Friday Fan Club, Vol. 2

Five things from the Internet that I’m a fan of on this Friday:

I have a soft spot for coffee table books (which will forever be the superior inspo-source, sorry Instagram) and as a once-upon-a-time Appalachian Trail thu-hiker, this one, which features every shelter and cabin on the AT, is especially enticing. Some shelters are memorable, like the two-story Partnership shelter in Virginia that’s close enough to a road that you can order a delivery pizza. Countless others are easier to forget, and this book is a great reminder of each and every one.

Mandolin Orange is a perennial favorite of mine, and in my opinion their gorgeous harmony and tone nearly reaches perfection on this recording.

Sticking with the Youtube theme, here’s one that I find strangely compelling, in which Andrew Bentz shows off a bunch of backpacks he’s made over the years. It’s always fun to watch progress, and here Bentz, shows us his as a gear-maker, starting with his first homemade backpack and ending with his Pa’lante Packs product line.

Ever since I first read In Southern Light by Alex Shoumatoff, I’ve been looking for more of his work. He’s one of the rare travel writers capable of weaving an entertaining story without romanticizing or condescending the people and cultures he comes across. He’s worked variously for Outside, New Yorker and Vanity Fair, yet many of the books he’s written are out of print and hard to find. So when I came across his website, dedicated to “documenting and preserving the diversity of life”, I started to read. Here’s a good one.

Finally, it can be hard to keep track of other things that are happening in the world in these COVID-centric times, but here’s one that important to anyone who values conservation or public lands: a look into the Trump administration’s changes to NEPA. These changes passed with little fanfare, but they will have a big effect on the approval process for all sorts of development on public lands: mining leases, logging projects, prescribed burns, new road and trail construction, you name it. Almost everything has to get by NEPA. Environmental groups are suing, and could use your signature.

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