Archive for October, 2013

Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour

Backpacker Magazine's Get Out More Tour

The 2013 Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour arrives at Whole Earth Provision Co. in San Antonio on November 1st and in Southlake on November 3rd. You’ll get to meet outdoor pros Sheri and Randy Propster and share their trail tested knowledge on the best gear and practices for outdoor living. For the past seven years, Sheri and Randy have lived our dream. As ambassadors for Backpacker Magazine, they’ve spent nine months of each year exploring the peaks, valleys, campsites and footpaths found on our public lands all across the United States.

Sheri and Randy Propster on West Maroon Pass in Colorado

Sheri and Randy Propster on West Maroon Pass in Colorado - Photo : Get Out More

This year’s tour celebrates Backpacker Magazine’s 40th anniversary. The Propsters bring the pages of the magazine to life, providing information and inspiration. Sheri and Randy are ready with an action plan to help us refine our backpacking system, hone our outdoor skills and upgrade our gear and clothing choices. And, they have some great giveaways! So if you’re ready to take the next step into the great outdoors, come to the Get Out More events at our Whole Earth stores in San Antonio and Southlake and get inspired!


San Antonio – Friday, November 1 at 7pm
Southlake – Sunday, November 3 at 1pm

Birkenstock Wellness Fair – Southlake – Sunday, Oct. 27

Birkenstock Wellness Fair Header Image

On Sunday, October 27th Whole Earth Provision Co. welcomes Birkenstock to our Southlake store for a Housewarming event. Birkenstock will be sponsoring a Wellness Fair from 1 pm to 5 pm, with a focus on chair massages and foot reflexology.

Brief chair massages will be available for our customers that can include neck rubs, back rubs and foot massage. Even a brief massage can be pampering, rejuvenating and therapeutic, especially when combined with a bit of foot reflexology. Foot reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet, utilizing specific thumb, finger and hand techniques based on a system of zones and reflex areas on the foot. Reflexology believes that there are pathways located on the feet that are related to parts of the body. By gently manipulating areas of the feet, the related parts of the body are benefited.

Please note, neither Whole Earth nor Birkenstock are making health or medical claims for these practices. The activities are a part of a wellness experience – the healthy balance we all would like to achieve.

Reflexology Chart

With your body and feet relaxed, it might be the perfect time to try on a pair of Birkenstocks. The Birkenstock family has been making shoes for almost 240 years. A member of the family’s third generation noted that the bottoms of our feet are curved, so why should the soles of our shoes be flat? This insight led to the creation of Birkenstock’s contoured footbed that ensures proper weight distribution and foot alignment. In short, comfort. Birkenstock reps will be on hand to help you get a perfect fit and to explain how their shoes can contribute to your health and wellbeing.

We hope you’ll join us for the Wellness Fair. And don’t forget to take a spin on the Whole Earth prize wheel and enter the drawing for some great prizes including a pair of men’s and women’s Birkenstock sandals. We look forward to meeting you!

McDonald Observatory Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary

The Jones family and friends at the McDonald Observatory in 1954

The Jones family and friends at the McDonald Observatory in 1954

A trip to the McDonald Observatory has been on the list of must-see destinations for generations of Texas families. The Observatory along with the Johnson Space Center has planted the ‘final frontier’ firmly in minds of Texans young and old. It’s hard to believe, but the McDonald Observatory is getting ready to celebrate its 75th anniversary!

Located on Mount Locke in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, the Observatory was endowed by a gift from Texas banker William Johnson McDonald. When the first telescope was dedicated in 1939, it was the second largest telescope in the world and under one of the darkest skies of any major observatory in the continental United States. Today there are multiple telescopes and a wide variety of research projects underway, including studies in planetary systems, stars and stellar spectroscopy, the interstellar medium, extragalactic astronomy and theoretical studies in astrophysics and cosmology. The McDonald Observatory also welcomes the public with daytime tours and activities, Star Parties and special viewing nights.

