Corkscrew Canyon new Death Valley report

As a continuation of our Borax BM hike, we next dropped into Corkscrew Canyon.  A hike from the ridge all the way down through the entire length of Corkscrew Canyon had never before been documented, so we may well have been the first group of hikers to do it.  There was incredible beauty throughout Corkscrew Canyon and Corkscrew Main Side Canyon.  Long-time visitors to my site will know that I used to have an old report on Corkscrew Canyon, but that has now been completely replaced by this brand new report.  I kept only 2 photographs from the old report and included 96 brand new photos.  Also, the entire introduction is brand new.  I hope you enjoy the report.  The new report for Corkscrew Canyon can be found as report #155 on the Main Page or you can click on the link below.

Corkscrew Canyon new DV report

Borax BM new Death Valley report

Up next is our brand new report covering Borax BM, a very nice peak located in the northern Black Mountains.  The route-finding on this hike was especially challenging but the views were outstanding.  This particular report is part 1 of 2.  The follow-up report will be issued next weekend and will be entitled Corkscrew Canyon.  To read the new report on Borax BM, check out report #154 on the Main Page or click on the link below.

Borax BM new DV report

Rosy Canyon new Death Valley report

After a fairly lengthy delay in publishing it due to a busy personal and family schedule, our brand new Death Valley report on Rosy Canyon has finally been released.  This was a hike several years in planning going into a completely undocumented area of the Grapevine Mountains which turned out to be quite beautiful. Stunning colors, rock formations, and slot narrows. The canyon was named for the abundant Gray-crowned Rosy Finches and the vivid colors on display.  To see the new report, visit the link below or check out report #120 on the Main Page.  Four more new DV reports will be coming in the near future.

Rosy Canyon new DV hiking report

Prince Edward Island, Canada

After spending some time in Maine, we continued on up to Prince Edward Island in Canada in order to spend 3 full days sightseeing, hiking, and exploring the island.  We were quite impressed with the beautiful red landscape, especially the sea cliffs and sea arches.  I will go ahead and put together a trip report covering the highlights of Prince Edward Island in the near future.  Here are a few of my favorite photographs from our visit.

Prince Edward Island has some gorgeous red sand beaches to enjoy

Walking with Stefan along the shoreline of Prince Edward Island National Park

The park has many miles of roads, bike paths, and trails which showcase stunning red cliffs

Daria and Stefan posing next to Teacup Rock near Thunder Cove

A sea arch near Cape Egmont Lighthouse

The Kildare Capes area is loaded with sea arches including one known as Baby Elephant Rock

Hiking in Acadia NP, Maine

Last week, we got to spend a couple of days hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine.  The weather was fairly cool but we managed to avoid the rain.  We mainly focused on family-friendly hikes and ended up doing the Ocean Path from Sand Beach to Otter Cliff, walking around areas of Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain, the Ship Harbor Trail, the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse walk, and South Bubble Mountain.  As of right now, I don’t have any plans to release a trip report on Acadia NP or any of the specific hikes.  Although, I guess a combined single report showcasing the best spots might be a nice idea.  Here are a few pictures from our hikes.

Sand Beach stands out in the midst of the forested landscape

The Ocean Path has many sections of colorful pink granite rock outcroppings

A visit to Jordan Pond is mandatory during a trip to Acadia NP

The Bass Harbor Head Light has an amazing setting on the edge of sea cliffs

The summit of Cadillac Mountain has a number of trails to explore

Holding Stefan at the top of South Bubble Mountain with Jordan Pond in the background


Tree Searching Update #3

I am happy to announce the release of my long-awaited Tree Searching Update #3 on my Hyperion Redwood page.  The Hyperion Redwood and Tree Searching page is one of the most popular pages here on the site.  In the month of March alone, the page was visited 926 times.  Tree Searching Update #3 features two brand new photographs and an updated account of my return to Humboldt Redwoods State Park in order to search out trees 12-15 on the Top 15 Tallest list.  You can find the Hyperion Redwood page as the very first link on the Introduction Page or you can visit the page by clicking on the link below.  Once on the page, you can find Tree Searching Update #3 by scrolling all the way to the bottom.

