Posts Tagged With: walks

Very tall, very old things

On our way to the Boy Scout Tree in California’s Jedediah Smith State Park today, our camera found several other old, tall living things along the trail, including a former Scout!

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A Pleasant Hike on Humbug Mountain


It’s been awhile since we’ve given our hiking shoes a real workout, so today we put them (and ourselves) to the test along the 5 1/2 mile Humbug Mountain trail.  We hoped the promised ocean views would help distract us from the 1,748 foot climb.


The trail immediately began to rise, eventually leading us through a dense forest of amazing old-growth Douglas Fir, wildflowers and ferns.  As switchbacks led us back and forth up the mountain, Reg began to wonder just when we would see those Pacific Ocean views.  

At last we arrived at a break in the trees and were rewarded with a view north, up the Oregon Coast toward Port Orford.  We snuck several more peeks before trees grew dense and the trail took a turn, continuing up, up, up.  Surely, we thought, the view from the summit would be spectacular!

This little bench marked the end of the trail.  While I rested my feet, Reg documented our achievement with a quick photo.  Unfortunately, as the last picture shows, trees have blocked most of the views from the top.  Still, it was hard to be disappointed.  The hike was beautiful, we had made it to the top…and back down again…with plenty of energy to spare!

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Portland…after the storm

Portland got dumped on Tuesday and Wednesday. The expected 3-4 inches of snow piled up into a good foot of the white stuff, sending the city to a screeching halt for the rest of the week.
We stubbornly refused to postpone our scheduled trip, and arrived yesterday (Friday) to icy roads and slippery sidewalks…but beautiful blue skies Saturday morning. Cold, but otherwise perfect weather for a little urban hiking.

A beautiful, but cold day along the Portland waterfront.

I spot the telltale signs of past benchwarmers.

This woman has the right idea!

Enjoying the brilliant sunshine on a cold winter day.

 

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Ashland has me seeing red

There is nothing more spectacular than fall color, rinsed clean by gentle rains and positively glowing against gray skies.

I took advantage of a break in our weather this morning to stretch my legs and to see what Mother Nature has been up to in our Ashland neighborhood. I hope you'll enjoy what I found!

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Going Green on the Oregon Coast

When we reserved our Harris Beach campsite last week, the weather report for the south coast of Oregon called for several days with mostly blue skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties. The perfect opportunity to sneak in, what might be, one last trailer trip before winter weather arrives.

As promised, temperatures have warmed up each day, allowing us to comfortably explore, but the sunshine we were hoping for has remained scarce. Although the gray skies haven't slowed us down, they have served as a reminder of one of the reasons Oregon continues to be such a beautiful, green state.

In celebration of my green theme, I thought I'd share a few photos from our Riverview Trail walk along the Chetco River, in Alfred A. Loeb State Park.

Reg pauses to check out the curtain of moss dangling from a fallen tree.

The Riverview Trail eventually turned uphill and past a cascading creek.

As we left the river and climbed higher we entered a Redwood forest.

Lots of green...everywhere!

As a couple fishermen quickly floated down the Chetco River, we noticed it too was a unique shade of green.

We stopped to look for a four-leaf clover, but couldn't spot one. Can you?

 

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Colossal Newberry volcano begs for exploration

We stopped for a picnic near Little Crater Campground, about halfway around the trail from our starting point. The Forest Service camp offers water, pit toilets and roomy campsites with views like this. The jagged rock is Paulina Peak.

Paulina Lake's elevation is 6,340 feet.

Oh, what a difference a day makes!

We packed our hiking shoes and a picnic and headed for a second day in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

After a 34-mile drive south and then east from Bend, we were greeted by brilliant sunshine and twin lakes that filled an area bigger than Crater Lake.

The lakes are in two calderas left after hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions.

Our main event was a 7.5-mile trek around Paulina Lake, passing warm springs, a massive obsidian glass lava flow and a beautiful, rustic campground. The trail was fairly flat, with a couple of relatively brief inclines and declines.

Then we drove a few miles to East Lake, where we found what we were hoping for: a tasty dessert.

The national monument is huge and offers many days of activities and sites.

We will be back!

Four cabins built along Paulina Lake in the 1930s are in dire need of repairs. The Forest Service and Deschutes Historical Society are leading an effort to save them.

