Tag: nature photography

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…)

Into the Gila Wild, Day One

After tackling 490 miles on the Colorado Trail this past summer, it’s been an awfully sedentary fall for the two of us, and we’ve been itching to hit the trail again and taste the freedom of the outdoors. With a week off over Thanksgiving, we were looking for a backpacking destination in the US that would offer a challenging multi-day experience and still be warm enough for camping in late November. Our first choice was the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Trail, a classic hike that’s still on our bucket list, but, unfortunately, we were too late this year to secure a permit. Where else would work? (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 31: Storming Snow Mesa

Today we begin the 5th leg of our Colorado Trail adventure, hiking from San Luis Pass near Creede down to Molas Pass near Silverton. The next 68.1 miles will largely be above treeline, so we are crossing our fingers that we will get a good weather window that will allow us to finish this stage in only 4.5 days. It’s a little ambitious for us, but we are feeling strong and hope we can do it. It all starts today with Day 31, so here goes. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 28: A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

When we woke up this morning, all cozy in our sleeping bags, we had no idea how cold it had turned overnight. The temperature on my watch read 32.5 degrees, and, when I step outside to make coffee I find that there are ice crystals on the tent fly. This is not the first time on this trip that we’ve camped low in a valley, so we have come to expect that it will be colder down here. But this is certainly the coldest morning on the CT by far! (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 27: Earning Our Hiking Legs

Over the last three days, we have been averaging 15 miles/day, which is getting us to Creede a little faster than we had planned. Our motel reservation is for Monday night, and we only have 41.2 miles to go over the next four days, which means that we need to slow down. The only problem is that the scenery in this leg of the CT isn’t the most inspiring, and it is relatively easy terrain. So, if there is any place that we want to speed up, this is it. (more…)