Archive

Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

Tent Rocks National Monument

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico is a (BLM) managed site that was established as a U.S. National Monument by President Bill Clinton in January 2001. Kasha-Katuwe means “white cliffs” in the Pueblo language Keresan.

The area owes its remarkable geology to layers of volcanic rock and ash deposited by  a volcanic explosion within the Jemez Volcanic Field that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago. Over time, weathering and erosion of these layers has created canyons and tent rocks. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks, and vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet.

We hiked both trails, the one around the base and the much more difficult climb to the top.  The latter included both working our way through a slot canyon and scrambling over rock formations.  But the view from the was worth the effort.

Sweet Creek Waterfalls

October 5, 2017 Leave a comment

This hike is close to Florence, near the Oregon coast.  This was one of the nicest hikes we’ve ever done.  It isn’t long, only about 2 miles each way.  It isn’t steep, only about 350 ft vertical.  It isn’t especially challenging, although there were some roots, rocks and catwalks.  And the whole route was under heavy forest growth.

But the waterfalls were amazing!  There are about 15 waterfalls along the two mile route, and rushing water all the way.  We did this on a beautiful day with our friends Jack and Sylvia Napoles. They bought a house in the area and will certainly do this hike and others in the Siuslaw Forest again!

Punchbowl Falls, Angel’s Rest

August 16, 2017 Leave a comment

The Columbia Gorge is not only scenic, it has some great hikes.   We were glad to be back and have some nice weather to do two different hikes.  First we did Punchbowl Falls, 2 1/2 mile in on Eagle Creek.  This hike isn’t too strenuous, although there are some scary drop offs to watch for.  The Falls are gorgeous.

Our second hike was up to Angel’s Rest.  This is the only hike we do that is rated “Hard”, not because of the length (total distance maybe 5 1/2 miles) but it is steep, rocky, and high.  Elevation gain is some 1,500 feet, tough n old folks like us!  But the view is absolutely superb.  See the second set of pictures.

Punchbowl Falls hike

Angel’s Rest hike

 

Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

Bryce Canyon is located in south western Utah.  It is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet elevation.

There are some very nice hikes in the area, but you have to remember:  they all start at the top so when you get down you have to climb all the way back.  And it can get steep, and hot, but the views are worth the effort.  Here is a photo collage I made of our visit.

Hiking Smelter Mountain

This was one of the most difficult hikes we’ve ever done.  Not because it was that far, or that high, but it was so steep and rocky.  It gained 1,000ft in one mile, all rocks and boulders. And in the full Colorado sun…. good thing we had lots of water with us.  It took us from the base of Smelter Mountain to the broadcast towers on the very top.

But we made it, and the effort was worth it, with spectacular views of Durango and the surrounding mountains.  The trip back down was anticlimactic, we just made sure of our foot placement and we got down no problems (well, maybe for 100 yards or so when we made a wrong turn).

Granted, we questioned our sanity several times on the way up (hey, we’re in our mid 70’s) but it was definitely worth the effort.

Hiking Engineer Mountain

Engineer Mountain is located about 50 miles north of Durango, is about 12,900ft high, and very popular with hikers.  There is a trail that leads through the forest to an open meadow right above the tree line, then to a viewpoint called Eagle Nest, and finally the mountain top itself.  Very few people attempt the top, as you pretty well need to go on all fours to get up the last steep part.

The parking lot is at 10,600 ft, the meadow about 2 1/2 miles in and about 11,400ft elevation, Eagles Nest another mile or so at about 11,800ft.  The peak is another 3/4 mile but goes up another 1,100ft!

It’s been almost 10 years since my quadruple bypass surgery.  We’ve hiked here before, and thought this would make a good test of my surgeons skills.  And, in fact, Romola and I had little trouble hiking — until we got within a half mile of the meadow.  It started to rain, and thunder was heard.  It never is a good idea to be on a mountain in thunderstorms so we headed back down.

So although we shorted our hike by a mile or so, it was very pleasant.  The wild flowers are blooming, with the columbine — Colorado’s state flower — well represented.

 

Our first hike of the year

March 20, 2017 Leave a comment

WE plan on a lot of hikes this summer, when we travel through Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington.  So we have been taking fairly long walks around the RV park most every day.  However, nothing like putting on the hiking boots, throwing on the backpack, and going through the woods.  Today was our first day!

WE drove up to Sam Houston National Forest, where there is a long trail called the Lone Star Hiking Trail.  It is some 100 miles long, so we cleverly decided just to walk 4 miles of it.  It was nice to have the boots back on and spend some time in the forest!

Ths trails skirts Lake Conroe, so we get to see some of the lake.  It is a bit early for flowers, but some of the early bloomers are starting to pop up.  We enjoy being in the woods!

Categories: hiking, Scenery Tags: ,