May 5, 2014 will mark the 75th anniversary of the McDonald Observatory. But why wait to celebrate? A number of events are planned across the state of Texas to observe this important anniversary. The first event takes place in Austin this Saturday evening, October 19th at the Blanton Museum. Dr. Frank Bash who served as director of the McDonald Observatory from 1989 to 2003 will speak on “The Frontier and McDonald Observatory.” He sees today’s astronomers standing at the edge of a new frontier peering into a truly vast unknown. Dr. Bash will discuss some of the important questions in astronomy and the McDonald Observatory’s contributions to finding answers, including the quest to better understand dark energy. A reception will be held at 6 pm, followed by the talk at 7 pm at the Blanton’s Edgar A. Smith Building on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Another event will be held in West Texas next week. If you’re planning to be in Fort Davis on Monday, October 21st, head to the Jeff Davis County Library where you can hear Dr. Tom Barnes talk on the McDonald Observatory’s planned research into dark energy.

If you’ve never made the trip to the Davis Mountains and the McDonald Observatory, the 75th anniversary year is a great time to visit!

Intro to Geocaching at Southlake

Intro to Geocaching

Would you like to become a treasure hunter? It’s not exactly treasure hunting as experienced by Jim Hawkins or Indiana Jones, but it is fun and there’s no threat of irascible pirates or giant stone balls aiming to crush you. In fact, this form of treasure hunting, Geocaching, has only been in existence since the year 2000, when the accuracy of GPS devices improved dramatically.

So what is geocaching? It’s the outdoor search for containers, called geocaches or caches, using GPS or mobile devices and location coordinates. A typical cache is a small waterproof container with a logbook where the geocacher records their code name and the date. The cache must then be put back exactly where it was found for future searchers to find. Later you can share your experiences online and keep track of all the caches you’ve found. With over two million geocaches hidden worldwide, there are sure to some close by and farther afield. There are all sorts of caches – the traditional cache, the multi-cache where the initial cache leads to further sites, mystery caches where you must solve puzzles to find the cache’s coordinates and event caches where you find the event by following the coordinates. It’s great outdoor activity to get the whole family up off the couch and working together.

Geocachers

If you’d like to learn more, Whole Earth Provision Co. will be hosting an introduction and demonstration to Geocaching at our new Southlake store as a part of our Housewarming celebration on Saturday, October 19th at 10 am. Corey and Teresa Davis, Education Directors for Texas Geocaching will show you how it’s done. They’ll be setting up caches in Southlake Town Square, so you can try it out right away. If you like it, you can head over to the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve and try out their new Geocaching Trail.

We hope you’ll join us Saturday morning at our Southlake store to learn about Geocaching. While you’re in the store, be sure to sign up for this weekend’s drawings and take a spin on the prize wheel – every spin wins!

Patagonia Advocate Weeks

Patagonia Advocate Week

Whole Earth Provision Co. and Patagonia Footwear are teaming up to support Audubon Texas during Patagonia Advocate Weeks. From October 11th through October 27th, for every pair of Patagonia shoes purchased at Whole Earth, Patagonia will donate $10 to Audubon Texas.

Patagonia is a participant in 1% for the Planet. Every year they donate 1% of their profits for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Your purchase will help direct some of these funds to Audubon Texas.

Audubon Texas is the state program of the National Audubon Society. Since 1923, Audubon Texas has protected birds and their habitats with stewardship and conservation education programs at their centers in Dallas, Cedar Hill and San Antonio and at sanctuaries in Brownsville, along 600 miles of the Texas coast and across the state.

Audubon Texas will be visiting several of our stores during Advocate Weeks. On Friday, October 11th, they’ll be presenting “The Real Birds of Southlake” at our new Southlake store. Audubon representatives will also be on hand to answer your birding questions in Dallas and San Antonio. Here’s the Audubon at Whole Earth schedule.

So please stop by your favorite Whole Earth store during Patagonia Advocate Weeks. Try on a pair of Patagonia shoes, get a free download card for 1% of the Planet – The Music (while supplies last) and support Audubon Texas with your Patagonia footwear purchase.

Chaco Gives Back to the Friends of Enchanted Rock

Whole Earth’s Holland Jones with Melissa Mial and Rick Watson of the Friends of Enchanted Rock

Whole Earth’s Holland Jones with Melissa Mial and Rick Watson of the Friends of Enchanted Rock

We’re sending out a great big Texas “Thank You” to all of our Whole Earth customers who made the 2013 Chaco Gives Back program a huge success. With your help, the Friends of Enchanted Rock received a $5700 donation from Chaco! The Friends are planning to use the money to publish an Enchanted Rock Climbing Guide that will be pocket-sized, easy to read and cover the trails, routes and ethics of climbing in the park. Once it’s published, the guide will be sold at the Park store. Their next project: a tree and plant guide for Enchanted Rock!

