Tag: nature

TMB, Day 8: Hello, Mont Blanc!


It pays off to have only two other roommates, particularly if they happen to be exhausted from trail running some 40 kilometers yesterday. Our French roomies don’t make a peep all night, and we have a blissful night of sleep before my alarm rudely goes off at 6 am and wakes the entire room. We enjoy a quick breakfast (the usual, but with Nutella!) and hit the trail by 8. We make it all of 25 paces before I detour to the local boulangerie to nab two fresh croissants. Vive la France!  (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 33: A Beast of a Day


On paper, today is the shortest mileage day of this leg between Creede and Silverton. We only have to hike 14.5 miles, and, after the 15.8 and 18.8 mile-days that we have put in already, we wake up figuring that today’s hike should feel pretty easy. Funny how that’s not the way it works. (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 18: Deja Vu

Our third day in the Collegiate West is similar in many ways to yesterday. We woke up and immediately crossed a beautiful high mountain pass as our first challenge of the day. We spent much of the day descending and hiking flat only to end it with another 1000 foot climb into camp. And, just like yesterday, we spied another moose along the way, this one a lone female grazing in the shallows of a beaver pond only 50 feet away! Lightning, so to speak, really does strike twice. (more…)

Trekking Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit: Days 4-6


With three days under our belt, we started hitting our groove on Leg 2 of the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit. By this point, we were growing a little more accustomed to the steep trails, the extreme elevations, and even the frigid nighttime temperatures that are de rigor when trekking in the Cordilleras. And the scenery? Well, if we spent a lifetime in the Cordillera, we would never get used to scenery this incredible. Each day, the stunning Peruvian landscape continued to knock our socks off as we trekked past peaceful reflecting pools, roaring rivers, gargantuan glaciers and grand valleys so vast they appeared to stretch along the horizon forever. Other notable moments on this leg of our journey included soaking in relaxing hot springs, topping the 5000 meter mark on the trail and sleeping right in the middle of a soccer field. No joke. So, lace up those hiking boots and come along for the ride on Days 4, 5 and 6 of the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit. You won’t regret it! (more…)

Notes from the Trail: Kilimanjaro, Day Three


Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2
Elevation: 11,500-12,500 ft (3505-3810 meters)
Distance: 14 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heather Moorland

Moving like a herd of turtles in a pot of glue, we departed from camp on the later side today at 9 am to make our way across the Shira Plateau (one of the world’s highest) to our next camp at Shira 2. The Lemosho Route is designed for gradual acclimatization, so the vertical gain today was a modest 350 meters. We savored the gentle ascent across the open plateau, which resembled the desert country of Arizona and Southern California and kept us in full view of Kilimanjaro all day long. (more…)

Notes from the Trail: Kilimanjaro, Day Two


Big Tree Camp to Shira Camp 1
• Elevation: 9,498-11,500 ft (2895-3810 m)
• Distance: 8 km
• Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
• Habitat: Heather Moorland

After leaving Big Tree Camp, today’s trail meandered its way up and down and through a montane rainforest similar to what we had experienced on Day One’s hike. The morning temperatures were crisp, but we warmed up nicely once we got moving. Even so, we were surprised to discover a layer of frost on the leaves in the lower valleys. (more…)