Discover the Hidden Beauty of Norway

It is not alone the conspicuousness of this celestial vacancy, opening suddenly in the midst of one of the richest parts of the Galaxy, that has given it its fame,…

It is not alone the conspicuousness of this celestial vacancy, opening suddenly in the midst of one of the richest parts of the Galaxy, that has given it its fame, but quite as much the superstitious awe with which it was regarded by the early explorers of the South Seas.

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ADK 29ers: Crane Mountain Loop via Crane Mountain Trail

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It's crazy for me to say, but I'm wondering if the Adirondacks are the place to be in the fall. The vibrant colors were better than the Whites this year. But the Dacks also got much more precipitation than the Whites did, which could account for that. In any event, Crane Mountain is an absolute must do fall hike south of the High Peaks.

Lauren and I were joined by Alex, Nonay, and Katy for the short 3.5-4ish mile loop. It immediately rises close to 1000 feet in the first mile without stopping. The views on the way are absolutely stunning though.

We scrambled up some ledges and saw quite a few people. Even though it's in a remote area, social media has likely made this hike into one of the most popular in the area.

At our first junction, we headed toward the summit and continued on an easy, flat path until it climbed a small ladder, and then a longer one up toward the summit block.

The ladder was in g..

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It's crazy for me to say, but I'm wondering if the Adirondacks are the place to be in the fall. The vibrant colors were better than the Whites this year. But the Dacks also got much more precipitation than the Whites did, which could account for that. In any event, Crane Mountain is an absolute must do fall hike south of the High Peaks.


Lauren and I were joined by Alex, Nonay, and Katy for the short 3.5-4ish mile loop. It immediately rises close to 1000 feet in the first mile without stopping. The views on the way are absolutely stunning though.



We scrambled up some ledges and saw quite a few people. Even though it's in a remote area, social media has likely made this hike into one of the most popular in the area.




At our first junction, we headed toward the summit and continued on an easy, flat path until it climbed a small ladder, and then a longer one up toward the summit block.





The ladder was in good shape and everyone enjoyed the ascent. The perfect views at the top foreshadowed what was to come.

At the summit, we saw autumn in full action. Yellow, golds, greens, reds, and oranges swept over the valley below. Because Crane Mountain is so short, you get to see them up front and center relative to the adjacent landscape. We spent a good bit of time on the summit and then continued along our loop, stopping multiple times to see other vantages which were even better than the summit.





The trail down to the pond was short and easy, but the pond proper was surprisingly uneventful relative to the views we had from the top. Many of the trees were pine, so they were all green.


But as we continued our loop, we got some more pleasant views while we descended some slabby ledges.




We finished the loop on an easy trail that actually rose a bit on the way back to the car since we dropped down so much. It wasn't too bad though.


Overall, Crane Mountain was a simply astounding little gem that would be even better to explore during the week when the crowds are slimmer.

Total Time: 2 hrs 38 mins

Total Distance: ~4.07 miles (Garmin Fenix 5x Plus)

Total Elevation Gain: ~1476 vertical gain

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Mt Hicks – S. Face – New Zealand + Hungarian Duo Prepare for Winter Broad Peak + Mt Rainier Search for Hiker Missing for 2 Weeks.

Mt Hicks – S. Face – The Curver – New Zealand – from AlpineTeam.co.nz
Hungarian Duo Prepare for Winter Broad Peak – PK – from Explorersweb.com
Search resumes for hiker missing for 2 weeks on Mt Rainier WA – from SnowBrains.com
—————————————————————————————————–
https://alpineteam.co.nz/2020/mt-hicks-south-face-curver-0 — Mt Hicks – South Face – The Curver — New Zealand.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/26/hungarian-duo-prepare-for-winter-broad-peak/ — Hungarian Duo prepare for Winter Broad Peak.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/26/hungarian-duo-prepare-for-winter-broad-peak/ — Search resumes for hiker missing for 2 weeks on Mt Rainier, WA.

===============================================================
https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener — Please log in

https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener/photos_all Please log in

https://www.facebook.com/RolfeOostra360/photos/pcb.2800775580159310/2800772310159637/

===..

