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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shoot to Kill: Russians to Take on Somali Pirates. . . .

I guess now we can finally expect some action, because as we all know, the Russians don't pussy foot around with outlaws, terrorists, or, for that matter, the occasional sovereign country.

I, for one, am glad. While the U.S. is supposedly leading a coalition of armed-to-the-teeth vessels off the Somali coast, their so-called "teeth" are apparently rounded-off and rotten. In other words, this force has no bite.

U.S. forces are completely hamstrung -- no wait, hamstrung isn't a strong enough word; neutered is a better word -- by a growing army of anti-social, subversive, militant, outlaw entities that know exactly how to manipulate an even faster growing army of misguided liberalists who rally to any cry of victimization, no matter how ludicrous or absurd.

The Russians, however, have a proud history of ignoring such cries. Generally speaking, they shoot first and ask questions later. Give them three months off the coast of Somalia and I can almost guarantee a cleaner area of trouble-free shipping.

If it were up to me, and if I had some say-so, I'd offer all friendly government special forces teams two week vacations on luxury yachts off the coast of East Africa. Different teams, different yachts, different times. Fully armed teams, of course. Standing orders: Have fun, soak up the sun -- and shoot to kill any and all pirates.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ike Uncovers Shipwreck: Identity in Dispute

Reproduction of an 1864 pen & ink drawing by George Waterman, Courtesy AmericanCivilWar.Com

Hurricane Ike has further uncovered a shipwreck of wood and iron fittngs on the beach at Fort Morgan, LA. Some say it's the Monticello, a schooner that tried to run the Union blockade of Fort Morgan, which was held by the Confederates.

On the other hand, The Army Corp of Engineers says the wreck is that of a 20th century schooner named, The Rachel.

Archaeologists will have to sort it out with a more detailed examination.

For a photo of the wreck and more info, do a search for Monticello AP.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whidden Pond

Whidden Pond is a little over a mile up the Russell Pond Trail from Roaring Brook Campground. We usually see moose here but not this trip. In fact, we didn't see any moose this trip.

The R.P. trail leads 7.2 miles through the Wassataquoik Stream valley between Katahdin and Turner Mtn.; it goes up and down a bit, skirting the sides of N. Turner and the shoulder of Russell, and has many wet parts, including some relatively deep stream crossings. I'm a firm believer in crossing streams in hiking boots. We passed a woman on the trail who had ripped the nail off her big toe while crossing in an extra pair of sneakers she had brought just for stream crossings.

A lot of people bring extra shoes for the streams and then change before crossing. I prefer to bring the extra shoes and then wear them in camp while my boots are drying out. Sandra was more inclined to do the former until we met up with this woman.

Meanwhile, thirty years ago I wondered why people hiked the woods encumbered by walking sticks. Now, at 55 years of age, I'm figuring it out. Gandalf was no fool.

Wassataquoik Stream

We had to ford quite a few creeks, brooks, and streams. One of them was thigh deep -- high for this time of year. This is is the last ford of Wassataquoik Stream before reaching Russell Pond. It was the longest of all our crossings.

Russell Pond

More Photos of the Russell Pond Trip

1. Signing In 2. Early on the Trail 3. Mushroom 4. Down In the Valley 5. Dinosaur

More Photos of the Russell Pond Trip: Part Deux

6. N. Turner Mtn. from Russell Pond 7. Big Spider 8. Overhanging Rock. 9. Katahdin