Friday, May 26, 2017

Eating Dirt: A photo essay

I always knew I felt healthier, happier outside. Science is catching up. Microbes in the soil aid in keeping allergies at bay, asthma (which I suffer from but was fine this last week), helps fight depression and many other maladies. Dirt - a new super-food. I ate plenty of it last week...

Volunteered to help clear trail through backcountry chaparral with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, hanging out at a few schools with Common Vision that has planted orchards for some 250 schools in California, checking out a couple local farm-to-fork acreage with Patagonia... All a very good re-education into why it is good to stay connected and be a more integral part of the local landscape, to know the process of where our food comes from, to help expand the network of local opportunities to explore off the pavement. So many new experiences still to have, and in the backyard.

Next phase is getting out to volunteer on the local farms...

all images ©Bennett Barthelemy

Monday, May 1, 2017

Red Rocks Climbing: Photo Essay

As a climber, Red Rock has a lot to offer. Nubbin pimples of red iron precipitated out at the surface of the sandstone make for cool pinches or an explosive foothold - and when big enough a tie-off that is as nearly as good as a pounded in bolt. The are also amazing at grabbing the rope, very "sticky" rock. Especially when the wind is blowing a gale and sounds like a freight train coming down the mountain as it has the last few days. Ropes can blow straight sideways or even upwards when rappelling (rope thrown downward) so it can be pretty heads up with rope management to get off a route. Yesterday we made it to the ground and I had just taken off my helmet at the base when a party above dislodged a loose block above us. It landed not far away. His rope had gotten stuck with a wind gust and as he pulled it free it dropped the block... We ran beneath a tree as it exploded on the slab just below. Some pretty rad geology too, and a climb may provide a spelunking adventure like Tunnel Vision today, a sideways chimney for a few dozen meters behind a giant detached pillar... Not to mention all the amazing blooming globe mallow, indigo, sages and the occasional rattler. Desert climbing :)