By Slim Randles
"Salamander sandwiches and great Grecian toads!" said Dud, lurching into his never-really-assigned position at the Mule Barn truck stop's philosophy counter and world dilemma think tank.
Mavis stood there holding the pot of Farmer Brothers coffee as she waited for Dud to flip his coffee mug to the correct upright position.
"You want some coffee before the toads are done?" she asked.
"Sure," Dud said, laughing. "Just practicing my epithets."
Mavis poured. "When you die you want toads and salamanders on your headstone?"
"No, no, no," Dud said, in what we'd come to learn was his quasi-professorial tone. "An epithet, dear lady, is a spontaneous outburst, a grand flinging of words to the wild ether that is the very air we breathe ."
He talks like that sometimes.
". . . an expression of polysyllabic perfection designed to both stun and impress those within hearing range."
Doc looked at me. "I'm sufficiently stunned."
Mavis filled everyone's cups. "Going to be one of those mornings, I guess."
"Let's get this straight," said Doc. "To stun and impress people and amaze everyone on our block, we have to talk about salamanders?"
"Of course not, Doc," said Dud. "It could be anything. Now I've just been gathering up a few of those for use later on, you see, to be used when a great epithet is called for. Let's say I walk in here one morning and you tell me the river went over its banks last night and is flooding the south valley. That would be a good time to use salamander sandwiches and great Grecian toads, you see."
"I see. The salamanders and toads because they both like water and the river overflowed, and."
I could see the twinkle in Doc's eye.
"No," said Dud, "although you do have a good point there. But you could just as easily use an epithet like . 'Well, put Bluebeard's potatoes in a sack'!"
Doc looked at me. "Doesn't have the same stunning effect as salamander sandwiches."
"How about 'Dear Aunt Tillie's sainted hairnet!"
"Better than Bluebeard's spuds, I think."
Mavis looked at us and said "Stunning."
Brought to you by "Sun Dog Days" at www.unmpress.com.
Coleman 3-Room 8-Person Tent - 13x13'
Who needs a camper when you've got a Coleman tent? This spacious 3-room tent is perfect for families and sleeps up to 8. Room dividers turn unit into 3 rooms for privacy and organization. Main dome features 2 oversized doors meeting at a right angle, turning this room into a screened-in porch. Smaller sleeping domes attach to the other 2 walls. Ceiling vents provide air circulation throughout entire tent. Rainfly includes coverage of windows and doors. Also features carrying bag, 2 storage pockets, water-repellent thread, webbing and zippers, inverted seams with inside stitching, leakproof welded floor seam, polyurethane-coated fabric, shock-corded fiberglass poles, pole sleeves and frame clips. Sleeps 8. Blue and gray. 27 lbs. No. 9261C133D. Imported. 13'Lx13'Wx72" center height.
Wenger WG31209 Massif II 4-Room Radical Dome Tent
* Measures 18 by 18 by 7.6 feet (W x D x H)
* 4-room dome tent with 172 square feet of floor space
* Polyester taffeta construction with 600mm coating for rain and wind resistance
* 1 main room and 3 satellite rooms; each include a Dutch "D" door for easy exit
* Includes mesh utility pockets, mud mat, and roll-top folding table
4-room radical dome tent made of polyester taffeta tent body and rip-stop design. Rainfly features double pass polyurethane coating. Polyethylene rip-stop floor.
Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25 Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25-Degree Tall Sleeping Bag is a comfortable three-season mummy-style sleeping bag. At 32-inches by 82-inches, the tall-size Taos fits most body types up to six-feet-two-inches long. With 38 ounces of Hollofil-808 insulation, this moderate-temperature sleeping bag keeps you warm in temperatures down to 25-degrees Fahrenheit. Features include a nylon cover with a nylon liner, and a stuff sack.
All Coleman sleeping bags are designed with ComfortSmart technology to keep you comfortable. The Taos' ComfortSmart features include: ZipPlow which plows fabric away from the zipper to prevent snags, Fiberlock which prevents insulation from shifting and increases durability, Thermlock which reduces heat loss through the zipper thereby keeping you warmer, and Zipper Glide tailoring which allows smooth zipper operation around the corner. This Coleman sleeping bag is designed to provide the most comfortable overnight stay in cold weather.
