When I first started this blog, the whole reason was that I was heading to Iceland. I was so excited to be visiting another country by myself. The point of my.travel.map was originally to keep my family and friends up to date with what I was doing on my short journey for a college spring break, after all, they couldn’t seem to understand why I wanted to go to Iceland for spring break in the first place (reason #1 why I went alone). Now that I’ve come back to this blog, I’m excited to say that I’ve returned to Iceland, this time with my fiancé, Florence, for a road trip around the Ring Road over the course of 10-days! My next few posts will be the details of this trip, along with stories and photographs from the journey around Iceland.
I’m lucky in the fact that I’ve found someone to spend the rest of my life with who loves adventure. When I brought up the idea of going to Iceland Florence didn’t even bat an eye before she said yes. And when we came across the idea of renting a camper van (or is it a flower delivery truck? We’ll let you decide) the first thing that she said was “HELL yes!” It was at that moment that we decided to circumnavigate the entire country by following the Ring Road.
If you’re into wilderness backpacking and you have not been to the Goat Rocks Wilderness of Washington State, you’re missing out. It is potentially the best backpack I have ever been on (and that includes the one I did in Patagonia, Argentina!). Here, you’ll find long-distance hikers trekking along the Pacific Crest Trail, endless mountain vistas, vast expanses of alpine wildflowers that seem endless before your eyes, and incredible views of glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and even frozen lakes.
Time of Year: Due to the elevation of the Goat Rocks Wilderness, it is recommended to begin your backpack in July. Otherwise, many mountain-side traverses will still be covered in snow and additional safety equipment will be required.
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I know I was, and I did. But what really makes a good campsite? Is it the gorgeous once-in-a-lifetime evening light views? Is it the view of the hidden city-lights as they pop-up all over the valley like fireflies in the distance when the sun goes down? Or is it the fact that you’re simply looking for a spot on the mountain, perched up high on the ridgeline so that you can overlook everything below while thinking, “One day, all this will be mine…” in a voice that sounds eerily like Mufasa’s from The Lion King?
This past weekend I headed up to North Conway, New Hampshire for another winter climb of Mt. Washington. For a few weeks prior to the trip, I moderated the weather from the Mount Washington Observatory like crazy, and I have to say I was beginning to become disappointed. While there was certainly some cold days on the summit, overall, the weather looked pretty warm and there seemed to be little snow on the mountain. But when I checked the weather forecast two days before the scheduled climbing day, I saw that we would be making our summit the same day an arctic cold front set-in, and the night before our climb it snowed like crazy on the mountain. Continue reading “Climbing Mt. Washington, Winter 2012”
Wayna Picchu (sometimes spelled “Huayna”) is the name of the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu. Many people don’t know that you can hike to the summit of this mountain. I didn’t know until I happened to stumble across it somewhere on the internet, and contacted the company that I hiked the Inca Trail with to find out about the permit required to do this.
On the Inca Trail, night number three was an early night. Not necessarily because we were all so tired (although we were), but because we planned on waking up extremely early on the morning of Day Four. At the beginning of the Day Four hike, you first have to pass through a gate where Peruvian officials check your Inca Trail tickets one final time with your guides before letting you pass. This gate opens at 5:30am, but the problem is that every person at campsite three with every possible Peruvian adventure company has to pass through this gate. Naturally, a ridiculous line forms.
On the morning of Day Three, the porters woke us up at 6:00am, a whole half-hour later than previous days, as a reward for completing Day Two. That morning, we did the usual packing of our bags, drinking coca tea, eating breakfast, and talking about what was yet to come for the day ahead of us.
They call Day Three “the most beautiful day on the Inca Trail.” Snow-capped mountains, beautiful vistas, brilliantly colored flowers with hummingbirds constantly hovering over them, and dense jungle, will all be encountered during this hike. But as a trade-off, this day is also the longest day on the Inca Trail.