100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park

One of Us

One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor. Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak. Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Read more…

One of Us

 

One of Us
Buy Print

One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor.  Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak.  Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 44 – Chimney Peak, Olympic National Park

With the spring melt in full affect throughout Washington, I find myself looking toward the mountains of Olympic National Park, ready once more to get out and explore its vast wilderness areas.

Read more…

Chimney Peak

Buy Print

With the spring melt in full affect throughout Washington, I find myself looking toward the mountains of Olympic National Park, ready once more to get out and explore its vast wilderness areas.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 44 – Chimney Peak, Olympic National Park”

100/100/100: Day 7 – Three Fools Peak, North Cascades National Park

Three Fools Peak

Though technically just past the eastern boundary of North Cascades National Park, this impressive promontory is one of the last such peaks you see on the Pacific Crest Trail before making the descent to Canada from Hopkins Pass and the Devil’s Stairway. To me it is truly representative, however, of the dramatic vistas this off-the-beaten-path National Park has to offer. Only truly accessible in the summer, the mountains of the North Cascades are what I picture when I think of mountains: jagged peaks, sparkling lakes, and lush meadows abounding with wildflowers.

Following my broken leg in the Sierra section of the PCT in 2015, I spent my recovery in Washington, and attempted to get back on the trail by “flip-flopping,” tagging the Canadian border then reversing all the way back to the mountain that beat me, Mt. Whitney. I made it as far as this mountain, before the realization dawned on me that my injury was not completely healed, and I’d have to stumble back to a bail-out at Hart’s Pass some 25 miles to the south.

Three Fools Peak is my Northern Terminus, in many ways the end of the road for my thru-hiking dreams, but also the instigator for my subsequent section hiking for the following few months. I realized, after passing this mountain, that I would have neither the time, nor the physical ability, to complete my PCT adventure that summer, but that I could at the very least tag the highlights of places I’d always wanted to see, to pick up the pieces of a dream led astray. Every time I look at this picture, it reminds me that someday I’ll get beyond this point, someday I’ll make the full 2650 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail

Three Fools Peak

Three Fools Peak
Buy Print

Marking the eastern edge of North Cascades National Park, this impressive promontory is one of the last such peaks you see on the Pacific Crest Trail before making the descent to Canada from Hopkins Pass and the Devil’s Stairway.  To me it is truly representative, however, of the dramatic vistas this off-the-beaten-path National Park has to offer.  Only truly accessible in the summer, the mountains of the North Cascades are what I picture when I think of mountains: jagged peaks, sparkling lakes, and lush meadows abounding with wildflowers.

Following my broken leg in the Sierra section of the PCT in 2015, I spent my recovery in Washington, and attempted to get back on the trail by “flip-flopping,” tagging the Canadian border then reversing all the way back to the mountain that beat me, Mt. Whitney.  I made it as far as this mountain, before the realization dawned on me that my injury was not completely healed, and I’d have to stumble back to a bail-out at Hart’s Pass some 25 miles to the south.

Three Fools Peak is my Northern Terminus, in many ways the end of the road for my thru-hiking dreams, but also the instigator for my subsequent section hiking for the following few months.  I realized, after passing this mountain, that I would have neither the time, nor the physical ability, to complete my PCT adventure that summer, but that I could at the very least tag the highlights of places I’d always wanted to see, to pick up the pieces of a dream led astray.  Every time I look at this picture, it reminds me that someday I’ll get beyond this point, someday I’ll make the full 2650 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail

Retracing Footsteps Buried in Snow

It’s safe to say I left a big part of myself behind on the Pacific Crest Trail when I decided to finally leave it in September of 2015. As I write about it for my book/memoir, tentatively titled I am Not a Thru-Hiker, I’m constantly brought back to my experiences hiking nearly 1400 miles of the 2663 mile trail, constantly reliving my interactions with other hikers and remembering the places that have branded themselves upon my memory for the rest of my life. Hiking the PCT was an experience like no other, and almost half a year later, I still long to be back out there, walking the lonely miles through deserts and forests and mountain passes.

It’s safe to say I left a big part of myself behind on the Pacific Crest Trail when I decided to finally leave it in September of 2015.  As I write about it for my book/memoir, tentatively titled I am Not a Thru-Hiker, I’m constantly brought back to my experiences hiking nearly 1400 miles of the 2663 mile trail, constantly reliving my interactions with other hikers and remembering the places that have branded themselves upon my memory for the rest of my life.  Hiking the PCT was an experience like no other, and almost half a year later, I still long to be back out there, walking the lonely miles through deserts and forests and mountain passes.

Continue reading “Retracing Footsteps Buried in Snow”