We went to Hot Springs, NC to go camping over the Memorial Day weekend and had a great time. Here are some photos.
Our friend we found:
This bunker looked like something out of LOST, was kinda crazy how much so.
As soon as we got home, it POURED, luckily we just missed it
I got outside, and I felt sane again!!!
I was told to check out the “Bear Lake” area of Rocky Mountain National Park. I did, and I went approximately 8 miles in this direction…
I saw Mills Lake…
Awesome Views of Rocky Mountain National Park
And Elk on the way out.
After my hike I went and got a handstand at _____ hotel.
The Stanley Hotel is where The Shining was written and where the series was filmed, not the movie however.
I woke up yesterday and spoiled myself to a Bacon, Egg and Cheddar on Sesame sandwitch, along with a nice ice white chocolate mocha.
On the Zion shuttle, I had two elderly women talk to me. One was overexcited that I was going hiking and the other was enchanted in the smell of my sunscreen…
Angels Landing is nearly all paved… until you get to the top. So out of the 2.5 miles, 2 of it is paved, but uphill. The last .5 miles takes you along a rockface that can get narrow at times, and there are metal chains there for your confidence in hiking. I got to the top and met a “tour”. They were nice enough to take my picture. I don’t know why someone would pay for a day hike? Who knows. I did pay for my Yosemite and Grand Canyon hikes but they were in the backcountry and food and permits were provided
The view was spectacular. Definitely the best I saw in the park. I think I’m definitely a mountain man, because “The Narrows” are supposed to be the greatest, but I am always more impressed by summiting something.
Anyways, on the way down met another older guy, think he said he was 63, and we talked about how he had hiked down into the Grand Canyon before. He did it when he was 19 and did it all in one day which is one hell of a hike. He, along with tons of other people I met were very happy for me to get out and do these things while I can still enjoy them physically. Now hopefully I’ll still be hiking when I am 63 like him, but maybe in better shape too?
Maybe this is just an elderly person day, but I talked to 2 more from a different tour bus group when i was down getting ice cream at the Zion Lodge after my hike. They tried to tell me some joke about real estate and buying a “lot” (get it?). I just didn’t get the pun, and it wasn’t funny at first. haha.
Anyways, great hike, and made it onto Bryce Canyon National Park where I peeked around a little last night. I am going to go look at it a bit more this morning and then head onto Capitol Reef, and depending, maybe onto Arches? I just don’t know. Cheers!
Yosemite National Park is like a “Grand Central Station” as my friend Paul put it. That is because of its close proximity to San Francisco, and it’s amazingness. In any case, this backpacking trip was in “The High Country” which meant we stayed around 9,000 ft elevation most of the trip, and we started it in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers site on the eastern side of the park, away from the zoo of people.
Our guides made sure we weren’t hiking with War and Peace, and made sure we had warm enough gear. The next morning we headed out on the Cathedral Lakes trailhead and had an easy hike to Lower Cathedral Lake.
Lower Cathedral Lake
I had to hike up to the highest point around of course, and got this panoramic
We laid out and watched the stars until we were nearly frozen and they were ABSOULTELY incredible. I was thinking about how much I wish I could share that experience because I’ve never seen stars so bright and clear. Saw tons of shooting stars, satellites, and this REALLY bright thing which we could only guess that it was the international space station because it flew the speed of a satellite, but was 20x as bright.
The next day we headed over to the Upper Sunrise Lake and did a decent amount of off trail hiking which was pretty neat. Our guides Karen and Mike wanted us to become more familiar with Map and Compass, so it was a good exercise.
Going “off trail”
This night at Sunrise lake seemed like it would be warmer but it wasn’t. It was so cold, that we had frost in our tent, and my swimsuit froze.
The good thing was though that we had a fire that night.
You gotta love my support of Hokie Nation with all my Orange/Maroon gear
Our final day we hiked out past Tenaya lake and got the shuttle back to the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead. That was that and I definitely like the Yosemite backcountry. My guide Karen convinced me to do Half Dome the next day which I have posted about.
So I went on another REI Adventures trip this week which was a blast. We hiked down the New Hanse Trail and hit the Colorado River, Tonto Plateau and finished up using Grandview Trail. 3 days down in a beautiful place. Check it out.
I went over to the “Paradise” portion of Mount Rainier National Park. Took some pictures on the way, and hiked up nearly 5000 feet of elevation in about 5 miles to Camp Muir, a base camp for summiting Mount Rainier. Quite possibly one of the coolest hikes ever. I’m totally bringing my snowboard the next time I do it.