In previous years the Chaco Gives Back funds have been used for projects including retrofitting antiquated plumbing fixtures in the park to low-flow water saving systems, providing funding for visitor trail maps, and improving the trail system by reclaiming areas where small game trails have turned into human ones, causing erosion.

Thanks again for your support!

The Real Birds of Southlake

Can you tell a Cardinal from a Blue Jay? A Chickadee from Titmouse? How good are you at distinguishing all those other little gray birds that call Texas home? If you’d like to learn more about our feathered friends, stop by our new Southlake Whole Earth Provision Co. store on Friday, October 11th at 6:30 pm, for Audubon Texas’ presentation “The Real Birds of Southlake.” The event will kick off Patagonia Advocate Weeks for all of our Whole Earth stores.

The Audubon Texas presentation will introduce you to the top birds in the Southlake area. They’ll also cover birding basics and how to attract birds to your backyard for your viewing pleasure. Prizes will be given away during the presentation, including a pair of beginner’s binoculars and a membership to each of Audubon Texas’ North Texas centers. Guest passes to the centers will be given to all in attendance.

Audubon Texas representatives will be visiting some of our stores during Patagonia Advocate Weeks and will be ready to answer your questions. Here’s the schedule:

San Antonio – meet Sara Beesley: Sunday, October 13th from 2-4 pm
Southlake – meet Jared McGovern: Sunday, October 13th from 1-3 pm
Dallas Mockingbird – meet Ben Jones: Saturday October 26th from 3-4:30 pm
Dallas Preston Forest – Ben Jones: Saturday October 26th from 5-6:30

Audubon Texas Logo

Audubon Texas is the state program of the National Audubon Society. In Texas, if you are diligent, you might see 623 species of birds in the course of a year, more than in any other state. Since 1923, Audubon Texas has protected birds and their habitats with stewardship and conservation education programs at their centers in Dallas, Cedar Hill and San Antonio and at sanctuaries in Brownsville, along the 600 miles of the Texas coast and across the state.

Audubon Texas will be the recipient of the funds raised during Patagonia Advocate Weeks. From October 11th through October 27th, for every pair of Patagonia shoes purchased at Whole Earth, Patagonia will donate $10 to Audubon Texas. Patagonia is a participant in 1% for the Planet. Every year they donate 1% of their profits for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Your purchase will help direct some of these funds to Audubon Texas.

We hope you will join us at the special Housewarming presentation “The Real Birds of Southlake” or at one of the other Audubon Texas store visits. Please stop by your favorite Whole Earth store during Patagonia Advocate Weeks, try on a pair of Patagonia shoes, get a free download card 1% of the Planet – The Music (while supplies last) and support Audubon Texas with your Patagonia footwear purchase.

A Festival Checklist

Festival Checklist

Festival season is here at last! Austin City Limits, Oktoberfest and the Renaissance Festival, to name only a few, will be opening their gates in the coming days. Here are some suggestions to help make your day one to remember, for all the right reasons.

1. Don’t forget your ticket!

2. Visit the festival website before you go. It’s your best source of information about what you can and cannot bring, what facilities are available (recharging stations, for example) and don’t forget to look over the frequently asked questions.

3. Dress comfortably. What’s the weather forecast? In Texas we can have 40 degree temperature swings in the course of a day in October. Do you need layers? Do you need some rain gear? Are umbrellas allowed? And please be kind to your feet – wear your most comfortable shoes.

4. A daypack or a messenger bag will help to keep your hands free and let you bring your essential items.

5. What is essential for one person may not be so necessary for another. That said, here are a few suggestions:

Sunglasses and a sunhat
Phone
Camera
Water bottles or hydration packs
Binoculars
Blanket or collapsible chair
Sunscreen and lip balm
Small flashlight
Bandana or two
Any meds you might need
Map of the grounds and schedule for the festival

6. Goodwill and consideration for others

Have a great time!