A Grimy Handshake from Patagonia

The bike stops here: Just east of Rancho Pendejo sits
the Cibola National Forest.

I’ve somehow gotten myself on Patagonia’s mailing list, probably through buying stuff from them — and good stuff it is, too — and they sent me a note the other day linking to a piece by Mike Ferrentino.

Yes, that Mike Ferrentino, he of the Grimy Handshake. His stuff is even better than Patagonia’s.

Anyway, Mike wrote about wilderness, and why he no longer poaches trails there, and it’s worth your attention.

In other wilderness-related news:

• A forest ecologist from CSU-Fort Collins wonders whether some iconic forests might fail to bounce back after a wildfire.

• Trying to take pix of the fires? Ian Bogost says your phone’s camera was not built for the Apocalypse.

• Have the orcas finally had enough of our bullshit?

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30 Responses to “A Grimy Handshake from Patagonia”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Carlin called it “circling the drain.” The dumpster is helping us self-destruct. Life is change, but conservatives fight change. End of fucking story.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Well, let’s generalize a little less. The well off folks are taking 300k homes in my neighborhood, gutting them, and then rebuilding as 600-700k Mini McMansions and flipping them to the well off, who then get a nice tax break aka mortgage deduction. That gentrification is the kind of change I can do without.

    • SAO' Says:

      Elizabeth Warren is the only one who spoke intelligently about this subject. Not in the sense that she has the answers, but she’s the only one who understands the questions. Our housing industry is due to collapse because the people building them are moving away from their very customer base. Every single builder in America ends up going in one of two directions: either they go big, making bigger and more expensive properties with higher margins, or they go into low cost volume, cutting corners to keep profits flowing. So we’re only building two kinds of homes, crappy or extravagant. Doesn’t take a PhD or a GED to know that this ain’t sustainable.

      On top of that, there are no home building watchdogs who look at the waste generated, because it is distributed in so many senses. If I want to know what Monsanto is putting into the river, I just follow the pipes. But with home construction, you’re talking about millions of individual roll-aways every year, full of scrap plywood and 2x4s. You can’t track them all down because they are everywhere, and they’re constantly moving. Just watching construction around me, I’m guessing there’s 40% waste in building a typical new home. Two trucks of supplies come in, one roll-away goes out. Every time I’ve seen this addressed, it’s been SWAGs taken to the Nth degree. But here’s on stab at it: Home building accounts for 40% of all solid waste in this country, and a typical home generates 8,000 lbs of waste.


    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I think it’s time to use a broad brush to paint the all the under the radar crap, including gentrification, that is going on under the “conservative” agenda. It’s past time to get a little more vocal and radical. I’m going to buy me a big ass F-350, put two big ass Biden\/Harris flags on the back, and drive around down town so everyone knows I have a little dick.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Speaking of gentrification, here are two interesting stories — one about San Francisco and the likelihood of rich people leaving and “artists and queerdos returning” (slim to none), and the other about the booming ’Burque real-estate market. (“They love our affordability.”)

      Spoiler alert: The rich get richer and the poor … well, you know what the poor get.

      I wonder what my cousin’s old place down by 10th and Judah is going for these days. … no, I probably don’t wanna know.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Our joint cost us $135K 4 1/2 years ago and would now go for $185K. I can assure you I haven’t stuck $50K into improving the joint in the that time. WTFO

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        El Rancho Pendejo cost $334,000 six years ago this month, and now it’s “worth” $373,000 to $441,000, depending upon the sucker … er, buyer, according to Zillow. This is due entirely to my sound and prudent fiscal management, of course.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Same here, O’G. We bought into the Fanta Se Experience for 323k in 2014 to get a 1250 sq. foot western version of Levittown built by Allen Stamm. Great little house. You don’t need to gut it and cover the property with more rooms and call it a mansion. Right now, the various Zillo, Trulia, and Realtor sites now say its worth between 375k and 440k. They don’t say who can afford such a deal. Meanwhile, Olga C’De Baca says “Market trends of similar homes in City of Santa Fe” is almost 800k. Like San Francisco, you can’t afford to live here unless you are in that top few percent.

        Wish we had held the Honolulu house as slumlords. We sold it for 335k in 2001, most of which was owned to the bank. Currently valued at around 800k. And I know they aren’t paying six figure salaries to the tourist industry folks in Waikiki.

        SAO nailed it. We need someone up topside who can figure out how to moderate the housing market, not to mention the tax code, so normal people aren’t living in a Dickensonian nightmare. Are there no prisons? And the union workhouses? Meanwhile, the so-called progressives up here want to concentrate on ethnic cleansing of statues, gun control, and make sure we don’t build any more pedestrian tunnels because homeless are sheltering there. They have theirs. Fuck the rest of society. Pete’s Place, the interfaith homeless shelter on Cerrillos Road, is packed full.

        Maybe it is time for a revolution.

      • Hurben Says:

        You want insane property prices? try Auckland NZ. I bought our place in Central Auckland about 18 years ago for $300,000 NZD.

        It’s an old 1920’s, 100 SQ Metre “Workmans cottage” sitting on a a 675 SQ Metre property.

        Not much has been done to it over the years & this years council valuation has it worth 1.3 Million NZD!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        See, that’s what you get for letting the hobbits move into your shire. Those hairy-footed midget yuppies with their cutesy round doors. Boom, housing values and property taxes explode like a dragon what et a tainted troll. Or a troll’s taint. Whatevs, it’s gonna end badly.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

  3. mooremediaone Says:

    Just finished reading Mikes article. He’s touching on something I’ve been thinking about and agree with his conclusions.

    Every segment of wilderness users are fighting for more access.

