Monthly Archives: April 2017



Morning all, hope youre well!
Had a good day yesterday, in earlyish and we just talked over our ideas in our little groups and sketched, photographed our bits and pieces and talked about the site. Left about lunchtime and went via chorlton to look through some charity shops, picked up a kids keyboard which could be interesting to take apart, a cook book and a free, scratched vinyl.
Came back and after dinner i put the vinyl in hot water and slowly bent it and crumpled it round to form really interesting shapes and spaces which i want to take forward for definite. Did a bit more work on my portfolio and then we read through some cook books! Its one of the girls on my floors birthday at the weekend so were going for a bit of a bakeathon!
Snapped this over lunch, my friend went into a shop for a few mins so i took a little wander. Never seen an angrier looking man! Good thing he didnt spot me!
Have a good day all!
Hit L

Posted by PeterChinnock on 2012-04-24 22:00:00

Tagged: , PeterChinnock , day , 312 , project , 365 , manchester , street , photography , grumpy , looking , man , angry , shot , from , hip , candid , smoker , silver , efex , pro



Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a package for those trekkers who wish to go to see Salcantay mountain, but they do not have enough time to go all the way or restricted to go there by many reasons.

This tour is also know like short Salkantay trekking package, it offers you to face breathtaking view of Salcantay glacier and other mountain peaks.

Not only mountain views, you will get great opportunity to explore Machu Picchu Inca city and have a close look at their fascinating Andean culture.

This route is so amazing for trekkers, who will see snow mountains and the jungle of Incas where is located Machu Picchu

– Transfers In / Out
– Transportation Cusco – Mollepata. (Start walking)
– Professional bilingual tour guide English / Spanish.
– Assistant tour guide (for groups of 9 or more people)
– Entrance Fee to Machu Picchu.
– 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 afternoon snacks, 3 dinners. ”Vegetarian (vegan) food on request at no extra cost!
– Cook. (Professional)
– Drinking water along the Salkantay trail, only on meal times.
– Dining tent with tables and chairs
– 1st Aid Kit
– 01 Oxygen Ball
– Horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
– Horse men
– Quadruple & waterproof Camping tent “02 people only”
– 01 Sleeping Mattress per person “therma rest”
– 01 night in touristic hostel in Aguas Calientes “Machupicchu Village”.
– Return train tickets in Expedition Service (MachupicchuOllantaytambo and bus to Cusco) transfer to Hotel.

– 1st Breakfast, Last Lunch
– Extra Porters or Horses for carry persona staff (Optional US$ 80.00 per 4 days)
– Other not mentioned

View complete details of tour at Short Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu in 4 days

Posted by Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu on 2017-03-25 17:16:11

Tagged: , Salcantay , Salcantay Trek , Salkantay Trek , Salcantay Trekking , Salkantay , Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu , Machu Picchu , Mollepata , Soraypampa , Salkantaypampa

Majestic wood burning stove

Majestic wood burning stove

Majestic wood burning cooking stove made in St. Louis Missouri. My wife is from Arkansas and her grandparents heated their home with a wood burning stove and cooked on a wood burning stove. This old stove brought back a lot of warm memories for us.
The Solaas Bed & Breakfast "story":

Six years ago, in June of 2006, I was taking a short road trip with a friend of mine, from high school days. John and I were headed to Lemhi Pass, that straddles the Idaho-Montana border along the Continental Divide.

Lemhi Pass is where Lewis and Clark crossed the Continental Divide and it was where one of many fortuitous events took place on their journey. It was here that while Lewis was meeting with Cumeahwait, the chief of the Lemhi Shoshone Indians, that Sacagawea recognized Cumeahwait as her brother.

The Shoshone would help the Lewis and Clark expedition by supplying them with horses and more importantly letting them know what was ahead of them on their quest to reach the mouth of the Columbia River. The Shoshone, told them that travel down the Salmon River (the river of no return) was not practical. Member of the expedition were sent to scout that canyon and returned to confirm what the Shoshone had told them.

The old Shoshone scout sent with Lewis and Clark on their journey to the Columbia River became lost at one point and thus the name of the mountain pass my wife and I would drive the next day toward Darby, Montana – – The Lost Trail Pass.

John and I spent the night of June 14th, 2006 at the Solaas Bed & Breakfast. When it came time to leave I told the owners of the B & B, Roger and Sharon Solaas, that one day I wanted to bring my wife to stay here. Little did I know that it would be six years but that my wife and I would return: June 8th, 2012 (within a week of being six years), my wife and I knocked on the door at the Solaas B & B.

"Sharon" I said. "Do you have a room for the night". She looked at me like she recognized me but it wasn’t until I told her a couple of stories of the 2006 stay, that she did remember and we both laughed as one story (elk sausage) turned to another story (pine needles baskets) of that visit six years ago.

My wife and I would be the only guests at the Solaas B & B this evening. It was fun catching up with them and I was pleased when Roger said they were looking forward to an upcoming halibut fishing trip to Alaska. He talked of fishing in Alaska when John and I stayed there in 2006.

Here is a link to my flickr photo set for the 2006 road trip and the photographs of my stay at the Roger and Sharon Solaas Bed and Breakfast, back then. There is also a long story (surprise, surprise) that goes with that photo set in case any of you are short of reading material:…

William Least Heat-Moon, the author of Blue Highways, had stayed at the Solaas B & B with Roger and Sharon, when he was writing his book "River Horse" (A good book but not nearly as enjoyable to read as Blue Highways). His stay at the Solaas B & B is mentioned in his River Horse book.

