Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ski Report and Glide Wax Gear Review

Today I applied a heavy coat of glide wax to my waxless back country skis, effectively sealing the scales completely except those under my boot. The snow is wet and slushy now, March 28, making my skis ice up so that snow pack accumulates in the scales.

Allowing the F-Wax (Snowboard Specific Fluorinated Rub On Past Wax) to dry, I buffed it and set my skis outside to adjust to the temperatures before embarking on my adventure.

The climb was done earlier this week on snowshoes by the chef. I followed his prints until arriving at the top, where he lost the trail. There really could be a few more orange markers on top, its pretty sketchy.

The glide wax was excellent. No icing up, and incredible glide, almost too much on the way down.
I managed to manipulate the hairpin turns looking out over the abyss. A couple times I used control falls to keep from going off the edge. I didn't realize going down was going to be as challenging as climbing!

Back country skis should be wider than x country skis. I'm glad mine were. At times the side stepping caused them to cross. At that point, the skier must be able to back them up, lift one over the other, yet without sliding off the edge of a very steep narrow trail.

It was fantastic. I spent about 3 hours on the adventure and highly recommend the wax as a way to prolong the season.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Remember Meredith Emerson

As hiking season gears up, and we start hiking alone, let us all take a few minutes to remember Meredith.

If you don't remember the case, several articles can be read about this heart rending murder. And, she wasn't the only victim of Gary Hilton.

This painting I did, I dedicated to her. It seemed to lack something until I added a figure of a woman and dog hiking into the mountains together. is a good place to read the account, and the other 4 murders attributed to this sick old man.

Men and women, beware. If someone gives you bad vibes, hike away from them. Be especially wary at road crossings. If you have to hitch hike for a resupply, don't get into the vehicle if you're the least bit on edge. Trust your survival instincts.

Hike safe, hike long, hike light.
And remember, we won't give up our passion because of fear.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Home Made Flame Retardants

A viewer on my youtube channel told me you could make flame retardant with borax and spray it on your tent . He suggested I do a google search on it to come up with the formula and so I did. There are many possible pages to read that came up as a result of the search.

I clicked on  a few and came up with this, among many other similar formulas:

Homemade Flame Retardant

For a make-it yourself fire retardant mixture, mix 7 oz. Borax, 3 oz. boric acid, and 2 qts. warm water. Stir to dissolve completely. Either dip the fabric in the mixture or spray on to thoroughly saturate the material until it drips. This product will wash right out without damage to the fabrics so if you have to use a bedsheet for stage curtains, it won't damage them for at home use.
from the website:

I don't know, though, if the rain would wash the product off the tent. I imagine in time, it would and you'd want to reapply the spray.

If anyone tries it, please let me know. Once I get my car out of the storage container here at Man Camp in Yellowstone, I'll get the stuff and see what happens. Stay tuned for a full report this summer.

May all your trails be lighter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

He Walks Along the Lake

Some prints didn't photo well, but the characteristic claw, depth and stride sign were perfect. The bear ambled up the bank from the Lake, walked aways, headed back down the bank, looking for food and easy travel.

This print came across pretty decent. He walked the road, I used my field glasses to scope my surroundings. Didn't want to surprise the dude, although the sign didn't appear too fresh, not like the other day when even the creases and lines in his foot pads were clearly visible.

Here he headed back to the lake, off the roadway. I followed a bit, then backed away. Seemed I could just about see his face startling me near the drop off. Wouldn't have been pretty!

Continental Divide Trail Hikers Wanted

I'm starting to look at the Wyoming section of the CDT....and I'd like a partner to hike it with me.

I'd like to start at Copper Mountain and head north at least until I reach Old Faithful.

If anyone is interested, please comment, or email me. Check my profile for the address.

I've hiked two portions of the CDT.  This photo was taken in Glacier National Park.  It was a fantastic hike through griz country. The bear canister weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces. I used my modified external frame. The original pack was replaced with a custom silnylon pack I made and fitted so the canister could slip right in.