The East Lake Resort offers boat rentals.

With just a week left in the summer season, the East Lake Resort had two berry cobblers to sweeten our lakeside view.

Tumalo State Park near Bend is a great location for exploring a wealth of outdoor attractions in the area.

 

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Tour du Mont Blanc: Switzerland awaits

 

Our starting point this morning was in the valley far below.

Today, our seventh day of walking and our eighth day on the Tour du Mont Blanc, the trail led us 8,300 feet up and over the Grand Col Ferret and down into Switzerland. It was quite a climb!

Our first two hours of walking delivered us to Refugio Elena, strategically nestled into the hillside and sporting a spectacular view of the Glacier de Pré de Bar. Coffee on the deck and then it was time to push ahead.

The original Refugio Elena was lost in an avalanche in the 1950s. The Refugios are only open for the short summer season.

We made it to the top in time to enjoy the view during lunch.

We pose for a quick photo at the top of the col.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is taking us to dizzying heights, testing us every step of the way. It hasn't been easy, but it continues to reward us.

We wish our new friends a safe journey as they continue their trek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We've met some wonderful people on our journeys. It's one of the things we like most about trekking.

We met Dutch teachers Micah and Anna last night in La Vachey. This afternoon we walked to our destination of La Fouly together, the (mostly) gentle downhill allowing for easy conversation.

 

 

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Tour du Mont Blanc: A circular Alpine trek

 

About a third of the way down, a view of the valley peeks through.

We will be walking the 110 miles of the Tour du Mont Blanc over the next two weeks, with a couple of breaks. The trek circles Europe's highest peak, which is really a mountain range of Alpine peaks, above 15,000 feet.

We are starting in France and will go counter clockwise through Italy and Switzerland, finishing where we started in Chamonix, France. There will be about 68,000 feet of elevation change. It is Europe's most popular long-distance trek.

The clouds have parted a couple times to give us a look at the spectacular mountains that rise above the charming towns below. We are looking forward to the views as the weather brightens over the next few days!

 

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Tour du Mont Blanc: Our challenge begins

 

Sue begins our trek down from Le Brévant.

Reg takes it slow and easy across a snow field at about 8,000 feet.

We were strongly advised to begin our trek with two gondola rides from Chamonix, taking us more than 5,000 feet up above spectacular terrain to Le Brevant, more than 8,000 feet high. Clouds blocked our view across the valley to Mont Blanc and made visibility poor for most of the day.

So, after ascending into the clouds, all we had to do is walk to Les Houtches, about 10 miles away, but more than a mile below. It is impossible to describe how challenging, exciting, tiring, painful, and wonderful it was. We walked across snow fields and hung on to railings and chains as our feet made their way on rocky ledges. Most of the way, each step had to be measured.

The skies held their moisture most of the way, but there were a few episodes of icy rain and we finished with an hour of rain.

We arrived at our hotel after seven hours, exhausted but filled with vivid memories of our first day on the Tour du Mont Blanc. We shall see if we can walk when Day Two begins!

 

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Paris: A most walkable city

If you want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you need reservations months in advance. You can walk the first two levels, though, for 5€

It was Sunday, a bit chilly and overcast in Paris. Not a bad day for a walkabout. Our neighborhood bakery was closed, so we had to settle for a breakfast baguette from a grocery store, with the usual butter and jam. We packed a few picnic items and were off, walking first along the Seine several miles to the Eiffel Tower.

Zigzagging through neighborhoods, we found Luxembourg Garden, 60 acres filled with virtually everything a park should have. It oozed relaxation and many parts of the park looked like an impressionist painting brought to life. Lots of people about, children playing in the huge playground, men playing bocce ball, teenagers being kids, and people of all ages sitting as time passed.

The garden was quintessentially French, a place where life seems unhurried.

Sue enjoys one of the many small area and sculptures in Luxembourg Garden.

Remote-controlled sailboats in front of Luxembourg Palace at the park.

A group wrestling match is frozen in time at Luxembourg Garden.

A caramel crepe, a chair and the Luxembourg Garden made a perfect treat.

Paris remains in a state of emergency since the terrorist attacks and heavily armed military and police officers are everywhere. Patrolling vehicles are visible from almost every corner.

 

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