Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Yesterday, one of my friends and myself made a pilgrimage to the Black Hills, running Interstate 90 until we hit Kodoka, SD , the gateway to the Badlands National Park. After making a disbursement for fuel that resembled a small house payment, we checked out the Minuteman Missile NHS for a free video and some great answers to our questions from a friendly and informative park ranger.

We then headed south into the Badlands, but, instead of following the tourist loop, we chose to take 44 and entered the park via the Conata Road. Though not as dramatic, it was a road less traveled, yet brought us out just east of the Ancient Hunter’s Overlook. We continued west, taking the Sage Creek Rim Road to check out the primitive camping ground at Sage Creek for future reference.

 Local resident of the primitive camp site…


Along the way, we saw a few deer and several dozen buffalo, several of which had beat us to the campground. So, a word of warning. If you plan to set up camp here, which by the way, is safe, do not be surprised to hear the dainty plodding of buffalo outside your tent flaps.

View from Sage Creek Rim Road…


We continued out course from the Badlands to Hermosa, passing through the small community of Folsom,  viewing ranches and abandoned homesteads.  These abandoned homesteads dot the landscape and tell of a pioneering spirit that few still own today.  Those that do still own this spirit are still living here and working the land.

Folsom Baptist Church…



Abandoned except by spirits…



After we made another house payment size deposit for refined crude and continued into the Black Hills, first up the Iron Mountain Road and then into Custer City. We then headed south via 87, up over Mt. Coolidge and down into the Red Valley (panoramic photo) where we kicked up some red dirt with the Rubicon. The day turned out to be wet and finding a little mud was an easy task. The disappointing part was that the wildlife had previous engagements and had vacated Custer State Park for the most part. We did happen upon several elk and a few more buffalo. We encountered many prongs and concluded that the species was not included in the social function that all other wildlife were attending.


We made our way out to 79 and headed south to Angostura Reservoir in the southern hills. I guess I had imagined something the size of a small Lake Erie and was a bit disappointed when we arrived. Though large in Black Hills lake size standards, it lacked the effectiveness of taking away one’s breath.

Our return to Oacoma was nondescript with a stop for dinner in Rapid and a wet 180 mile road trip.


tanka bars…  food of warriors and hunters

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I am off on an adventure….be back soon….maybe.

“The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”

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Tanka Bars or Tank T-Shirt.


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GORP, “good old raisins and peanuts”, scroggin, puppy chow and trail mix is the life blood of hikers, hunters and campers from around the world. A combination of any of your favorites items such as cereal, dried fruits, raisins, granola, nuts, candy, and marshmallows, in any combination and created for individual taste buds is one of the simplest ways to keep your energy up while hiking those high mountain trails.  The low cost factor of creating this sustenance, it’s minimal weight factor, it’s longevity and the ease of it’s creation makes gorp the number one energy food for your hiking adventure.  To make gorp, the following basic recipe will get you started, but with imagination, a knowledge of what your taste buds enjoy, you make add or delete any individual food item.


* 1/2 cup Raisins
* 1/2 cup nuts
* 1/2 cup chocolate coated candies (m&ms, chips)
* 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
* 1/2 cup dried fruit
* 1 cup granola of your choice

The second most popular hiking food are energy bars. Energy bars are created for maximum nutritional and energy value.  Ounce for ounce, energy bars cost more than a bagfull of gorp, which is the only reason that energy bars in second place in popularity.  Energy in food comes from three main sources: fat, protein, and carbohydrates.  Carbohydrate is the energy of choice during exercise. Therefore, you need to look for bars that are high in carbohydrate with moderate protein and low fat.  Though there are hundreds of energy bars on the market, and many can be considered good, my choice is a product from Native American Natural Foods, located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and based on an ancient recipe called wasna.
Long lasting, natural, low fat content, and delicious, this energy bar is made from buffalo meat and cranberries. The benefits of this marriage of tastes?
Buffalo meat has fewer calories and less cholesterol than chicken or fish, 76% less fat than beef and 68% less fat than chicken, and 35% more protein than beef, while cranberries (recent studies suggest) that this native American berry may also promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer.

