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Yosemite National Park


Labor Day 2013

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Yosemite National Park


Labor Day 2013

I had an unforgettable experience camping and backpacking in Yosemite with Aaron and Joe and our terrific guide, Ryan. The immense forest fire to the north of us made itself known when the wind shifted on the second day, but it didn't detract from our enjoyment.

 
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Acadia, Maine


Memorial Day 2013

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Acadia, Maine


Memorial Day 2013

 

We went with a friend for a several-night camping and hiking trip. This was my first camping trip in ages, so I was glad we were basically car camping: the campsite is among the trees in little lots, lined up next to each other along a series of small roads, the car parked less than twenty feet away. Given the rain for the first two days, this worked out well for keeping some gear dry.

But the rain did nothing to lessen the beauty and enjoyments of the hikes. Acadia is massive, so we only had a chance to hike along the rugged, rocky coastline for one day, and summit Cadillac Mountain another day.

We topped off the trip with a stay overnight in the lovely town of Bar Harbor, staying at a classic inn along the waterfront.

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Mt Washington


August 2012

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Mt Washington


August 2012

Mt. Washington was my first real hike, totaling over 8 hours. We drove up to New Hampshire the day before so we could tackle the mountain bright and early. The ascent begins through the shaded, beautiful forest along a river, with a fairly gentle incline. About a mile or so into the hike the terrain changes to large, mostly flat boulders and stones. By the midway point it's almost entirely boulders and a little scrambling. The views are stunning, and while there are certainly a large number of people out on the hike, I never felt like we were in any traffic jams. By the last three quarters of a mile to the summit it is entirely large boulders and scrambling to the top. They say the weather is changeable at any moment, and with the strong winds on this gorgeous August day, I could imagine how treacherous it could be in the winter.

 

After reaching the summit and having a bite to eat -- among the folks who drove to the top to get a "My car climbed Mt Washington" bumper sticker -- we began our descent. There are a number of trails meandering seemingly in all directions. We followed our maps and headed out. Within an hour or so, we were the only people around, not another soul to be seen. We realized after another hour or so that we'd missed the fork in the trail and were heading the very long way around. On the plus side we got to see the Lake of the Clouds. On the downside, we were adding an additional 3 or more miles to the hike, and over in the next valley we could see a thunderstorm rolling in. We made it under the cover of the tree line just as the skies opened up. The remaining several miles were done very carefully, slipping over boulders on all fours, crab-style. 

By the time we reached the car and returned to the hotel, a hot tub and wine we never more appreciated. All hiking should end this way!