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Mountain hut on highest mountain in Norway: Galdhøpiggen

This website is in Norwegian, and this is titled: "Knut Voles hytte - mountain hut on Galdhøpiggen," Norway. Apparently, Galdhopiggen is the highest mountain in Northern Europe (8100 ft.). I assume they've got some kind of heavy-duty waterproofing membrane or roofing system under the rocks on the roof. There are some great accompanying photos of mountain vistas.


From Lew Lewandowski

Clamming at Lawson's landing yesterday morning

Last year I saw an article on clamming in our local West Marin Citizen. It showed a guy named Eloy Garcia and his clam gun, an ingenious device for getting horseneck clams. I've been digging clams off and on since the early '60s. (Back in "the day," we used to get Pismo clams by dragging garden forks in the sand at Rio del Mar, south of Santa Cruz.)

In this (sic) neck of the woods, there are horsenecks. There's no shortage of them because they're tough to get: you've got to shovel a lot of poundage of mud to get deep enough to where these critters hang out. The clam gun, however was like a surgical tool, pumping down through a 4" hole to get the clams.

I tracked Eloy down (the stars were surely lined up because "Eloy" is "Lloyd" in Spanish), and called him up. He was really friendly and ended up sending me a spare clam gun in exchange for some of our building books. I talked to him several times about technique, but just couldn't get it working right. Why don't you meet us up at Lawson's Landing, he said. They'd be clamming all this week.

I went up there Wednesday night and met Eloy, his wife Nancy, and two other couples and some grandkids, all camping out. You know how you meet someone, and you're just on the same page? Well Eloy radiates good will. He laughs a lot. We all sat around his homemade (out of a 50-gallon drum) fireplace, drinking beer as the full moon came up in the east.

I slept in the back of my truck and yesterday we went out clamming early in the morning. I was pretty slow in picking up the technique, which involves crawling around in 3" deep water, locating the clam holes under the waving eel grass, then pumping out the mud to get down to the clams. then reaching down with your hand (up to armpit) to get the clams. Eloy and his buddy Ron each had their limits of 10 clams, and I had one. They started helping me and I think I've got the hang of it. More or less.

Note: I'm going to publish photos of this wonderful little seaside community of funky trailers and campgrounds that is currently under fire by a group of environmental zealots. See: http://www.savelawsonslanding.com/

Heart and Soil blog: Yew longbow, from Elementdetailing.com

Hi Lloyd,

Yesterday I only had time to view two blogs during a rapid lunch hour, one was yours (lets face it I am a daily visitor!) the other was Heart and Soil. After looking at the magazine images you showed yesterday, the item in Heart and Soil was completely different and something I thought you might enjoy. It is a traditional english longbow, made from yew from the North Downs and the nocks and arrow plate are from deer antlers, shed near to the owners home (a yurt on Exmoor). The bow itself is a fine thing indeed, knotty rustic and completely individual. Even the leather for the hand grip was salvaged from a ship wreck.

It has been made by the owners partner and a local craftsman (who he is learning his skills from). Hope you have chance to have a look and get some enjoyment out of it, also hope all is well with you and yours over the pond.

Best regards


Alan Whittle

Old Chum: Another great blog

Statistics showed my blog getting a bunch of hits from this one, so I took a look. It's full of images I really like; click here and scroll down: http://www.old-chum.com/

Alt. Build Blog: An Exploration of Alternative Building Techniques and Design Ideas

"This artistic and colorful fence is in the arts district in Silver City, New Mexico. Part of the fence appears to be from an old stamped metal ceiling.…"

This is a great blog. I love the stuff shown in this series of posts: http://altbuildblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-on-fences.html#more

Jamie Rivers wins 101st annual Dipsea Race

That's Jamie Rivers, who won her second Dipsea race yesterday. On the right is Jerry Hauke, who was for many years, the race director. Jamie's club, the Pelican Inn Track Club, won the team trophy -- breaking a 34-year streak for the Tamalpa Runners club.

The Dipsea is the oldest cross-country race in America. Details here.

It was with a certain amount of sadness that I watched the race yesterday. I've been running it for about 20 years, and last year was my last. As I explained to my friends, I want to able to walk when I'm 95. After having both knees operated on, I've recovered well, but more years of too-fast downhill running (to make up for slow uphills) promised continued loss of knee cartilage. I don't want artificial knees. I want to be able to walk as long as I live.

I got up as usual at 6, had tea, and drove over the hill to Mill Valley. I didn't jump in the cold creek under the waterfall, my former pre-race ritual -- tuning into the mountain spirits. I didn't have the butterflies-in-stomach pre-race jitters, or have to endure the pain of anaerobic distress, or worry about which shortcuts to take -- but gosh darnit, I missed it. As everyone milled around at Stinson Beach after the race, I missed the burning in the quads, the muscle soreness, the feeling of accomplishment\ of being part of a great tradition.

Ah well, onwards and outwards. And congratulations to the red hot runners of the Pelican Inn Track Club.

Soulless shelter magazines

I take the word "shelter" seriously. Well, duh! So I was interested in this headline in the NY Times last week: "The Thriving (Online) Shelter Magazine Industry."

Click on this link to see the latest issue of the online magazine Lonny. Is this what people aspire to? A stuffed peacock on a non-functioning fireplace? A 4-foot high photo of a cigarette smoker on the wall? Lily-white upholstered furniture on the beach? Check out the other same-o online mags in the article.

The "shelter" publications of the major media continue to confound me with soulless and tasteless decor.

And to piss off even more people, I'll throw in Architectural Design (tasteless) and Dwell mag (soulless).

Sometimes I feel that me, my friends, and like-minded people are like the book lovers in Fahrenheit 451, off in the woods memorizing books. We're a band of, I guess, not-mainstream people who love richness and color and life in our dwellings. Not this type of horseshit. You couldn't pay me to live in places like this.