K-Cliffs Harvest 7000 Cubic Inch Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
* 12"x15.5"x12" Lower compartment or sleeping bag compartment.
* 2 Zippered Side Compartments (9"x 5"x 4").
* Two waist level water bottle holders.
* Thoracic strap between shoulder straps.
* 10"x 10"x 5" Pocket in top cover.
7000 CUBIC INCHES OF PACK SPACE. Dimensions of Main and Lower Compartments - 39"x12"x15.5". The main compartment is top loading with a flap and top compartment that clip down over it. This includes three draw straps in front which allow for expansion. Lower area is accessible by an outside U-Zipper or by the main compartment from the top. Long-Distance padded shoulder and waist straps. Multiple adjustments on shoulder straps and waist straps allow you to choose a good fit for your back. Also - Shoulder straps can be disconnected at the center of the pack and moved up and down for proper adjustment. Total of 6 adjustments of 1.3" each. Air Flow Back pads for the maximum in comfort. Rear Gigantic ZIPPER acts to compress pack loads for greater stability and comfort. Side, Top, Middle and Bottom Compression straps for the most secure loading. Plenty of extra straps, bungee shock cord and loops for ice ax, walking stick, climbing gear or what have you. Already a popular pack in Asia, new to the US. Two Internal Frame Stays and flexible back panel for one of the most stable and comfortable frame and support systems available. All Stitching is folded and rolled for greatest durability (double stitched at critical points all around the pack ). Complete Rain Cover located in pocket on lower compartment. 100% Okbuybuy GUARANTEE.
Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope w/I/R Illuminator
Scope things outóeven at nightówith the powerful, ergonomically-designed Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope. Infrared illuminator lets you use for night fishing, nature viewing, search and rescue, or general surveillance. Scope is compact, easy to operate and weather resistant and features a powerful 5x image magnification.
Garmin eTrex Summit GPS with Electronic Compass and Altimeter
The GPS for serious mountaineers and outdoor enthusiast has arrived. With a powerful twelve parallel channel receiver, it provides amazingly accurate bearing information as well as serving as an altimeter and electronic compass. Quickly and easily calculate your rate of climb to satisfy curiosity or help decide whether or not you have enough daylight for the return. Waterproof for marine and recreation use, its compact design allows you to take it with you anywhere and access information via the operating buttons located on both sides of the device. Precision GPS, electronic compass, and altimeter all in one 12 parallel channel receiver Designed for marine and recreational use Waterproof: submergible to 1 m. for 30 min. Compact design.
Bigfoot - DVD
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy
"This is a very good Bigfoot film and well worth your time and money." - Garry Daniel
Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization Binoculars w/Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
Whether you are sitting in the nose-bleeder seats of a stadium or an opera house, with Canon's 10x30 IS binoculars you'll get an outstanding close-up view of the action. The binoculars are designed to fit perfectly in your hands and have a rubber coating for nonslip grip and protection from damage. The focus dial is center-mounted and the image stabilizer controls are easily accessible from either hand. Canon's optical image stabilization technology eliminates shake and reduces curvature of field. The image stabilizer operates with two AA batteries. A BP-B1 battery pack is included. The lenses are coated with Super Spectra multicoating that improves image quality by maximizing contrast and minimizing color smear.
Scenic Byways of Northern California
By Marie Weisbrod
Visit the remote Northern California region from the Siskiyous to the Cascades. Meet the locals, learn the history, enjoy the landscape that includes whitewater rivers, old growth forests, and lava-strewn backcountry.
Wenger WG31210 Davos II 3-Pole Backpack Dome Tent
Lightweight and versatile, this three-pole dome tent from Wenger assembles in seconds thanks to its color-coded ping-and-ring attachment system. The tent's shock-corded fiberglass frame weighs a mere 9 pounds, 10 ounces--light enough for most hiking backpacks. Plus, two-door access and double roof vents, make this model far more versatile than other two- and three-person tents. The tent's sidewalls are made of polyester with a 600mm coating--which resists rain and dew--while the floor is made of durable nylon taffeta. For added convenience, the main circular door is designed to hinge to any side, letting campers find the setup that works best for them.
Other features include a gear/loft organizer, two mesh utility pockets for gear storage, and a flashlight loop. The tent comes with a 600D polyester zippered duffle bag for transport, along with pole and stake bags, and measures 8 by 7 by 4.3 feet (W x D x H).