Tales from today, preserved for tomorrow.

Posts tagged “trip report

Lagunas Altas Trek

Overview of the Lagunas Altas trek.

To be a national park, there must be trails for visitors to enjoy. The first official trail of the future Patagonia National Park is the Lagunas Altas trek. It’s a spectacular walk and is definitely unknown at this point. I don’t know where else I would be able to hike for 3 days on such a beautiful trail and not see a single human. At least one writer for the International Business Times put this hike in his top 5 of Patagonia, and also acknowledges that its a hidden gem.

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Gauley Season!

Usually the best season to raft/kayak is in the spring when the snowmelt is bringing fresh water down to the rivers. The Gauley River is a special exception. Each year before winter the Army Corps of Engineers drain Summersville Lake into the Gauley, bringing consistently high water levels and thousands of whitewater enthusiasts to the area. Over the period of 30 years, it went from being considered an “impossible” stretch of whitewater to one of the most popular day trips in the country.

There were several ECPers in the campsite next to us, so we joined them on Sunday for a day of climbing.

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Teton Range

The Grand Teton, Mount Owen, and Teewinot as seen from the Grand Tetons Climbers’ Ranch.

When Jeff mentioned a trip to the Tetons, “a classic destination in American mountaineering”, my interest was immediately piqued. I kindly asked Jeff if I could join him and the others to which he was very welcoming. All I had to do was find a climbing partner, and that didn’t take long with the addition of Buttercup to make it a group of 8.

 

The Grand Teton National Park is located in western Wyoming and is often the starting point of many visits to Yellowstone because the closest airport to both is in Jackson, just south of the Tetons. Most visitors do not venture very high into the mountains however, and prefer to stay in the valley with the lakes, amenities, warmer temperatures, and easier access. While there is nothing wrong with this approach (the park is gorgeous to look at and much can be experienced from below, especially wildlife), our trip had one focus: climbing.

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New Zealand

New Zealand landed the top 2 spots in Trip Advisor’s 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations list. The #1 spot was taken by Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

My home country is a beautiful place. The Pacific Northwest has rain forests, glaciers and volcanoes. Arizona has deserts and the Grand Canyon. Florida has beautiful beaches. The northeast has endless expanses of deciduous forests and rolling green hills. So what could New Zealand have that the United States doesn’t? Consider this: It took 4 separate vacations and a dozen flights over the period of 2 years to visit these 4 corners. I saw the same and more in 2.5 weeks in New Zealand with just a camper van.

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