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

October, 2010: In This Issue. . .


Notes from the Chair

Bad News...Good News
The dog days of summer are upon us… with the usual Texas vengeance. With temperatures over 100, the local hiking scene has been reduced to early mornings and late late afternoons. The good news is that this is the perfect time to escape to Colorado on our Sierra Club Bus Trip scheduled for the Labor Day weekend or the high desert of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona or Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. With elevations of 6,000 feet – 8,000 feet these two Parks provide a much cooler place to keep those hiking boots in action and to observe the incredible progress the National Park service is making on mass transportation for the ever growing number of visitors.

As many of you know, the number of visitors (especially international visitors) has increased nearly every year to the point where the Parks themselves were being degraded by the sheer number of automobiles, campers, RVs, and their air-conditioned occupants, especially the Grand Canyon. Not only was the air quality affected, but the Park experience was severely threatened.

The good news is that the clean fuel shuttle systems being put in place at many of our greatest parks is working! While a few visitors are probably grumbling about having to park their vehicles in a central lot, I believe the vast majority are more than glad to leave the driving to others and concentrate on the view of nature and not the view of the rear-end of the next car in line.

While we have a long way to go, the "suggestion" by Edward Abbey in 1968 that cars should not be allowed in every corner of our most sacred natural cathedrals any more than autos are allowed in our most sacred man-made cathedrals is coming closer to reality. Now THAT'S GOOD NEWS. Have a great summer!

Your Dallas Chair,
Wendel Withrow


General Meeting Program - October 12, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

The Tao of Everest
Mount EverestAs the first rays of dawn crept across the Tibetan plateau, Ian Woodall stepped on to the summit of Mount Everest and into history, one of a select few to have climbed the world's highest mountain by both its south and north sides. During his first ascent from the south, Ian's team was trapped at 8,000 meters in the worst storm in Everest history, which claimed the lives of five fellow climbers. After the trauma and tragedy of the storm, Ian and his team nevertheless chose to try again, finally reaching the summit as the only ones left on the mountain.

Two years later, while attempting the north side of Everest, Ian stopped only a few hundred meters below the summit to try to help a dying American climber. The woman's first words were, "Don't leave me." Yet ultimately, Ian had to leave her to secure the safety of his own team. Nine years later, Ian returned to 8,600 meters on the north side of Everest to bury the woman he had been forced to leave behind. After wrapping her in the Stars and Stripes, he slid her gently down the North Face to join her beloved husband lying somewhere below.

Now, using the power of emotional storytelling, Ian brings the triumphs and tragedies of climbing Mount Everest directly to his audience in a funny, poignant, and inspirational story suitable for the whole family.

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


Outings Highlights

Lone Star Chapter Sierra Celebration at Canyon of the Eagles - October 9-11
Three days and two nights under the hill country stars. The weather is looking great for this weekend outing. Campfire socialization with fellow Sierran kids and adults! Great hiking! Paddling opportunities nearby! Observatory! Fishing pier, Bird watching! Vanishing River Cruise! RELAXATION, FUN and, of course, EAGLES! A perfect fall getaway. This year's annual Sierra Celebration will be held over the school holiday weekend of October 9, 10 and 11 at Canyon of the Eagles park on Buchannan lake near Burnet, Texas, a short drive from Austin. The Lone Star Chapter has reserved the group camp area with plenty of space for tents, pop-up campers and small trailers. Restrooms and showers are very close. ENTRANCE FEE ($5 per person, $4 for ages 65 and over) Mark your calendars and watch or more information in the next few months. For additional information, contact Lone Star Executive Committee member John Rath or call Jerome Collins at the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter office in Austin.  Leaders: John Rath 817-488-3489(W) and Jerome Collins 512-477-1729(W)

Trail Maintenance and Clean Up at Cedar Ridge Preserve - October 16
We will be helping out at the beautiful Cedar Ridge Preserve on the 3rd Saturday of October, maintaining the trails and generally cleaning up the grounds. Its an excellent opportunity to experience the Preserve first hand, and help out the community while you're at it. It starts at 9 AM til about 12 noon. No tools are necessary, but if you have some tree clippers, then bring them. They have 10 miles of trails, and we can walk some of them after the work is done. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249. Their phone is 972-709-7784. See you there! Call Ginger is you'd like to carpool. Organizer: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

