Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2017 - Spanish Peaks, Cuchara, CO

On recent trip to Colorado the goal was to hike the base of the Spanish Peaks. They peaks are known as Huajatolla by the Ute Indians, which translates to "Breasts of the Earth". I suspect the meaning is meant to describe both the shape and the beauty of the mountains. Located in the southeastern corner of the state near the town of Cuchara, CO, the base of the peaks are at 11,500'. The peaks themselves tower another two thousand feet into the heavens. I've traveled from Sea to Shining Sea and the Spanish Peaks are by far one of the most gorgeous adventures I've experienced to date.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Mount Evans, Idaho Springs, CO

Laura and I had the pleasure of spending some time with friends in Colorado this summer. Having already traveled to the top of Pikes Peek previously, we thought we'd take a stroll to the summit of the other "14-er" that you can drive to the top of, Mount Evans. At 14,271' above sea level, Evans stands 156' higher than Pike. And while the drive up to Pike is a wonderful journey that everyone should experience, it has nothing on the gorgeous and scenic journey to the top of Evans. The majority of the drive to the summit of Evans is spent above the alpine zone. You would think that the slow crawl across the barren landscape isn't worth the extra breath but it really does set you up for the most amazing vistas imaginable. It is beyond spectacular.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Bigfoot Crossing, Colorado Springs, CO

Nene and I first discovered the Big Foot Crossing sign back in 1995. During a 2011 visit in 2011, I discovered the actual namesake of the sign was a geological feature set back 600' into the forest. While on our Rocky Mountain adventure tour this summer, Laura and I stopped in to visit Bigfoot on our way down from the summit of Pikes Peek.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2016 - Picos de Europa, Asturias, Spain

As we made our way through the Asturian countryside, our itinerary had a scheduled stop to hike Los Pico de Europa. Though we did not plan to hike the entire 24Km from Puente Poncebos to Cain and back, we did have the idea we'd attempt to hike at least 3 to 4Km to the high point at Los Collaos. Unfortunately, less than 1Km from the parking lot, a storm rolled in packing horizontal rains and wind gusts of up to 30mph. We thought it wise to turn back and save this National Park adventure for some future trip to Spain. During our short hike we did manage to take a few photographs of the spectacular views and we found a geocache.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2013 - Mount Mitchell State Park, Asheville, NC

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Getting to the summit from Asheville, NC, via Blue Ridge Parkway, is easily one of the most gorgeous drives I've done to date. Anyone driving through this area should put Mount Mitchell State Park on their must-visit list.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2012 - Mount Margaret, Snoqualmie, WA

The goal today was to climb Mount Margaret and find Washington's oldest active geocache, aptly named, Geocache (GCD). The hike of Mount Margaret goes down as not only THE, MOST, spectacular and gorgeous hike I've expereinced, but also as the most brutal and physically exhausting. According to the track log of my GPS, each direction of the hike was 2.3 miles in length with an elevation change of over 2000', topping out at approximately 5200' above sea level.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2012 - Snoqualmie Tunnel, Snoqualmie, WA

Located under a mountain within the Snoqualmie Pass, the Snoqualmie Tunnel is a 2.3 mile long tunnel along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. I discovered this gem while perusing maps a few years back and just knew that this had to be a stop on our way out west.

Exploring the abandoned railroad tunnel was quite an adventure that we all thoroughly enjoyed.  At the midpoint within the tunnel, the light at each end is nearly imperceptable to non-existent.  The eary feeling of hearing other pedestrians and bikers make their way through the tunnel brought on chatter about horror movies and other bone chilling thoughts.  We also scored the geocache that is hidden within the tunnel called Bloody Fingers, Dirty Diapers... (GCJMDK).  Finding this geocache will be something most of us will never forget.  Right mom?

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2010 - Mount Washington, White Mountains, NH

During my 2010 New England tour, by far, the highlight of the trip was Mount Washington, which is located within the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern United States and is famous for its weather.  It held the record for the highest wind gust of 231MPH back in 1934.  During our visit to the Mount Washington Observatory, our original plans to hike down to the Lake of the Clouds hut were scrapped because of weather conditions.  The weather conditions at the time of our visit were the following:

High:  59°F
Low:  50°F
Average Wind Speed:  35.5 mph
Peak Wind Gust:  69 mph
Precipitation:  0.21"

Needless to say that hanging onto the observation deck railing with winds gusting at 50 to 60 mph was one heck of an adrenaline rush.  I cannot imagine 100 mph or even 200 mph.  One thing is for certain, Mount Washington is on my list of places to revisit at some point in my lifetime.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..