Deep Thoughts by Smug Hiker

3:21 p.m. on June 25, 2010 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "Deep Thoughts by Smug Hiker"

Have you ever shared photos or stories of your transformative outdoor adventures and felt like the listeners (or non-listeners, as the case may be), just didn't get it? They just don't appreciate the profound beauty and grandeur of the outdoors, you might tell yourself smugly. Not like me. They may be weak and shallow, but I am strong and deep. Hah! It's so easy to feel pompous about yourself and ...

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2010/06/25/deep-thoughts-by-smug-hiker.html

6:18 p.m. on June 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Be careful Alicia on a willing act to kill a defenseless organism. Do we have any PITA members?

Actually, I trap them in the winter and sell the skins overseas. They move a bit slower in the winter and they love Big Mack's and fries and orange soda. (Which I use for trap bait) I have a collection of hide stretchers in my garage. During a good season I need to park outside. I hate that if it snows.

9:07 p.m. on June 25, 2010 (EDT)
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What a scream! I had a very similar experience on one birthday, but should have known better. I took a solo daytrip into the Experimental Forest, a quarantined location in the San Gabriel Mountains above the Los Angeles Basin. The forest was originally set off bounds both as a buffer to man caused wild fires, and as an ecosystem to study for the effects of air pollution on forest fauna. (the Experimental Forest is probably most utilized now days for growing pot.) In any case there was this little nook up a particularly inaccessible canyon with a small year round spring on the hill side that made the immediate area a virtual JR Tolken-like micro oasis of ferns and flower gardens in an otherwise arid live oak and jeffrey pine studded mountainside. The nook was very closed in, and the only sign there was tens of millions of people just a few miles away was if you looked down canyon, and there, through a small window through the tree canopy, you could see downtown Los Angeles some thirty five miles away.

My favorite place to sit in this glen was under a hanging water fall created by the spring as it made its way to the bottom of the gully. I could sit there for hours, letting the sound of water, birds, and the sultry warm breeze lull me into a delightful stupor. I had discovered this location mid winter, earlier that year, but now it was October, with day time temperatures reaching 85 degrees, bringing out the bugs. I had learned in spring to never venture up there in warm weather unless I was wearing full on Levis jeans, with a Levis jacket, gloves and bug net covering my head. For some stupid reason I did not bring this attire that day, and when it did get warm, out came the flies, and like you, Alicia, I was forced to run for cover, in this case over two miles of steep uphill cross country through thick chaparral. At one point the biting seemed to get fiercer, but then I realized I had disturbed a nest of yellow jackets, and now had them to contend with also. (Thank God I didn’t step on a rattle snake; the area has lots of those too.) I spent awhile after getting home, nursing bites, stings, and removing numerous ticks. Nature reminded me again that day just where we actually fit in the food chain: somewhere subordinate to insects! So much for the smug hiker in me.

Ed

2:58 a.m. on June 26, 2010 (EDT)
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"PITA" LOL! Good one.

8:16 a.m. on June 26, 2010 (EDT)
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I thought PITA stood for "Please Eat Tasty Animals"

11:23 a.m. on June 26, 2010 (EDT)
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Be careful Alicia on a willing act to kill a defenseless organism. Do we have any PITA members?

Actually, I trap them in the winter and sell the skins overseas. They move a bit slower in the winter and they love Big Mack's and fries and orange soda. (Which I use for trap bait) I have a collection of hide stretchers in my garage. During a good season I need to park outside. I hate that if it snows.

That's very interesting, I guess you're just a wholesaler of fly skins, but could you recommend a reliable person who knows how to sew them into tarps?

I'm sure they would need details and probably have a lengthy wait list but I would be willing to wait, and can provide a deposit if necessary.

I love Big Mack's too, thanks for the tip, it's good to know I've been causing some of my own fly problems. At least now I know it's not the lack of bathing as I had suspected.

9:40 p.m. on June 26, 2010 (EDT)
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noddlehead said:

Be careful Alicia on a willing act to kill a defenseless organism. Do we have any PITA members?

Actually, I trap them in the winter and sell the skins overseas. They move a bit slower in the winter and they love Big Mack's and fries and orange soda. (Which I use for trap bait) I have a collection of hide stretchers in my garage. During a good season I need to park outside. I hate that if it snows.

That's very interesting, I guess you're just a wholesaler of fly skins, but could you recommend a reliable person who knows how to sew them into tarps?

