Just got back from a three day hike. Four of us went. We had different experience levels, different stamina levels, and different pack weights. It worked out. It rained twice, once on the first evening when we were getting supper ready, once the next night after we were bedded down. It was mostly hot, humid, and sunny. The terrain was hilly, so it all up one side, then down the other.

It’s been a rainy spring, and all the streams were running. Plenty of water at the campsites. Some MREs, some dry food, a few treats. Taking a first time hiker out is always a challenge, you want everyone to enjoy it, you want it to look like it is effortless, and you want him to want to go again.

I had a fine time. The forest was beautiful, late spring, everything just fully green. A light pack and reliance on old skills helped me keep up. I’m going to throw in a plug for Gregory packs, too. They are the cat’s titties for backpacking comfort, I wish I’d had one thirty years ago.

I dream of hiking into my old age.
–Marlyn Doan


A Memorial Day followup

U.S. casualty report for the war in France, dated August 31, 1918. The war still had 2 months and eleven days before the Armistice was signed and the guns fell silent for a few years. Twice in thirty years, the United States sent her best to die for the freedom of Europe. We won, at a cost that is almost impossible to imagine today.

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

It was C Rations in My Day

Some were better than others. The eggs were the worst as far as I was concerned.

MREs came along after I was out. I’ve eaten a fair number of them, between Scouting, the Red Cross during a bad hurricane 10 years ago, and getting them from various sources for camping. Most of them are pretty good, far better than C rations the way I remember them. Some are awful. Since I’m not stuck in the field, I have the option of being selective. It is a luxury our troops don’t always have.

Here’s one report from the field
with a helpful suggestion for the federal budget. Very funny, go and read.

(Cheese Omelet with Vegetables)…is $15 Million a year spent on the excrement of Satan.
–Acute Politics, blogger

North Korea Launches Another Missile

N. Korea launches additional missile. So first a nuke test yesterday, now three missile launches today. It’s like advertising.

I’ll bet the U.N. and Pr. Obama are going to be very stern in their response. Waddya’ think this time? A strongly worded denunciation? Maybe another uninforced U.N. mandate to back it up. All these words of concern? They are worth almost as much as a restraining order to a battered wife.

Here’s my opinion. I learned it in 5th grade. You’re not willing to face a bully and fight, he’ll keep doing whatever he wants. You have to fight him, every time, win or lose, and sooner or later, he’ll quit.

Here’s a timeline of North Korean nuclear development. Tell me we didn’t know. Tell me we couldn’t have stopped them in 1985. Tell me we couldn’t get together with the rest of the U.N., and have Chinese troops on the ground securing this nuclear material within a few days.

Failure to do this leaves nuclear weapons in the hands of a rogue state with a desperate need of cash. Tell me they wouldn’t sell some to other parties now that they have proved they work. Tell me the next one won’t go off in Miami, or Tel Aviv.

I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense, I call it intelligence.

–Malcolm X