Roger and Sharon had a conniving, plotting, clever "mouser" (outdoor car), who tried to endear himself to both my wife and me. He tried so hard and so many different ways, to catch a pass into the house (not allowed) or our car (not allowed). He failed each time, but never quit trying. Whenever my wife and I would step outdoors the house, the clever cat would appear in the blink of an eye.

Sharon and Roger were up as early as we were on the morning of 9 June 2012. Sharon visited with us in the kitchen while Roger headed for the garden to work. They were the same nice people I remembered from 14 June 2006 and I’m glad my wife and I got to meet them.

The night before, while the four of us set around the kitchen table talking, I asked how much of the food they ate they caught, raised, shot, gathered, or made on their own. Roger pointed at the salt and pepper shaker on the table and smiled "Those are the only two things we buy". They are a team. They love the outdoor life and through their Bed and Breakfast at Baker, Idaho (Between Salmon and Tendoy) on Idaho highway 28, they share the times of a simpler and perhaps more rewarding times, with their guests. Nice folks.

Here is the contact information:

Roger and Sharon Solaas – Innkeepers
3 South Baker Lane
Salmon, Idaho 83457
(208) 756-3903
Toll free: 1-877-507-5741

And a link to their website:


Keet Seel Road Trip June 2012
Wednesday 30 May 2012 – Sunday 10 June 2012
Mr. & Mrs. "oldmantravels"

ROAD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: * City of Rocks, Oakley to Almo, Idaho / * Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado portion: hike Harper’s Corner; camp Echo Park; hike Green River and Yampa River confluence; Steamboat Rock/ * Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado/ Funky and hip – Telluride, Colorado / * Lowry Pueblo ruins / * Devil’s Canyon campground: Montezuma Canyon loop drive; Muley Point overlook; Abajo Mountains drive / * Blanding, Utah small town fun: Lickety Split Bakery serendipity and the "cast of characters" / Navajo elder turquoise – Homestead Steak House / Daisy Cowboy at the laundromat / * Navajo National Monument: backpacking trip to Keet Seel cliff dwellings; Hopi National Park Ranger – Patrick Joshevama & his atlatl/ * Return to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast, Baker, Idaho / * Snow on Lost Trail Pass and private plane crash / * Lochsa River rain and rafters / * Clearwater River; the Palouse; and home.


DAY ONE [30 May 2012]

Our ten year old Toyota RAV4 was all packed, gassed up and ready to go on Tuesday night. Our alarm clock was set for 4 am. We were ready and anxious to go, so we were both up and getting ready to go, before the alarm sounded early Wednesday morning.

We drove the Interstates from our home in Eastern Washington to exit 208 off I-84, just north of Burley, Idaho. Our destination for the first night was the City of Rocks, Idaho. We had both visited this remarkable area several times but had never come into it from the West (the Oakley, Idaho approach). We were determined to see something new by entering the City of Rocks through Oakley and then exiting through Almo, Elba, and Malta.

We saw lots of activity with big semi trucks hauling out huge loads of "slab rocks" on flat bed trailers in the area around the old town of Oakley, Idaho. As soon as we returned home I got on the internet to read about these busy rock quarries.

The rock they were hauling out is called "Oakley Stone" and has been quarried in the area since 1948. It is a muscovite mica described as "thin splitting micaceous quartzite". It is unique and much sought after. It slabs out to 8 foot sections just 1/2 inch thick and is used as facing and paving stone in the U.S. and overseas. Seems you always run into something new and interesting on road trip back roads.

I knew the City of Rocks was very popular in the summer with international and local rock climbers, so to we made reservations for our tent camping site. We chose site #37, which I had picked out on my first visit to the City of Rocks, as the place I would one day like to tent camp with my wife. We did.

The weather was excellent for our visit to the City of Rocks and we took short hikes and drives to enjoy the area. We used our old four seasons The North Face Mountain 24 backpacking tent to sleep in with comfy REI camp rest sleeping pads. The winds blew strong and gusting that night so we were happy to have the wind protection and stability of the four season tent. We slept well this first night of our 12 day road trip.

DAY TWO [31 MAY 2012]

We survived the strong winds that blew most of the night. Our camp chairs blew over and got hung up in a juniper tree, but no other problems. The sun came out and the seemingly always present "interesting cloud" formations above the City of Rocks made for great views as we took some more short hikes and drive before heading on to our next destination.

We caught the interstate east of Malta and made our way to Dinosaur, Colorado, where we stopped at the visitor center for Dinosaur National Monument. A ranger, named Randy, was helpful when we asked about the road down to the Echo Park campground and what are chances of finding an open campsite.

My wife and I had visited the dinosaur dig and the Utah portion of Dinosaur National Monument, several times before but neither of us had visited the Colorado section. On a couple of previous trips we had this portion of the monument on the "to visit" list, but weather and/or bad road conditions caused us to skip it.

We saw a lots of wildflowers and sweet smelling clover with yellow blossoms, edged the road to Harper’s Corner. We saw two bull elk in velvet in the sage country where it looked more like pronghorn or mule deer territory. We drove to the trailhead at Harper’s Corner and took the short, but scenic, hike out to the point where you can look down on the Green River as it makes a big hairpin turn around Steamboat Rock. We could spot the road down through Echo Canyon and the pull off to Whispering Cave, all the way from the ridge line trail.

After the hike we left the paved road and thoroughly enjoyed the gravel road drive down to the Echo Park campground. As Randy had told us, there were few people camping, just three other vehicles other than ours. All were tent camping like us.

We set up our The North Face mountain 24 tent under some juniper and cooked dinner on our small JetBoil backpacking stove. I took off with a camera to hike up closer to Steamboat Rock, while my wife relaxed and organized our camp. I followed the Green River upstream and was pleased to find the trail went all the way to where the Yampa River joins the Green River. I hiked a short distance up the Yampa River, enjoying the scenery and wildlife.

