Tumu Mountain Trail (American Samoa) report released

Today I am releasing the second of my five American Samoa hiking reports.  This new report documents a hike on the island of Ofu to the summit of Tumu Mountain.  This summit has one of the best views in the South Pacific.  And this report is actually the first time that this particular hike has been fully documented in detailed format.  The report is listed as #13 under the South Pacific section on the Introduction Page.  You can also view the new report by clicking on the link below.

Tumu Mountain Trail (American Samoa) report

Valley Spring new DV report

This past Monday, my friend Jordan and I hiked Valley Spring located east of the Owlshead Mountains.  Valley Spring is a very special place which I had been planning to visit for the past 1 1/2 years.  We finally made it out there and I came up with a really nice route which allowed us to fully see all of the unique scenery in the area.  I was surprised at how much there was to see during our 6-mile loop hike.  Because no photographs were in existence anywhere of Valley Spring and information was so scarce, I really didn’t know what to expect.  But what an excellent hike it was.  I have already put together a brand new hiking report documenting Valley Spring.  To view it, click on link #164 on the Main Page, or just follow the link below.

Valley Spring new DV report

Panoramic of the first large pond at Valley Spring

Sunlight Canyon & Sunlight Bridge video

Last Sunday, I returned to Sunlight Canyon and Sunlight Bridge for the first time in 4 years in order to once again see the slot narrows and major natural bridge which is located there.  The morning light was amazing, as the walls were absolutely glowing with the bright yellow, orange, and red colors of sunlight.  Seeing how amazing the lighting was, I went ahead and filmed a short video while hiking back down through the canyon.  I was privileged to be joined by Death Valley superintendent Mike Reynolds as well as several Death Valley NPS staff members for this hike.  Afterwards, I enjoyed attending an evening gathering where I got the opportunity to meet and get to know additional park staff.  I just wanted to express my sincere thanks to all of you who joined me for the hike and to those who attended the evening gathering.  I appreciate the hard work all of you do in behalf of Death Valley National Park.  And while many of you felt it was an honor to meet me, I felt it was an honor to meet all of you who do so much to take care of the park we love.  Below, I am sharing my Sunlight Canyon and Sunlight Bridge video.  (Music written and performed by Wagon Band.)

Mummy Canyon (DV report) updated

A quick note that we recently updated our Mummy Canyon report.  Mummy Canyon is located in the Funeral Mountains and is currently listed as destination #136 on the Main Page.  The updates include 18 new photographs taken during an attempted hike into upper Mummy Canyon about one year ago.  I’m sure you will enjoy seeing the spectacular photos taken from the canyon rim high above the wash.

Ofu Beach & Lagoon (American Samoa) report released

This evening, we are releasing the 1st of 5 hiking reports from our trip to American Samoa.  This first report introduces everyone to the isolated and very beautiful island of Ofu.  It features a 2-mile beach walk with many outstanding views and an exclusive look underwater at the Ofu Lagoon with around 50 tropical fish and sea creatures identified and discussed.  I’m sure you will enjoy this report and the next two reports to come will share the two major hikes on Ofu-Olosega.  The new report can be found as report #12 under the South Pacific section of the Introduction Page.  Or you can just click on the link below.

Ofu Beach & Lagoon (American Samoa) report

Sonoma Wildfires Statement

Many long-time visitors to the site know that we live in Sonoma, California.  As you are likely aware, during the past week we experienced one of the worst wildfire disasters in state history.  During this time, my family was under advisory evacuation, with mandatory evacuations taking place just a few blocks away.  We wisely evacuated to stay with family members in nearby Terra Linda.  The smoke was so thick in and around our house that we had trouble breathing, and the fumes were very unhealthy.  Our house was at the highest risk on Wednesday evening, as a fire was burning nearby on the hills above where we lived.  High winds were forecast for the evening and we had a Red Flag warning.  Fortunately, the winds shifted direction during the night and the fire blew away from our house rather than towards it.  Thus, our home was spared.  But several of our friends lost their homes during these fires.  After one week, the advisory evacuation has now been lifted and we were able to return home.  So just letting everyone know we are home safe, grateful we have a home to return to.

I hope to see you all in Death Valley in November.

A picture I took of the wildfires burning on the hills not far from our house

Site Maintenance Updates

Just a brief note that all of the slideshows have been updated with the latest software updates.  It’s a bit of a tedious process that has to be done once every 1-2 years to make sure that the slideshows run smoothly on all operating systems and formats (computers, tablets, cell phones, etc.)  But that has now been completed and there should not be any major glitches when running slideshows.

Iceland – Fimmvorduhals Trail backpacking report

Today I am finally releasing the second and final report documenting our Iceland backpacking trip (link below). This covers days 4 and 5 while hiking the Fimmvorduhals Trail (which is an extension of the Laugavegur Trail). You will see a wide variety of scenery showcased within this report including a section of trail which is known as Waterfall Way because there are so many major waterfalls. It was a truly incredible experience that Josh and I hope to follow up on by backing the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland next summer.  To read the final Iceland report, click on the link below or go to the Introduction Page of the site and look for the link posted under the Europe section.

Fimmvorduhals Trail (Iceland) backpacking report

Pothole Canyon new DV report

The final new report from our February 2017 trip to Death Valley has now been published.  This one fully documents a hike into Upper Pothole Canyon.  I apologize for the long delay in publishing these reports.  It doesn’t usually take me 7 months to release all of them, but I did a bit of additional traveling this year.  Now that the final new DV report has been published, I can turn my attention to doing some site updates and also finishing up some reports from Non-DV destinations such as Iceland and American Samoa.  In addition, we will be returning to Death Valley in late November.  So trip planning is underway for that.  The new report on Pothole Canyon can be viewed as report #72 (currently) on the Main Page, or by clicking on the link below.  Pothole Canyon was an outstanding hike that surpassed expectations.

Pothole Canyon new DV report

Cottonwood Slot new DV report

After a lengthy delay of several months, I am finally publishing my new Death Valley hiking report which documents Cottonwood Slot.  Cottonwood Slot is an impressive slot canyon with white marble walls that very few hiking groups have seen due to the isolated location and challenging obstacles presented within.  Our group was able to fully see the entire canyon back in February of this year.  I’m sure you will enjoy the new report which features 109 photographs.  To read the new report on Cottonwood Slot, visit report #63 (currently) on the Main Page or click on the link below.

Cottonwood Slot new DV report