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I started this blog in 2008 and for years maintained an alternating format. However, that has changed in recent times.

As originally conceived, half of the posts were about personal experiences, containing topics such as the New England Hundred Highest, Colorado Fourteeners, rockhopping in the Smokies, and roadtrips across great expanses of the US.

The other half were about the outdoors and the subject of landscape viewed through the filter of history, literature, art, or philosophy.  Topics included Nabokov’s imaginary version of Central Asia, wild animals in the Iliad, Ulysses S. Grant’s love of maps, orienteering in Wittgenstein, the Hercynian Forest of Germania, and the terrain of the Boer War.

I’ve always been interested in history. This year, after having a great old time doing an in-depth series about the Siege of Mafeking in South Africa, I realized that it might be a good idea to separate the hiking pieces from the history pieces—despite my personal philosophy that all of these things are connected.

With this in mind, I started a new blog, 1870 to 1918. It deals with the period when the world’s major empires reached their greatest extent and fell into the alliances and antagonisms that led inevitably to World War I. Readers of  “Endless Streams and Forests” know that the Boer War is a major interest of mine, and that of course falls into the middle of this period. Topics there so far have included the Finnish Civil War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

So from this point forward “Endless Streams and Forests” will be primarily about hiking—especially off-trail hiking—and most of the history pieces will be on “1870 to 1918.” However, I do not guarantee that other eccentric topics will not appear on this blog!


Bison and calf/photo by Peter Bennett

Bison and calf at Yellowstone/photo by Peter Bennett



1. David Lowe - December 28, 2009

“………. That’s a good choice—makes Pienaar a British citizen but from a pro-Boer town near the Free State border. Buchan, like many other Englishmen who spent time in South Africa during or soon after the war, seems to have been divided between admiring the veldcraft of the Boers and insisting on the noble cause of the Empire. Pienaar is described as………….. ”

John Buchan was a Scot, not an Englishman. He was born in Perth and brought up in Fife. 🙂

I enjoyed reading your piece on Stob Ban etc (which includes the above paragraph) when I was researching that mountain for a walk I intend to do with my wife.

Jenny - December 29, 2009

Thanks for the comment—I’ll change the wording. I would have to say that in his function as secretary to Alfred Milner right after the war, he was essentially acting as an Englishman—he may have been born in Scotland, but he attended Oxford and was a servant of the larger Empire. But he certainly did have a Scotsman’s appreciation and knowledge of the landscapes up north.

2. Dan - August 15, 2010

Hello Jenny,

I came across an image of a rotary car dumper on your website (https://streamsandforests.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/nws-lamberts-point-pier/, label: “The whole thing gets turned upside down”). I am writing to request permission to use your images to illustrate these equipment in my academic thesis. I am research student at Monash University in Australia.



Jenny - August 15, 2010

I’m happy for you to use the images in my writeup about Lamberts Point. The rotary dumper image comes from a Wikipedia article titled “rotary dumper,” and as I recall it is one in operation in the UK (I don’t have it in front of me at the moment).

3. Small Town Spotlight: Placerville, California - Hopper Blog - September 9, 2013

[…] Highway : California Jenny – May 6, […]

4. David - February 6, 2014

As an avid off-trail hiker of the GSMNP, I am in awe of the extent of your experience shown here. I’m currently working through your Archive, and creating an itinerary list that should last a lifetime. My question is re: technique and equipment. Many of your hikes are up creek drainages from bottom to top, often exiting on a ridge trail. With the density of streamside vegetation that the Smokies provides, you must end up climbing in the flow of the creeks themselves, then walking some distance to return to your transportation. What is the footwear selection for a hike like this? Are waterproof boots and gaiters adequate to keep your feet dry?

Thank you again for your excellent posts.

Jenny - February 6, 2014

That is a large and interesting topic. It all depends on the particular stream and the particular vegetation along it. In small streams (such as Bear Pen Hollow) it’s fairly easy to stay in the streambed and rockhop up it, unless water levels are quite high. Staying with Bear Pen as an example, its lower banks are a rhodo jungle, but the higher sections are bordered by open woods easy to walk through. So Bear Pen ends up being a “dry feet” stream. On the other hand, Alum Cave Creek, though not a large stream, is lined the whole way with dense rhodo and is hard to rockhop unless water levels are very low, because it doesn’t have large boulders in it, only small submerged rocks for the most part, for some geological reason or other. Therefore I would only do it in warm weather when I was willing to get my feet wet. A more typical stream would be Trout Branch, a medium-sized stream with large boulders and mixed vegetation along the banks where you can keep your feet dry rockhopping most of the time but not in high water, and you will want to wear gaiters and boots you don’t mind getting wet because you will be bound to step in water here and there. I’ve also done Trout in high water when wading was unavoidable. Sometimes it’s a matter of how much time you can afford to spend. When I went up Shutts Prong last summer, I could have kept my feet dry but it would have taken so much time to look for the best crossing points and work through vegetation on the banks that it just wasn’t worth it. I waded in many places.
As far as footgear is concerned, I wear medium-weight leather hiking boots and knee gaiters. The gaiters will keep water from flowing in when you step briefly in shallow water, but obviously they won’t keep your feet dry when you wade. I don’t know of any boots that are really waterproof that are suitable for hiking. My friend James Locke, an avid fisherman, uses special fishing boots with removable felt soles that are great for traction on wet rocks and can be used for hiking with the soles removed. But they don’t keep his feet dry. The only thing that would do that would be hip waders, I think. I bring a towel and spare socks and, bottom line, don’t wade in cold weather! Winter is a tough time for rockhoppers, with icy rocks and cold water—this winter has been frustrating.
Regarding taking streams up and ridges down, it’s always nicer to go upstream because you get a better view of cascades. Also, in the steep sections, it’s easier to upclimb than downclimb. The drawback is that navigation is easier going downstream or upridge (streams converge going down and ridges converge going up). You can see that there are infinite variations in exploring streams. Feel free to email me at jenny@summerafternoonediting.net if you want to discuss this further.

5. Luanne Cates - June 5, 2014

I just thought I would share this with you. I found a post card with what I think is one of my gggrandparents. The post card has the name “Corry S. Dutton” and apparently was made in “Cato, NY”. I will try to translate it but I have no idea who sent this and why it is in my grandparents property. “70 years, February 18, 1910

“Dear John,
grandma sens you a picture taken last summer when at Calvin Clark’s, will send Lottie one when I know where I send it” (illegible) “think of our eating watermelon cut (illegible). We are shipping milk to Buffalo 2 88 8 gallons a 7 cans (page cut off sso illegible) Miss bottle is full of ink”.

I can send both sides of the card to you if you send an email address. Maybe you can identify this for me as well.


Jenny - June 5, 2014

Luanne, thanks for visiting this site! I wish I could tell you something about Corry Dutton’s postcard. It was sent right about the same time my grandma would have been in her late teens. I looked in her memoir but I couldn’t find anything about the Dutton family. She did mention that the dairy farmers in the area sent milk and dairy products to the local cities. All I can say is that this must have been a great time in the history of this small town in upstate New York.

6. rose - June 8, 2015


7. John - June 8, 2015

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

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