Wildwood


The Big Little Book of Fishing
February 15, 2012, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Angling, The Great Outdoors | Tags: , , ,

I picked up this great old catalog from Abercrombie and Fitch at a used book store a little while ago. Originally published in 1968, back when Abercrombie was an actual outdoors outfitter and did more then sell teenagers questionable clothing. The catalog contains not just fly and spin fishing gear but everything the fisherman would need for a multi-day  expedition into the wild.

 

If this catalog was published today I might have to buy “E” in the picture below, the electric wading boot dryer.

If you are interested in the rest of what I have scanned, you can check them out here.

 



Winter Ride
February 6, 2012, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Bicycles

Went for a winter ride with my brother a few weeks back. We rode the woods of our formative years, the trails we learned how to ride on and which we know by memory.  It was good to breath deeply some winter air and to loosen the legs muscles, for spring is just around the corner and there will be more riding to do. One shouldn’t wait for spring to get back into the saddle.



The House of Hardy
February 1, 2012, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Angling, Fly Fishing, Friends | Tags: , , ,

Came across these House of Hardy cataloge covers from one of my daily reads today. Total re-post rip off here but I couldn’t help it, these covers are just so nice. Every once and awhile MoldyChum posts some great vintage fly fishing finds. More on Hardy, one of the most venerable names in fly fishing, can be read here.

I love the last cover from 76, it definitely has a Whole Earth Catalog feeling to it.  A few more can be found here.

 



Daily Documerica
January 23, 2012, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Friends, Photos | Tags: , ,

Photograph by David Hiser

Getting back to some normal inspiration around here… the other day I came across a great site from  NY Times Green Blog. The site is called Daily DOCUMERICA, and it is a collection of early 1970’s era photographs from dawn of the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1971 the newly created EPA announced a photodocumentary effort to capture the great changes taking shape in the American landscape.  Have a look and follow on tumblr for some daily EPA inspiration.

Photograph by Erik Calonius

Photograph by Deborah Parks

Photograph by Charles Steinhacker


A New Year
January 8, 2012, 9:22 pm
Filed under: The Great Outdoors

It is with great sadness that I have to explain the reason for the lack of posts as of late to The WildWood. My father, an infinite source of inspiration and a rock in my life, passed away just before the New Year. It was a shock and still is to myself and my family. He will forever be with us in memory.

In his memory I wanted to recall one of the last experiences we shared together. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and we had just sent the ladies out to go shopping. Myself, my brother, and our Father headed over to the woods for a walk . These were the same woods that I had spent my youth running around in, exploring, pushing over dead trees, and riding bikes.  The leaves had all finally fallen from the trees and the sun had settled into its low hanging winter position, casting long shadows throughout the forest floor. It was a gentle walk, first past the old graveyard along some single track and then onto the creek crossing. Periodically along the way we stopped to chat about nothing extraordinary. At one such stop my father tilted his head back and let out a loud primal screech echoing through the woods, seemingly just to make sure he was still alive. At another stop we  took a piss on a fallen log.  It was as if the further into the woods we walked the more we reverted to some wild place inside.

When we finally reached the creek we stopped to sit on the rocks while the dog sat in and drank from the stream. We sat there awhile, not saying much, just enjoying each others presence. Before we left however we spotted down stream a beautiful and large fox with a big red tail. It was a rare sight for the time of the day, and in all time I had spent in these woods had never seen a fox like that. For several moments we were transfixed by its presence and then it continued down stream. After the encounter we made our out way out of the woods, satisfied with the time we shared and for having witnessed the beautiful fox that day.

The day after my father passed away I went out for my regular morning walk with the dog. When we got close to the woods I began thinking about that last walk I shared with my father. I was glad that one of the last memories I had with him could have been that time in the woods. Just as I was remembering that last walk a motion at the tree line caught my eye. At that moment a large fox, maybe the same fox, stepped out of the woods. Unfazed by my presence or my dog going crazy, the fox gingerly crossed the the street in front of us and was gone just as quickly as he appeared.

Last year I resoluted to spend less time reading about the outdoors and simply spend more time outside and in the woods. In this New Year I am going to double down on that resolution. I’ve gotta get back into the woods to walk, to fish,  to breath… and I have got to see that fox again.



