Fiji (September 2019)

We recently returned from a family trip to Fiji, visiting the islands of Taveuni and Mana.  As part of this, we did a lot of hiking, snorkeling, and sightseeing.  This was our 5th trip to the South Pacific in the last 5 years.  Previously, we had visited the Cook Islands (2015), French Polynesia (2016 & 2018), American Samoa (2017), and Easter Island (2018).  I will have a couple of hiking reports coming out from our time in Fiji down the road, but in the meantime feel free to check out our family trip report video.

Minor site updates

Hi everyone.  Just a brief update that I made a few minor site updates.  I still have my brand new Darwin Falls report hopefully coming out this summer.  But I haven’t had time to finish that up so far.  For the minor updates, I added to the Wildlife Page a brief notation that Pronghorns were spotted in Death Valley in 2019, as well as two small pictures of a Clay-colored sparrow and a Rock wren (which were both spotted during my Coyote BM hike).  To the Introduction Page, I added a new picture of my son Stefan at Mushroom Rock.  One suggestion which came to mind was that perhaps the NPS could move Mushroom Rock to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.  Mushroom Rock is a totally forgotten rock formation that was very highly regarded in past times.  At its current location, it is just a relic of a time gone by and nobody even knows about it.  By moving Mushroom Rock to the FCVC (either outside or inside), an interpretive sign next to it could tell park visitors about its past history of being a regular park tourist stop along with pictures showing how it used to look (larger and more majestic).  This would showcase park history that has been forgotten and also educate visitors on the damage that can be caused by those who are careless and who vandalize.  UPDATE: However, it was pointed out to me that the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe claims the rock as being special to them.  Thus, it seems that such a move would not be possible.  Finally, I added a few comments to my Upper Rainbow Canyon report in view of the recent plane crash tragedy which took place in the area.

Newfoundland (July 2019)

We recently returned from a trip to Newfoundland.  As part of this, we hiked 9 of the 20 official trails in Gros Morne National Park.  In the near future, I will release a hiking report for Gros Morne Mountain, which is a hike to the highest summit in the National Park.  In the meantime, feel free to check out my trip report video as posted below.  This video shares some of the highlights and interesting places across Newfoundland as seen during our family trip.

Coyote BM new DV hiking report released

Today, I am releasing my brand new Death Valley hiking report for Coyote BM peak in the Grapevine Mountains.  This was an outstanding mid-June hike that I recently completed which featured an abundance of high elevation wildflowers in bloom, including Giant Four O’Clocks (pictured below).  To view the new report, click on the link below or check out report #120 (currently) on the site’s Main Page.  I hope you enjoy the new report and I look forward to returning to Death Valley in late Oct / early Nov of this year to carry out an exclusive 3-day backpacking expedition into the Last Change Range.

Coyote BM new DV report

Giant Four O’Clock wildflowers were in full bloom along the route to Coyote BM

Coyote BM (Grapevine Mountains) hiking video

On Saturday, June 15, 2019, I carried out a solo hike to the summit of Coyote BM in the Grapevine Mountains.  This was a peak that I had been hoping to reach for the past several years.  It felt good to finally make it.  In the near future, I will be releasing a brand new Death Valley hiking report covering Coyote BM.  But in the meantime, I have something to share with you.  Being that I was out on a solo hike and decided to do something a little fun and different, I filmed a 20-minute video showcasing the route and my journey to the top.  This video is a companion piece to the regular hiking report which will come out later.  I don’t do these very often, so I hope you enjoy it.  (Also, just a note that I do not advise others to do this hike during times of hot weather in the park.)

Quail BM new DV report released

Tonight, we are officially releasing our brand new Death Valley hiking report which covers a hike to Quail BM, the high point of the Quail Mountains.  This was a truly fantastic peak hike with abundant wildflowers, wild burros to keep us company, outstanding views, and so many interesting things to see along the way.  To view the report, check out report #176 (currently) on the site’s Main Page or click on the link below.

Quail BM new DV report