Dallas Sierra Club
Dallas Sierra Club News

October, 2011: In This Issue. . .


General Meeting Program - October 11, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Movie night!  We will furnish popcorn and drinks.  If you want, bring you own favorite snacks.

Percy FieldImagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, without your knowledge or consent, genetically modified seeds are in your vegetable patch which you have nourished for many years.  A few days later, a multi-national corporation demands that you surrender your vegetables -- and files a criminal complaint against you, resulting in a large fine for the illegal use of genetically modified seeds.  And the court rules in favor of the corporation!

David Versus Monsanto is a movie that tells how Monsanto terrorized innocent family farmers, and how one farmer stood up to Monsanto.  It raises the question: What responsibility do biotech companies have to farmers whose fields they contaminate with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

View the movie trailer here 

Everyone is welcome. You don't have to be a Sierra Club member.  Just show up.  We'd love to meet you.

Our General Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. but come at 6:30 for snacks, information and fellowship. Click over to our General Meeting page of our website for more information and a map.


Green Home Tour - Saturday, October 29

The purpose of  this tour is to describe the unique challenges of building a "green" home on a budget in an urban environment, given high cost of real estate and the current home buying/construction environment.

The tour should be of interest to anyone interested in building a home, considering remodeling/retrofitting, or for learning about green home building in general.

The tour designed for all audiences. The home owners will share their experience in researching how to build a green home, and the challenges encountered during the home building process.

Tours will take pace at 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.  Admission is $5 at the door with all proceeded going to the Dallas Sierra Club.  The tour location is 8520 Thunderbird Lane in Dallas (just a short distance fro the DART White Rock Station).  Here is a Google Map. Limit 30 people per tour group.  Contact Devin Trousdale to RSVP.


The Outings Corner

My Personal Victory over Altitude Sickness
Mark Stein

Warning! This story is about stuff a body does when outside its normal comfort zone. My wife and other cultured people may say I have a ten-year-old boy's fascination with anatomical functions, but, hey, I live with this and my experiences may help you.

I'm unfortunately known around camp dinner circles for suddenly standing up, walking away and making everyone uneasy because I give indications I'm about to project what I've eaten into the forest behind our camp kitchen. Nasty, isn't it? I'm proud to have contained my offending stomach contents every time, but there have been close calls. I suspect this is a product of high altitude (10,000 feet or more) and physical exertion after relentless backpacking. It never happens at lower altitudes. Every body has its own quirks and this is apparently one of mine.

This awkward ritual happens most frequently on the second night of backpacking, but can vary by a meal or two. It's accompanied by a sudden loss of appetite. Food I'd normally enjoy just doesn't appeal. I confess that once I felt so ill just looking at a bag of couscous I'd prepared that I secretly buried the stuff. God forgive me. I hope that couscous has gone back to nature by now and that any critter who may have unearthed it didn't croak or lose its taste for nuts and beetles.

I've carried home as much as half the food I've packed, perplexed by my inability to eat what I'd so carefully selected and toted. This summer I set a goal of eating what I carried.

On the Labor Day trip to the Weminuche, I met success. I finished the trip with a packet of instant oatmeal and nothing else edible except the leather in my boots. For this to happen to me on a trip where elevations the first three nights were higher than 11,000 feet was either a remarkable personal victory or extraordinary luck. Here's my personal list of measures to minimize the digestive downers of altitude, one or more of which may have contributed to success:

  • Drink non-alcoholic liquids, even when not thirsty. Three liters every day is minimal. I've been doing that for years and don't think I drank more or less this time, but I know drinking is essential. On waking during the night, drink then, too. Chilled water is more palatable to me than warm, so I try to drink a lot in the early morning when the water I treated the previous day is cool.

  • Eat plenty when able. Stored calories may carry over enough for sustenance when appetite fades.