Hyperion Redwood and Tree Searching page

Hidden Falls (Yosemite NP)

This past weekend we did a short trip to Yosemite National Park in order to carry out another exclusive hike.  This was our 6th exclusive Yosemite hike and it was to Hidden Falls (also known as Tenaya Creek Falls).  I’m hoping to put together a little report on this hike sometime in the near future, after I have time to put together the February Death Valley hiking reports.  Also, coming soon I will be returning to the redwoods to carry out some tree searching for the first time in 3 1/2 years.  The target will be Harper Flat.  So look for Tree Searching Update #3 soon.  Below is some video footage which I captured last weekend of Hidden Falls in Yosemite.

Returning to the South Pacific

Later this year, we plan to return to the South Pacific to carry out some additional hiking and snorkeling.  After our 2015 trip to the Cook Islands and 2016 trip to French Polynesia, we were very impressed with the scenery found in the beautiful islands located in the South Pacific.  For this upcoming trip, we plan to return to Bora Bora and visit four new islands — Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Easter Island.  I’m most excited about traveling to Easter Island and carrying out some hikes during the one week we will have there.  But the other destinations will be outstanding as well.  I even have an idea for an additional hike on Bora Bora that I missed out on last year.  This trip is still fairly far off, but I thought I would post a note on our upcoming travels which might result in new hiking reports here on the site.

On another note, I’m testing out some minor adjustments to the site.  The adjustments are: (1) switching the maps from Google Earth route maps to topographical maps and (2) switching the GPS coordinates to Decimal degrees.  The reason for switching the maps over to topographical maps is because satellite imagery is always being updated and I need to have the maps be in a format which will be more permanent.  The reason I didn’t do this before was because only recently I obtained software which provides seamless topographical maps when used in conjunction with Google Earth.  The GPS coordinates are being converted to the format that most people use today.  You can check out a test sample of the updates on the Tucki Mountain hiking report (currently listed as #7 on the site’s Main Page).  Please write in and let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions regarding these matters.

Backpacking in Iceland this summer

Just a quick post that I have confirmed plans and plane tickets to finally accomplish my goal of backpacking the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland this summer.  We plan to hike the entire 48-mile route from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork including the extension to Skogar.  I’ve been hoping to do this hike for several years now but it never worked out.  I’m mentioning this here because the Landmannalaugar area has colorful rhyolite hills that are somewhat reminiscent of areas within Death Valley.  It certainly will be nice to be back in Iceland for the first time in 10 years.  If the hike is successful (a lot will depend on the weather), I am considering hiking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland the following year.

On another note, don’t look for the new Death Valley reports anytime soon.  I’m going to be extremely busy in March and April and it is unlikely that any of the reports will be put together before May.

DV Feb 2017 Hike 4: Pothole Canyon

We wrapped up our short trip to Death Valley with a late afternoon hike out to upper Pothole Canyon.  We were able to fit this hike in since it begins not far from where the Cottonwood Slot hike begins.  This hike was quite fascinating as it started out on Cottonwood Canyon Road near the well-known giant cave.  We had to attain the eastern ridge above Cottonwood Canyon by gaining a quick 500 feet in elevation and then we headed southeast across a plateau with numerous drainages.  Eventually, we dropped into a wash which flowed into the wash of upper Pothole Canyon.  The narrows in the upper canyon were outstanding all the way to the pour-over into the first pothole.  Sadly, we ran out of daylight before we could circle around the ridge to get some nice views of Pothole Dry Fall.  But we did the best we could and were glad to have seen the beautiful upper narrows.  Here are a few teaser images from the full report which will come later (probably in a couple of months when life slows down just a notch).

A picture of me taken in the early part of the upper narrows

Beautiful canyon narrows with great variety on display

I love the smooth surface of this canyon wall

The canyon walls had great height to them despite this being considered a somewhat minor canyon

View at the end looking over the edge into the lower canyon wash far below