Mt Hicks – S. Face – The Curver – New Zealand – from AlpineTeam.co.nz

Hungarian Duo Prepare for Winter Broad Peak – PK – from Explorersweb.com

Search resumes for hiker missing for 2 weeks on Mt Rainier WA – from SnowBrains.com

—————————————————————————————————–

https://alpineteam.co.nz/2020/mt-hicks-south-face-curver-0 — Mt Hicks – South Face – The Curver — New Zealand.


https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/26/hungarian-duo-prepare-for-winter-broad-peak/ — Hungarian Duo prepare for Winter Broad Peak.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/26/hungarian-duo-prepare-for-winter-broad-peak/ — Search resumes for hiker missing for 2 weeks on Mt Rainier, WA.


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https://www.facebook.com/RolfeOostra360/photos/pcb.2800775580159310/2800772310159637/

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BMT Day 20 – 18.7 miles (331.3 total)

Night three in a hotel room… get me to woods stat! I want to go back to the real world.

I woke early again, and started packing up the yard sale. My gear was in piles all over the room, but purposeful piles I was telling myself. It was amazing it all fit back in my pack, but with five days of food it was all I could do to close the top…I guess I went big on food this week.

I walked over to Charlie’s place and soon Emily had a latte in my hands, and Charlie was bringing out a German apple Dutch baby. Are you kidding! I am thrilled, spoiled, and grateful all at the same time.

We headed out; there were plans to meet Emily this afternoon when she would pick up Charlie from somewhere on our walk. We skirted the edge of the Eastern Oregon University Campus, (I grew up on college campuses, my Dad having worked at them my whole life…I find something nostalgic, exciting, and hopeful about a university campus) and walked to where Kent and Cilla were waiting for us on the road out of town.
..

Night three in a hotel room… get me to woods stat! I want to go back to the real world.

I woke early again, and started packing up the yard sale. My gear was in piles all over the room, but purposeful piles I was telling myself. It was amazing it all fit back in my pack, but with five days of food it was all I could do to close the top…I guess I went big on food this week. 😃

I walked over to Charlie’s place and soon Emily had a latte in my hands, and Charlie was bringing out a German apple Dutch baby. Are you kidding! I am thrilled, spoiled, and grateful all at the same time.

We headed out; there were plans to meet Emily this afternoon when she would pick up Charlie from somewhere on our walk. We skirted the edge of the Eastern Oregon University Campus, (I grew up on college campuses, my Dad having worked at them my whole life…I find something nostalgic, exciting, and hopeful about a university campus) and walked to where Kent and Cilla were waiting for us on the road out of town.

What fun to have company on this road walk. The day buzzed by as we talked about various adventures we had all been on, fun facts about the area, and the most pertinent public land issues in the Blue Mountains. The stories were fueling our uphill trajectory high enough to get us into some snow. The rain the day before in La Grande had been snow up here. Just a dusting remained and glistened in the bright sun. Cold temps prevented the snow from melting however, and most of the way we played layer shuffle. Hat on, hat off, vest on, vest off.

Cilla and Kent veared off to walk a loop back to town while Charlie and I kept walking south.

The expanse of forest around us was stunning, and we walked into the cold, not cold, cold winds of the afternoon until Emily found us on a break, eating fruit in the sun.
We played switch-a-roo and Emily and their beautiful dog Suzie walked with us. Suzie reminded me of Jasper, our friend’s sweet black lab that Kirk and I used to take on adventures. Jasper is an old lady now and can’t quite frolick as she used to, but at 14 Suzie was leaping around in the frosty remnants of the day before. You can never be too old to play in the snow.

We finally said our goodbyes on the side of the road and I continued on. It was such a welcome change from my daily solo treks so have some company. I really do love hiking with people and I really do love spending time in nature alone as well. Today I got to do both!

The Intrepid Three had marked a water source that I would pass just as I wanted to find camp, but the water was gone. Ahhhhhh. I trudged up the hill looking higher and higher in the drainage for any puddles of the precious liquid, but nope, the cold and inch of snow on the ground had done a number on the little creek.

I set up the tent and started melting snow for my dinner water and coffee provision in the morning. I’d go without a hot breakfast and eat bars as I didn’t want to burn too much fuel. Turning snow into water…at least there was snow!

I’ve been expecting this cold since the beginning, its quite surprising it took until day 20 for me to get to wear all my down layers. Down booties! Huge down mittens! Finally!

I made dinner wearing my quilt as a cape, a fabulous technique if I do say so myself.

