Saturday, May 4, 2013


Mt. Tam's sunset from Bolinas Ridge. (Ed Callaert)

You don’t need a million-dollar penthouse to savor the best view in San Francisco. Just hike to Mt. Tam, as locals call this iconic peak. Twenty miles north of the city, it’s the centerpiece of a 6,300-acre pocket of undeveloped woodland, lakes, and open meadows laced with more than 50 miles of trail and capped by one of the best views on the West Coast: a 360-degree panorama of the mighty Pacific, San Francisco Bay, and, on a clear day, the Sierra Nevada a couple hundred miles to the east. But the view isn’t even its best feature. What is: the opportunity for a real wilderness experience amidst redwood forests, grasslands, and rugged coast within minutes of one of the most densely populated areas of the country. 

With a road to the summit, the top can get busy, but you can nab the same view from its uncrowded ridges on this stout 14.8-mile out-and-back. From the Dipsea trailhead in Mill Valley, climb 671 stairs into the heart of Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Continue under a canopy of coast redwoods paralleling Muir Redwoods National Monument. From here, the trail climbs steadily to Windy Gap before losing elevation to the base of Cardiac Hill. This long (and aptly named) climb tops out at 1,360 feet, where views of Stinson Beach and the Pacific open up. 

Enjoy a gradual downhill to Stinson Beach and its perfect arc of soft sand (picnic, anyone?), then retrace your steps. Just before reaching the trailhead, sidehike .7 mile on the narrow Sun Trail to a paved path leading to the Alpine Tourist Club, built in 1914 by German immigrants.This private club opens its outdoor beer garden on weekends until 5 p.m. 

The Best...
Mountain biking

Welcome to fat-tire ground zero. Locals love linking Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Loma Alta Open Space Preserve via the Bay Area Ridge Trail for 10.6 miles of fast singletrack and killer scenery.


Download Tom Harrison’s Mt. Tam map to your iPhone ($5, It’s as detailed as the paper version—and cheaper.

Hawk Camp Campground in the Marin Headlands is centralized for hiking and biking. It’s a 2.7-mile hike or ride on the Bobcat Trail from Bunker Road. Free. (415) 331-1540,

Quote of the Day

Photo: Quote of the Day - I am chained to the earth to pay for the freedom of my eyes.

Quote of the Day - I am chained to the earth to pay for the freedom of my eyes.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day - The passion is like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through it's excess.


It's the white in his knuckles 
The gold in the buckle 
He'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps 
It's cowboy hats 
It's spurs and lattigo
It's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo.

64 countries around the world label GE food!

Since the commercialization of the first genetically engineered (GE) crops in the 1990s, countries have been trying to create policies that sufficiently regulate and oversee these new technologies.

India was the most recent country to adopt a mandatory labeling law at the beginning of 2013. Some countries have no need for a labeling law because they do not allow any GE food, such as Zambia, Benin and Serbia, which all have total bans on GE imports and cultivation. Turkey is now debating becoming the first country to label GE animal products — meat, milk, eggs, cheese and other products — from animals raised on GE feed.

Read more here:

Walking the Talk, A Sacred Responsibility

Memories can shape people’s future, but because we make up our minds to look back on challenging events in negative fashion, especially when it comes to things that we have grown past, we lose the lesson and value of that lesson. It is in the disassociation of our self to challenging times in our lives that we render them irrelevant to our personal growth. For example, a person who had an abusive childhood, might say ‘my childhood was horrible,’ period; and by doing this they have over-looked the fact that they were and are more than their experiences. When people do not create value in all experiences, even the most emotional painful ones, they neglect the fact they are powerful. For example, even a person who was abused likely had an imagination and other beautiful personal traits that children possess, so when a person diminishes their entire childhood with a dismissive negative connotation, they are discounting their amazing resiliency. Perhaps, this why people allow themselves to be re-victimized by their own memories, they pronounce their entire childhood as ‘bad’ instead of seeking the value. However, when a person seeks value in all life experiences; they become rejuvenated to heal past the ones that have lingering emotional pain at a deeper level. It is when we look back only to create value in the lesson gifted to us that we can truly see that we are the answer to the prayer we uttered for our self back then. All my Relations. (ejh)
 — with Barbie Hale and Belcourt Carmen.

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 4

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 4
The whole religion is like a preparation. It's a preparation for going to the Good Land or to the place of your ancestors. We all have to go through it. We all know this.
---- Horace Axtell, NEZ PERCE
There are two Worlds that exist. The Seen World and the Unseen World. Sometimes these worlds are called the Physical World and the Spiritual World. The Elders say, when it is time to go to the other side, our relatives will appear a few days before to help us enter the Spirit World. This is a happy place; the hunting is good; the place of the Grandfathers, the Creator, the Great Spirit, God, is a joyful place.
Grandfathers, today, let me look forward to the Spirit World. Bless all my Relations.