Canada Geese were thick along the rivers and their constant honking, whether flying or floating, echoed off the massive walls of Steamboat Rock and the Yampa river canyon. A beaver slapped his tail hard and dove along the banks of the Green River. When he resurfaced and saw I was still there, he repeated his performance with an loud echoing second tail slap and swam down stream.

We sat around a small fire until the stars and bright moon came out, then slept soundly in our tent.

DAY THREE [01 JUNE 2012]

The sun came out and the day started warming up quickly as the day’s first light started working its way down the canyon walls to the rivers. My wife and I repeated the hike up the Green River and Yampa River together so I could photograph with the warm morning light now lighting up the landscape. Echo Park was a big favorite of ours, and we hope to return one day.

We next headed through Grand Junction, Colorado and on to Montrose, Colorado where we got a motel room. There was still plenty of daylight left so we drove up to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River from the south rim drive. We hadn’t visited the canyon before so it was another "first" for us on this road trip.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River was difficult to photograph for me, but a spectacular sight, well worth the visit. We returned to Montrose for a good night’s sleep in a motel room.

DAY FOUR [02 JUNE 2012]

From Montrose, Colorado we headed for Telluride, Colorado (one story has it that the name is actually a form of "to hell you ride"… from its lively western history days. Once again, this was a place we had never visited. Ironically, I had purchased a used book titled: "Telluride – from pick to powder by Richard L. and Suzanne Fetter" back in February and had enjoyed reading of the interesting history of Telluride.

I was especially captivated by the story of the story of L.L.Nunn, a short, most eccentric, genius – – who set Telluride up with the first A/C (alternating current generator) in the world in the late 1890s. Like other Colorado gold mining towns Tulluride had its shares of labor unrest, floods, fires, and unique characters.

The town itself was a hoot, just what you might expect of a mining town turned jet set to down and outs digs…a bit of everything for everybody. We drove up to the end of town to see one of the waterfalls electric generating sites; then up above town to see the million dollar "ranch houses" and the unique high altitude runway where our youngest son has flown into before when he was with a charter jet company out of Arizona.

But for pure enjoyment, you couldn’t beat walking up and down the main street of old town Telluride and people watching: Harley Davidson’s; horse drawn tourist wagons; home made cars; bicycles; a bunch of bins with "everything is for free" sign on it; the clock with "Telluride Time" on it; BMW cars and motorcycles; dogs carrying Frisbees and wearing colorful bandanas; and of course the many "Western want to be" tourists that looked more like tourists than cowboys and cowgirls.

Nice friendly, funky, quirky, soup to nuts, town to visit. We even bought my wife a red fuzzy baseball hat with Telluride, Colorado printed on the front. Had to do our thing for tourism you know.

After leaving Telluride we headed down to Dolores, Colorado (ate a great pizza here) and made our way toward Monticello, Utah. Somewhere around Dove Creek, Colorado, we made a short side trip to check out the Lowry Ruins, once again, a place we had not visited before. In the past we had always cut through to visit Hovenweep.

At Monticello we turned south and set up our North Face tent at spot # 29 in Devil’s Canyon Campground. We reserved the spot for two nights to use it as a "base camp" for a few of the drives we wanted to take in the area. We were concerned with a couple wild fires we could see on the southern flanks of the Abajo Mountains, but there were no high winds during our visit and the fires diminished while we were there.

Carrying our senior citizen passes with us, camping continued to be a real bargain for us. We paid $4 to camp at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument and just $5 a night for a well maintained campsite at Devil’s Canyon. We walked the short nature loop trail and then all around the campground area as we settled in for our first night at this camp.

DAY FIVE [03 JUNE 2012]

Montezuma’s Canyon was on our list to drive for this trip, so that is where we headed the first thing Sunday morning. We drove it north to south. It was about a 50 mile loop when entered near Monticello and exited near Blanding, Utah.

We found the first 20 miles of the drive beautiful, interesting and enjoyable. Slow paced, with ancient and modern cliff dwellings, a few rock art panels and picturesque Southwest canyon country scenery. The second half of the drive was a bit more "pedestrian" and not so scenic.

When we rejoined the highway south of Blanding we headed south to Bluff, for a quick look at the Sand Island rock art panel; Navajo stew and fry bread at the San Juan River bridge near Mexican Hat (where I had eaten several times before). Then we drove up the Moki Dugway route to Cedar Mesa and took another short side trip. This one was to Muley Point, where we enjoyed the slick rock rim and tremendous landscape views.

We returned to our Devil’s canyon camp for a rest and camp meal, then drove up into the scenic high country of the Abajo Mountains just west of Monticello. Everything was green and some of the fragrant purple wild iris were in bloom among the tall large aspen groves in this area. Old Wrangler and I had tried this route for the other direction in March of 2011 and were turned back by deep snow on the road. This drive was snow free and scenic. We watched an old time reel in a foot long rainbow trout in one of the small ponds of the area.

Toward the end of the day we returned to camp; read our books; and got a good night’s sleep with a strong almost full moon, lighting up the interior of our tent with a soft evening’s glow.

DAY SIX [04 JUNE 2012]

We woke early, broke camp, took a short hike through the ponderosa in the area, then headed for Blanding where we checked into a motel room for a couple of nights. We used this day to rest, do our road trip laundry, shop for a few supplies for our upcoming Keet Seel backpacking trip and mainly relax. This was the only day that I didn’t take at least one photograph.