    Seems to me that if you’re a wilderness seeker, you ought to try wilderness in all ways that you can, not just the same way every time.

    If you’re a Mt. bike shredder, try a hiking. If you’re a hiker, try rafting or fishing. Get a view from from the other side.

    I’ve been doing more wilderness diversification lately, it’s perspectives are important to experience.

    Hiking down a single track, I am very pissed when a biker comes bombing down from behind, clipping me as he (she?) passes. Yet I am a biker too – so I do get the seduction of a flowing ribbon of dirt that descends all the way back to the car.

    When I backpack the Sierra’s I cringe when I see day hikers cutting switchbacks. Or tromping across a ecological sensitive restoration area to set up for a picnic in a field of endangered wildflowers.

    The hoards are heading further out there – most are newbies – with not much etiquette on how to respect what needs to be respected.

    Yet who want’s to show up at the trail head with Debbie-Downer ranger barking a long list of things you can’t do?

    Fences and gates will be hopped. Signage and placards will be ignored. Comments and corrections by fellow users will be considered offensive.

    But poor behavior out there cannot go unchallenged.

    Hey REI, how about printing the “Leave No Trace” rules on every paper bag that goes out your doors. Or posting them around the store?

    Folks need a balanced idea of wilderness than just the ads in Outside Gear issue of hiking blue tooth speakers and the latest pocket drone. Yikes!

    • SAO' Says:

      Yeah, we’re in an interesting place. Only 2.7% of this country is designated wilderness, but 47% of it is also uninhabited. There’s wilderness out there. But urban sprawl is killing it, while moving into the cities just means that we over-use the same handful of parks.

      I just don’t get how we can invent Tide Pods, shavers with 5 blades, and put peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, but we suck at land management. I think there’s something about labeling the problem a certain way in the beginning that pushes our thinking down a certain road, and our paradigm is that we manage natural spaces with a Bureau of Land Management but we think about living space as “urban” planning, and maybe the two of them should be in the same conversation?

      • mooremediaone Says:

        All good points. I’m thinking of how Native Americans thought of land – and how a ‘bureau’ that would ‘manage’ it would be considered ridiculous.

        We’re being brainwashed into thinking land needs to be converted, overtaken, improved, corrected and generally triumphed over.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        The occasional urban/open-space planning success story always boggles the mind.

        Billy Palmer donated the land for what became Palmer Park to the Duchy of Bibleburg, and it actually stuck. In some alternate universe that beautiful playground is buried under shitbox “dwelling units,” burger joints, and 7-Elevens, like the rest of that side of town.

        • JD Says:

          PO’G: The City Council here in Bibleburg, after a somewhat controversial selling/swapping of public land to El Pomar a few years back (that said, thus far El Pomar has exercised very good stewardship) is considering one of two potential ballot issues re public land on the November ballot: (1) the voters must vote on such a transfer or (2) a super-majority of city Council would be required for such a transfer.

          I suspect the super-majority one will make the cut. Either way, there is definite interest here in preserving already set aside parks, open spaces, etc. and in increasing them.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Credit where credit is due: Bibleburgers are a tight-fisted lot, but they will crack their wallets and purses for open space, God love ’em.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve really enjoyed simply walking since popping the ankle back in February. Like running, it’s something else I can do straight out the front door, and with a minimum of technology.

      Although the other day when I was hiking with my Brazos staff another hiker chirped, “Nice stick!” Boom, down goes another hickory stand. Sorry. …

      • khal spencer Says:

        When I hike, if I see a nice, straight and strong piece of wood lying on the ground, I bring it home, clean it up, debark it, finish and seal it, and make it into a hiking stick. Done a fair number and given some away. But never cut anything down. That would be, as my occasionally Catholic religion taught me, a mortal sin.

        I think the “Tide Pods, shavers with 5 blades, and put peanut butter and jelly in the same jar” mentality overprints our value of the wilderness. Its just something else to experience, rather than to treat with reverence. Plunk down the plastic fantastic card for your latest 1×12 mountain bike and shred those trails. I was out on La Tierra the other day and saw quite a few new trail cuts that are not supposed to be there. Most of that area is tended by unpaid volunteers, especially since the city has been going broke with the Covid shutdowns. Last thing we need is morons fucking up places that are hard to maintain.

  4. SAO' Says:

    There are no right answers. “Go find your own trail” worked on this big blue marble for a few million years, and it’s still a viable option for most of the planet. Just not anywhere near where people live.

    The way our brains work is, the get to the “right” answer, you have to do it wrong a couple or thirty times to see the impact of wrong. Mike couldn’t come to his “no poaching” stance without said poaching.

    But now, the cost of doing it wrong is too high. We’re in a place where our damage is increasingly irreversible.

    Unfortunately, trying to figure out what’s right isn’t the way anti-social media is re-wiring our brains. We’re in a nasty stretch of road where screwing our neighbor seems to be the same thing as finding personal peace. I don’t know if it’s half or not, but enough of us only care about winning the latest Twitter battle, without thinking about whether we should be in this war in the first place.

    Like Steve Martin said, before you criticize someone, trying walking a mile in their shoes. That way, if they don’t like what you said about them, you’re a mile away already and they don’t have any shoes.

  5. SAO' Says:

    There are still some good folks out there.

    The folks behind the Halide iPhone app noticed a spike in sales that corresponded with the stories about phone cameras not capturing the orange skies. So they’re donating those profits to firefighters and reconstruction efforts.


  6. khal spencer Says:

    Are those 700-45’s on that Nakisi?

  7. SAO' Says:

    Speaking of Patagonia’s mailing list …


    Almost makes me want to buy something I don’t need

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