Dallas Sierra Club
#########Dallas Sierra Club News

June, 2010: In This Issue. . .


Notes from the Chair

How Should You Spend Your Summer?
Of all the outdoor memories I have, nothing really compares to those long summers after school let out around Memorial Day and before Labor Day brought us all back to the perceived trying world of education. During those three glorious months, I was lucky enough to live in a era of relative safety and in a location near a city park which provided a ‘wilderness’ experience as far from home and parental control as a boy’s bicycle would allow. In reliving those special times, I often wonder what is the true magnitude of loss our current youths are suffering by always having to be ‘safe’ and ‘supervised’ while at the same time addicted to their electronic devices.

So how should you spend your summer? I would suggest inviting one or more young people (and some not so young people who may have lost their way) to accompany you to a local ‘wilderness’ area. Frankly, it won’t take much more than a dirt trail with no brick and steel structures in view to have the desired effect. Of course, a trip to a real wilderness (State or National Park) would be better, but your free time and those of your fellow hikers may not allow such a grand adventure.

The point is that the next generations will not be as eager to give the necessary effort to protect our natural world unless they appreciate its beauty and experience the most important “real” world of sight, sound, smell, wind, sense of place and space, touch, serenity, adventure, effort (lack of effort), solitude, togetherness and all the other benefits which no computer chip can give, no matter how many I-pods or I-pads we own.

So get outside this summer, be alive, be a true mentor and even a pioneer when it comes to a new generation who will most certainly lose out on the best part of their own life if you don’t show them the way.

Your Dallas Chair, Wendel Withrow


General Meeting Program - June 8, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Our June Program Will Help You Have a Great Garden and Lawn This Summer
Through the use of native and adapted plants, along with an organic philosophy, you can increase the health and biodiversity of your yard/garden. This strategy will conserve water, produce healthier, happier plants and bring myriad insect, bird and other species to your landscape. In addition you will help to make the overall environment cleaner and more productive for all living things. This simple strategy is the one that Mother Nature has employed since the beginning . . . and it works! Come and hear Randy Johnson, Director of Horticulture at Texas Discovery Gardens, speak about the interrelationship of soil biology, native and adapted plants, insects and other species.

Visit our website for complete information about our General Meeting, including a map.


Conservation News

Clean Air Meetup
Please mark you calendar for the next Clean Air Meetup at REI (4515 LBJ/I-635 - north side if highway between Midway and Welch) on Thursday, June 17th at 6:30 pm. Tom "Smitty" Smith with Public Citizen will give us an update on the the Public Utility Commission hearings and more. Contact Rita Beving 214-557-2271 for more information. Monthly Clean Air Meetup meetings are supported by Public Citizen and Downwinders at Risk.


Outings Highlights

White Rock Lake Cleanup, June 12
Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve, June 19
UPGRADING TRAILS AT CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE Howdy everyone. Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas to help "build" and upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve, just south of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. Its a great morning workout, and the scenery is exceptional. No tools are required, (just gloves) so show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to 12, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 19th of June, please see their website for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784. See you then! If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. My number (Ginger) is listed below. Get green, people! Its good for the soul. Coordinator: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

Fourth of July Holiday Bus Trip to Pecos Wilderness, New Mexico, June 30 - July 6
Pecos WildernessGet packing! This is the year for New Mexico's high country--The Pecos Wilderness! Draw a triangle between Santa Fe, Taos and Las Vegas, New Mexico. In its center is a backpacking paradise--the Pecos--New Mexico's second-largest designated wilderness. If your image of the Pecos is an alkaline river in west Texas and southern New Mexico, you'll get a new perspective when you see mountain streams, forests and green meadows in this lush basin at the River's mountain headwaters. Hikers may see hawks, marmots, elk and bighorn sheep. Pecos flora includes piñon pines, aspens, firs, corn lilies and wild iris. It's been a snowy year, so snow patches on the tallest peaks and ridges are possible in July. It's easy to see why the Pecos was set aside as one of the country's original wilderness areas by the Wilderness Act of 1964. The trip leaves Dallas on a chartered sleeper bus after dinner on June 30 and returns before breakfast on July 6. Complete trip details and reservation information is posted at www.dallassierraclub.org/outings.