One of our first stops was the local bakery in Blanding. My wife and I ended up talking to the owners (Arlen and Elaine Borgen) and then ordering four cherry scones to be picked up the following morning. I planned to take a couple on our backpacking trip but do to their fine flavor and taste, only one survived for the Keet Seel hike.

As it turned out, the conversations we had with folks at this small town bakery turned out to be one of the highlights of our road trip. Serendipity squared.

When we did our laundry at Blanding, the only other person using the washers and dryers was an older Navajo lady. Several times she offered advice about which machines to use or how to get a stubborn machine working properly (or how tourists, like us, could profit by reading the directions….hmmm).

As she did her laundry and we did ours we gradually visited more and more. Her name was "Daisy Cowboy" and she had some interesting stories to tell. It was one of those chance small town encounters that make a road trip so much fun.

DAY SEVEN [05 JUNE 2012]

My wife went into the bakery and Blanding and there was Elaine with her bright red jaunty baker’s hat on with a friendly smile and a "good morning". "By chance would you have four cherry scones hot out of the oven this morning?". "Sure do" she replied. Once I bought the scones then my wife talked with Elaine, while I started a conversation with Arlen, who was seated having a cup of coffee.

The conversations joined and parted among the four of us and the two young Navajo girls working with Elaine, who also had the red baker’s hats. At times all four of us talked together about the history of the bakery:

From memory: Started about 7 years ago. Young Navajo kids one day asked to borrow money to go to the local movie house in Blanding. Arlen & Elaine instead let them "earn" the movie money by learning to be "partners" in the bakery. The rest is a success story. The young Navajo came up with ideas for chocolate and candy products with a Native American theme. The Borgens taught the Navajo business principles and the responsibilities that come with them.

The state of Utah caught the story and a delegation of the Blanding Bakery entrepreneurs visited the capitol in Salt Lake City. Word spread further and the founding members were invited to the White House to meet President Bush, where they were honored for their dedication to entrepreneurial start up businesses. Quite a trip for these hard working innovative bakers and candy makers from Blanding, Utah. That is the main story as I heard it. There are photos on the wall; the young smiling Navajo workers/owners; and friendly manner of Elaine and Arlen to fill in the rest.

Arlen and I drifted into Native American discussions and were having a focused discussion on books, findings, theories, and ruins…when a fellow walked through the door by the name of Jon Moris (Professor "emeritus" Jon Moris ) walked into the bakery and was greeted as a regular. Professor Moris is the anthropology teacher at the local Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah – San Juan campus (I hope I have most of that right).

Arlen introduced me to Professor Moris and away we went, talking about anything and everything about North American Native Americans. What a stroke of luck for me. Jon Moris, was a most interesting man to talk to. We took a break while my wife and I returned to our nearby motel room with the bakery goods and I returned with a camera and a strong wish to continue our previous conversations.

So there we were: Professor Jon Moris; Arlen Borgen; and I, sitting around a coffee table playing badminton with topics of interest. Elaine and the two cute Navajo girls (Elysia and Aaliyah sp?) took care of the flow of bakery customers coming into the store. Was I ever having fun.

Jon Moris was born and raised in East Africa. He did work with the Maasai there and earned his PhD at Northwestern. He told me of a website where photographers could go to have "books" made of their photograph: He said his son Nathan (living in Switzerland) had used the site. When I returned home I went to the "" site and checked out one of the photo books Nathan had created of Central Switzerland (which he dedicated to his dad).

Next the bakery door opened and in walked a casually attired Mark Noirot, a chemistry instructor at the college. With a quick wit and inquisitive mind, he soon added to our ad hoc bakery based discussion group. During all this action I asked for a few photo ops, which everybody there graciously agreed to and participated in. The two young Navajo girls took some of the photographs for us.

After Jon and Mark escaped the round table discussion a family entered the bakery. They wanted to buy some bakery products but spoke no English. Turned out they were Italian and with my limited Spanish, we were able to work together and communicate enough to help them buy what they were after. They also followed my lead when I told them I was purchasing two candy feathers from the young Navajos, which came with a printed story.

Call it luck, serendipity or chance – – this short session around a small coffee table in a bakery in Blanding, Utah, was one of my treasured moments of this road trip. I truly hope that any of you traveling through Blanding some morning, will stop in and hear the story of the bakery first hand and treat yourself to some baked products and some of the chocolate and candy products of the Lickity Split Chocolate entrepreneurs. You will go away with a smile.

Once back in our motel room with my wife, we started organizing our backpacks, based on the latest weather forecast (we used Shonto, Arizona for Keet Seel purposes) and latest food purchases. We packed our backpacks and most of our car camping and traveling gear in our vehicle and set the alarm for 4 am (once again). We planned to leave by 5 am Wednesday morning to make certain we arrived at Betatakin (Navajo National Monument) in time for our required orientation, scheduled at 8:15 am on 6.6.12.

DAY EIGHT [06 JUNE 2012]

Up at 4 am; on the road by 4:45 am; breakfast at McDonald’s in Kayenta then on to the visitor center at Betatakin. There were lots of campers at Sunrise View campgrounds near Betatakin, and lots of folks showed up at the visitor center when it opened at 8 am. We tried to discern the "day hikers" from the "backpackers", who might be going to Keet Seel.

Note: Only 20 people a day are allowed to hike to Keet Seel and then only five at a time can tour the Keet Seel ruins in the company of an on-site National Park ranger. The route, 1,000 feet down into Tsegi Canyon then up Keet Seel Canyon to the Keet Seel camping area and Keet Seel cliff dwellings is 8.5 miles. It requires quite a bit of soft sand hiking and many crossing of a shallow stream, which flows down Keet Seel Canyon. The route is on Navajo land so you aren’t allowed to stray from the main route.