Support Chief Raoni

(see Belo Monte links below) PLEASE SHARE:Belo Monte Occupation 2nd May 2013. Letter from the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil's Amazon Rainforest: "We are the people who live in the rivers where you want to build dams. We are the Munduruku, Juruna, Kayapo, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakan√£, Arara,fishermen and peoples who live in riverine communities. We are Amazonian peoples and we want the forest to stand. We are Brazilians. The river and the forest are our supermarket. Our ancestors are older than Jesus Christ.

You are pointing guns at our heads. You raid our territories with war trucks and soldiers. You have made the fish disappear and you are robbing the bones of our ancestors who are buried on our lands.

You do this because you are afraid to listen to us. You are afraid to hear that we don’t want dams on our rivers, and afraid to understand why we don’t want them.

You invent stories that we are violent and that we want war. Who are the ones killing our relatives? How many white people have died in comparison to how many Indigenous people have died? You are the ones killing us, quickly or slowly. We’re dying and with each dam that is built, more of us will die. When we try to talk with you, you bring tanks, helicopters, soldiers,machineguns and stun weapons.

What we want is simple: You need to uphold the law and promote enacting legislation on free, prior and informed consent for indigenous peoples. Until that happens you need to stop all construction, studies, and police operations in the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. And then you need to consult us.

We want dialogue, but you are not letting us speak. This is why we are occupying your dam-building site. You need to stop everything and simply listen to us."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 3

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 3
"But I have learned a lot from trees: sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about the Great Spirit."
--Walking Buffalo, STONEY
Nature is the greatest teacher on the Earth. Nature produces many different plants, animals, trees, rocks, birds, insects, and weather patterns. Nature designed all these various things to grow and multiply while at the same time live in harmony with each other. We can learn a lot of we observe and study Nature's system of harmony and balance. Today, go sit on a rock and quietly observe and ask to be shown the lessons.
Great Spirit, Nature is my teacher. Today, let me be the student.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Black Elk

Hear me, four quarters of the world,
A relative I am !
Give me the strength to walk the soft earth. Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand.
Look upon these faces of children without number, That they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of quiet. This is my prayer; hear me.
---- Black Elk

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 2

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 2
"Think only about what is holy. Empty your mind."
--Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA
If we let our minds wander, we will come up with a lot of junk; maybe bad thoughts about a brother or sister, maybe angry thoughts, maybe self-pity thoughts. Our minds are not the boss. We can instruct our mind to think about whatever we want to think about. We cannot stop thinking, but we can choose what to think about. The Elders say we move towards what we think about. That's why they say, "Think about what is holy, think about the Grandfathers, think about culture, think about values, think about ceremonies, and think about good."
Great Spirit, today, empty my mind and let me experience what it would be like to think about what is holy.

No Fear-Native American Spirituality and Thoughts-A Tribute

Speaking from the heart
is a powerfull medicine
If those words are not followed by actions
your words will become poison
and your truths
just common lies.
-Sahoni- Cherokee.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 1

Elder's Meditation of the Day May 1
"All living creatures and all plants derive their life from the sun. If it were not for the sun, there would be darkness and nothing could grow � the earth would be without life."
This is why we call the sun, Father Sun. Father Sun shines life on Mother Earth and from this Father and Mother all life forms exist and continue to reproduce. The Sun shines on all; it is not selective. We should not allow anything to block the Sun from shining on the Earth. We must not pollute the air because the pollutants block the light of life to the Earth. If the Earth cannot receive this light, then life will start to be affected. We must live in harmony with the Sun and Earth. Otherwise, we are harming ourselves.
My Creator, give me the wisdom to live in harmony with all things.

No Fear-Native American Spirituality and Thoughts-A Tribute

Planting Month

We, the old settlers here in council
with the late emigrants, they are
perfectly friendly towards us...we
have full confidence they will receive
you with all friendship.

May 1

A Country road in May hums with activity.
Bees comb the clover fields for nectar. Buttercups and
dayflowers open to the sun and a mockingbird sets out
to mimic every sound it has ever heard--even the
baby chick. Wild onions and pink verbena share space
and the buttery blooms of buffalo peas nod in spring
breezes. Only now the air has warmed to the sun and
the plants and leaves of oaks grow so much overnight
that the sky closes in like a cocoon. Now is the time
to slow down and enjoy the minute changes as they
come hourly, the scents, the roadsides filled with new
plants, and the green hills and valleys. They come
quickly, the di ga ne tli yv s di, changes, that sometimes
mature before we see the difference. If we are not
careful, our clouded thought and vision shut it out
until we have missed the best part.

This brings rest to my heart. I feel like a leaf after a
storm, when the wind is still.

