Home Alone in the woods:
When he realized he'd been separated from his family on a weekend hike in a northern Utah forest, 9-year-old Grayson Wynne's thoughts turned to television.Grayson watches "Man vs. Wild" on the Discovery Channel every week with his brothers and his dad. On the show, host and adventurer Bear Grylls strands himself in the wilderness and then shows viewers how to survive the sticky situations.That's where Grayson says he learned to leave clues behind to help searchers find him.
Read the article here. At what point did his parents realize he was gone? When they got home?
If you're living in New York and want to get out to the state's only nationally recognized wilderness, the Watch Hill Ferry to Fire Island is now up and running again. It was shut down for a short time while the NPS was fixing their dock. If you take the LIRR to Patchogue and walk behind the bowling alley, jump on the ferry and have an Atlantic Ocean beach all to yourself when the sun goes down. Get there early, the NPS only issues permits to 12 people at a time in the eastern section and 24 in the western section.Look: Cold Splinters on Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness
The 2009 AT thru hikers have already begun their journey from Georgia to Maine or Maine to Georgia. (Good Luck!) It's always a pleasure sleeping out with someone who is hiking the trail all the way through and listening to a few stories. Last year I brought a bag of Twizzlers with me and within seconds of asking if they'd like one, Goat and Turtle (most thru hikers have nicknames) had devoured the whole bag. Dicks. Check out the Class of 2009 on White Blaze, the online AT message board, and then check out White Blaze's Trail Terms and Slang. A few of our favorites below..AYCE - 'All You Can Eat' Restaurants that offer all you can eat buffets are very popular with hungry hikers.Hicker - a person who is still trying to figure out the whole hiker/gear thing while on the trail.Trail Angel - Someone who provides unexpected help or food to a hiker.
Free weekends at the National Parks!
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the initiative Tuesday at a news conference at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio."National parks also serve as powerful economic engines for local communities, and we hope that promoting visitation will give a small shot in the arm to businesses in the area," Salazar said.All 147 National Park Service sites that charge entry fees will wave them for June 20 and 21, July 18 and 19, and August 15 and 16. Those fees range from $3 to $25.
Tons more old National Park signs from the amazing Piedmont Fossil after the jump..
The Siamese Ponds Wilderness consists of 112,524 acres in the southeast section of New York's Adirondacks. It's less frequented than the High Peaks area to the north, but it's just as wild with several lean-tos, including the East Branch Sacandaga lean-to (pictured above). The hike to the lean-to is an easy four miles that mostly runs along the East Branch of the Sacandaga River, a "wild" river under the New York State Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River System Act. Mother Nature's quite a lady.Another two and a half miles will get you to the first of the two Siamese Ponds, which has a few designated campsites around it's perimeter. Cold Splinters was up there last weekend and the trail is muddy and full of bugs just waiting for you to stop for water or lunch, but the lean-to is in a beautiful location for an easy overnight. The picture above was taken on the suspension bridge over the river that connects the trail up to the Siamese Ponds.The trailhead is at the Eleventh Mountain parking lot on Route 8 between Speculator and Bakers Mill. Can't miss it.
I bought this old canvas backpack on the side of a road in Chestertown, NY this weekend. The label says "Hirsch Weis" but I can't seem to find too much information about the company. Anybody want to help?Few more pictures after the jump..
Breakneck Ridge is in Beacon, NY and considered by many as one of the most challenging and scenic hikes in the area. They're right. With amazing views of the Hudson River, Breakneck Ridge is rocky and full of scrambles. The good stuff. It's a great day hike and it's easy to get to from New York City without the use of an automobile. Take the Metro North Hudson line (make sure you're in the last train car) and get off at the Breakneck Ridge stop, a little bench in the woods. It's an 80 minute ride and the train only stops there on the weekends. The trail head is right near the 9D Highway Tunnel.The hike also overlooks Bannerman Castle, a deserted castle built on an island in the Hudson in 1901. At the time of the castle's construction, the island was owned by a Scottish munitions dealer named Francis Bannerman. Bannerman used as a residence and a storage facility for his ammunition.