Well to make this short and sweet – – the weather Wednesday morning was beautiful AND it turns out that each and every "hiker" we saw that morning at the visitor center was heading out on the guided Betatakin ruins hike. We were told we were the only two people with a permit for Keet Seel this day. What luck! We would have the entire campground to ourselves and not have another hiker or backpacker in the canyon with us on this particular Wednesday. We were told to check in at the "ranger’s camp" at Keet Seel when we arrived, show our permit, and that ranger Patrick would lead us on a tour of the Keet Seel site.

It took us exactly five hours to hike from where we left our vehicle and the Keet Seel parking area to Keet Seel. We took one 30 minute break on the way in and cached beverages in two places along the way: We cached 88 fl. oz at the foot of the 1,000 drop into Tsegi Canyon and 88 fl oz about five miles from Keet Seel. The rest we drank along the way and took with us (we started with 336 fl. oz in total). A little under three gallons, which for us worked out just perfectly with plenty left over.

We took 16 bottles of diet Mt. Dew (orange juice based with lots of caffeine); 4 bottles of citrus green tea (20 oz bottles); 4 bottles of water (10 oz with Mio pomegranate flavor to add); AND two treats – – 2 cans of cold diet Pepsi in OR insulated beverage carriers. The two caches met I didn’t have to carry the 20 lbs of liquids all that far.

We encountered two small groups of Navajo horses and one solo horse on the hike. Each and every horse was intently curious of our presence and watched us with interest as we passed by. The foals were cute as a button.

You can’t drink the water in the canyon as the area is range for Navajo cattle and horses, and the National Park four wheel drive trucks drive quite a ways up Keet Seel Canyon from time to time as well. Still the scenery and waterfalls make for a very enjoyable backpack. We kept our backpack loads extremely light (no stakes, footprint, or rain fly for the REI quarter dome T2 plus tent – – zero chance of rain predicted for 7 days). Everything else we kept to a minimum as well. I did take a light REI flashpack 18 liter day pack to carry cameras, fluids and first aid kit etc. for my wife and myself, when we left our tent camp and hiked the short distance to the Keet Seel ranger’s quarters and then on to the cliff dwellings themselves, with Patrick.

My wife and I met ranger Patrick at his octagonal ranger’s quarter, a short distance from the Keet Seel Ruins. It struck me as a bit ironic. Max (A Navajo) had given us our orientation and permit to visit Keet Seel. The Anasazi (Ancient Puebloans) are now thought to be related to the Hopi and Zuni – – modern day pueblo dwellers in some cases. Patrick is a Hopi, from a small reservation perched primarily atop three mesas on a reservation completely surrounded by the massive Navajo reservation.

Patrick was soft spoken, extremely knowledgeable, patient, modest, and instantly likeable.
An antler tool, a home made large arrow, and what looked like a "prayer stick" sat on a bench where we sat all drinking ice tea. When I asked about the prayer stick, Patrick quietly told me it was an atlatl. Though he didn’t say so, it was obvious that Patrick had carefully and skillfully made both the arrow and the atlatl.

He showed me how it was held then stood up and launched an arrow at high speed out toward the "Keet Seel" sign in front of the ranger’s station. My wife and I were really impressed. He went in the hogan and brought out three more finally feathered arrows and asked me if I would like to try the atlatl. I was intrigued, honored and a little nervous (I didn’t want to destroy one of his hand made arrows with a clumsy effort.

With Robert’s instruction I got the feel of how to hold the atlatl and the arrow, then the moment came for me to launch an arrow. I did. It flew fast straight and far and I can’t possibly tell you how proud I was and how happy it made me that Patrick trusted me to give it a try.

As at the Blanding bakery, Patrick and I explored many topics and talked books, studies, and former expeditions. I was most interested in Patrick’s stories of the Hopi clans, beliefs, and oral history. It was another road trip highlight and just the visit with Patrick and the chance to actually give an atlatl a try. Moments to remember.

After a long porch conversation we were ready to head up to the Keet Seel ruins. I had shown my wife a photo of the access ladder used to reach the ruins themselves, so she knew what to expect, still I could tell she was a bit apprehensive, but up the ladder she went, right after Patrick and I had gone up first. She did well.

It is simple to find lots of information on the Keet Seel cliff dwellings, so I won’t go into too much detail: Tree ring dating indicates that what we see today of the well preserved ruins were made and inhabited before year 950. Around 1272 population, pottery diversification, and use of Keet Seel was at a high. Over 100 people called this cliff dwelling "home" at this time. Then like other dwellings all over the Southwest, the people left. They stored belongings like they intended to come back one day BUT they also burned many of their rooms, for what reason, nobody knows for certain.

Few, if any, remained living at Keet Seel by 1300. Many building styles and techniques (jacal and masonry) can be observed at Keet Seel. It is the ‘beyond obvious function" high ladder ends reaching up high inside the alcove and the HUGE log mounted across the main central entrance to the ruins, that most impressed me.

When we finished the tour we checked out the midden down below the cliff dwellings where every color and style of pottery pieces you can imagine, could be found and observed. There is evidence that much trading took place at sites like Keet Seel (Macaw feather were found here) and that pottery had been traded and sometimes destroyed intentionally during certain ceremonies. In all a fascinating place to visit, reflect upon, and connect with a people that made the most of their environment for a time in the past.

We left Patrick and returned to our camp across the canyon floor. An almost full moon lit the night, and the wind blew softly through the canopy of oak limbs and leaves over our tent. This was the first time we had used our new Big Agnes Q Core air mattresses and I can’t tell you how much we both enjoyed these excellent sleeping pad air mattresses. They weigh about the same as our thin, narrow, long self-inflators but pack up into very small stuff sacks.

