Traveling the world…
During our 2012 trip to Alaska, we added ice climbing to our trip – I couldn’t recommend it more!
Our ice wall was approximately a mile onto the Matanuska glacier. There we learned to use crampons, ice axes and the combination while climbing. Overall we spent six hours hiking, training and climbing.
Being a well-versed rock climber, I was excited to try ice climbing. I would compare the difficulty to an easier indoor climbing wall due to the infinite number of holds available (almost anywhere in the ice).
Everyone in the group had a wonderful time – even during our preliminary training with the excellent MICA guides. I highly recommend ice climbing when you have the chance.
More climbing photos are available on our Alaska photo gallery.
My trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was an excellent opportunity to do more camping photography.
The following images are interesting in that the first required a tripod, getting my shoes muddy and fending off bugs. While the second image was a quick snapshot during our train ride. I am pleased with both.
My girlfriend Alisa and I decided earlier in the year we would like to take a long camping vacation. At that time we heard impressive stories from her mother describing Montana’s beautiful Glacier National Park with its incredible mountain views. When a trip to Montana did not come together we went the route of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.
Day 1: Driving Day
Alisa and I spent our time driving to Colorado with a few stops along the way. Beginning bright and early at 7:30am we finished packing the cooler, as the car was nearly full from the night before. I had stayed up late to finish up a project for KIHOMAC. That only provided for about 5-6 hours of rest for me. :(
We slowly made our way from Dallas through Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Clayton, and Raton finally ending in Trinidad, CO.
Our first major stop was for lunch in Amarillo. Here we found a sad, simple Burger King. My burger was smothered in condiments while Alisa’s chicken sandwich was dry, making it nearly uneatable. Project work continued thanks to my DC/AC inverter and laptop power adapter.
Our initial plan had us staying a night in Raton, NM at a KOA, however, on a whim we decided to take a chance on Trinidad State Park. Luckily, our gamble paid off as we filled the last campsite in Trinidad State Park due to a cancellation. The woman checking us in to camp was extremely helpful.
Trinidad State Park had a beautiful lake with well kept campsites. Our campsite was composed of two separate sections. A lower open section containing a fire ring and a picnic table. The upper section was a level tent pad in a secluded portion of the site. The two sections were joined by a short rocky path.
We had a pleasant night in Trinidad.
Day 2: Driving Day and Entry Into the Rockies
Our second day began semi-early by taking advantage of Trinidad’s shower amenities. Then we quickly hit the road with at least 5 hours driving to our destination, Rocky Mountain National Park.
The road trip approaching the Rocky Mountains was quite exciting. We could watch huge masses rise out of the horizon as we slowly gained altitude.
Along our ride we made a short stop in Denver to upload my project updates for a client’s demo web site. Find an internet hotspot was not as easy as it should have been.
Enjoy the scenery of CO and Estes Park.
Setup our campsite. It is a semi-private walk-in campsite.
A surprise visit from a small group of elk in our campsite. One was tagged with a large “17” on its yellow transmitter oddly similar to our campsite’s number, 71.
Evening hike to Mills Lake finishing the hike in the dark.
Day 3: Hike to Emerald Lake through Bear Lake
Short hike around the meadow and halfway to Cub Lake to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Day 4: An Early Trail Ridge Road Drive
An early drive up the Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center located in the park’s alpine tundra.
Drove down the western side of Trail Ridge Road to Coyote Valley trailhead.
Back at camp we took naps and did a bit of humming bird photography.
Ranger led presentation about our national parks.
Day 5: Ouzel Falls and Calypso Cascades
Shower and grocery store in Estes Park.
To bed early for Longs Peak.
Day 6: Longs Peak Summit Hike
Awoken at 2:07am to ready ourselves and drive to the Longs Peak trailhead. Our eerie hike at night started by signing the register at the ranger’s station at the trailhead. Interestingly enough, the register asked for an estimate for your return back to the parking lot (a.k.a. safety).
Longs Peak, at 14259ft in elevation, is the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Day 7: Old Fall River Road Drive
Alluvial fan to Old Fall River Road.
Board games, hawk, coyote, meadow.