Take a Trip to the Moon

Craters of the Moon in IdahoTake a trip to the moon right here on Earth. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in West Central Idaho was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions and massive lava flows between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago. The 618 square mile park so similarly resembles the moons surface that astronauts for Nasa, Alan Sheperd, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle, trained in the park for their missions in 1969. Although the area appears benign, activity along the fault lines and historical eruptions approximately every 2,000 years indicate the area is due for another eruption very soon. [Read more…]

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon in Arizona is a popular attraction in the Southwest that everyone should go see. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is located about 230 miles north of Phoenix and 80 miles north of Flagstaff. The North Rim is located 352 miles north of Phoenix and 210 miles north of Flagstaff. Approximately 4 million people a year get to experience the Grand Canyon and all of its many activities. The Canyon is close to 300 miles long with the river going through it, it gets 18 miles wide and it is about a mile deep.Grand Canyon South Rim [Read more…]

Ultralight Backpacking Gear

Eric the Black's Backpacking BlogAlthough I do a lot of hiking and backpacking myself, sometimes it’s nice to hear what other experience hikers have to say about their favorite gear. My husband and I went to the Gardenschwartz Extravaganza here in Durango today to pick up a new tent and sleeping back for him, as well as a new backpacking pack. They have big sales 2 or 3 times a year, so we wait for one to come around to update our gear. [Read more…]

Misadventures in Hawaii

Hawaii MisadventureAlthough I have not yet myself been to the great state of Hawaii, my husband has, obnoxiously, been twice. I imagine that I would get myself into some kind of mess while traipsing around the island trying to find secret beaches and hidden waterfalls. In the story below, Jill finds herself lost in the dark on an unfamiliar beach after 9 hours of hitchhiking across the Big Island of Hawaii. Click on the picture and read on for a good laugh!

6 Tips for Safer Hiking – Part 2

Part 2 of “6 tips for Safer Hiking” continued here:

4. Pack Food to Sustain Energy

AlmondsEven for a short hike, pack snacks. If you’re anything like me, you never know when your curiosity will get the best of you and send you further and further down the trail, wondering “what’s around the next bend?” or “what’s over that hill?” Nothing is more miserable than knowing you’re an hour or two away from the trailhead and you’re super hungry! Well, except being out of water, but being hungry and far away from food is almost as miserable! I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I get short-tempered, grumpy, and don’t think very clearly. [Read more…]

6 Tips For Safer Hiking – Part 1

There have been several reports in the news lately of hikers getting lost while exploring a new trail or new area. In each instance, if the hikers had exercised these 6 basic safety tips for hiking, they would have either not gotten lost, or at least been more comfortable while waiting for rescue. These are 6 principles I exercise on EVERY hike, no matter how short, familiar, or close to home. You never know when you’ll roll your ankle, trip over a tree root and break your leg, or take a wrong turn and not know your way back. Follow these 6 tips for a safer hiking experience: [Read more…]

Sea Kayaking in Acadia National Park

Acadia National ParkAcadia National Park on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine provides an ideal setting for sea kayaking, with over 4,600 spruce-topped islands providing a maze of solitude and adventure. Several put in points are available: Seal Cove, Bass Hardbor, Seal Harbor Beach, Hadley Point, and Bar Island Gravel Bar. For beginner and intermediate kayakers, a guided tour is recommended from any of the private companies in the area. The weather conditions on the ocean can change rapidly, with rough waters, fast moving fog, [Read more…]

Hike or Bike in Overend Mountain Park – Durango, CO

Overend Trail MapNamed after famous bike racer Ned Overend, Overend Mountain Park in Durango, Colorado is over 300 acres of singletrack trails for hiking or mountain biking. Known as “test tracks” to the locals, the trails here are as varied as you can get in such relatively small biking area. In just a few miles you can ride or hike buttery smooth trails, cross rough bridges, ride burns, turn on banks, go over jumps, bumpy trails, and climb or descend nearly 1,000 feet in elevation. The trails wind through scrub brush, green grass, and forested gullies, while often criss crossing back on themselves offering multiple opportunities to see what’s around another corner. [Read more…]

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States, formed 7,000 years ago by the eruption of a volcano. The explosions from the eruption were of such magnitude that the volcano, Mount Mazama, collapsed in on itself leaving behind the massive caldera that now forms Crater Lake. At it’s deepest point the lake is 1,943 feet, and on average is 1,148 feet deep. The caldera that forms the lake and surrounding mountain walls is nearly perfectly symmetrical and over 4,000 feet deep. Craterlake-panorama [Read more…]

Upper Antelope Canyon – Arizona

Upper Antelope CanyonUpper Antelope Canyon near Page, Arizona is located on Navajo Land and just South of Lake Powell. Created by the erosion of the desert sandstone by flashfloods over many centuries, the canyon walls are extremely smooth and curved with the flow of the water. The bed of the canyon is a steep 120 feet below [Read more…]