Last in a series: “It’s just a hike. It’s just a hike,” our guide Rob insisted as he prepped us for our trek up the Ascencio Valley to the namesake towers of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. Then why did he have to say it twice?
Context can make a hike. While the trek to Scott Lookout Tower in the Nebraska National Forest is rather ordinary, the concept of walking through a 20,000-acre forest engineered in the middle of the Great Plains makes it special. Continue reading “Hiking the Sandhills of Nebraska in America’s Largest ‘Man-Made’ Forest”
Prairie Creek Redwoods doesn’t need a gimmick. But if the idea of Bigfoot prowling a towering old-growth forest or of tiny flesh-eating dinosaurs scrambling through a fern-laden canyon stimulates your imagination, then head to California’s Humboldt County. Continue reading “Hiking ‘Jurassic Park’ in Bigfoot Country at Prairie Creek Redwoods”
Neither of us are poets. Yet our hike on a blustery fall day through trembling Aspen groves in the Gunnison National Forest at Crested Butte, CO, inspired us to give poetry a try. And so, with a nod to junior high English teachers everywhere, we present: “Ode to Autumn at Crested Butte.”
The sheer walls and stone towers of the narrow, half-mile deep gorge at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado are breath-taking. But once you catch your breath, then what?
Considered one of the best hikes at Arches National Park, the Devil’s Garden trail draws a crowd. Be patient. The pack will thin when the scramble begins.
Trek in. Walk out. Drive by. We found no shortage of opportunities to enjoy magnificent vistas at Canyonlands National Park. So, we mixed in a scramble to the park’s only meteor crater.
Capitol Reef isn’t very big, as national parks go. But you can view magnificent desert vistas and ancient petroglyphs. You can hike up a narrow wash or beneath a stunning stone arch. You can lose the trail on a ledge 300 feet above a canyon floor. Yikes!
No billboards. No brochure. No web site or Twitter feed. We had to do some sleuthing to track down Pando, the 106-acre aspen grove that ranks among the oldest and biggest living things on Earth.
How far would you travel to commune with some of the oldest trees on Earth? We traveled via “the loneliest road in America” from The Coastside on the San Francisco Peninsula to Nevada’s highest peak to have a look. Continue reading “Strolling among Nevada’s Bristlecone Ancients at Great Basin National Park”
Sometimes less is more. Consider the drive through Nevada on US Route 50, a stretch of highway Life magazine once dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America.”
Part 5 in a Series: The hike across Estancia Lazo to Mirador Las Torres was easy. The mile-long descent down the slippery schist-strewn bluff beneath the million-dollar view of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park was not. Bring your trekking poles.
Part 4 in a series: Everyone needs to be alone sometimes, especially The Geek and even MontaraManDan. In Patagonia we each found a slice of solitude in the steep meadows and forests that rise above Estancia Helsingfors, a remote ranch at the edge of Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park.
Part 3 in a series: If you want a selfie with the Patagonian peaks that make up Argentina’s iconic Fitz Roy massif, you have to earn it. Expect wind, rain and steep ascents. Watch out for stinging caterpillars and feral cows. Photo bombs by meandering cloud banks may drive you mad. Continue reading “Playing Hide & Seek with Fitz Roy in Patagonia; Beware of Stinging Caterpillars”
Part 2 in a series: Looking for a penguin colony with a view? Try “the end of the world” at the southern tip of Patagonia.
Part 1 in a series: Buenos Aries feels like a European city, but the only “palace” we toured was a 20th century office building inspired by “The Devine Comedy.” You won’t find grand cathedrals holding royal remains. Instead, look for the late political diva Eva Perón in a tiny rented crypt. Street protests, a legacy of 20th-century political upheaval, are a Plaza de Mayo staple. Beef? It’s what’s for dinner.
Part 3 and last in a series: No one visits North Carolina’s Outer Banks to go hiking. The narrow string of sandy barrier islands runs for 200 miles but never measures more than 3 miles between sound and sea. At 91 feet, Kill Devil Hill is the highest peak. Most nature trails stretch for less than a mile. We gave hiking a shot anyway. Continue reading “Meandering the Outer Banks with Ghost Crabs, Forest Spiders and Dread Pirate Diane”
Part 2 in a series: The iconic lighthouses standing watch along North Carolina’s Outer Banks protect a coastline known grimly as The Graveyard of the Atlantic. They are as beautiful as the coastal waters are deadly. We climbed three!
Part 1 in a series: How would you picture roving harems of wild mustangs on the beach at North Carolina’s Outer Banks? We visualized equine muscle and sinew stampeding across sun-drenched sand, hooves flashing to fend off predators and rivals, fiery eyes, flaring nostrils. We were wrong!