For a complete list of our outings, visit our outings page.


The Outings Corner

What's Wrong with Freeze Dried Food?
by Bill Greer

Freeze dried food is quick, light, and many people find it reasonably tasty. So what could possibly be wrong with it? To see one possibility, let's take a look at a day in the life of an average backpacker.

When our 40-something subject crawls out of the tent one morning, he spies a package of Mountain House Breakfast Skillet in the food bag, so that becomes breakfast. The package says to use your own tortillas to make a wrap, so he adds the 3 grocery store tortillas they recommend. The half days worth of saturated fat still leaves him a little hungry, so he tops it off with a chunk of Five Star beef jerky. There's a steep hill to climb, so our hero starts feeling a little empty before lunch. He downs a peanut flavored Power Bar and a liter of Nuun sports drink. For lunch, he eats a turkey and cheddar Lunchables from his grocery store. He has another chunk of jerky for an afternoon snack. When supper time comes, since Sierra Club National outings he has been on always start out with soup, he slurps a cup of Knorr tomato soup. Then he moves on to some Mountain House spaghetti with meat sauce. It was a long day and he's starving, so, as many people do, he eats the whole 2 serving bag all by himself and tops it off with some Mountain House chocolate strawberry crunch for desert.

After supper our hero starts to feel less than well. If he's unlucky he may start to feel really bad. He wonders what could be wrong, so he hauls out his trusty calculator (you always carry one of those backpacking, don't you?) searches the trash bag for wrappers, and adds up his salt consumption for the day. He never touched a salt shaker, but still comes up with a grand total of 11,280 milligrams for the day. He wonders if that could be the problem. Could it?

The USDA recommends that those of us over 40 consume no more that 1,500 milligrams of salt per day. The American Heart Association recommends this limit for everyone. So in one day our hero consumed more salt than USDA says is safe for him to consume in a week! If he eats like this for our 5 day Pecos bus trip he will consume over a month's worth of salt. Note that this is the maximum recommended amount without risking your health. They don't imply 1,500 milligrams is good for you. If our hero is at all sensitive to salt his blood pressure could be shooting through the roof. Even if he does not suffer from high blood pressure, his arteries will still be damaged. Salt induced dehydration could make him more prone to altitude sickness. The damage salt does to your heart goes beyond high blood pressure. It damages your kidneys and many other organs. The list goes on and on. Health experts estimate that salt kills about 150,000 people each year. The Center For Science In The Public Interest has sued to have it regulated as a dangerous food additive.

Salt is an acquired taste. After just a few weeks avoiding it you find that salty stuff starts tasting bad. You start noticing flavors salt was hiding. Most, but not all, of these flavors are good. Manufacturers dump lots of salt in their products for a reason. It's a cheap way to hide bad tastes or cheap ingredients. It's a cheap preservative. It hides bitter tastes well.

"But it's a hot day" you protest, "don't I need lots of salt?" Your body does need salt, and on a hot day you can sweat some out. But if you eat much processed food at all it's going to be very hard to keep from getting plenty. Next time you see your doctor ask how much you should consume on a regular day and on a hot day. If he doesn't know find another doctor. Some doctors are not as knowledgeable as they should be about nutrition. Mine says that it's "virtually impossible" to get too little salt. He says drink a sports drink if you want, but what your body needs on a hot day is water sipped almost constantly.

"Salt never bothers me" some say, "You're a wimp." There's no question that salt tolerance varies among individuals. How hard salt hits you depends among other things on your genes, age, race, sex, physical conditioning, and amount of body fat. A 10,000 milligram meal at Chili's may not cause immediate problems for one person while it puts another in the hospital. But just because you can survive something doesn't mean it's good for you. Things that don't kill you don't always make you stronger. High blood pressure, for example, has few symptoms until you drop dead.

Freeze dried food manufacturers have started reducing the amount of salt they dump in their products. It used to be common to find single servings that contained over 2,000 milligrams. Now it is much less common. You can find some flavors that are under 500. Backpacker's Pantry Pesto Salmon Pasta has 55 milligrams. It's really tasty too.

Watch serving sizes. Many people eat an entire package in one meal and that is usually two servings. Mary Janes Farm brand says a package contains 1.5 servings. Who is going to eat 2/3 of a package? The whole thing is none too much after a hard day on the trail. You have to multiply their per-serving salt content by 1.5 to find out how much you're getting. Time for the trusty calculator again.

