BANFF NATIONAL PARK, CANADA

Banff

HDR photography has reached such heights that I can no longer tell the difference between a photo and photorealistic CGI.

This photo purports to be of Banff National Park. It could just as easily be someone’s dreamworld from Photoshop. Either way, I’d be happy to go hiking there…

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“I’ll be there when they raise The Dead”

Fuggedabout the freakin’ zombies, wudja?… This will be white-water rafting on the Dead River. Periodically over the summer months, they open the floodgates on some of our impound lakes here in Maine, and the river levels can rise to class three and four white-water. Over Labor Day weekend, there’ll be a release up on the Dead that will raise the flow by 6000 CFS. Imma gonna be there when they raise The Dead!

whitewater-rafting-ocoee

I was really surprised when I realized that I had never gotten around to putting up a post about this fact. Back on July 15 was the deadline for getting a reservation in for the trip. One of my buddies who doesn’t have any camping stuff called me up on the 14th and said that he would foot the fee for both of us if I would bring the gear. I’ll be going down the river with 20 to 30 people I know from back in my days on Cape Cod. They’ve been going with the flow every Labor Day for 10 or 12 years.

Better yet, my friend is taking a couple of extra days off around the long weekend, so we will have from Wednesday through Tuesday to go play Upptacamp, in the woods, and on the river. The release is set for Sunday, and at least parts of our group will be camping up at The Forks, Friday PM through Monday morning. The rafting company has a campground right on the banks of the Dead River at the point where you take out, and they even provide a barbecue after the rafting trip. My friends have always raved about this yearly event and I’m really excited that I’ll be part of it this year.

Probably the greatest thing about this trip is the fact that everyone who will be going down the Dead River that day are among “The Risen Dead” or “The Grateful We’re NOT Dead”. They are all addicts in recovery. Nobody will be drinking. Nobody will be drugging. Everybody will just be there having a good time together. And best all for the rest of you ordinary people, since none of them need to scrounge up money for drugs five or six times a day anymore, none of them will be breaking into your house, and ripping you off while you’re away for the Labor Day weekend. Recovery is not just for the addict.

AlKBanzai

These two photos are of my wonderful friend Alison and her daughters going down the adjoining Kennebec River this last weekend when they opened the dam at Indian Pond. She is the one in the front hidden behind her paddle and screaming “Banzai”.AlKBanzai

 

The Kennebec and the Dead flow into each other right there where we will be camping. Hence the name, “The Forks”.

The FireAnt Stove Is Due Soon

FireAntLit

The squawk over on the Kickstarter comments all revolves around the fact that all the investors are getting a little “ANTsy” as the shipping date nears.

I sure am. I already have a package of  Lil’ Smokies” sitting in my refrigerator just waiting for the moment they go on the end of a stick to get toasted in the open flames of the FireAnt!

What you wish for… What you dream… What you get…

KGSunset

I guess it must be almost 2 years ago that one of my internetz friends had a series of catastrophes and misfortunes that ended up with him losing the property he owned out on the vast flatness that is the Central Colorado plains. I remember quite well the posts that he would put up about his frustrations and sadness. He had put a great deal of work into trying to homestead.

Just when he thought that everything was gone bottom-up, he lucked into a piece of property that he could afford up behind Pike’s Peak. He and his family are living in a tent, and cooking on a fire, but they are “living large”.

I guess it really is pretty hard to have to put up with sunsets like this night after night… Like he titled this post— “Suck It!”

Gerber Replacement Multi-tool

Well,  good to the word of the guarantee, Gerber Legendary sent me a brand-new Multiplier 600 unit to replace my 1990s version that had broken. On the  original one a side button that releases the pliers to slide forward out of the handles had popped out and disappeared. As a result, the pliers wobbled from side to side. It sounded like it was warranty work… And Gerber agreed.

Because the model has been upgraded and changed several times since I bought mine, Gerber elected to replace rather than repair. The newer version that I was sent seems to be made of slightly lighter weight metal for the handles. This is not a particularly grave disadvantage as the original tool was fairly heavy. It is still quite sturdy in the hand. The sawblade and file are both nearly identical, however they have changed the shape of the knife blade to a straight drop point. They also have added thumb-nicks to lift the smaller tools up out of the handle. The one major change was the addition of the black slide-to-locks on each handle. This was a much needed improvement. Now each blade and tool locks securely, with no chance of folding over on your fingers.

Otherwise this is the same Gerber Multitool that I had loved ever since I replaced an Original Leatherman that was stolen out of the dashboard of my truck. I do not however expect to get the same use out of this tool. Given the other options, and my current needs/desire for a much lighter weight EDC multi-tool, I simply do not see this replacing the Leatherman P4 in my pocket. I just don’t need anything as heavy in weight, and as heavy duty, as the Gerber and a belt case.

So… the replacement tool will go back in my car kit where the original had been for a number of years now.

Shown above, the Gerber 600, together with the adapter and extra screwdriver bits from my original Gerber tool, a folding Allen wrench set, a 600 lumin 18600 flashlight and my nifty NEBO socket set, provide me with a pretty flexible set of tools for most of the circumstances I might run into while away from home. They all fit easily and securely in a Bucket Boss belt pouch with a Velcro cover and sturdy metal belt clip… just in case you feel like carrying a couple of pounds around on your hip. The whole package also fits right in the door pocket of my Toyota RAV4.

(The NEBO is a really wonderful tool that I saw on the counter at a hardware store, purchased on a whim, and never saw anywhere again. Nor have I ever regretted dropping the cash. It’s beautifully ergonomic, and quality made, with a wonderful feeling your hand. Seven sizes of sockets store in the neoprene-covered handle and can be replaced with anything else that fits a 1/4″ driver shaft And it has a locking and reversible-ratchet action, with a swiveling head-stock.)

Seeing it all laid out, I realized that probably the one thing lacking that would be useful is a decent crescent wrench I’ll have to check around down cellar and see what I have .