This is some of my gear in front of the pack I used. As you can see, I favor green and black, along with some camo. My hiking poles show lots of use as well. They form the support or structure of my ultralight, custom made Brawny Tent.

I don't have to have a partner for this, but I would like one. My credentials can be found at

May all your trails be lighter.

Friday, March 15, 2013

First Griz Sign Sighting

March 15th at Lake Yellowstone Man Camp. Things are getting interesting, spring is in the air, cabin fever setting in big time. Yesterday I went for an evening ski. Had to use the road, all snow packed and slick. The trails are soft. Breaking through to the thighs is not fun. I headed up to Fishing Bridge, turned around, went towards the Marina, intending to take the well used Marina trail back to Lake. Just as I swung in, I noticed huge tracks. I stopped, glanced towards the trail. Yup, he had to be right on up the trail. Of course, my camera was back in my dorm room.
The prints were so fresh I could see the lines in his pads, the claws so distinct I could count them. I followed the tracks in towards the lake, saw them head right down the trail I planned to take as the sun set. Well....humm, no bear spray on me, no camera, nope. Guess not, not tonight. I turned around, headed home, went into the Hotel to report to the foreman. No more leaving beers in the snow to chill out. Probably better not leave apple cores on the ground. As cooks making bacon for breakfast, I plan to watch the reefer platform before I head out there in the dark.
I love it here! Its fantastic. Where else do you get an adrenalin rush on a daily basis?
One of our painters doing the trim in the sun room. He's living here for a month. Its hard work, but they eat well.

Sun set view looking north across the lake. Everything takes on this lovely pink hue. Sometimes the meadow is socked in with fog while the hotel is bathed in perfect light.

A local coyote is not the least worried about me walking past. You can see the mountain of scrap metal and wood in the back.

Guys take turns pulling fire watch. The least little spark could send this place to an untimely death. All night, a man on duty will monitor from the attic to the basement, walking the floors. Many have reported strange bumps in the night. The Ghost of John Deerfield? Probably.  I wrote
Primal Cut back in November. Its a ghost story about the infamous caretaker of this historic location. will make you look at red meat just a little bit differently!
The snow looks blue most of the time, a perfect reflection of blue skies and mountains. The pines are a welcome contrast. I count myself very fortunate to be working here. I call it home.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Four -No Storm Like This

You can click on the Author's Profile at the top of this blog to see all the books I have written at
Now available at both Barnes and Nobel and 
I just finished Book Four of the River Survival Series. There's a lot of  violence, warfare, sex and alternative beliefs in this volume. As the federal government seeks to restore order seven years after the grid collapses, they implement horrific incentives to "inspire" citizens to capitulate to their demands.
If you haven't read the first three books, you'll be missing out on key scenes, which I refer to in book four. We have met and loved many colorful characters, found out how they evolved into the killing machines they are in this thriller, and see how they cope with the brutality of the new society.

 Book One begins with a couple living in the back woods of Georgia. After the grid goes down, they must hold their own against the local townsfolk trying to take over. Eventually, Carla Hunter must make her way north, alone, to reunite with family.

Book Two takes place in a small community along the Mississippi River. Hunter and her family assimilate, but must fight enemies from Chicago who plan a devastating raid.

Book Three sees the beginning of the spring campaign against American citizens who have recreated a working society apart from the federal government. Our beloved River Patrol goes through some internal fighting, the Sheriff proves he can handle it. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ski Adventure-Gear Report

I'm wearing my Columbia ski pants, they are awesome with a fleece layer underneath. Comfortable, with several pockets, a lining inside to wick away moisture. They aren't warm enough by themselves however,  you must have a layer underneath. 

The Yellow Hotel looks so far away. Its 2 miles across the ice to Stevenson Island.  I saw a crease in the snow cover and was glad I had my binoculars. There are hot spots under the ice, which can cause mush and water. Hitting one of these wet spots made my waxless skis immediately ice up. My friend, Barbie, was not having issues, her snow was good so I angled over to join her.

It took us an hour to get across to the Island. We messed around for awhile, then headed back.
You can watch the video at my youtube channel, or go over to my other blog,