Annual Thanksgiving Holiday Bus Trip to Big Bend National Park - November 24-29
Big Bend NP - South RimThe Dallas Sierra Club is excited to announce that our annual bus trip to Big Bend National Park is ready for boarding (well, almost). The Dallas Group has been going to Big Bend every Thanksgiving Day holiday for over 30 years. With that kind of record, you know we must think it is a very special place. Our chartered sleeper bus leaves Dallas on Wednesday, November 24 and returns early on Monday, November 29 While in Big Bend, you will have the opportunity to participate in one of our fabulous hikes. We have trips planned for the magnificent desert and mesa in the western end of the park. We also have hikes to explore the many wonders of the park's interior mountains and desert. If you've never been to Big Bend National Park, you owe it to yourself to discover this unique part of Texas. If you've been before, come on back and explore another area! For full details about the trip, please read the trip description (PDF document). To sign up, download and print the information file, fill in the forms, and send them with your check to the address provided. Trip coordinator: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306 h

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


The Outings Corner

Bus Trip Horror Stories
by Mark Stein

In the course of 35 years of Sierra Club bus trips to outdoor adventures, a body of bus trip folklore has developed. Many of these stories address adverse events. With time and perspective, they've become battle scars for those present and cultural treasures for others to hear and retell. Perhaps these stories are popular because they remind us, "We survived to hike another day."

Question: Which of the following bus nightmares are true?

A. The arrested bus driver. Outside Lamesa, Texas, around 1 AM on the way to the White Mountains, a bus driver was stopped by a sheriff's deputy for speeding. Upon checking the driver's license, the deputy found two arrest warrants for domestic violence. The driver was taken to jail, but first he was allowed to drive the bus to a 24-hour convenience store in Lamesa, where Sierra Club backpackers could spend the night sleeping as they waited for a replacement driver from Dallas in the morning. By dawn, all patrons of the coffee shop down the road knew the story of the arrested bus from Dallas.

B. The prodigious fuel tank. On a highway near Fort Stockton, Texas, on the way to Big Bend National Park, a bus driver either ignored a fuel gauge or decided it wasn't working. In either event, the tank was truly empty and the bus was stranded where you wouldn't want to spend Thanksgiving. Diesel fuel was procured, but the engine wouldn't start. Another bus was dispatched from Midland and the Sierra Club trip leaders proved their mettle by adapting four-day hiking routes to three and a half days.

C. The yard sale at Grandfalls. Between Fort Stockton and Marathon, Texas, on a Big Bend trip, a pickup truck sideswiped our charter bus, ripping off two of the left-side cargo hatch doors. The local emergency response team arrived, horrified to see nearly forty Sierra Club trippers resting sprawled on the desert near the road in the dark. Fearing the worst, all were relieved to account for the full roster without injuries. The emergency team delivered plywood to seal the bus hatches for the remainder of the trip back to Dallas.

D. The levitated bus. Not far from a trailhead by the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness in Colorado, a bus attempted a turn with too tight a radius. Enough rear wheels (the ones with the drive shaft) lost contact with the road that the bus suddenly couldn't complete the turn. Coasting forward downhill would put the bus into a thicket. Despite efforts by the Sierra crew and Ranger Maud to regain traction with planks and fill beneath tires, one man with an industrial-strength tow truck painted with a super-hero named "Mr. Incredible" arrived from Pueblo, affixed a cable to the bus and winched it sideways onto the road as onlookers cheered. The bus arrived an hour late in Dallas. The penitent responsible for suggesting the route writes occasional articles for Outings Corner.

Bus CrashE. The parking lot crash. Back in the old days, instead of using chartered busses with professional drivers, our bus trip leaders just rented a school bus, loaded everyone on board and drove the bus themselves. On one of these trips to Big Bend, the bus only traveled a couple of hundred feet before the sun-blinded driver crashed into a parking lot light pole. Always resourceful, the leaders just ordered up a new bus and the rest of the trip went off without a hitch.

Answer: All the above and more really happened.

Don't let these little incidents stop you from enjoying one of our upcoming bus trips. We've been doing bus trips for over 35 years and we've taken close to 5,000 Sierrans into the wilderness. On the vast majority of the trips the worst thing that happens is a blister or two and a little sun burn.

Submit your own favorite tale of horror or embarrassment on a Dallas Sierra Club bus trip to the editor.


Recycling Round-Up
by Rita Raccoon

Recent Recycling News - October 2010 

Health Care Industry Recycling
The health care industry has a trash problem.. It's not just all the garbage generated – it's the unused disposable medical devices, used devices that could be recycled including surgical instruments, gauzes and syringes.

The move toward using disposables made it simple to keep treatment practices sterile created a growing mound of used equipment and unused materials in kits set up for procedures. Rather than restock items like gauzes and sutures, health care providers used to toss them. The operating room alone churns out roughly 20 to 30 percent of a hospital's waste. Some single-use devices can be reused after reprocessing, but original-equipment manufacturers and their trade group, The Advanced Medical Technology Association, warned that it was unsafe to recycle devices designed for single use. Since 2000, however, the FDA has required that reprocessing companies meet the same stringent regulation for their products that original device makers do.

