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Posts Tagged ‘Hike’


Well thanks for all the concern about the fall, but it really was nothing.  I’m going to focus on the great day I had before that: snowshoeing Mount Tremper in the Catskill Mountains.

After a two our car ride, our group was ready to move out.  We put on our snowshoes and started up the mountain.  The going was tough, as there was a thin layer of hard crust atop powdery snow.  Often, your snowshoes would get stuck under that crust and you had to literally move backwards to move forwards.  Even though the temperature must have been hovering below freezing, we quickly began to sweat and overheat.  Who can even imagine needing to unzipper your jacket in weather like that. 

Snowshoing on the ridge near the summit.

Snowshoing on the ridge near the summit.

Fortunately, there was little wind and the sun beat down upon our faces through the leafless trees.  We still saw signs of life.  Tracks of rabbits, squirrel, and even a fox crossed our path several times. 

Obviously a canine track.  It was not anywhere near the path, so not domestic.  We thought due to the size and location that it was fox.  Thoughts?

Obviously a canine track. It was not anywhere near the path, so not domestic. We thought due to the size and location that it was fox. Thoughts?

 

Rabbit Tracks

Rabbit Tracks

After about 2 and a half hours of climbing, we made it to the summit.  There, at the firetower, we revelled in the amazing vista.  I may prefer mountain vistas during the winter: the monoliths showing their forms.  You can see every rock; every crevice.  Climbing the firetower was a challenge in and of itself as there was a thin vernier of ice on some of the steps.  It was slow work, but the view was most definitely worth it.   All of the trees around us were coated with a thin layer of ice.  Standing in the sun, the whole area around the tower sparkled and twinkled.  It really looked like a storybook picture.

Artsy with Ice

Artsy with Ice

 

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a89b8e3b-59c1-4592-b125-0b81ddec29a9

Only part of the amazing view. For the whole panorama go to: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a89b8e3b-59c1-4592-b125-0b81ddec29a9

  The way down was much easier.  It only took about an hour.  I suppose it always works like that.  Soon enough we were at the car and riding home after a wonderful day in the Catskills.

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The Lone Tree

The Lone Tree

 Click for the music.

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Today, I went into the Catskills to climb Mt. Hunter, the second highest peak in the range at 4,100 feet (if you climb the tower on top).  I will post about the trip when I get a hold of some photos from the trip.

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Cheetahs in the Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya (5,199 m) is the second highest peak in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. It is an ancient extinct (not active) volcano.  There are 12 glaciers that constantly remain on the mountain.  The glaciers are now receding rapidly due to the increasing temperatures.  With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora and fauna also provide an outstanding example of ecological processes. 

The Mount Kenya National Park and Forest also contains a fantastic safari club.  Guests are free to do as they wish, whether it be horse-back riding, going on guided tours through the savannah to see the many wild animals including lions, zebra, wildebeest, and impala, and viewing animals in the orphanage.  The lodge is large and very impressive.  This is a must for any nature lover.

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Of all of the fragile ecosystems in the world, perhaps none are more delicate than the Galapagos Islands.  Even 150 years after Charles Darwin’s famous visit, people flock to this chain of islands off of the Ecuadorian coast. 

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A marine iguana on the coastline of one of the Galapagos islands

Here, Darwin developed his theory of evolution.  This was in part, due to the fact, that each island has its own, individual topography, flora, and wildlife.  Proportionally speaking, the ratio of endemic species (that is animals found nowhere else on the planet) to land on the Galapagos Islands is the highest in the world.  Some of these one-of-a-kind animals include tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and several species of the now-famous Darwin finches. 

These animals and the amazing vistas attract a vast number of nature lovers, adventurers, and eco-travellers to the twelve main (and many more scattered) islands.   There are many things to do on the islands including kayaking and boating around the coastline.  Scuba divers can view the penguins, marine iguanas, and vast array of fish in the surrounding Pacific ocean.  Divers and Selachophobiacs (people who fear sharks) beware, as there is always a large hammerhead shark and manta ray population surround ing the islands.  There are also many trails throughout the evolutionary laboratory.  Do not stray off the paths, however, as the land is strictly protected. 

The Palm Hotel is the only place to stay on the island.  It costs $310 or $370, per night, depending on the season.  The high season is from November to June.  The Ecuadorian government strictly regulates this land, so as to protect its natural beauty for centuries to come by everyone.

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