Tag: hiking photography

Keskenkyia Loop, Day 5: Back to Jyrgalan

It was noticeably warmer overnight, and so we both slept like babies, not feeling the need to bundle up and nestle in our cocoons to maintain warmth. We are more than 2000 feet lower than our last camp, and we can feel the difference. As the first rays of direct sunlight hit the tent, the temperature inside begins to climb rapidly. Soon we are scrambling to get out of our sleeping bags and into our hiking clothes. (more…)

Keskenkyia Loop, Day 4: Got Mare’s Milk?

We set the alarm for midnight and reluctantly climb out of our sleeping bags in hopes of photographing the stars. It’s definitely hard to get up, but we intentionally didn’t go to the bathroom just before bed, so that we would have the extra motivation of relieving our bladders as insurance. It’s cold, so we layer up as best we can: pants over long johns, rain coat over down jacket, hats, gloves, the works… (more…)

Three Perfect Days in…Kyrgyzstan!

Greetings, everyone! It’s summertime, and that means we are off on another hiking adventure. This year we are headed to Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia of all places where we will do some trekking in the Tian Shan and Alay Mountains. Kyrgyzstan is said to be the Switzerland of Central Asia, and we are excited to spend the next five weeks exploring a brand new destination that is totally off the beaten track.

But before we begin our trekking, we have three days to explore Kyrgyzstan. First, we spend a day bumbling around the capital city of Bishkek. On Day 2, we drive clear across the country to our basecamp of Jyrgalan while visiting some of Kyrgyzstan’s premier cultural destinations, and finally, we spend a day in this tiny village acclimatizing and decompressing far away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. So, here, a la United Airlines Hemispheres Magazine, is three perfect days in Kyrgyzstan! (more…)

Into the Gila Wild, Day Four

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Sleeping high on the mesa, the sun reaches the tent much earlier this morning than on our two previous days deep in the canyon of the Middle Fork, which makes it much easier to get moving. It also helps to know that we only have a short distance to hike today and that there are only a handful of river crossings before we reach the trailhead. Plus there’s always the inherent excitement of finishing a trek to motivate us today. (more…)

Into the Gila Wild, Day Three

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Déjà Vu

When the alarm goes off at 6:30 am, it’s still dark in the tent. Once again, we’re both reluctant to loosen the drawstring around the hoodies, break the seal on our sleeping bags and make contact with the arctic air of this November morning. Once we finally do, it’s immediately clear that this morning is EVEN COLDER than yesterday. There’s only one way to handle the cold: get up, get dressed, get moving and don’t stop. Generating body heat is essential, so we move as quickly as possible as we set about our usual tasks. And when that doesn’t work, we duck back into the tent to drink some hot tea and coffee. (more…)

Into the Gila Wild, Day Two

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Waiting for the Sun

Sunrise is officially at 6:45 a.m., but the sun doesn’t begin to penetrate the bottom of the canyon where we are camped until considerably later. It’s cold, and we are more reluctant to emerge from the warmth of our sleeping bags than normal. Without ever leaving their cozy confines, we can tell that the temperature is even colder now than when we went to bed last night. We unzip our bags just enough to pull our cold hiking clothes in, hoping that this will help take away some of the chill before putting them on. After a few more minutes of playing possum, we give up and get dressed as fast as possible. Our quick movements help generate a little body heat. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 41: We Did It!

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When we wake up this morning, the first thought that goes through my head is that this is the last day that we will walk the Colorado Trail. We are only 7.1 miles from the Junction Creek Trailhead, and, although we are excited to get there and to complete the Colorado Trail, neither of us wants this amazing adventure to end. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling, and we linger in camp as we pack everything up for the last time, eat our last breakfast, set off on the trail on this last day. We wish our summers could last forever, but all good things come to an end sooner or later. (more…)