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Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

If one has read other posts of mine, it’s most likely obvious I and three other buddies take a hiking trip each year to some magnificent part of the United States … usually a National Park.
This year, our Fall adventure was to Crested Butte, Colorado where we enjoyed this unique, historic old mining town and the incredible mountain trails in the area.

We arrived on a sunny Saturday followed by a day of heavy snow on Monday and then a magnificent week of crisp, blue sky hiking.

Beautiful setting for this Historic City

Beautiful setting for this Historic City

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Treacherous Drive

Treacherous Drive

Dark Canyon Aspen

Dark Canyon Aspen

The above photo was taken on our fourth day of hiking. This was a relatively short hike of four miles but a hike with a rewarding view of one of the largest Aspen groves in the United states.
Below … four friends at this magnificent overlook of one of the world’s larges living organisms.

Friends at the Dark Canyon Overlook

Friends at the Dark Canyon Overlook

Below are a few more random shots including a marker at a cemetery near the top of Kibler Pass and a shot of the 2000 foot deep Black Canyon near Montrose, Colorado.

I could go on and on but the pictures truly do tell the story of a wonderful trip.DSC09992

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Colorado Aspen and Arkansas Hardwoods …

I simply love Fall … the pictures below make this point in living color.
An eight mile hike yesterday in the Arkansas Ouachita Mountains gave me a glimpse of the colors to come. My shot of grouped leaves was just enough to get me thinking poetically … Wine colors … Cabernet, Pinot, Chardonnay. Fruit colors … Limon, Lime, Orange, Peach, grape. And the Elixer of the Gods, the golden brown richness of 18 year old Macallan single malt scotch.

Most of the shots were of Colorado Aspen at the peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Clearly they speak for themselves. In addition there are shots of Elk … this is the rutting season and we witnessed the evening ritual of female elk drifting into the meadows followed by first the bugling of males and then the grand entry of these huge, stately creatures.

We were celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of friends … just had to go to the Historic Stanley Hotel where we had a wonderful dinner and returned the next day for a complete tour … enough to prompt me to again read Stephen King’s book “The Shining”.

Finally, and pictures will come in the next few weeks, I am heading back to Colorado with three of my hiking buddies. To be continued then.

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This trip was photography focused … We had the usual Colorado activities … enjoyment of cool high altitude mountain air, fine food, shopping, hikes and festivals. However, this time we spent more time photographing the beauty and details of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Enjoy!!!

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We were just going to Saturday Afternoon Mass …

What started out as a Saturday afternoon heading to Mass, turned out to be a serendipitous adventure in Downtown Little Rock.

Going to Mass at the historic Greek Revival Saint Edward’s Catholic Church is a treat by itself … the Architecture, the altar carved by German craftsmen, the leaded glass, the choir, the ritual and the fact that for over 100 years it has continuously operated in the original settlement of Little Rock. Our already pleasant downtown adventure did not end with a church service.

After Mass we drove the few blocks to the River Market District, found a parking spot, walked around for a bit on an unseasonable cool July evening and had dinner at Dizzy’s … another treat in itself.  Owner, Darla, has managed to create her own eclectic flavor of art, atmosphere, food and hospitality.

A great dinner behind us we were about to head West when Patti suggested we drive by the Bernice Garden on South Main  …  this time, a treat far beyond our expectations.  There was music, street vendors and more activity than I have seen on Main Street in the past 50 years.  These pictures with my Iphone (I was wishing I had my Canon camera) provide a sample of the full of life and commerce in this SoMa neighborhood.

With the River Market District, Argenta in NLR, Heights/Hillcrest and now SoMa, the heart  of our Capitol City is beating like a teenager once again !!!

It truly makes me proud to be a citizen of Little Rock  …

check out: thebernicegarden.org and southonmain.com  …. also …   somalittlerock.blogspot.com

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Possibly the best Hiking, Backpacking, Camping season in Years !!!

I declare October thru April as my time to enjoy the wilderness experience of Arkansas, The Natural State. There are no ticks, no chiggers, no snakes and few people.  There’s always plenty of firewood, plenty of campfire stories and plenty of scenic views.  Early season we have kaleidoscopic colors, mid season with leaf-off we have views unavailable the rest of the year and late season we have  wildflowers, waterfalls and the fresh new green of Spring. This past weekend I just finished my last outing of the season …  what an exceptional season.

Water was great and waterfalls were spectacular …

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Wild flowers were aplenty … 

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Dogwoods were the fireworks of the forest …

Never have I experienced anything like it … the new spring green was aglow with sparkles of white, splatterings of bright white, an otherwise beautiful but monochromatic forest was transformed with thousands of what could just as easily be random trees lit with white Christmas lights … unbelievable, unexpected, stunning … what a once in a lifetime experience.

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Waxing Philosophical …

If you have read any of the books by authors such as Colin Fletcher, who backpacked the Grand Canyon or Everett Reuss, the young man in his twenties who disappeared while writing, painting and hiking in the Utah Canyonlands, then you understand how the wilderness can refresh your soul. More than likely you know it from personal experience.

If you have climbed a mountain in Colorado … maybe one of the fourteeners … or read books by Bill Bryson describing his hike of the Appalachian Trail or Cheryl Strayed’s book detailing her solo hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, then you have probably already picked up your pack and trekking poles.   You know what it means to leave behind the noise of the city in exchange for a pack on your back and the mind/body refreshment of hiking to a place most people will never see.

Maybe, you too will share the wonder of a season in the Arkansas wilderness.

 

 

 

 

 

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Perfect Fall Weekend at the Buffalo National River …

One can almost set his/her calendar for the first weekend in November and expect to see dazzling Fall color in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains.  This year my buddy, Daryl, and I camped at Steele Creek on the Buffalo River, hiked/bush-wacked to a water fall area and had a delicious meal at Low Gap Cafe. Low Gap, located on Arkansas 74 between Jasper and Ponca is the least likely spot one would expect to find a menu like this …

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The Bluffs and Hills were Stunning …

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Personal Creativity … While the waterfall was almost non existent due to below average rain, we were rewarded with the beauty around us and the unique creativity of an earlier hiker.  I spent more than thirty years in the furniture business and promise i’ve never seen a chair like this  …   Talk about the era of Assemble it yourself furniture!!

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The Shot below is one of my favorite … early morning fog, the glow of our sun and the Ozark Mountains.  Wow!!!

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We came to hike Zion and Bryce but were locked out by Congress and the President …

Obviously we are disappointed with the ridiculous shutdown.  That said, we have been thoroughly enjoying the wonderful and equally beautiful State Parks of Utah.  For the last two days we have hiked the Escalante and Kodachrome State Parks. Below are a few of my shots just to give you a taste of Utah … without the National Parks.

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