Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
We know you're thinking about warm weather, red rock canyon country and warm temps, think about Back Story Tours. It's cool. It's a custom tour company featuring hiking, cycling and trekking trips that take you to our country’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring destination. We are all about the story behind the story of the American West.
Wanna Walk? Hike? Bike? Kayak? We do it all in some of the Southwest's most drop dead gorgeous spots. Everything from Camping to cycling to hiking and exploring
We're Leave No Trace Certified and committed to a green ethic for all our adventures. We focus on personalized trips which allow you the time to savor your experience and meet your fellow adventurers in an intimate and personal setting. We're very different from many other adventure travel companies because we make sure of a very high guide to traveler ratio.
Diverse trips, Yes. Reasonable prices. Without a doubt.
Count on small support vehicles, not mega motor coaches. Look forward to B & B’s or campsites with a behind the rocks personality. Meals and lodging are more flavorful and feature distinctive local cuisines and locally grown produce and meats, fish or poultry. Buying local has long been one of our commitments to providing good food on our trips.
Travel withBack Story Tours. Get the adventure of a lifetime. Get the story behind the story.
www.backstorytours.com Begin the journey of your lifetime.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I always liked Death Valley Days. My father used to listen to it on radio before it ever came on TV. I thought the 20 Mule Team Borax ads were great even though I didn't know what the laundry additive Borateem actually did. Mostly though I liked seeing the land that was Death Valley and the plots of authentic stories of the American West. The Old Ranger, Stanley Andrews was one of my early 60's TV favorites. You had to love his authentic, gruff personality; too bad he got replaced by Ronnie Reagan in 1965. That year also saw the writing become flimsier and not as authentic as the original episodes, of which there were 558, maybe the most successful syndicated Western on TV. Other hosts included Australian actor Robert Taylor and Dale Robertson along with narration by none other than Country fiddler Merle Haggard. Perhaps the most haunting part of DV Days was the memorable theme music and of course the scenery in the lowest and hottest place in the Lower 48. I thought about all this as I climbed the Stovepipe Wells Sand dunes, used as a location Star Wars for the tiny jawas on the planet Tattoine. I also wondered if we'd see any sidewinders, always my favorite snake ever since Walt Disney's Death Valley desert movies. No sidewinders but plenty of kit fox, coyote, kangaroo rat and chuckwalla lizard tracks. Mostly, I thought about Peter O'Toole pointing towards "Aqaba," as he pushed through the desert trying to beat Anthony Quayle and the British regiment to the port city on the Gulf of Aqaba. The lowest place in the lower Forty Eight at 282 feet below sea level, with a two mile vertical rise to Telescope Peak towering over the Badlands Salt Flats at 11,049. Records told the tale of summer scorchers when the temperatures were 120 F plus while on top of Telescope Peak it was 50 or 60 degrees cooler. Talk about extremes. Extremes are the appeal of Death Valley. That and millions of wildflowers, jumbles of green, orange and gold rocks, snowy summits over the valley and evening silence under moonrise. With the addition of 1.3 million acres in 1994, DV became the biggest national park in the lower Forty Eight.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Legendary Austin Radio Station KOKE FM had a diverse set of dj's from 1975 until its demise in August 1977. Kicking off the 6 AM to 10 slot was Marty Manning. Ole Blue Eyes, Joe Gracey followed from 10 to 2PM. The hot tomato, little Kandy Kicker slid into the control room chair for afternoon drive. Steve Jaxon, continued revving the energy from 5 to 9. Skip Ducharme came roaring in at 9 PM and Dr. Dinger, The Good Doctor handled the turntables from midnight til 6AM. Weekends saw two of the most eclectic dj's Austin had ever heard on the airwaves, Nick "The Perfesser", Spitzer and Joe Nick Patoski, writing then for Rolling Stone and Pickin Up the Tempo. We're taking the time to lay out their favorite KOKE FM sets in these upcoming blogs. Here's the Good Doctor's 1) Dylan If Dogs Run Free 2) John Lee Hooker Lights Out 3) Bob Marley Rebel Music 4) Little Feat Rock & Roll Doctor 5) Memphis Minnie Me & My Chauffeur Blues 6) Bonnie Raitt's Sweet & Shiny Eyes 7) Sir Douglas Quintet She's About a Mover 8) Captain Beefheart Electricity 9) Alvin Crow Nyquil Blues 10) Peter Tosh Steppin Razor 11) Sonny Terry and Brownie Mc Gee Whoopin & Wailin.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Deep in the heart of red rock country Negro Bill Canyon runs up the Navajo Sandstone. A spectacular canyon with more desert varnish than an artist could paint, Negro Bill is named for mulatto rancher, herder and settler, William Granstaff. Hiking up canyon, we followed a clear stream crossing the water five or six times until we came to the junction of Negro Bill and Morning Glory Bridge box canyon. Up over the sandstone and into the box we move ending up face to face with the 6th biggest natural bridge in the U.S. High above, climbers are rappelling down the 250 foot precipice from Porcupine Rim mountain bike trail. We're in shadow looking up through the slim bit of blue sky through the bridge. Everett Ruess could have wandered through here in 1932. Edward Abbey did in 1965. It's a sanctuary on weekdays, but lots of hikers on spring weekends.