NOTE: I have read of some having difficulty BUT first squash all the air out; fold lengthwise into thirds; force the rest of the air out as you roll it up and it will easily fit in the strong small stuff sack provided. I promise.

We talked into the night, gazing at the stars above and discussing our good fortune on this road trip and with life in general. We both fell asleep with smiles.

DAY NINE [07 JUNE 2012]

I woke up early after a good night’s rest. I wanted to get going early so we could hike the canyon in the shaded cool of morning and attack the 1,000 climb up out of Tsegi Canyon before the full heat of the afternoon.

We got a good start and took exactly five hours to hike from our Keet Seel camp to our vehicle (with its ice chest full of ice cold diet Pepsi). I had found (by accident) some quick sand in the shade of a canyon wall on the way into Keet Seel, so we made a point of stopping at the same place for an oldmantravels photo op on the way out. It was a weird experience to have the sand that seemed dry, below your feet turn suddenly to Jell-O, then start to crack and sink.

Hiking out Keet Seel we passed at least 8 other backpackers, heading into Keet Seel. We also passed a National Park pickup truck driving up the stream bed, presumably to rotate another ranger in to take Patrick’s place and/or take in some supplies.

We had intended that our backpacking experience to Keet Seel would be the highlight of our road trip …. and……it was. We both had a wonderful time (and got some good exercise in the process).

We drove back through Mexican Hat, Blanding, and then to Moab (where like after our April Chesler park backpacking trip) we had a HUGE meal and a mango/peach smoothie and Denny’s). We drove on to Green River, Utah where we took long hot showers, changed into fresh road trip clothes, and enjoyed a night’s sleep at a motel there.

DAY TEN [08 JUNE 2012]

We slept in at Green River, Utah then headed up through Price, Ogden, Pocatello, and then on a less traveled road to Tendoy, Idaho and then to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast in Baker, Idaho. It is located under huge cottonwoods near the Lemhi River.

Just south of Tendoy a white tail doe ran without warning from the willows along the road. I was doing 65 mph and everything happened fast. At first I started to break but then sped up and swerved to the right hoping if I hit her at all it would be better to side swipe her than hit her head on. She lost her footing and fell, narrowly missing the rear quarter fender of our car. Through the rear view mirror I saw her regain her feet on the shoulder and bound into the woods. We were very relieved that things hadn’t ended badly for both the deer and for us. A close call, and fortunately the only one of this road trip.

In 2006 I took a road trip with a good high school friend (John). We visited Lemhi Pass and hiked a section of trail that Lewis and Clark had taken. Lemhi Pass is where they had crossed the continental divide heading west and where Sacagawea fortuitously recognized her brother as the leader of the band of Shoshone, who intercepted the Lewis and Clark company near this place. John and I had "found" a B & B (Solaas Bed and Breakfast) on that trip and I really liked the owners (Roger and Sharon Solaas):

William Least Heat Moon, the author of Blue Highways had stayed with Roger and Sharon and his stay is mentioned in that book.

When John and I left Roger and Sharon in June of 2006, I told them I would return one day and I would have my wife with me. So, six years later, almost to the day, a promise kept. Roger and Sharon had a pushy, smart, clever, conniving cat, who tried his best to ingratiate himself to us. Actually I think he wanted us to: 1) let him in the old double story farm house for the night and 2) take him home with us.

Sharon allowed that number one wasn’t allowed BUT we were welcome to take the spoiled, troublesome feline home with us if we wanted. We declined. In reality I think the cat is grudgingly loved, admired and appreciated by both Roger and Sharon, but at least Sharon won’t own up to that.

We had an upstairs room with some of Sharon’s beloved hand made quilts on the beds and a great view of the Lemhi Mountains to the east of us. Another good night’s sleep.


My wife had been a great sport on this entire road trip; car camping in a backpacking tent; taking short hikes; and especially for taking the 17 mile round backpacking trip into Keet Seel and back. Cliff dwelling are after all, of more interest to me than her…so…I wanted to surprise her.

I told her we would travel through Salmon; over Lost Trail Pass; then over Lolo Pass and down to the Clearwater River casino and hotel near Lewiston, Idaho. There we would spend the last night of our road trip in a nice room and she could play her beloved, penny slot machines. She was elated. So off we went.

As we left Salmon and started out climb up Lost Trail Pass I noticed it getting much cooler, and pretty soon there was fresh snow beside the highway. It seems so incongruous having just traveled many miles with the A/C on the car switched on. As we topped Lost Trail Pass and started down the other side, I had to blink twice as I saw a vehicle in the ditch, on the right hand side of the road. Only it was a vehicle. It was a private airplane.

It was damaged but not badly. I pulled over to take a photograph just as a state patrolman pulled up to the scene and started walking up the highway. Behind him was another official car with a man in an FAA jacket.

I read when I got home that it had only the pilot aboard and he wasn’t injured. His story about a "down draft" and forced landing sounded a bit unusual to me. I’m guessing that the snow and low cloud visibility caused a "can’t turn around problem" when flying VFR in suddenly IFR conditions. The internet article said that the "incident" was being investigated.

After passing the scene we saw a U.S. Forest Service vehicle heading to the same scene, so all interested parties will be able to compare notes.

We had off and on rain all the way over Lolo Pass and enjoyed watching the rafters, kayakers, and catarafts float by on the Lochsa River. The water was high and fast moving, and they all seemed to be enjoying the experience even though it was raining.