Today, more that half the country's hospital send at least some of their single-use devices to reprocessors, and many institutions locally send their surplus sutures, and broken packs of still-sterile gauzes and other medical supplies abroad via Medi-Send,. Another approach is to cut back the use of disposables at the source by streamlining packaged surgical kits. One kit for implanting an intravenous port in chemotherapy patients contained 44 items, but a team at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Fairview reduced it to 27 items and swapped disposable gowns and linens for reusable ones. That trimmed a pound of trash and $50 in supply costs per procedure. So far kit reformulations have prevented 7,792 of waste and saved $104,658.

For more information, visit http://www.medisend.org/.

Rainwater Collection
Some of us might think of this as a no-brainer, but an easy source of irrigation water is rain water. Eastfield College (part of DCCCD) established a rainwater collection system on campus. During the mid-September storms, over 400 gallons of water were collected.

Unfortunately, a large scale home rain collection system may run afoul of community zoning standards. Be sure if you go beyond 55-gallon barrels, you understand the zoning requirements in your community.

Donated/Recycled Mattresses Help Families in Need
Many North Texas families in need will soon be receiving the gift of a good night's sleep, thanks to customers who donated their old mattresses during Sleep Experts' second annual "Cash for Clunkers" trade-in event. The company exceeded its goal by 20%, collecting more than 2,400 beds over a five-week period ending in mid-August.

"We are so thrilled that North Texas customers helped us exceed our goal and double the number of mattresses we collected during last year's Cash for Clunkers event," said Christine Cook, wife, mom and president of Sleep Experts. "After going through the recycling process, these mattresses will have an immediate impact on the lives of many families in our area that are struggling to overcome abuse, poverty, homelessness, or illness."

How does mattress donation work? When the Sleep Experts driver team delivers a customer's new bed, they remove the customer's old mattress at no charge and send it to a specialized mattress recycling company. Beds that qualify for recycling are broken down, refurbished, and sanitized to meet federal requirements. The refurbished mattress, marked with a special recycled tag, is then returned to the Sleep Experts warehouse, where it is held awaiting the next donation request from more than 30 nonprofit organizations in the D-FW area that nurture and care for children and families in crisis. To date, Sleep Experts has donated more than 7,000 beds totaling $500,000, resulting in over a million nights of sleep for thousands of local families.


Calendar

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

OCT 9 (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)

OCT 9 (SAT) DAY HIKE THE WHITE ROCK CREEK TRAIL --> LOCATION CHANGE <-- Due to construction on the Greenbelt Trail the location of this hike HAS CHANGED! 2ND ANNUAL Octoberfest 10K DAYHIKE Hike 10K (6 miles) on the White Rock Creek Trail. This is an easy trail running alongside White Rock Creek in North Dallas. No reservations required, just show up. NO PETS ALLOWED. Bring water and snacks. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Valley ViewTrailhead Park. To reach the trail head from I-635 and Hillcrest RD.,go north a short ways on Hillcrest, turn right on Valley View Ln and enter the 2nd parking lot on the right. We'll be near the playground.There will be an optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281(C)

OCT 9-11 (SAT-MON) LONE STAR CHAPTER SIERRA CELEBRATION AT CANYON OF THE EAGLES Three days and two nights under the hill country stars. Cool nights! Sunny mild fall days! Campfire socialization with fellow Sierran kids and adults! Great hiking! Paddling opportunities nearby! Observatory! Fishing pier, Bird watching! Vanishing River Cruise! RELAXATION, FUN and, of course, EAGLES! A perfect fall getaway. This year's annual Sierra Celebration will be held over the school holiday weekend of October 9, 10 and 11 at Canyon of the Eagles park on Buchannan lake near Burnet, Texas, a short drive from Austin. The Lone Star Chapter has reserved the group camp area with plenty of space for tents, pop-up campers and small trailers. Restrooms and showers are very close. ENTRANCE FEE ($5 per person, $4 for ages 65 and over) Mark your calendars and watch or more information in the next few months. For additional information, contact Lone Star Executive Committee member John Rath or call Jerome Collins at the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter office in Austin. Find out more about Canyon Of The Eagles at http://www.lcra.org/parks/developed_parks/canyon.html Leaders: John Rath 817-488-3489(W) and Jerome Collins 512-477-1729(W)

OCT 10 (SUN) DAY HIKE EAST SIDE OF WHITE ROCK LAKE Meet at the Stone Tables at White Rock Lake at 9:00 AM in park near Lake Highlands Drive and Buckner Blvd. We'll walk 6 miles on a paved path. No reservations necessary. Optional lunch at local restaurant. Leader: Dale Edelbaum 214-343-6741(H)

OCT 12 (TUE) DALLAS SIERRA CLUB GENERAL MEETING Everyone is invited to the General Meeting of the Dallas Sierra Club. See above for details.