Nessmuk Redux
December 17, 2011, 9:16 am
Filed under: Craft, The Great Outdoors | Tags: , , , ,

 

I picked up this old copy of “Nessmuk’s” Woodcraft and Camping at a used book seller recently. This book is a true classic containing essential knowledge for woodcraft and woodlore. If you are looking for a little inspiration to become an “outer” and start roughing it or maybe just spending a little more time outdoors this is for you. If you want to know more about Nessmuk and who he was check out this previous post.

 



Futurebirds
December 12, 2011, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Listen | Tags: ,

This past week I had the opportunity to catch Futurebirds live. These young guns hail from Athens GA, and with their  reverb drenched southern rock they are gaining a lot of attention. I know what you are thinking, “not another alt-country” group to but these guys put on an excellent show and make damn good music. Give em a listen, they do an excellent rendition of Stevie Nicks’ Wild Heart which you can hear below.

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For more check out their album Hampton’s Lullaby. Looking forward to more good things coming from these guys.



Richard Brautigan – Trout Fishing in America
November 27, 2011, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Angling, Books | Tags: ,

An excerpt from Richard Brautigan’s “Trout fishing in America.”

“I threw out a salmon egg and let it drift down over that rock and WHAM! a good hit! and I had the fish on and it ran hard downstream, cutting at an angle and staying deep and really coming on hard, solid and uncompromising, and then the fish jumped and for a second I thought it was a frog. I’d never seen a fish like that before.

God-damn! What the hell!

The fish ran deep again and I could feel its life energy screaming back up the line to my hand. The line felt like sound. It was like an ambulance siren coming straight at me, red light flashing, and then going away again and then taking to the air and becoming an air-raid siren.

The fish jumped a few more times and it still looked like a frog, but it didn’t have any legs. Then the fish grew tired and sloppy, and I swung and splashed it up the surface of the creek and into my net.

The fish was a twelve-inch rainbow trout with a huge hump on its back. A hunchback trout. The first I’d ever seen. The hump was probably due to an injury that occurred when the trout was young. Maybe a horse stepped on it or a tree fell over in a storm or its mother spawned where they were building a bridge.

There was a fine thing about that trout. I only wish I could have made a death mask of him. Not of his body though, but of his energy. I don’t know if anyone would have understood his body. I put it in my creel.
Later in the afternoon when the telephone booths began to grow dark at the edges, I punched out of the creek and went home. I had that hunchback trout for dinner. Wrapped in cornmeal and fried in butter, its hump tasted sweet as the kisses of Esmeralda.”



Jeff Lowe’s Metanoia
November 15, 2011, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Wilderness Heroes | Tags: , , , , ,

Jeff Lowe was and still is one of the most important and influential American mountain climbers, credited with bringing ice climbing to the US and for inventing the “mixed climbing” style. A visionary climber, he has made over 1000 first ascents including Colorado’s Bridalveil Falls. He also happens to be the brother of Greg Lowe founder of Lowe Alpine.

In 1991 After struggling through some of his life’s roughest spots including a divorce and a failed business he sought an escape and headed to do a solo ascent  of The Eiger in the Swiss Alps. Specifically he went to climb the Nordwand, otherwise known as the North face of the mountain…in the winter. The climb, during which Jeff almost lost his life, went on to become a transformation event and one which resulted in “metanoia,” a Greek word meaning a fundamental change of thinking. Do yourself a favor and watch the clip below, narrated by Jon Krakauer, to get the fuller version of this story. Also the video above is of Jeff unpacking his Vaude pack 20 years later that he left on the climb up Eiger.



Curt Gowdy and The American Sportsman

The American Sportsman was a television show that aired from 1965 to 1986. The show, which was probably one of the first to depict outdoor adventures, showed hunting and fishing trips by the show’s host along with celebrities such as Bing Crosby and Andy Griffith. The tv show got it start as 20 min segment on the Wide World of Sports which followed Curt Gowdy (who went on to host the show) along with the legendary Joe Brooks on a fly fishing expedition in the Andes Mountains. The eventually went on to become The New American Sportsman which covered all types of sports, and in doing so lost the appeal of the original which focused on outdoor adventures.

I recently found the book,The American Sportsman Treasury, which is basically the hardbound version of the original tv show. The book contains more stories and excellent photos from various fishing and hunting trips of the past by experienced outdoorsman. More of the images can be found here.