I had a buffalo burger and split some curly fries with my wife at a road side Farmer’s market. We felt sorry for the vendors, who had set up there, as they were closing up early. Too much rain for many visitors.

We got our room for the night at the Clearwater River Casino and my wife got her time attending the "investment" opportunities as the penny slot machines. I bought a carry out pizza and cinnamon sticks to bring back to our room, and I enjoyed reading and watching the Mariners on high definition TV. A good time was had by all.


Drove home through the lovely Palouse country of Eastern Washington.

I hope you enjoy some of the photographs that go with this road trip photo set. I hope they bring good memories to those of you who have visited the places we did and that perhaps somebody out there in flickrland is motivated to visit a place they haven’t been as a result of the photos. Thanks for stopping by. OMT 11 June 2012.

Posted by oldmantravels on 2012-06-22 17:55:54

Tagged: , Self sufficient , Roger and Sharon Solaas Bed and Breakfast , Bed and Breakfast Idaho , Salmon Idaho , Tendoy Idaho , Baker Idaho , Idaho highway 28 , Continental Divide , Beaverhead Mountain Range , Lemhi Pass , Lemhi Mountains , Lewis and Clark route , Lemhi Shoshone homeland , farm produce stand , craft shop , hand stitched quilts , road trip , farm cat , Majestic woodburning stove , Majestic mfg. co. St. Louis

Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America

Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America

The 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year.

How to cook everything Latin American.

Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country personally. She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake. Detailed equipment notes, drink and serving suggestions, and color photographs of finished dishes are also included. This is a one-of-a-kind cookbook to be savored and read as much for the writing and information as for its introduction to heretofore unrevealed recipes. MORE

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | Powell’s

Posted by WW Norton on 2012-09-25 16:46:23

Tagged: , maricel presilla , cookbook , recipes , latin america , cuisine , food

Cranberry-Walnut Squares

Cranberry-Walnut Squares

Another week, another batch of fresh cranberries in the farm share to dispatch. Decided to go the cookie-ish route this time, and make these cranberry-walnut squares. They came out very good (it’s taking all my self-control to not just park myself on the couch with a glass of milk and eat the whole batch), but I’m saving them for the kids to snack on. Yeah, the kids. Saving ’em for the kids. That’s the ticket…

Just shot these in the light coming into the living room window this morning, with a white card out of frame to the right. I intentionally left the white balance a little on the blue side, which I think looks more natural here than when I corrected for shade.

This recipe started life as my stock whole-berry cranberry sauce recipe and my raspberry bar recipe, which my notes don’t state explicitly but which I’m almost positive is based on the one from the Cooks Illustrated folks. I haven’t converted this one from volume to weights yet, meaning it’s from the older part of the repertoire.


for the cranberry sauce

2 c. fresh cranberries, picked over to get rid of leaves and twigs
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. orange juice
pinch of salt

for the squares

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
18 tbl. unsalted butter, soft but still a little cold
1 recipe of cranberry sauce
1 golden delicious apple, peeled, cored, and cut into small dice


Make the cranberry sauce: combine the berries, salt, and orange juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once most of the berries have popped, add the sugar, and continue boiling for a few minutes for the liquid to start thickening. Remove from the heat.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Prepare a 13"x9" pan by spraying it with cooking spray and lining the bottom and sides either with parchment or a double-layer of foil, leaving the ends free to help de-pan the baked squares later.

Combine the flour, oats, walnuts, salt, baking powder, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and combine at low speed. Keeping the mixer at low speed, add the butter 1 tbl. at a time, pausing a few seconds between each addition. Mix until you have a coarse, sandy consistency, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared pan, and press into an even layer with your fingers. Bake for 20 minutes, until browning around the edges.

Stir the diced apple into the cranberry sauce. Spread the cranberry-apple mixture on top of the baked base with a spoon or rubber spatula, then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the flour-butter mixture on top of the berries. Don’t press this in, you want it to be sandy. Return to the oven for 30 minutes, until the topping is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven, set on a rack, and allow to cool completely, 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Once cool, remove from the pan (lift the parchment or foil you lined the pan with) and cut into approximately 2" squares with a serrated knife. Yields about 24 pieces.

Posted by djwtwo on 2011-10-24 01:22:02

Tagged: , AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED [II] , nikon , cranberry , walnut , cookies , natural light , crumbs , plate

Sauerkraut.. The Elixer of Life!

Sauerkraut.. The Elixer of Life!

Step one in the making of homemade kraut. MMMmmmmm.

Making Kraut 101
Here are instructions for making one quart of jar fermented sauerkraut.
1 quart is a great amount to start with… enough for your whole family to try
it a couple times, but not so much that you will feel overwhelmed. It’s easy
enough to scale up or down as needed. Good luck!

Phase one: Shopping
1. Find good quality, organic green or purple head cabbage. One 8 inch
diameter head will be more than enough, but it’s not a bad idea to pick up
more than you think you’ll need. Your family can always use more cruciferous
veggies in their life, right? 🙂 Weigh your cabbage.. remember this number.
2. Buy good quality sea salt, but don’t worry about fleur de sel or some
imported stuff. I use Real Salt and highly recommend it.

Phase two: Cleaning and Chopping
1. Get a quart size mason jar with a lid. You can either buy 6 or 12 of them
new with lids, or find one at a thrift store and buy new lids and rings at the
grocery store. You might even have some at home already. Wash it well with
soap and hot water.
2. Core and chop your cabbage. Commercial kraut is often made with really
finely shredded cabbage. I prefer a little bigger shreds.. more or less as
small as I can get them with a knife.
3. As you chop your cabbage stuff it into the jar.. with no salt.. this is
just for measuring. Don’t pound it in, just stuff it as stuffed as you can get
it. When the jar is full pull the cabbage out into the biggest mixing bowl (or
a big cooking pot) you have. Add another handful of shredded cabbage.