  • Note menus that have worked on previous pack trips and pack them again. I know I can eat freeze-dried chili mac with beef and I love spinach-ricotta tortelloni with pasta sauce. I think the aroma of simmering the pasta and sauce builds an appetite. This trip's great food find was the spicy cocktail mix of nuts, noodles and dried peas, "ablaze with taste and goodness," according to the label. The strawberry peach smoothee mix was excellent, too.

  • Carry electrolyte tablets and drink one dissolved in a liter of water each day. I owe thanks to friends who have provided me with these on previous trips. The tablets replace potassium and sodium lost during exercise.

  • If unable to eat when everyone else does, eat later. A few hours can make a difference in appetite and ease of digestion.

  • Got a headache? Take one acetaminophen, not two. Two may trigger an upset stomach and one may chase away the headache.

  • Get realistic about how much food to carry.

All right, the next time out on an extended pack trip, I may confront the churns and gurgles all over again, but I know I'll overcome and that I may even be so fortunate as to come home again with only a packet of oatmeal.  


Wilderness Navigation Class and Trip

The Class - Wednesday and Thursday, October 12-13
Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class (second night October 13) will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306

The Trip - Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16
If you completed the Wilderness Navigation Class in October, or you took the navigation class a year or two ago and you want to refresh your wilderness navigation skills, this trip is for you. We will hike the Buckeye Mountain Trail and do some off-trail route finding in the Caney Creek Wilderness in Arkansas. We will only hike about 8 or 9 miles so we will have plenty of time to practice our navigation skills. Note that this is not a beginner trip. Participants must have some backpacking experience. Signup is not required for the class, but it is required for this backpack trip.  Contact Bill to sign up or sign up at the Wilderness Navigation Class. Trip rated: Moderate. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-247-0446 and Arthur Kuehne 2 214-902-9260


Sierra Club Annual Holiday Party - Sunday, December 11

Save the date.  Our annual Holiday Party will be on Sunday, December 11 from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm at El Fenix Restaurant in Casa Linda Plaza.  Full details and a map will be in next month's newsletter.


Outings Highlight

Oct 15 (Sat) Upgrading Trails and Walking at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Howdy everyone. Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails 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, (maybe gloves) just show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to 12 or earlier, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 15th of October, and please see their website at www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html  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. Come on out, the fall colors will be in full force! Trip rated: Easy. Leader: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902

Oct 28-30 (Fri-Sun) 3 day Backpack at Caney Creek Wilderness, Arkansas
Hike two of the most scenic Wilderness trails in Arkansas in the Caney Creek Wilderness of west central Arkansas. Friday we'll hike in from the east side about 8 miles to camp at the last trail crossing of Caney Creek. Saturday we'll enjoy the views from atop the ridge on the Buckeye Mountain Trail. Sunday we'll hike out along the Buckeye Trail. We'll have 3 days to do some serious exploring of the Caney Creek Wilderness. This trip is rated moderate and would be suitable for beginners in good shape. The 3 day weekend will cover about 18 trail miles. Saturday includes an 800 foot uphill section. We'll camp Thursday night near our cars, Friday night near the creek and Saturday night on top of Buckeye ridge. Trip rated: Moderate. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281

Nov 9-14 (Wed-Mon) Bus Trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas
We're changing our 30+ year tradition and heading to Big Bend a few weeks before Thanksgiving this year. Now all of you who have wanted to go but couldn't miss the family turkey time, here's your chance! 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. Complete trip details and reservation information is posted here (PDF file). Contact: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(h) 

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


Recycling Roundup - by Rita Raccoon

Recent Recycling News - October 2011

Ink Control
One side of recycling is source reduction. Tired of spending money on expensive inkjet or laser cartridges? Want to learn how to save ink? You can reduce the number of pages you print, of course, but when you have to print, use a low-ink font.