By: Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brad Cameron, Sister May 31-June 2

Packer Clinic K Falls

Michael Wakefield-
            Michael Wakefield grew up on a farm in Southern Minnesota entirely powered by horses.   They had 12 head of draft horses of different sizes for the many different jobs to be done; large 17 hand Shires for the plow and disc; smaller Belgians for the mower and hay rake and a nice leggy team of Percherons to haul the grain wagon to town.  By age nine Michael could harness and hitch a team of five to the grain binder and do a day's work.  He became interested in buggies and carriage driving in the 1970's and has since been studying and honing his craft; competing, teaching, training and breeding driving horses.  For the past 14 years Michael has driven the stagecoach for Wells Fargo Bank, and appears in parades all over the Northwest.  
-Re-schooling the Riding Horse to Drive in Demo Area 3.
Learn to evaluate your riding equine as a candidate for training to drive.  This session will be a step by step approach to training, based on 50+ years of experience training driving horses and mules.  Many riders and horses experience injuries or age related problems that limit riding. Often the horse will stand up to driving which is less demanding on the back and legs, and driving allows the horseman to enjoy his horse when riding has to be limited.

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 30

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 30
"Modern civilization has no understanding of sacred matters. Everything is backwards."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Modern civilization says, don't pray in school; don't pray at work; only go to church on Sunday. If you don't believe what I believe, you'll go to hell. Deviancy is normal. Our role models cheat, drink and run around; these are the people in the news. The news sells bad news; no one wants to hear good news. Kids are killing kids. Victims have little protection. Violence is normal. Leaders cheat and lie. Everything is backwards. We need to pray for spiritual intervention. We need to have guidance from the Creator to help us rebuild our families, our communities and ourselves. Today, I will pray for spiritual intervention from the Great Spirit.
Grandfather, we pray for your help in a pitiful way.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 29

"The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power...The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing..."
--Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX
Have you ever noticed the relationship between children and the soil? Watch how happily they are touching the dirt. The children play in it and eat it. If you are stressed, go to a spot on the Earth, sit down, put your fingers in the dirt, dig in it. Wash your hands in the soil. When you touch it, notice what it does to your hands. Our bodies love to touch the Earth. Sometimes we get too busy and forget these simple things. Maybe you'll even want to plant a garden or flowers. These things are mentally healthy.
Great Spirit, today, let me touch the Earth so the Earth can touch me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why they don't take the money.....

The money was set aside to compensate the Sioux tribes for the taking of the Black Hills in 1877 by the US government. The Black Hills were rich in minerals, including gold. Members of the Great Sioux Nation could pocket a large sum set aside by the government for taking the resource-rich Black Hills away from the tribes in 1877. But leaders say the sacred land was never, and still isn't, for sale.

Supporting South Dakota Reservations Page--Lakota of Pine Ridge

Over the past seven years I have made many stories, but one project has come to own me. That story is about the Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Many of you may have heard of the Lakota, or at least the larger group of tribes called the Sioux. Pine Ridge is located about 60 miles southeast of the Black Hills in South Dakota. It is sometimes referred to as Prisoner of War Camp Number 344, and it is where the Lakota now live. If you have ever heard of the Wounded Knee Massacre, the American Indian Movement, Leonard Peltier, or of the stand-off at Oglala, then you know that Pine Ridge is ground zero for Native issues in the United States.

In 1980, the longest-running court case in U.S. history, United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, was ruled upon by the Supreme Court. The court determined that, when the Sioux were resettled onto reservations and seven million acres of their land were opened up to prospectors and homesteaders, the terms of the second Fort Laramie treaty had been violated. The court stated that the Black Hills were illegally taken and that the initial offering price plus interest should be paid to the Sioux Nation. As payment for the Black Hills, the court awarded only 106 million dollars to the Sioux Nation. The Sioux refused the money with the rallying cry, "THE BLACK HILLS ARE NOT FOR SALE!"

In 2010, I took to the stage at TED Talks determined to give voice to those who had trusted me with their stories and given me a doorway into their world by allowing me to share their lives through my lens.

From TED it began to grow, snowballing until it landed on the doorstep of National Geographic magazine, where my Pine Ridge work and the real story of the Oglala Lakota was published as a 38-page cover story.

Pine Ridge was a project that I tried to escape many times. In the seven years that I have been returning to Pine Ridge, 30 people who were in someway part of my project have died unnatural deaths and, as for the rapes, I dare not ask as it would break my heart beyond repair. Despite my attempts to give up I am always lured back by an email from someone I know and a desire to go deeper because I knew the story had not been told. In time I found new communities beyond the gangsters and impoverished, and began to spend time with the spiritual communities. Beyond the seductive photographic surface of poverty and despair, beyond the caricature that was so easy to find in drunks and pow-wows. In my final act of print journalism on the reservation, National Geographic made sure I had the time and resources to find the heart in this story, everything I needed to do it right. I emerged on the other side of that long journey and found myself being called "brother" and "uncle" and sitting down to eat with the family I had built in those seven years. Mitakuye Oyasin, you are, “All my relations.”

Photojournalism CAN leave the pages of magazines! Full resolution versions of the work Shepard, Ernesto, and I made are available for download so that YOU can choose when and where this issue is seen. The site also includes a library of every treaty made with Native tribes in the continental U.S. Photo by Aaron Huey

To see more of the photo essay