Crunchy mac and cheese? Hungry don’t care.

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What I did last summer

Last weekend, before the severe cold snap with single digits and snow arrived, I hiked the two dogs up the access road to Mount Howard. This route is my fitness barometer—if I feel terrible slogging up the 4000 feet of elevation, then I know I need more exercise, less brownies, and more sleep. If I bound right up there, then I am doing all right. This time I felt somewhere in between. We easily gained the summit to a piercing breeze, too cold to stop and snack. With a perfunctory glance at the mountains, it was time to head down.

A thick blanket of snow lay over the high mountain lakes, and I felt sad for the passing of another summer. Though 2020 has been awful and people have suffered. my enforced Covid stay at home summer meant that I hiked to places in my home range that I never thought I would reach. Without work travel twice a month, I was able to spend more time camping and less time in airports. The lure of the long distance trails was strong, but I didn't want to beco..

Last weekend, before the severe cold snap with single digits and snow arrived, I hiked the two dogs up the access road to Mount Howard. This route is my fitness barometer—if I feel terrible slogging up the 4000 feet of elevation, then I know I need more exercise, less brownies, and more sleep. If I bound right up there, then I am doing all right. This time I felt somewhere in between. We easily gained the summit to a piercing breeze, too cold to stop and snack. With a perfunctory glance at the mountains, it was time to head down.

A thick blanket of snow lay over the high mountain lakes, and I felt sad for the passing of another summer. Though 2020 has been awful and people have suffered. my enforced Covid stay at home summer meant that I hiked to places in my home range that I never thought I would reach. Without work travel twice a month, I was able to spend more time camping and less time in airports. The lure of the long distance trails was strong, but I didn't want to become part of the vacationing problem, at least until I could figure out how to do it safely. So I have only been out of the county once since February. This has been less hard than I imagined it would be.

This weekend, with the intense cold, I didn't venture too far into the mountains. I went for my first run, though not my last, in full-on winter gear: warm tights, a buff, and mittens. It felt invigorating and good, but I know by February I'll be sort of over it.

I need a new winter sport, just like I took up paddleboarding last summer. It can't be something to do with speed. Just something to make staying at home through the cold winter months a bit more palatable. Suggestions?

Spruce is living his best life.

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BMT Days 18 & 19 – 0 miles (312.6 total)

Day one was for rest and food. I watched cable TV (and was reminded why I don’t have a TV), ate delivery pizza and salad, ate again from Dennys next door. Did laundry, bathed a few times. Was horizontal.

Day two was for errands. I had a pile of things I didn’t need anymore, and as this was my first opportunity to visit a post office on the trip, I was able to unload a couple pounds of gear from my pack. I had also broken my hiking pole on the last day into La Grande, so wanted to visit the Blue Mountain Outfitters and see about a replacement. Then resupply. I was very excited at the opportunity to buy whatever food I wanted for the next five days. Thus far my resupply had been prepackaged boxes of food I had sent myself before the hike began. In reality what that looked like was the same food almost every day so far…bulk buying made a lot of sense when I was looking to pack food for a month out here, but I could have done a better job of giving myself a little more variety. I was rea..

Day one was for rest and food. I watched cable TV (and was reminded why I don’t have a TV), ate delivery pizza and salad, ate again from Dennys next door. Did laundry, bathed a few times. Was horizontal.

Day two was for errands. I had a pile of things I didn’t need anymore, and as this was my first opportunity to visit a post office on the trip, I was able to unload a couple pounds of gear from my pack. I had also broken my hiking pole on the last day into La Grande, so wanted to visit the Blue Mountain Outfitters and see about a replacement. Then resupply. I was very excited at the opportunity to buy whatever food I wanted for the next five days. Thus far my resupply had been prepackaged boxes of food I had sent myself before the hike began. In reality what that looked like was the same food almost every day so far…bulk buying made a lot of sense when I was looking to pack food for a month out here, but I could have done a better job of giving myself a little more variety. I was ready to mix it up a bit before picking up my last resupply box in the next town stop of Sumpter.

Back to the hotel to chill a bit before dinner. The folks at the Greater Hells Canyon Council have really gone out of their way to support and fete me on this hike, and tonight board member Charlie Jones had invited me over for a backyard dinner, complete with a cozy fire and hot toddys. Charlie and his wife Emily were fabulous hosts, and I also got to meet their good friends Cilla and Kent who had been Peace Corps volunteers in Africa too, and were very avid backpackers. I was so lucky to have all that local trail knowledge, and we discussed what I had hiked so far, and what I will hike. These people don’t get any better!