Phase three: Salting and packing
1. Remember how much your head of cabbage weighed at the grocery store? Do a
little mental math estimating how much of the cabbage you used, and multiply
that by 2 tsp per pound. For example, your cabbage weighed 2 pounds and you
used 3/4 of the head. You used 1 1/2 pounds of cabbage so you need 3 tsp of
salt. Figure out how much salt you need and sprinkle that over the cabbage. No
need for a calculator here, just guestimate.
2. Toss the cabbage and the salt with your hands, squeezing and crunching the
cabbage. You should start to see some liquid coming out of the cabbage. Keep
kneading and squeezing, thinking about how yummy and healthy this kraut is
going to be and how much you love your family for a couple minutes.
3. Taste the cabbage.. it should be distinctly salty. If it is pleasantly
salty, add some more salt. If it makes you want to gag add some more shredded
cabbage 🙂
3. Rinse your hands off and start packing the jar. Use a wooden spoon or
wooden meat pounder or small ladle to help you really pack the cabbage into
the jar. You want to push any air bubbles out. Pack it in a small amount at a
time until the cabbage is within 1/2 an inch of the bottom of the threads of
the jar.
4. Push on the kraut one last time. If liquid isn’t rising above the level of
the cabbage then make a brine of about 1 tsp of salt per cup of water. Slowly
pour a little of this over the cabbage, giving it time to sink in, until it is
at or above the level of the cabbage.
5. Screw the lid on tight and put in a warmish place in your kitchen. On top
of the fridge, the cupboard above the microwave, etc. Do the dishes and leave
the cabbage for the day 🙂

Phase Four: Fermenting and Ageing
1. The next day, open the lid of the jar. I recommend doing this over the
sink. Did the jar "pop" or fizz when you opened it? If not, that’s OK. Taste
the kraut. Put the lid back on and put it back in the warm spot.
2. Repeat the last step every day until it truly is popping of fizzing. Taste
it again, and then put the lid back on and put that jar in the fridge.
3. Let it sit for at least one more week and then test again. Sour yet? No,
let it go anothe week. In the fridge this stuff will last for weeks and months
and just get sourer and sourer. Most likely after 2 weeks in the fridge it
will be quite sour, but since you’ve been tasting it the whole time you know
what it’s like and when you are going to enjoy eating it.

Phase Five: Making the next batch…
Repeat from the beginning, adding some of your sauerkraut juice to the cabbage
as your are packing it or instead of the brine.

Good luck!

Native Nutrition Group: Please forgive the repost.. I added the recipe to it and thought you would enjoy it 🙂

Posted by AlyssssylA on 2008-04-01 05:47:17

Tagged: , sauerkraut , recipe , produce , oregon , homebrew , food , cooking , kraut , cabbage , ferment , lacto-ferment , how to make sauerkraut

Rajma (Indian bean curry)

Rajma (Indian bean curry)

Uncooked red kidney beans=====================1 tea cup full (soaked overnight)
Onion======================================1 (medium size)
Tomato ketchup===============================a few squirts
Rajma masala===============================4 tsp (can be substiuted with garam masala 2 tsp + corriander powder 1 tsp + Red chili powder 1/2 tsp + dry mango powder / chaat masala 1/2 tsp)
Garlic paste====================1 tsp
Ginger paste====================1 tsp
Onion=====================1 (large)
Cinnamon===================1 inch piece
Plain yougurt================1/2 teacup
Vegetable oil================4 tbsp

All these ingredients are available at any Indian store (some supermarkets e.g. Tescos also stock ingredients for Indian cooking now)

1. Soak the raw beans in water overnight (use lots of water as the beans would absorb it). Wash the beans 3-4 times in water before use.
2. Chop the onions finely. Puree the tomatoes in a blender.
3. Mix the beans with the onion and the ginger & garlic paste and sufficient water and cook until soft. If you are using a pressure cooker, cook under pressure for 20 min. If not, boil in a covered vessel for ~1 hour until the beans are soft and can be mashed with your fingers.
4. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed vessel and add in the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and fry for ~10 seconds.
5. Add in the pureed tomatoes and fry for 2 min / until they are soft. Fry for 1 min.
6. Add in the rajma masala / substitute spices and mix. Fry for 2 min.
7. Stir the yougurt to a smooth consistency and add. Mix and fry for 3 min / until the mix regains its red colour.
8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked beans from the pressure cooker without the water and add to the vessel and stir fry for 5 min.
9. Add salt to taste and a few squirts of tomato ketchup.
10. Add in the water in which the beans were cooked and boil for 5 min.
11. Serve with rice.

Posted by rovingI on 2006-11-23 22:10:59

Tagged: , recipe , indian , cooking , rajma , rajmah , red , kidney , beans , food

Beef Shank Ragu on Pappardelle

Beef Shank Ragu on Pappardelle

Braised beef shank ragu over eggy wide ribbons of al dente pappardelle and topped with a mixture of shredded parmesan, asiago, and mozzarella. The slow cooked protein was fall off the bone tender, given body by tomatos and red wine, sweetened by caramelized onion and aromatic fennel seeds. It was hearty and soul satisfying. Great in front of an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations with a glass of red. 🙂

Posted by Renée S. Suen on 2010-04-25 00:18:13

Tagged: , From Renée’s Kitchen , beef , shank , ragu , pasta , tomato , cheese , parmesan , asiago , mozzarella , pappardelle , onion , wine , sausage , turkey , chorizo