The burgundy Vasque Sundowners I used to own were some of the best boots I ever had the pleasure of slipping onto my size 10.5 feet. They were the Paul Newmans of hiking boots: strong, durable, and classically good looking. Vasque recommends wearing them not only on the mountain but to the supermarket as well. I concur. Unfortunately mine are now in shoe heaven as a few years ago my dumb ass put them a little too close to the fire while drying them out after wading down a river in the Catskills. The tongues were burnt to a crisp and they were eventually retired.Good lord, what a good looking boot.
So far this spring, family tent sales are up 14 percent over last year, said Rick Meade, REI's product manager for sleeping bags and tents. For March, sales are up 28 percent over the same month in 2008."We have a great sense that there is a resurgent interest in [camping], especially on the family camping side," Meade said.In California, many state parks are booked well into the spring, said Sheryl Watson, spokeswoman for California State Parks.On the first day reservations became available, 20,407 people reserved a July trip to a California state park, she said. That's up nearly 13 percent over last year's reservation numbers. By comparison, reservations were up 4 percent from 2007 to 2008.
Bryce and I took a foggy drive out to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn a few weekends ago, dodging all the mayhem that is Flatbush Avenue. Floyd Bennett is an old airport that the National Park System now runs as part of Gateway National Recreation Area. It's full of abandoned buildings that you're legally not supposed to go into, a place for people to fly their remote control airplanes, one of the sorriest looking archery ranges I ever saw, and long stretches of concrete runways that serve as roads to other long stretches of concrete runways. Nonetheless, the runway and ranges were packed, and the buildings were empty, except for the two of us and some pigeons.The real reason we went down there was to check out New York's only campgrounds. There are three of them in Floyd Bennett and, surprisingly, they're kind of awesome. They're in a field near the main hanger, and once you're in there, the tall grass and trees block the views of the concrete runways and abandoned buildings. You truly are in "the woods." There are fire pits and picnic tables, and the other campsites are far away enough from one another that you wouldn't be able to see your fellow camping groups. Not sure what it's like sleeping outside in Brooklyn, but I guess we'll find out in the coming weekends..
In recent years, it has become fashionable for a growing number of Swiss and some foreigners to wander in the Alps clad in little more than hiking shoes and sun screen. Last summer, the number of nude hikers increased to such an extent that the hills often seemed alive with the sound of everything but the swish of trousers.
If you want info about nude hiking in the United States, go no further than the Nude Hiking Blog.
Here you can find the ruins of El Cuartelejo, the only known Indian pueblo in Kansas and the northernmost one in North America. It was established in the 1600s by Taos Indians and later occupied by Picuris Indians. Both groups were attracted to the area by the many large springs, one of which (Big Springs) can be reached by hiking on a short nature trail. This spring, which provides a flow of about 400 gallons per minute of 58 degree F water, has been stocked with rainbow trout. The area's unique wildlife species-the Scott riffle beetle-is a tiny, seldom-seen insect that lives in the springs feeding into the lake. Because this beetle is found nowhere else in the world, it has been listed as a Kansas endangered species.
Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 as the Park Range Forest Reserve, the Routt National Forest includes 1,126,346 acres of Federal lands within its boundaries. The Forest is named in memory of Col. John N. Routt, the last territorial and first state Governor of Colorado.
Perhaps more than any other national forest, White River is dedicated to outdoor recreation. Aspen and Vail, two towns that exemplify basecamps at their most glamorous, nestle in its rugged folds. Trapper Lake and the surrounding Flat Tops Wilderness, is widely recognized as the birthplace of the modern concept of wilderness. The Maroon Bells, a collection of granite peaks near Aspen, signify the Rocky Mountains in the same way the Eiffel Tower does Paris.