OCT 16 (SAT) TRAIL MAINTENANCE AND CLEAN UP AT CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE We will be helping out at the beautiful Cedar Ridge Preserve on the 3rd Saturday of October, maintaining the trails and generally cleaning up the grounds. Its an excellent opportunity to experience the Preserve first hand, and help out the community while you're at it. It starts at 9 AM til about 12 noon. No tools are necessary, but if you have some tree clippers, then bring them. They have 10 miles of trails, and we can walk some of them after the work is done. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249. Their phone is 972-709-7784. See you there! Call Ginger is you'd like to carpool. Organizer: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

OCT 16-17 (SAT-SUN) BEGINNER BACKPACK TRIP ON THE LITTLE MISSOURI NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVER Backpack about 10 miles along a beautiful narrow valley near the source of the Little Missouri River. The trail follows the river and has little elevation change, making it ideal for beginners. Be prepared for a couple of wet stream crossings. We will be hiking in the northern reaches of the valley, where the water will not be very deep. Preference will be given to those who have taken the Fall Beginner Backpack class. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281(H)

OCT 20 (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)

OCT 23 (SAT) TOUR IN-SYNC EXOTICS WILDLIFE This is a rescue organization for exotic felines. http://www.insyncexotics.com Meet for carpooling at the parking lot next to La Madeleine Restaurant 10AM leave at 10:15AM. 520 W. 15th St. Plano TX . West on 15th from Hwy 75 across from Barnes and Noble. We will tour the sanctuary then return to La Madeleine's for a late lunch. Cost is $7-10 for adults, depending on how large the group. Please have exact change, check or credit card. Bring camera and water. No baby strollers. Please RSVP for headcount. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

OCT 23 (SAT) JAZZ NIGHT AT SOHO FOOD AND JAZZ IN ADDISON We'll get together for a great night of Jazz listening to Jay Gewertz's Jazz Trio at the Soho Jazz Club in Addison on a Saturday night, the 23rd of October. We'll have a table reserved at about 8 PM, so come on out and enjoy the music. Ginger will have on a Green Bandanna, so look for her near the middle of the restaurant. The music starts at 9 PM. The address is 5290 Beltline Rd in Addison, TX 75001. Their number is 972-490-8656 if you need directions. The website is SohoFoodandJazz.com if you'd like more info. Call Ginger if you'd like to carpool. See you there! Leader: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

OCT 23-24 (SAT-SUN) BEGINNER BACKPACK TRIP TO THE CANEY CREEK WILDERNESS Join us for one of the Dallas Sierra Club's favorite local backpacking trips. We'll backpack about 9-miles (round trip) along Caney Creek, cross it a few times, and climb some small hills. After setting up camp near a waterfall, we'll do a short day hike as time permits. Priority will be given to the graduates of the Sept 2010 backpack class. Leaders: Marcos Jorge 972-394-2456(H) and Thai Le

OCT 30-31 (SAT-SUN) BEGINNER BACKPACK TRIP IN BEECH CREEK NATIONAL SCENIC AREA Backpack approximately 10-miles round trip in this beautiful and remote area of the Ouachita Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma. We'll hike about 5 relatively flat and easy miles each day in the "basin area" of this 8,000 acre Oak-Hickory-Pine-Beech forest. There's just enough challenge to practice your skills, including two "rock hop" crossings of Beech Creek and some minor ups and downs, but not so much that it's ever demanding. All in all, this is a great hike in a beautiful area. This trip is rated "Easy" and preference will be given to "graduates" of the beginning backpacking class. Leader: Steve Longley 214-762-4066(C)

NOV 13 (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)

NOV 17 (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)

NOV 20 (SAT) DAY HIKE ON THE CHISHOLM TRAIL IN PLANO Day Hike on the Chisholm Trail in Plano. Meet at 9:30 AM in front of the Starbucks/Barnes Noble (north side of 15th just west of US 75). We will walk 5-6 miles on a paved path. Bring water. No reservations, just show up. Optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

NOV 24-29 (WED-MON) ANNUAL BUS TRIP TO BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK IN TEXAS The Dallas Sierra Club Thanksgiving Holiday tradition continues with our annual bus trip to Big Bend. There will be a variety of hikes that will visit different parts of this very scenic National Park. If you've never been to Big Bend National Park, you owe it to yourself to discover this unique part of Texas. If you've been before, come on back and explore another area! Our chartered sleeper bus leaves Dallas around dinner time Wednesday and returns early morning on Monday. Some backpacking experience is required. Click here for complete trip details. Bus trip leader: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(H)

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