As the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay recently discovered, switching from Arial to Century Gothic reduces ink consumption by about 30%. Granted, they only made the switch in their e-mail system--and how many people print out a substantial number of e-mails? But at printer ink costing $10,000 per gallon, the 6,500-student school expects to save around $5,000-$10,000 per year.
When Printer.com tested popular fonts for their ink-friendly ways, Century Gothic and Times New Roman topped the list. Calibri, Verdana, Arial and Sans Serif were next, followed by Trebuchet, Tahoma and Franklin Gothic Medium. Century Gothic uses about 30 percent less ink than Arial.

City of Dallas votes for Flow Control
The city council voted to require trash haulers in the city of Dallas to use the McCommas Bluff landfill, providing enhanced revenue to the cash-strapped city and more feed stock for its methane-collection system. Rotting garbage will produce methane and, if properly vented, can be collected and burned for energy.


Calendar

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

Service Outing Icon

Oct 8 (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

Day Hike IconOct 8 (Sat) Day Hike the Trinity River Greenbelt
3rd ANNUAL Octoberfest 10K DAYHIKE Hike 10K (6 miles) on the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor. This is an easy trail running along side the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. No reservations required, just show up. Well behaved pets on a leash are allowed. Bring water and snacks. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Highway 380 Trailhead Park. Admission to the park is $5.00 per person or free with a Texas State Parks Pass. There will be an optional lunch afterwards. The Park is on US Hwy 380 2.1 miles west of Hwy 377 or 2.8 miles east of Loop 288 in Denton. Highway 380 can be reached from Central Expwy,Preston Rd., or the Tollway. Bring extra shoes in case the trail is muddy. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconOct 11 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Our October General Meeting will feature another of our popular Movie Night presentations.  We'll have popcorn and soft drinks as we watch David Versus Monsanto, a movie that tells how Monsanto terrorized innocent family farmers, and how one farmer stood up to Monsanto. See complete details on our home page.

Class IconOct 12 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class (second night October 13) will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Class IconOct 13 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
This is the second day of a two day class.  See the listing class information on October 12 for details. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Service Outing IconOct 15 (Sat) Upgrading Trails and Walking at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Howdy everyone. Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails 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, (maybe gloves) just show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to 12 or earlier, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 15th of October, and please see their website at www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html  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. Come on out, the fall colors will be in full force! Leader: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902

Backpack IconOct 15-16 (Sat-Sun) Wilderness Navigation Field Trip
If you completed the Wilderness Navigation Class in October, or you took the navigation class a year or two ago and you want to refresh your wilderness navigation skills, this trip is for you. We will hike the Buckeye Mountain Trail and do some off-trail route finding in the Caney Creek Wilderness in Arkansas. We will only hike about 8 or 9 miles so we will have plenty of time to practice our navigation skills. Note that this is not a beginner trip. Participants must have some backpacking experience. Signup is not required for the class, but it is required for this backpack trip.  Contact Bill to sign up or sign up at the Wilderness Navigation Class. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-247-0446 and Arthur Kuehne 214-902-9260

Backpack IconOct 15-16 (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 August 2011 beginning backpacking class.  Last day to sign up is Oct. 8, 2011. Leader: Marcos Jorge 214-682-6555

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconOct 19 (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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconOct 19 (Wed) General Meeting of the Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club
Tolbert Greenwood, a Fort Worth Sierra Club member and avid hiker and camper, will speak on Big Bend National Park and share his camping experiences and efforts to preserve this park. Tolbert is former Texas Sierra Club Outings Chair and a member of Friends of Big Bend National Park. He has camped in this park for over 40 years and led many Sierra Club trips there as well. The third Wednesday of each month we share conservation news, outings info and enjoy a presentation by a guest speaker. Speaker will be followed by refreshments, club business and announcements. Location: Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Moncrief Garden Center, Azalea Room; 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. at University Drive, north of I-30, Fort Worth. (817) 871-7686