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Visit our website: tankabars.com

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A number of my posts and other articles that I has written tend to deal with human nature in the sense that we all have potential to fulfill our goals and dreams, overcoming all the obstacles and challenges that everyday life throws in front of us.  Over the many years I have traveled and the the numerous employment opportunities I have experienced, I have met many people from many walks of life.  Those whom I remember the most are the ones that have impressed me with the qualities that represent the human spirit.  Dedication, perseverance, determination, and strength.  Those are the ingredients of success and of reaching our goals and our dreams.  And guess what?  Everyone one of us owns those traits.  Whether we use them or not is our choice. We can sit back and watch the world run passed us or we can get in the race, improve our personal environment and enjoy the benefits of having participated in the challenge, whether we finish in first or last place.  The key point is that we participated, and in doing so, we have gained wisdom, strength and the determination to continue with our dreams .  As with any of life’s challenges, we need to join each and every race that we discover,  create or are given .  And as with all successes, we need to participate each and every day, do our best each and every day, and finish each and every day knowing we gave it all we have to give, and in doing so, there can be no last place players.

But you need to remember that these successes are not just objectives to reach, but a process which is constant that we incorporate into our lives. As with any change in our lifestyle, the more we focus and achieve, the easier and more natural these changes will be.

So, today you will run the good race.  You will jump the hurdles that are thrown in front you without breaking stride, you will finish each lapped with the strength to face the next, and you will cross the finish line knowing you did your best and eager to begin the challenge:
On your mark,  get set,  live life.

And while you are running your race, take a short breather and you may win something extra

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Some great new products from Native American Natural Foods…check them out.  Take Tanka…

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The great outdoors, mother nature, the wind in your face and the challenge of the journey.  Where can you find all these and much more?  Hiking is one of those activities that gives one a sense of adventure, challenges your physically and mentally, and opens the majesty of nature. Hiking trails in the United States cover all types terrain, from simple strolls through forests to invigorating climbs to the clouds.

One of the most popular trails is the 2,174 miles of Appalachian Trail stretching from northern Georgia to Maine.  There are many more, depending on your level of adventure.  State by state synopsis of the Appalachian Trail for the intrepid hiker.   Plan your route. Consider the terrain, weather and environment. Study and carry trail or topo maps of the area you plan to explore, and familiarize where you’re going and what the terrain is like.

Starting your hike in Maine, the 281 miles of the trail are particularly difficult and it is here that more moose  are seen by hikers than any other on the trail. The northern point of the Appalachian Trail is on Katahdin’s Baxter Peak in Baxter State Park.

The western section includes a mile-long stretch of boulders at Mahoosuc Notch, often called the trail’s hardest mile.  The most isolated portion in the state (and arguably on the entire trail) is known as the “100-Mile Wilderness.” This section heads east-northeast from the town of Monson and ends outside Baxter State Park just south of Abol Bridge.

The central Maine section crosses of the Kennebec River at a point where it is 200 feet wide, the widest unbridged stream along the trail. Fording the river is unsafe because of swift and powerful currents and the unannounced release of water from upstream hydroelectric facilities. The Maine Appalachian Trail Club offers a canoe ferry ride across the river during peak hiking season. Although there are dozens of river and stream fords on the Maine section of the trail, this is the only one that offers a boat crossing.

New Hampshire has 161 miles  of the trail. The New Hampshire AT is nearly all within the White Mountain National Forest. The easier southern portion of the trail, from Hanover to Glencliff, passes over Velvet Rocks, Moose Mountain, Smarts Mountain, and Mount Cube. It then ascends Mount Moosilauke and enters the high peaks region of the Whites. For northbound thru-hikers, it is the beginning of the main challenges that go beyond enduring distance and time: in New Hampshire and Maine, rough or steep ground are more frequent, and alpine conditions are found near summits and along ridges.

The trail runs completely above treeline from the summit of Mount Pierce to the north side of the cone of Mt. Madison, a distance of about 12 miles. The AT passes over the summits of 16 of the 48 four-thousand footers of New Hampshire: Moosilauke, South and North Kinsman, Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield, South Twin, Jackson, Pierce, Washington (the highest point of the AT north of Tennessee), Madison, Wildcats D and A, Carter Dome, South and Middle Carter. It comes close to the summits of 8 other of the 48 four-thousand footers: Liberty, Galehead, Zealand, Eisenhower, Monroe, Jefferson, Adams, and Moriah. A series of comfortable huts is maintained along parts of the NH trail by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Maine/New Hamphire map…

more to come….

When hiking, take Tanka

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