Author: Bill Morse, Historian

Vol 25  January 2020

‘Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.’ – Kin Hubbard

We’re ending the first month of the new decade. We’ll open SOLAR’s history books and revisit some things that happened in two other ‘first months of the decade’. And if you’re wondering, the words of wisdom from Kin Hubbard are found in the February 2010 issue of the SOLAR Ray. 

January 2000  

19th Annual Carter Caves Crawl-A-Thon

Leslie Cordova led this trip to Olive Hill, Kentucky. The trip description: “This annual caving event is designed to include all skill levels, including children. Cave options range from walking tours to vertical caving…Some caving may include prolonged crawling through small, constricted passages and some may contain water…In addition to caving, there are beautiful trails to explore. The park is also known for its natural arches. You can opt for caving or hiking or both!” 

The ‘Granddaddy’ of Cross-Country Ski Events

That would be the Vasa, attracting hundreds of skiers to Traverse City each year. Jeff Zabel arranged lodging for those who participated.

January 2010

A long-running tradition in SOLAR is to have a photo contest. Held in January, group members submit photos they took. There are different categories. At the monthly meeting, members decide which photo they like best in each category, and which photo is the overall best. The votes are tallied and the winners are announced.

Linda’s photo was taken in Yellowstone National Park. A few of the other winning photos from the 2010 photo contest are shown below.


Kevin Cotter’s photo was #1 in the People category.



  1. Toothpick instead of toothbrush
  2. Whittle that toothpick on the trail
  3. Edible bootlaces
  4. Cut holes in underwear in non-essential spots
  5. Combine food into one big Ziploc

These are just some of the things that Ken Lemieux suggested. With the advances in technology in the last 10 years, you may think of even more ways to curb excess pounds! 😊



Some responses to this question…

  • Margaret Martin:  The camaraderie.
  • Michael Banks: The people.
  • Bill Lynch: The activities.
  • Jim Coe:  Being able to do trips that other people plan-all the work’s done!

Editor’s comment:  The aforementioned responses are from a decade ago, but you would likely get similar responses if you asked today. I’ve done stuff with Margaret, Michael, Bill, and Jim, and it’s a pleasure to be in a club with folks like them!



We’ve been talking about the past so far but now we’re back to 2020. You’re invited to come join the revelry on Saturday, March 7th, at Proud Lake Recreation Area.  The River Hawk Annex will be the place to be. Hike the trails during the day and in the evening. This date will be close to the full moon so evening hiking should be especially interesting. If the weather permits, snow shoes and canoes/kayaks can be rented. You can come inside the Annex to warm up. Bring your favorite card and board games. Bring food for an evening potluck. Invite a friend, kid friendly, a flashlight or head lamp is suggested for evening hiking. Admission: voluntary donations ($3 suggested), and a Recreation Passport is needed for your vehicle. We’ll start at noon and go into the evening. Come when you can!

You may contact me, Bill Morse, if you have any questions about this event (

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Past Tents…The next one will be coming (some time) soon!


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