I'm sure they would need details and probably have a lengthy wait list but I would be willing to wait, and can provide a deposit if necessary.

I love Big Mack's too, thanks for the tip, it's good to know I've been causing some of my own fly problems. At least now I know it's not the lack of bathing as I had suspected.


Actually the skins have become the fashion rage of Europe for women. It has not hit the states yet but that is how it was with beaver hats.


if you decide to trap them as well just a small bit of advice.................

9:03 a.m. on June 27, 2010 (EDT)
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I thought PITA stood for "Please Eat Tasty Animals"

That would be PETA.

1:26 p.m. on June 27, 2010 (EDT)
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Backpacking on for my birthday is my custom. I have many times wondered how truely abnormal I am when hiking in rain and lighting, fighting bugs, and enduring excessive heat/cold that would have me calling a repair man were I at my house. And I call it fun.

8:16 p.m. on June 27, 2010 (EDT)
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Yes, it's amazing how easy it is for a tiny little insect to bring you down. It's good to be humbled.

Ed, your story was pretty funny (in hindsight only, of course!). Glad you made it out alive. The yellow jackets must have been fierce.

I think it's nice to have an outdoor ritual on your actual birthday too, Robby.

Also, it's very good to get an outdoor outing or two for you birthday. That's what my spouse "gave" me: two trips I want to do this summer with him but sans kids: a very long day hike and a three-day backpacking loop. The grandparents will be babysitting for both. We've got other hikes and things going on, but these were two that we wanted to do together, but wouldn't work with two small kids.

(Hint hint to other outdoor spouses: give your partner the time and ability to do a trip he or she wants. For some of us that is way more important and appreciated than any gear.)

8:34 p.m. on June 27, 2010 (EDT)
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".... We've got other hikes and things going on, but these were two that we wanted to do together, but wouldn't work with two small kids.

(Hint hint to other outdoor spouses: give your partner the time and ability to do a trip he or she wants. For some of us that is way more important and appreciated than any gear.)"

Yes that is very true!

When the kids were little I could get no better gift than the occasional weekend off to go backpacking so I could relax and unwind from my hectic work week. If you have a spouse, like I did, that does not enjoy hiking as much, make time for them to go do something they consider special. This mutual demonstration of caring and understanding can make all the difference in the world.

Funny how insects can make or break a trip, of course there is strength in numbers and insects employ this tactic unwittingly in some cases, but effectively.

I think Permethrin makes a good gift.

9:12 p.m. on June 28, 2010 (EDT)
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rescue_ranger said:

I thought PITA stood for "Please Eat Tasty Animals"

That would be PETA.

"People Eating Tasty Animals"

So far, PETA has not discovered fish and crustaceans. I do not eat mammal meat, myself.

However, in Switzerland, the law requires you to respect the feelings of plants.

9:29 p.m. on June 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I hate to be the one to tell you, but deer flies only attack DAY HIKERS, and will not bother overnight backpackers. Gnats and noseeums, on the other hand, leave dayhikers alone and go for the long-term backpackers. This has been field-tested and is true.

7:04 a.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
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So far, PETA has not discovered fish and crustaceans.

Not true, Bill.

http://www.lobsterlib.com/

(I live in Maine. We hear lots of lobster news stories around here.)

12:56 p.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

So far, PETA has not discovered fish and crustaceans.

Not true, Bill.

http://www.lobsterlib.com/

(I live in Maine. We hear lots of lobster news stories around here.)

AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! So there is nothing left to eat. Next thing you know, someone will discover that water and air have feelings, so there will be nothing left to drink or breathe. And you can't die, because if you get buried, the embalming fluids will contaminate the soil, non-embalmed will also contaminate the soil, cremation will put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and launching into space will clutter up the planetary system. You can't put the body on a platform for the vultures to eat, since present-day humans have so many artificial hormones, pesticides, and herbicides in them that the vultures will stop laying eggs (or the eggshells will be too fragile).

Wait! I know! Twinkies are completely artificial and sodas and "juices" are made from artificial colors, flavorings, and sweeteners. Those artificial things won't have any feelings!

If I eat rocks and dirt, can I get all the vitamins and minerals I need? If so, I could go on month-long backpacks and not have to carry any food - that freezedry stuff mostly tastes like dirt and often has the consistency of sand anyway. Live Off LAND!! Great acronym, anyway.

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