Mount Rainier again
Reflection Lake lives up to it’s name a few times…
Mount St. Helens
This is the glacier i climbed up, one foot at a time, slipping every once in a while, and don’t take too big of steps…
That’s the “Paradise” visitor center at Mount Rainier that I started at
Don’t fall into the crevasse. Man it was kinda scary, went down 30?50? feet? I don’t know, didn’t get close enough to find out.
Mount Adams from a little higher up Mount Rainier
Mount Saint Helens
Camp Muir! I made it! those crazy S.O.B.s have/will climbed to the top of Rainier.
See, i DID make it.
Clouds roll in…
I hiked through it and came out below the clouds…
Went up to the “Sunrise” section of Mount Rainier National Park…
I didn’t caption a lot of these, but they are all in the “Sunrise” portion of the park.
Handstand at sunrise point
Mount Freemont Lookout, awesome trail, and there is the lookout!
2 days after labor day, they were using a helicopter to take stuff to/from the lookout and I got a close view!
I have gone a lot of miles, even through olympic national park…
to find “Nasty” chinese food…
I’ve had to take ferries…
right hand turns…
walk on my hands at Tiger Mountain…
all the way down this…
Luckily, on this journey I have found very important things, like these black tail deer…
this abandoned greyhound bus…
and those wonderful geeks from Penny Arcade Expo 2008 (PAX08) playing magic the gathering.
All of this has led to one course of action. To change in a bold way.
I let my hair grow a little…
And attempted to style it…
and that gave me a lovely view from seattle, 19 floors above the streets.
That was quite a tale! The REAL story is, I got to Seattle this past Wednesday and had 2.5 awesome days with Martha and the gang. (thanks guys!) Then I headed even further downtown and stayed with Dan, and enjoyed the view from the 19th floor apartment, 1 block from the convention center. Just after going to “mutton chops” for about 10 minutes, I was cleanly shaven. It’s sad, but quite nice
I think Seattle is a pretty nice place. There is lots of culture for sure… maybe too much? Only had internet for a moment, on my way to mount Rainier by way of an Oil Change!
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m moving to Canada… for 2 weeks. I know this is abrupt, but it’s something I have to do. Bigfoot told me to.
Love, your son,
I’m heading from Whitefish, MT into Invermere, British Columbia today and will be checking out Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Whistler, Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
I’ll be back in the U.S. to hang out with Dan and Martha in Seattle before Labor Day, and then on to Mike in Portland.
Looking forward to people, and to the BEAUTIFUL Canadian Rockies I have heard so much about.
Recapping the last 2? days
I hiked up to Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park, and then hung out by lake McDonald during the day before heading over to Whitefish, MT where I stayed in the Whitefish KOA. I hung out with a family from Saskatchewan, Canada who had a cabin nextdoor. They were pretty great people, fun to talk to, and I got a free 2 hot dog dinner! Baboom!
The night before I slept in my car :-p, so it was an upgrade. Looking forward to seeing Forrest, Cassy and more Canadians!
Some Pics from the last 2 days…
A lady contacted me a week or so ago about using one of my Flickr Handstand images at McAfee’s Knob on her blog. I gave her permission and sent her another one too.
Story is that they are designing new Appalachian Trail (AT) License Plates for Virginia and had a contest for poses on the at. The two finalists were:
Heritage Park is beautiful. They just finished a new bridge there back in January and you can ride all the way to Pandapas Pond. My goal was to get back to the top of Horse Nettle Trail where I was this past Thursday. I was successful and managed to make it up and down while avoiding the rain. I found it very peaceful to be up there on the trail because when you stopped, you heard absolutely nothing. Ahhhh… So great.
I took my new wide angle lens and went at it! Here are some pictures of Heritage Park before and after I hiked up to the Horse Nettle Trail. I used Photomatrix to create these HDR shots and they turned out pretty decently.
SteepAndCheap.com is so addictive. I have purchased shirts, sleeping bags, flip flops, sleeping mats, watches, socks and who knows what else? They are the Outlet for an Outlet. That’s right, Backcountry.com‘s outlet is Backcountryoutlet.com whose outlet is SteepAndCheap.com which features items at ~50-85% off and sometimes you just can’t pass it up. This is quality outdoors stuff people!
There was a “good deal”, or so I told myself for a set of trekking poles made by LEKI for $69.99. They had good reviews!
Instead of only looking up this reviews for this model, I looked up something more important. Are hiking poles worthwhile? Basically, if you have bad knees, yes they can be. For me, they are not worth the 70 bucks at this time. Thank you self control for saving me 70 dollars.