Car Camp IconOct 21-23 (Fri-Sun) Beavers Bend State Park Fall Campout
(UPDATE: Trip is almost full. Send reservations now to get last few spaces or be first on wait list.) Our spring campout at Colorado Bend was so much fun we decided to do it again. This time we'll enjoy the scenic beauty and fall woods of Beavers Bend State Park in southeast Oklahoma. Our group camp area offers your choice of shared cabins or tent camping (same price). The site also includes a dining hall with fire place so we can have s'mores rain or shine and yes, even a bath house with hot showers. Activity options will include various hikes with our group or you can be on your own and enjoy a number of options including horseback riding, renting a boat or just relaxing by the river. Complete details and reservation information is available here. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306

Day Hike IconOct 22 (Sat) Dayhike on the Chisholm Trail in Plano
Meet at 9:00 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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconOct 25 (Tue) Inner City Outings Meeting
Come at 6:30 for New Volunteer Orientation. The 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. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list. For more information: Liz Wheelan

Backpack IconOct 28-30 (Fri-Sun) 3 day Backpack at Caney Creek Wilderness, Arkansas
Hike two of the most scenic Wilderness trails in Arkansas in the Caney Creek Wilderness of west central Arkansas. Friday we'll hike in from the east side about 8 miles to camp at the last trail crossing of Caney Creek. Saturday we'll enjoy the views from atop the ridge on the Buckeye Mountain Trail. Sunday we'll hike out along the Buckeye Trail. We'll have 3 days to do some serious exploring of the Caney Creek Wilderness. This trip is rated moderate and would be suitable for beginners in good shape. The 3 day weekend will cover about 18 trail miles. Saturday includes an 800 foot uphill section. We'll camp Thursday night near our cars, Friday night near the creek and Saturday night on top of Buckeye ridge. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281

Conservation IconOct 29 (Sat) Green Home Tour
The purpose of  this tour is to describe the unique challenges of building a "green" home on a budget in an urban environment, given high cost of real estate and the current home buying/construction environment.

The tour should be of interest to anyone interested in building a home, considering remodeling/retrofitting, or for learning about green home building in general.

The tour designed for all audiences. The home owners will share their experience in researching how to build a green home, and the challenges encountered during the home building process.

Tours will take pace at 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.  Admission is $5 at the door with all proceeded going to the Dallas Sierra Club.  The tour location is 8520 Thunderbird Lane in Dallas (just a short distance fro the DART White Rock Station).  Here is a Google Map. Limit 30 people per tour group.  Contact Devin Trousdale to RSVP.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconNov 2 (Wed) Dallas Sierra Club Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee (or Excom) is the elected governing body of the Dallas Sierra Club and meets at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconNov 8 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting.  Our November meeting will feature a presentation on the science behind global warming. Full details will be on our home page about a month before the meeting.

Bus Trip IconNov 9-14 (Wed-Mon) Bus Trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas
We're changing our 30+ year tradition and heading to Big Bend a few weeks before Thanksgiving this year. Now all of you who have wanted to go but couldn't miss the family turkey time, here's your chance! 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. Complete trip details and reservation information is posted here (PDF file). Contact: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(h)

Service Outing IconNov 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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconNov 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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconNov 16 (Wed) General Meeting of the Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club
Dan Smith, a Fort Worth Sierra Club member and avid hiker and camper, will continue his wonderful slides and stories of his travels on the Pacific Crest Trail for approximately 6 months. He shared his stories at the May 2011 Sierra Club meeting and we requested that he come back to continue his travelogue. The third Wednesday of each month we share conservation news, outings info and enjoy a presentation by a guest speaker. Speaker will be followed by refreshments, club business and announcements. Location: Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, Moncrief Garden Center, Azalea Room; 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. at University Drive, north of I-30, Fort Worth. (817)871-7686.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconNov 29 (Tue) Inner City Outings Meeting
Come at 6:30 for New Volunteer Orientation. The 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. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list. For more information: Liz Wheelan

The Dallas Sierra Club News e-newsletter, sent monthly (and occasional for late-breaking news or events), keeps you up-to-date on meetings, activities, issues and special events. Visit us at www.DallasSierraClub.org.
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