Highway 1 runs along the very western edge of the North American continent. We were driving north to south, with the Pacific a constant companion to the west. After only seeing it for the first time when we reached Tofino, it had already started to feel like an old friend. We last left you as we were entering the Big Sur region. That’s where we’ll pick up.
That morning we had said goodbye to two friends who we had studied on exchange with us at Trent University. Their time in North America was coming to an end and it was difficult to see them go. Their departure marked us as the last exchange students from Trent travelling around the United States.
We took the driving easy. Big Sur was great at accommodating that. There are limitless opportunities for forays down the steep cliffs to explore the shoreline or equally up the steep slopes away from the ocean to try and find views inland. We passed the famous McWay Falls near to which we came across two unfortunate travellers who had been unlucky enough to lock their keys inside their hire car. We gave them a ride to the nearest town. Steve and Beverley – if you’re reading this, we still all intend to take you up on the offer of a place to stay if we ever visit Boston.
Leaving the Big Sur region we reached another milestone in the journey. We turned east. We lost sight of the Pacific and wouldn’t see it again for the rest of the trip. Although east was a homewards direction it didn’t feel like we were nearing the end of things. Our next destination was Sequoia National Forest.
From the offset we’ve had a tendency to arrive late regardless of when we set off in the morning. Sequoia was no different and we drove the last portion of the steep uphill switchbacks in darkness after watching yet another killer sunset.
The next morning we woke up early to have some time with General Sherman alone. General Sherman is the world’s largest tree by volume. A giant sequoia, its massive bulk sets it apart from a grove already full of giants. You cannot see its top from the base, you cannot hear the voice of someone talking loudly at the opposite side of its trunk, and you cannot fail to be amazed by just how absolutely enormous it is.
We walked for the rest of the day, from Moro Rock along a trail that lead to the beginning of the High Sierra Trail and from there back through the sequoia groves to somewhere absolutely not where we started, or where we’d left our car. A slight misjudgment on our part. The sun had set and our car was parked about four hours walk away. Feeling a little tired (and perhaps a little lazy) we decided to head back to camp, eat the food we had left and take a free park shuttle bus up in the morning. At camp we ran into a Scottish/Slovenia couple. They advised us that leaving our car out there all night was leaving it at serious risk of bear break in. They very kindly drove us up to where it was parked and we were able to retrieve it that night.
Good deeds come around very quickly on the road, it seems. (more…)
There are 33 miles of smooth, fast, flowing trails surrounding Raystown Lake, the largest lake in Pennsylvania. They range from beginner to expert level in three stacked loops, making for endless combinations. This sustainably-built trail system is open year-round to all users, is owned by the Friends of Raystown Lake, and is maintained by the volunteer efforts of the Raystown Mountain Biking Association.
Dirt Fest is here — and we’re ready to get dirty at Dirt Rag Magazine’s epic annual celebration of mountain biking in the hilly and lush region of Raystown Lake, PA. We can’t resist a weekend of single track, clinics by top athletes in the industry, time on the lake, and camping out with our fellow diehard MTB enthusiasts — so we are flying 1,800 miles east from Colorado to join the fun! If you are attending, then swing by the Osprey Packs Dirtfest booth for some of the following: (more…)
Osprey Athlete Payge McMahon is an adventure athlete, ‘rockin’ yogi’ and journalist who travels the world inspiring others to get outdoors, try new things and start checking off that bucket list.
2015 U.S.A. Adventure Recommendation
…and which Osprey Pack you should take!
I’ve backpacked all over the world and the JMT is my all time favorite!
Located in Northern California, this breathtaking trek takes you 221-miles, up and over 11 mountain passes, ranging from 9,703 ft. (Cathedral) to 14,496 (Mt. Whitney), for a total of 84,000 feet of elevation gains and losses.
If you’ve ever wanted to trek the Pacific Crest Trail, but thought the 2,650 miles was just a bit much, do the John Muir Trail instead! A 170 of the 221 miles are on the PCT and you will trek through the most beautiful national parks in the United States. From Yosemite Valley, the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon, Sequoia National Parks and up and over Mt. Whitney to Lone Pine, CA. Enjoy remote the wilderness from; rivers, blue lakes, waterfalls, forests, mountains, deer, marmots to the occasional bear – you will see it all.
The best time to go is from June – August. The trek is traditionally done in 14-21 days, and if preferred, can also be section hiked. Most start in Yosemite and go south, but if you want to get the hard elevation out of the way first, start in Lone Pine/Mt. Whitney and go north. Get your permits early, pack clothes for hot to freezing weather and plan your food wisely.
Ansel Adams Wilderness, Ariel, Ariel 65, Aura, Aura 65, backpacking, bucket list, camping, elevation, hiking, how to pack, JMT, John Muir, Lone Pine, Mt. Whitney, Northern California, Osprey athlete, Payge McMahon, PCT, PCTA, Sequoia, Sierra Nevada, Sierras, summer, through-hiking, thru hiking, trek, Vermillion Valley Resort, yosemite
Mountain Bike Oregon: Named “One of The Best Mountain Bike Festivals” by Outside Magazine
You had us at “Free Beer, Demo Bikes & Shuttles.” We are thrilled to be attending the Mt. Bike Oregon Event for the first time ever! The event takes place July 18-20, 2014 and provides riders three full days of mountain biking in Oakridge, Oregon.
