Of all types.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
I spent three nights in the mountains and valleys of Mt. Baker National Forest in the North Cascades. It was the first trek of its kind that I have attempted since my visit to Alaska over a year before. It was much warmer, and much rainier. However, the sun obliged me for a few hours on a couple of occasions.
The trek was not an easy one. It started off uphill and in the rain and remained that way for the better part of the first two days. Water managed to find a way into most everything I packed, regardless of waterproofing. While the rain did not penetrate my clothing, I was soaked through from the sweat of my uphill laboring. When I finally reached high ground on the third day, I realized all my efforts were worth my wet tent and tired back.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
I just returned from a week in Alaska, backpacking through-out Denali National Park. Unlike Alexander Supertramp, I am obviously still alive after the experience. And I brought a friend. The disgustingly tall (6'8'') freak on the left is Joe. The shorter, more handsome guy on the right is me. Ok, when I take off the glasses, we are about even.
We spent 5 days and 5 nights in and around the mountains of the Alaska Range which runs across central Alaska. Mt. McKinley stands there as North America's tallest mountain, and is also known as Denali, (the High One in native speak). The vertical relief is higher than Mt. Everest, though it is not as high above sea level.
I forgot my filters and a lens stopped functioning during the trip, so the photographic quality this time around is a bit disappointing. I still had a blast.
A single road penetrates the wilderness of Denali National park, like a thin blade through a vast green heart. Back country campers must catch this road into the wilderness, and hike from the road into the taiga forests and tundra of the park. We took the bus for 40 miles the first day, and exited near Sable pass, beginning our journey south. As we hiked around the back side of Sable Mountain, the snow began to fall. We let our packs fall and decided to try climbing one of the smaller scree peaks above us.
As we climbed our sweat soaked our clothes from the inside, and the heat from our bodies melted the snow from the outside. The scree trickled down the mountain side in our wake, providing little good footing. Eventually we made it to a point where it would become dangerous to go further and headed back down. The return trip was more like skiing than hiking. Using the loose rock, we skid and slid back down to our packs in about a quarter of the time it took us to climb up.
Continuing on our way south, the snow turned into a light rain, which remained for the rest of the day. Coming around the south side of the mountain, we turned back east and headed for the Teklanika river. Upon reaching it, we took our first break of the day before heading south.
After sitting in the rain for a bit we headed south for a few more miles. The wind was high, but the rain finally came to a stop, so we took advantage of the lull to set up camp. We stayed in that spot for two days, hiking around and taking in the scenery. The wind was ferocious for two days, and we eventually headed back west, deeper into the park in search of Mt. Eilson. Here are some pictures from the rest of the trip:
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Soon enough, we were on the road and headed south. A note that will become important later in the story is that Felix had no license and didn't really know how to drive. On any account, I took first turn at the wheel and soon we were surrounded by the foothills of the Andes.
Our plan was to drive south, see the glaciers (largest in South America) at Puerto Moreno, and then drive into Chile. From there, we would have to take a ferry to Tierra del Fuego, and pass back into Argentina.
The weather quickly turned frigid as we continued south, and soon it was painful to get out of the car. I did not take too many photographs during the trip, and the ones that I did take were rushed in order to get out of the cold.
That night, we did not stop, because there were no places to stay before we reached the desert. Oil had recently been struck and men had flocked from all over Argentina in the hope of finding work. We back tracked over 100 miles in search of a town with a single vacancy. We were unsuccssful, so drove to the end of the tundra, filled our car with gas and hoped for the best. Civilization ended for the next 450-500 miles. We didn't know if we would be able to make it on a single tank of gas, but we decided to chance it.
All of us were exhausted, and after we had all taken a turn at the wheel, we decided to risk letting Felix drive. We were awoken to the sensation of spinning not much later. As I looked out of the window, I saw the world rushing past, spinning out of control. The road had turned to ice in the night, and Felix, having little experience driving, had continued to travel well over 90 mph regardless of the ice. I thought, rightfully so, that we were about to die. Miraculously, the car remained on all four wheels and we found ourselves in a shallow ditch on the left side of the road. 5th gear was no longer fully operable, but we were able to continue on.
I am going to keep this post brief for now, as I didn't write much in my journal during that time. The details are fuzzy as to what places we saw in what order. I will repost when my fellower travelers fill in some of the blanks for me. For now, I will leave you with this picture of Broos, right before we were arested by the National Park rangers for jumping the fence to explore around the glacier: