Will Self and Robert Macfarlane Walk Wild Britain
We met on the sea wall beneath the lowering weirdness of Bawdsey Manor and bonded over the bizarre extent of its rock garden: how had it come to be there? Xenoliths – Robert said – that was the technical term for rocks brought from another place. He was indeed handsome, fit and disarmingly charming; and as we loped on along the shingle crunching and chatting it became abundantly clear that our problem that day was not going to be an awkward silence. There are two main types of walk so far as I’m concerned – and I expect Robert would agree: the determining factor is not a walk’s length, whether up hill or down dale, if it is sleeting or shining, but only accompanied/unaccompanied.[more inside]
On May 17, 2013 I was dropped off in Campo, California at the US/Mexico Border. Four and a half months later I was in Manning Park, British Columbia having walked the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) across California, Oregon, and Washington to get there.
This is what I saw.
For the release of the Hobbit, Lindsay Ellis of the Nostalgia Chick (previously) has decided to look back at all the LOTR films in order to analyze how they changed genre film-making, expected movie length, extended cuts, the problems of adaptation, and why Eowyn and Merry are made for each other. (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers, Return Of The King Part 1, Part 2) Still need more? Then why not watch Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais of Rooster Teeth (previously) try to walk the 120+ mile journey across New Zealand from the filming location of Hobbiton in Matamata to the filming location of Mount Doom, Mount Ngauruhoe in A Simple Walk Into Mordor.
Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
Philosopher Crispin Wright walks the Pennine Way, answering questions, to raise funds for philosophy students
Philosophy fundraiser mountain walk-a-thon. Prominent philosophy professor Crispin Wright will walk the length of the Pennine Way, a 250+ mile mountaintop trail in the UK, to raise funds to support his philosophy students. (The link on the Pennine Way is worth reading.) Along the way he'll stop each day to answer a philosophical question voted on by the people who contribute to the fund.
I've been to Oʻahu several times but until now had never heard of the Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder. I'm heading to Oahu in 2011; I think I'll go get some photos. But for now, these will have to do. [more inside]
I came upon an enchanting gallery of Lac Léman ice storm photos via presurfer today, which then led me to some rather beautiful scenes of the the Alps. There was also an amazing shot from space, and a link to another site where I followed hikers to les Massif de Bauges and le Massif de la Grande Chartreuse. OK, I didn't get my work done today, but I had a marvelous trip to the Alps.
The Appalachian Trail is a continuous marked footpath that goes from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, a distance of about 2160 miles. It passes through 14 states and takes about 5 to 7 months to hike through. Hey, if a blind man could do it, so can you. If you are not actually up for hiking right this moment, you could always...(more inside)