Wesley`s wanders

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Day hiking in the Pine Barrens

March 10th 2013 12:31 pm
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On our recent backpacking trip in the NJ Pine Barrens,Dad and I discovered an interesting swamp along a sandy forest road. Dad wanted to hike it all the way to its terminus in Atsion and return to Batsto by looping around on the Mullica River trail. Thus we returned about a week later to do just that.It was the first warm spring day of the season so it seemed like the right time to do it. The forest road passed by the interesting Great Swamp and was a bit challenging to hike as there were numerous deep pools of water along it that had to me circumvented. The day was warm,but we didn`t want to get our feet wet in the still chilly water. the forest road ended in Atsion where we connected with the yellow blazed Mullica River trail for the 8 mile hike back to Batsto. In Atsion,we discovered an old church and cemetary. There were some old graves there,people who had died back in the 1880`s. Some pix with descriptions are in the link.


Hiking in the Pine Barrens

 

Backpacking in the NJ Pine Barrens

March 8th 2013 1:31 pm
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Dad and I recently took a 4 day hike in the NJ Pine Barrens. This is a mysterious area of dense pine trees,sandy forest roads,and tea colored rivers and streams. Hiking here gives one a sense of total seclusion. We hiked the Batona Trail from Batsto Village out thru the cranberry bogs and then back again. Our trip included 3 nights of camping out in this secluded wilderness. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Backpacking in the Pine Barrens

 

OBX Trip`s End

February 14th 2013 1:26 pm
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Dad and I had originally intended to journey straight home from Florida at the end of our trip. However we fortunately encountered unseasonable warm weather as we journeyed thru the Carolinas so we decided to visit the Outer Banks and do some last minute hiking. This was the very end of our fall trip and a great way to wind things up!


OBX Trip`s End

 

Florida

February 11th 2013 3:36 pm
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All good things must come to an end or so they say. Our West trip of 2012 was winding down when we stopped in Florida to visit with Dad`s sister for Thanksgiving. While there,we hiked a few sections of the statewide Florida Trail. It was even warm enough to do some kayaking in the everglades! just amazing considering that it was late Nov! Some pix with descriptions follow.


Florida

 

Snowfall!

February 10th 2013 12:05 pm
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This winter in the Philadelphia area has been rather snow free,but late on Fri nite,it did snow. Wasn`t much---about an inch,but the walk thru the park next day was a beautiful experience. A fresh snowfall can make even the ordinary seem magical! A link to some pix follows,there are several after the first pic.


Pennypack Park in the snow

 

Prison camp and Kansas Prairie

February 8th 2013 1:22 pm
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After the Great Sand Dunes,we left Colorado and proceeded into Kansas. Leaving Colorado,Dad needed a place to stop for lunch. He saw a sign for a camp and pulled in thinking it was probably a boy scout camp or something. It turned out to be the site of a WW-2 Japanese internment camp. We explored the place for a bit. Most of the buildings were long gone but signs indicated what had once stood there. Echoes of the past here!

Entering Kansas,we stopped in Dodge City,a town that looms large in the lore of the Old West. dad and I hunted down a few geocaches here. We then proceeded on to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve,a unit of the National Park Service. A vast stretch of the prairie that once covered much of the state is preserved here. Good place to hike in solitude. It reminded Dad of the old movie "Dances with Wolves". Some pix with descriptions follow.

Prison camp and Kansas prairie

 

Colorado Great Sand Dunes

February 5th 2013 2:22 pm
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Dad and I traveled on into Colorado. We were headed for the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado. Here prevailing winds have pushed massive sand dunes up against the Sangre de Cristo mts. It was cold and a bit snowy in the days that we hiked here,but we had some wonderful views! Pix with descriptions follow.

Great Sand Dunes

 

Canyonlands

February 1st 2013 11:59 am
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Following our treks at Dead Horse Point,we journeyed on to nearby Canyonlands National Park. The park has three distinct units Island in the Sky,Needles and the wildest part The Maze accessable only by 4WD jeep roads. Dad and I first visited Island in the Sky---so named because it sits atop a high rock mesa. The trails switchback down cliffs to reach the desert floor. We also hiked in the Needles district but lacking a high clearance vehicle,had to forego the Maze district. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Canyonlands

 

Dead Horse Point

January 29th 2013 7:42 am
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Traveling on from Kanab Utah we passed thru Capitol Reef National Park on our way to Dead Horse Point State Park and nearby Canyonlands National Park. We arrived at Capitol Reef late in the afternoon and took a hike of about 2 hours thru a slot canyon there. Darkness fell as we were finishing up our hike,so we decided to stay the night at the campground there. We had explored this park last year so after another short hike in the morning,we moved on.

Dead Horse Point State Park sits atop a mesa towering thousands of feet over the rugged Utah landscape. Miles of trails lead to stunning viewpoints. It was still warm even in Nov and we spent the day exploring the trails here.Supposedly the park name derives from a time in the 1800`s when cowboys would corral horses here. The animals couldn`t escape due to the high cliffs. One time the cowboys forgot about the horses and the poor animals died stumbling down the cliffs in a vain attempt to reach the Colorado River far below. No such problems for me as my Dad brought water for both of us! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Dead Horse Point

 

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Sand Dunes

January 25th 2013 3:18 pm
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Still in the amazing and scenic Kanab area,we visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary,the largest no kill shelter in the US. This sanctuary sits in a beautiful desert canyon and we did some hiking there. The memorials to loved animals were touching and the weather was sunny and warm for exploring the place.

Nearby was Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park,an amazing expanse of colored sand dunes. We spent 2 days hiking there climbing tall sand dunes then sliding down the other side! The warm weather allowed us both to hike barefoot across the sand,a rather pleasant experience. Some pix of both places with descriptions follow.

Best Friends and Sand Dunes

 
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