Category Archives: Nineteenth Century Story

Kit Carson: How the West was Lost… by Winning It



Kit Carson is more than a man; he’s a distillation of the American West. He’s the sort of guy where the idea of him eclipses who he was. People started writing fictional accounts of his deeds long before he was dead. So-called “Blood and Thunder” Western stories could be had for a quarter back east. … Continue reading Kit Carson: How the West was Lost… by Winning It


Hot Stones for the Rheumatism (and Other Fall Camping Tips)



Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are the textbook¬†definition of explorers. Let’s look at the life of Meriwether Lewis, a troubled guy with an ending you didn’t learn about in fourth grade. It’s a melancholy week at Nature’s Call, as, once again, I mourn the loss of a guy who died before I was born (shout … Continue reading Hot Stones for the Rheumatism (and Other Fall Camping Tips)


How to Explore the Grand Canyon in Rowboats (John Wesley Powell)



John Wesley Powell, Union Civil War vet, amputee, and valiant adventurer, set off with his crew to do something that had never been done (and shouldn’t have been replicated). They navigated the Colorado River (and Green) from Wyoming all the way through the Grand Canyon. They did it in rowboats. Almost everybody survived. The source … Continue reading How to Explore the Grand Canyon in Rowboats (John Wesley Powell)


Jedediah “Sew My Face On” Smith: The Original Backpacking Mountain Man



Jedediah Smith was an archetypal, backpacking mountain man. He spent his life exploring the Western United States, hunting mythical rivers, trapping beaver pelts, and surviving by wit and luck. In our first podcast episode, Cody dives deep into his life (and his Wikipedia page) to look at the adventure, the face-sewing, and the contradictions of … Continue reading Jedediah “Sew My Face On” Smith: The Original Backpacking Mountain Man