine miles outside of Dalhart, I crossed Chamberlain Road in a tiny town called Chamberlin. Not sure who screwed up there, but it was nice to pass through my namesake before ending the long ride. It really was a long ride, but I was glad it ended with help from the wind gods.

3. Outside Online’s Wes Siler on the removal of the Bureau of Land Management’s Perry Pendley, and possibly all of the things he wanted to do to public lands (I had no idea lots of this stuff was happening):

The actions threatened by the ruling include everything from oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), to a new rule that permits electric bicycles to be operated on federal lands, and even mineral extraction on lands that used to be a part of Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. It’s potentially an unraveling of nearly every anti-public-lands, pro-extraction effort taken by the Trump administration over the past 14 months, and the ramifications of all that go much further, too.

I again do not understand the idea of taking away public lands, that they should be there for everyone, for your kids, grandkids, etc. There’s only so much of it, I just cannot understand of taking it away and would seem like everyone wants to keep public lands public.

4. The Ringer’s Tim Greiving with an oral history of one of my favorite movies, Best in Show. I think Best in Show led me to Waiting for Guffman.

Fred Willard (Buck Laughlin): I was thinking of my character, and the lines that would come out of my character, who was supposed to be an ex-athlete, who has just signed on to be a color commentator, and who had no real knowledge of the dogs. In other words, he didn’t value the different types of dogs. I pictured him as imagining that everyone has tuned in to hear what he had to say, as opposed to watching the Westminster Dog Show. So he contributed more about himself than he did about the dogs. He just made wild comments.

5. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.

I don’t know if it is wrong that I was just staring at Shires’ abs for 15 of the 16 minutes. And then, Isbell, thinking that Jewel might tell his daughter that she can’t yodel for shit.

It gets easier, but it never gets easy.