Mountain Bike Oregon “will leave you both exhausted and replenished. Nestled in the foothills of the central Cascade Mountains, Oakridge is a true mountain bike paradise. Giant old growth trees, lush ferns, creeks, waterfalls and mountain meadows full of wildflowers make for some of the most beautiful singletrack around. From rolling riverside trails, to wild ripping descents, Mt. Bike Oregon has something for everyone.”
The Sherwood Forest is calling our name…and we are ready to return!
When asked to describe the Forest, it’s difficult to find the right words. Those who have participated in the experience that is Electric Forest understand the life-changing event June 26th-29th in the tiny community of Rothbury, Michigan.
A rural town of 400 quickly becomes a buzzing “city” of 30,000 when people from all over the world come together for a weekend of live music performances and life-size art installations set in the depths of the woods amid the trees, which are lit up with an electric, glowing light once night falls. Need we explain why we’ve decided to return?
Here are a few of the unique activities that you will only find at the Osprey Packs tent — so don’t forget to stop by! And remember: BIRD IS THE WORD! (more…)
Allegrippis, Allegrippis Trails, Allegrippis Trails System, camping, clinics, demo, Dirt Fest, Dirt Rag, Dirt Rag Magazine, Dirtfest, DirtRag, hydrating, hydration, manta, Manta Hydration, Mountain Bike, MTB, MTB hydration, Osprey Hydration, Osprey Hydraulics, Osprey Packs, pack fitting, Pennsylvania, Raptor, Raptor Hydration, Raystown, single track, singletrack, skills, Syncro, Syncro Hydration, trails, Verve
Climbing a Granite Big Wall, Discovering New Species for Science, and Starting a New Conservation Area. Aka, Going Camping.
Right now I am supposed to tell you I am ready and that I know what I am doing. I’m neither.
Projects that matter take self-trickery to make happen. I never asked myself if it was really possible or a good idea to splice together climbing and science and conservation and Malawi and Mozambique and 14 individuals all trying to achieve a collective goal. I just set about doing it. Now it is happening. Which means now is when the panic of the reality sets in. Put another way, we’ve already climbed the high dive ladder, stood on the edge, and jumped off. Now—when there is no way to go backwards—is therefore the first time when I am finally allowing myself to look at the giant body of water which I’m heading for at full speed. It’s just the way I like to do it.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in and out of major expeditions. I was that kid who had her dolls and stuffed animals organized for imaginary camp with peanut rations and toilet paper sleeping bags. It stands to reason that I am now the adult who has the following decisions to make:
- What percentage of the poisonous snakes which we will be around have fangs that are over ½ an inch long and thus make a case for the thicker high-top leather hiking boots versus low-tops?
- Will deet from 2004 still work, and work well enough against malaria-carrying mosquitos? Chance it or change it?
- Will 33 porters be obscene or accurate? And what size T-shirts do these porters wear/should we bring for gifts?
- Is EtOH alcohol available for our scientists’ specimen vials in Blantyre, Malawi, or should they tuck it in their luggage here in the U.S. and act none the wiser?
- If the rainy season starts early will it make any difference if I bring one rain jacket or two?
My nine-year-old niece Miranda called me yesterday evening to talk about camping. She was just back from a family trip in Northern Minnesota
“How was it?” I asked her.
“Camping is cool,” she said. I laughed and agreed.
We talked about her favorite part (waterfalls) the scariest thing (the sound the rain made on the tent) and yuckiest thing (sleeping next to her brother). Once we covered the highlights I asked her if she would do it again. “Well, yeah” she said. I think she would have said “Duh, yeah” had her mother not been listening.
“You know, Miranda,” I said, “I sort of camp for a living.”
She giggled. Usually she tells me I am silly for pretty much everything I say. This time she said “You’re lucky, Auntie Majka.”
After Miranda and I hung up I went upstairs and looked at the pile of climbing gear with pieces for every possible situation known and unknown, stacks of maps and research and logistics papers, rain coats and rain pants, bug nets, gaiters, sat phones, energy bars and more. This is the highest high dive off of which I’ve ever jumped. But at a certain level, it’s also camping—something I have been doing my whole life. And if camping is cool to Miranda, it’s also cool to me. After all, the thing I’m also most worried about is too much rain on the outside of the tent.
By Majka Burhardt, Lost Mountain Project director and Osprey Athlete
#LostMountain begins October 27th; Follow along at thelostmountainfilm.com
It’s summer and if you’re anything like us you’re probably itching to get out on the trail this weekend. With backpacking season in full swing, we thought it would be good to post a little refresher from the Leave No Trace Principles. Because it’s up to us to make sure our wilderness stays wild, healthy and fun!
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
ARVE Error: no id set
Learn more about Leave No Trace and the principles here. And remember, if you have an Osprey Pack, these principles are printed right inside your pack!
Joshua Johnson aka “Joshywashington” traveled through Argentina earlier this year. Joshua is a Seattle-based travel blogger always on the lookout for the next journey. He also heads up MatadorTV. Read more from Joshua on his blog…
Photos have a way of bringing you back to a place… to an experience. When looking at my photos from a recent trip to Patagonia, these five bright, red images brought me right back to my journey. To me they tell a compelling story of my two weeks in Patagonia, one of earth’s most desolate, colorful and coveted travel destinations.
If you missed it, guest blogger Rick Olson gave us a great account of bike camping in Oregon last week over on our regular blog. It’s certainly a great way to explore, but if you’re hesitant on packing your life into your panniers, you could always go for the bike camper option…
Ok, just kidding. It’s actually just a sculptural piece, but it made us laugh.
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
Via: Swiss Miss