Category Archives: Travel and Camping

Recipes sought: Wheat berries

I’m looking for camping recipes (or recipes that could be modified for camping) featuring wheat berries.

Parameters: I’m not partial to sweets and prefer savory one-pot dishes.

If you can either provide recipes or direct me to recipes of this nature, please share.

Thank you!

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Because of Louis L’Amour

In the Westerns I devoured as a teenager, the good guys made a point of leaving the trails they traveled in a better condition than they found them: moving a branch off the trail here, settling a rock into place there (provided, of course, that they weren’t grievously wounded and/or being pursued by the bad guys at the time).

The lesson has stuck with me: the portages I recently traveled have been left in better shape than I found them. Thank you, Mr. L’Amour.

Quiet Magic

Quiet Magic by Sam Cook, with illustrations by Bob Cary

University of Minnesota Press

This book is exactly what it promises: quiet and magical.  It’s a collection of stories and essays the author wrote for the Duluth News-Tribune, grouped by season.  Each piece is 2-4 pages in the book: a nice little morsel.

Each piece is 2-4 pages of observations and experiences related to the north country, the people to be found there, hunting and fishing, canoeing, etc.  Cook’s gentle humor and perception make for a delightful few minutes of reading per story.

I find myself continually returning to Loomis Lips for the chuckle factor.  Without spoiling it, I’ll just note that it’s about human nature.  Oh, and fish.

Fuel for the Day

Fuel for the Day

Ely Echoes

Ely Echoes by Bob Cary
(c) 2000
Published by Pfeifer-Hamilton

Rating: * * * * *

“Jackpine Bob” Cary, journalist and long-time editor of the Ely Echo, has collected a series of observations, escapades, and spoofs spanning his Depression-era youth through his golden years into an anthology of several-page stories infused with his trademark humor and energy.

My absolute favorite of these – and let me assure you it was not easy to select just one favorite to write about – is Second Time Around, a hilarious chronicle of Cary’s less-than-smooth wedding and honeymoon trip at age 76 with 64-year-old longtime friend and new bride Edith.

Adventurers in training

As seen in the park:

Two little kids, one with Heidi-of-the-Alps braids and the other with a hat that meant business, outfitted with tyke-sized backpacks (complete with carabiner clips), and walking sticks. They set out on an exploration of the park, leaving no stone or garter snake unexamined. Love it!

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

(c) 2013 by Creek Stewart.  Published by Living Ready Books

Rating:  * * * *

With frequent references to the materials Katniss and the other characters in The Hunger Games use to survive, this book provides the reader with an overview of survival techniques using the resources at hand to build shelters, find and purify water, forage for food, navigate, perform first aid, etc.

I really like this book because I expect it will grab the attention of readers who would not otherwise pick up an outdoors book. Each section is quick to read, full of references to the trilogy of books with which the author is clearly familiar, and contains photos for illustration.  While not exhaustive, the book goes into enough detail to spur interest in exploring the survival techniques further.

The author stresses that while The Hunger Games aren’t real, occurrences like getting lost while hiking or car breakdowns on rural roads – outside cell phone coverage areas – are.  A little knowledge can go a long way in preventing hypothermia and other adverse outcomes.

Clap Your Hands

I recently attended a terrific bluegrass concert.  Whenever the performers clapped their hands or stomped their feet during the songs, they did so on the 2nd and 4th beats.

Being from Central Minnesota, it was automatic for me (and the other audience members) to clap on the 1st and 3rd beats.

What’s your style?

 

Death on the Barrens

Barrens

Death on the Barrens:  A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic

by George James Grinnell

First published January 1, 2009 by North Atlantic Books

Rating:  * * *

The author, one of six young men on an ill-advised, poorly planned Arctic trip in the 1950s resulting in the death of the trip leader, recounts the experience from the distance of 50 years.

This is a memoir, not an autobiography.  Rather than focusing on the events of the trip, the book is about the participants:  their hubris, expectations, hopes, fears, anxieties, and reactions to the changing conditions throughout the journey.  As should be expected, the author’s experience is front and center, with descriptions of the other participants adding context.  Grinnell strays into rants from time to time, but since the chapters are all quite short it’s easy to move on.

This is a quick read that will leave you shaking your head.  I recommend reading it.

If you like this book, you may also like Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

Seems Legit

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