If you want to lower your salt intake or just find the taste of salty stuff disgusting, you'll probably need to invest in a food dehydrator of your own. They're inexpensive and really expand your choices of what to take when you go camping. Upscale food emporiums like Whole Foods also have more low salt choices than your hiking store or grocery store. The grocery store tortilla in my example menu has 320 milligrams while Whole Foods whole wheat tortillas have 150. Invest in a vacuum sealer and you can package your own snacks and other stuff. Tilia Foodsaver is the best I have tried.

Next time you go shopping for hiking food (or any food for that matter) pay attention to how much salt (aka sodium) it contains. The numbers may surprise you. Soup is a particular villain. For some reason they really dump lots of salt in most soup mixes. If you find most stuff at your local hiking emporium has lots of salt, complain. If enough people do that, or just stop buying salty junk, maybe they'll start making more good stuff. You'll be doing your health a real favor.

Here's where all that salt came from. Salt content and number of servings are from the manufacturer's nutrition panel on the packaging:

Item Servings consumed Salt (milligrams)
Mountain House breakfast skillet 1 1,690
Mission flour tortillas 3 960
Five Star beef jerky 2 1,640
Nunn sport drink 1 liter 360
Turkey & cheddar Lunchables 1 1,160
Power Bar - peanut flavor 1 200
Knorr tomato soup 1 910
Mountain House spaghetti with meat sauce (1 pkg) 2 3,980
Mountain House strawberry crunch 1 380
Total   11,280



Recycling Round-Up
by Rita Raccoon

Recent Recycling News - June 2010

RECYCLING IS CATCHING ON! Look at these drop-off locations!
Photos from Target at Cityplace, Oak Lawn Library, and Eastfield College
Target Recycles   Dallas Recycles   Eastfield Recycles

May 22 - Mesquite Recycles Day
The Mesquite Recycles day was a Success. 500+plus cars came through, and they brought the most "stuff" we're ever collected.---- Old electronics, Books, Household items, old Tires, used batteries, outdated computers, and lots of paper to be shredded.

June 26 - Medication Cleanout
Remember when they used to tell us to dispose of old or expired medications by flushing them down the commode? BAD IDEA! When trace amounts of medications began showing up in our water supplies (like in Arlington), it became clear we needed a new disposal method.
Bring your medications in original containers to the North Central Patrol Division, 6969 McCallum in far North Dallas. Go to www.medicationcleanout.com for more information.


Calendar

Here is our calendar for the next two months. For complete listings, visit us at www.dallassierraclub.org.

#########JUN 7 (MON) THAI FOOD SIERRA SINGLES ON JUNE 7 Hello people! Hope you're enjoying the heat like us. Its summertime! We're headed to the SaWaDiKa Thai Zone for the next monthly dinner, and its a great place, nice food, good people, I'd eat there every night if I could. Nice selection of beer and wine as well. Its on Monday the 7th of June, and look for Brian Shade or Ginger at around 6:30 PM. Brian will be host with the most. We'll look forward to seeing everyone, and have a great discussion about how to help out the Gulf oil catastrophe. They need all the help they can get, so lets think people. All ideas are needed. See you then. The address is 220 W Campbell Rd, Richardson TX. Their phone is 972-918-9888 if have a case of the losties. Looking forward to it. Leaders: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C) and Brian C Shade 972-467-7049(H)

#########JUN 8 (TUE) DALLAS SIERRA CLUB GENERAL MEETING Everyone is invited to the General Meeting of the Dallas Sierra Club. See above for details.

