Wednesday, September 24

Better brains to get back to the Garden with

I just discovered a great book and website, Brain Rules with the latest research on what makes brains strong -and weak. It confirms lots that I've said for years, including these quotes:
  1. Exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain
  2. There is no greater anti-brain environment than the classroom and cubicle.
  3. Our school system ignores the fact that every brain is wired differently.
  4. The brain is not capable of multi-tasking.
  5. Taking a nap might make you more productive.
  6. Stress damages virtually every kind of cognition that exists.
  7. Smell is unusually effective at evoking memory.
  8. Vision trumps all other senses.
  9. The desire to explore never leaves us despite the classrooms and cubicles we are stuffed into.

Saturday, September 20

Palin shoots Bullwinkle!

This isn't really the kind of political adventure I was going to chronicle, but anything to prevent the country from sinking into a cartoon catastrophe.

No pit bulls or tortured souls in the White House, please!

Friday, September 19

Life in the wilderness

This was the view from Conundrum Hot Springs, near Aspen, Colorado, the highest in N. America at 11,200', on August 3. The mountain is Castlebra Peak and is 13,820'. You may not like reading white on black, but color photographs really look best on a black background, so just suffer!

I've been spending 1-2 months in the Conundrum area for 8 summers. This started in 2000, on a bus ride back to Boulder from my Croton-Harmon High School reunion north of NYC. Some bike messengers (heavily chained and tattooed) reminded me of the Kumba Mela in India coming up. It's the biggest spiritual festival in the world, with up to 90 million camping at the junction of 3 rivers.

First I fantasized that I'd prepare by working on my yoga in the Himnalayas for the winter. Then I realized I'd freeze and that the Mela is about the best place in the world to get sick. So I thought I'd strengthen myself by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. But why go there when the Colorado Trail starts right in Denver? Finally I realized that I could walk right out my Boulder door and hike local trails to the Continental Divide Trail, which joins the Colorado Trail in several places.

So, in 2001, I hiked 300 miles in 40 days from Boulder to Salida. I decided I'd had enough, and went to the Conundrum area (photos) for another month. I decided I preferred base camping, especially at hot springs, to backpacking. I also decided to spend as much of my life outdoors as practical.

Since then I've started guiding people to 2 pristine wilderness hot springs in Mexico's Copper Canyon -deeper, steeper, twistier and far wilder than the Grand Canyon.