Archive for April, 2011


April 24, 2011

John Muir

April 21, 2011

Today is John Muir’s birthday.  John Muir was born in Scotland in 1838 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1849.  In 1867, he waled from Indiana to Florida–over 1000 miles–and then had plans to take a ship to South America.  However, when he contracted malaria, he changed plans, took a ship to New York, then sailed to California.  Upon his arrival in California, he spent a week in Yosemite.  That visit created life-long ties between Yosemite and Muir.

Muir surmised that Yosemite Valley was created by glaciers.  This idea was dismissed as amateurish by many of the noted geologists of the day, but was eventually accepted.  Because of Muir’s efforts, Yosemite was protected as a national park.  He and President Teddy Roosevelt once ditched the president’s staff and an official dinner in his honor and spent the night camped among the redwoods of Yosemite.  The next night they camped again and awoke covered with snow.  Roosevelt claimed it was the “grandest day of my life.”

John Muir was honored on the 2005 California State Series quarter.

Some John Muir quotes:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

The mountains are calling and I must go.

Happy Birthday, Steve

April 20, 2011

The Beginning of the Nation

April 19, 2011

North Bridge

The North Bridge

Minute Man Statue

The Minuteman

On April 19, 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord opened the American Revolutionary War.  The first shots were fired at sunrise in Lexington.  The militia fell back and gathered at Concord.  At the North Bridge, 500 militiamen fought and defeated 3 companies of the King’s troops.  This was “the shot heard round the world.”   As the British regulars were returning to Boston along the Bay Road–now know as Battle Road–the Americans engaged the Regulars in the best way they knew how–setting up ambushes along the way.  This was a very unconventional form of warfare and many regulars were killed and wounded.

These battles marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.   The War lasted until 1783 when the treaties of Paris and Versailles were signed.

Being Your Own Enemy

April 18, 2011

It’s been a while since my last post.  I guess I haven’t had too many thoughts, random or otherwise, that I thought were worth sharing.  I guess it’s time to have a random thought or two.

A couple Fridays ago, I was setting up an activity for our annual scout camporee.  I was driving wooden stakes into the ground when one swing of the hammer glanced off of the stake and hit my hand right above my left index finger.  I had a small cut but a very large and sore bruise under it.   If the initial injury wasn’t bad enough, I would bump it occasionally and get that painful reminder that it was still sore.

Thursday morning, I was on a short hike above Toganga Canyon. (Check it out here.)  I stopped for a rest and a quick snack about half way through the hike.  I was sitting on the ground, “enjoying” my chocolate Power Bar when I felt something crawling on my hand.  I looked down and saw the “bug” and gave it a quick whack.  Unfortunately, the bug was actually the scab from the hammer strike.  And, of course, whacking my hand was really whacking the underlying bruise which was still quite sore and immediately became a lot sorer.

Some days, it might be better to just stay in bed.