#########JUN 11 (FRI) NIGHT HIKE ON WATTERS CREEK TRAIL IN ALLEN Meet at 7pm in the Market Street grocery store parking lot. To get there from Dallas, take 75 north to the Bethany exit. Go west on Bethany to the 2nd light after the 75 underpass. Market Street and the Watters Creek shopping area are on the south side of Bethany. We will hike about 5 miles on paved paths. Optional gelato after the hike. Leader: Martha Ohlson 972-727-5778(H) or 214-282-6982(C)

#########JUN 12 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

#########JUN 16 (WED) OUTINGS COMMITTEE MEETING. Meet in the upstairs program room at REI (on north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for the Dallas Sierra Club Outings program. We will be planning local outings and bus trips. All outings leaders, future outings leaders, and interested Sierrans welcome. Ask Bill to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

#########JUN 17 (THU) CLEAN AIR MEETUP Please mark you calendar for the next Clean Air Meetup at REI (4515 LBJ/I-635 - north side if highway between Midway and Welch) on Thursday, June 17th at 6:30 pm. Tom "Smitty" Smith with Public Citizen will give us an update on the the Public Utility Commission hearings and more. Contact Rita Beving 214-557-2271 for more information. Monthly Clean Air Meetup meetings are supported by Public Citizen and Downwinders at Risk.

#########JUN 19 (SAT) TRAIL MAINTENANCE AT CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE UPGRADING TRAILS AT CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE Howdy everyone. Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas to help "build" and upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve, just south of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. Its a great morning workout, and the scenery is exceptional. No tools are required, (just gloves) so show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to 12, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 19th of June, please see their website for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784. See you then! If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. My number (Ginger) is listed below. Get green, people! Its good for the soul. Organizer: Ginger Bradley Coordinator: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

#########JUN 19 (SAT) GUIDED TOUR/LUNCH - COD SOUTHSIDE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY - DALLAS Wanna learn about the City of Dallas water system? Join us for a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the CoD Southside Water Treatment Facility. Learn about our city's water supply network (aquifers, Trinity River, Kauffman Co. wetlands, effluent water use), water treatment processes, plant methane recapture system (used to supply facility power) and more! Bring your questions! Tour is limited to 20; you must RSVP. Tour begins at 10a. Optional lunch to follow somewhere on Henderson Ave. Meet at the Old Monk parking lot that morning to carpool. More details will be sent to RSVPs. Contact: Peter Wilson

#########JUN 22 (TUE) NIGHT HIKE AT ARBOR HILLS NATURE PRESERVE Celebrate the Second Day of Summer. Meet at 7:00PM near the pavilions. Arbor Hills is located at 6701 W. Parker Rd. in Plano just west of Midway Rd. We will walk 5 miles mainly on a paved path. No reservations, just show up. Optional frozen yogurt afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

#########JUN 22 (TUE) INNER CITY OUTINGS MEETING Snacks and social starts at 6:45 pm, meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Inner City Outings ("ICO") is an outreach program of the Sierra Club comprised of volunteers who provide wilderness experiences such as day hikes and camping for disadvantaged youth. ICO meets on the fourth Tuesdays at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). All volunteers and those considering becoming an ICO volunteer are welcome. Contact the ICO Chair for more information. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list.

#########JUN 30-JUL 6 (WED-TUE) FOURTH OF JULY BUS TRIP TO THE PECOS WILDERNESS, NEW MEXICO. Sign up now for the high country over the extended July 4 week end! Come to backpackers' paradise in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. Five hiking options in a range of abilities offer mountain creeks, pinon pines, aspens groves, green meadows, glacial lakes, elk, marmots, bighorn sheep. Amiable companions and cool temperatures. Click over to our outings page for complete details. Bus trip leader: Mark Stein 214-526-3733(W)

#########JUL 10 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

#########JUL 17-18 (SAT-SUN) TWENTIETH ANNUAL BASTILLE DAY CANOE TRIP. Celebrate this French national holiday marking the beginning of the French revolution with our annual canoe trip on the Red River. We'll put-in on Saturday under the Interstate 35 bridge (north of Gainesville). The rest of the day will be spent swimming and relaxing as we paddle down to our campsite on a large sandbar. Sunday we'll canoe on down to the takeout with a few swim stops on the way. This is a very nice section of the Red River, with very little development along the banks. Some canoeing experience is required and you must furnish your own canoe and camping equipment. Also, you must bring something French, or you will be guillotined at dawn. Leader: Arthur Kuehne 214-608-3210(C)

#########JUL 21 (WED) OUTINGS COMMITTEE MEETING. Meet in the upstairs program room at REI (on north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for the Dallas Sierra Club Outings program. We will be planning local outings and bus trips. All outings leaders, future outings leaders, and interested Sierrans welcome. Ask Bill to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

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