Charlie brought out a mouth watering dinner of chicken/leek/mushroom/spinach crepes with Béchamel sauce and gruyere (OMG!). Cilla had made a salad 100% out of her garden (fresh food!). I was spoiled.

We made plans for the morning; both Charlie and Kent were interested in walking with me for a bit as I headed out of La Grande and towards my next mountain range: the Elkhorns. I can’t wait for the Elkhorns. There is a 20-mile crest trail through this craggy granite mountain range, I would be back up at elevations around 8,000 feet…and with some snow on the way it was sure to be an eventful week of walking.

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America on Fire: How the Hell Will We Save The Frontier?

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I don’t write many op-eds these days, but this one was a long time coming. As a member of the outdoor blogging community, I felt it my civic duty to give my two cents on the fires raging across America.

The entire West is slowly burning. California and Colorado have had their worst fire years ever. And there is no end in sight. This is going to keep happening whether we like it or not. I’m not a scientist, but it’s hard for me to stray from their opinion that this is without a doubt due to climate change. I’ve personally seen receding glaciers, absurd temperature swings, rain instead of snow in the winter, shortened ski seasons, and record high local temperatures in all seasons. I’ve also read anecdotal evidence that the Arctic is melting, more powerful tropical storms and hurricanes are happening, and droughts are becoming the norm. But this can’t be human caused. That’s what our president t..

Buy my new novel, Take to the Unscathed Road! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

I don’t write many op-eds these days, but this one was a long time coming. As a member of the outdoor blogging community, I felt it my civic duty to give my two cents on the fires raging across America.

The entire West is slowly burning. California and Colorado have had their worst fire years ever. And there is no end in sight. This is going to keep happening whether we like it or not. I’m not a scientist, but it’s hard for me to stray from their opinion that this is without a doubt due to climate change. I’ve personally seen receding glaciers, absurd temperature swings, rain instead of snow in the winter, shortened ski seasons, and record high local temperatures in all seasons. I’ve also read anecdotal evidence that the Arctic is melting, more powerful tropical storms and hurricanes are happening, and droughts are becoming the norm. But this can’t be human caused. That’s what our president tells us.

Denial of climate change has been around for years, perpetuated by wealthy companies who don’t want you to comprehend its true effect on the world. In the times between the trendiness of being a flat earther and an anti-vaxxer, oil lobbyists and capitalist cronies pushed an agenda to convince Americans that it was impossible for humans to influence the climate. Somehow, this viewpoint is still prominent in many circles, and like everything else in the 21st century, has become a political debate. Ignorance founded this country (slavery, murder of natives), and ignorance will inevitably destroy it unless we collectively do something about it.

Quite frankly, we did this to ourselves. Our form of excessive capitalism is an unsustainable burden on the planet. From burning fossil fuels to fast fashion, we erratically and irresponsibly consume the earth’s resources as if there is no tomorrow. There won’t be if we keep it up. If we want our grandchildren to live safe and productive lives, we need to dramatically modify our materialistic tendencies.

Covid has been an unsurprising catalyst toward the necessary subsequent step. We’ve cut down fossil fuel usage significantly and we’re spending less money on things. It’s a double edged sword though. The economy is hurting, and so are people’s livelihoods. Our dependence on resource consumption is a major reason for that. Less people buying things means less jobs. But I see unsustainable consumption coming back as quickly as it left when Covid starts to sift away.

How do we reconcile the need for a budding economy with the need for clean air, water, and a safe environment? We need to rethink what we REALLY need. We’re starting to realize that many jobs can be done virtually, which will dramatically reduce the output of fossil fuels. Some companies are also shifting their production to use more sustainable methods such as Patagonia. Electric vehicles are slowly becoming more practical for automakers to produce. Consumers are starting to demand these changes too.

We also need to change our eating habits. We all know that energy and food are paramount to a functioning modern society. But factory and dairy farming are killing us. Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are starting to show a promising step in the right direction in consumer demand.

Shifting into wind, solar, and other renewable energies is the most monumental alteration of our lifetime. And although the change has been painfully slow, it goes back to my original discussion. If we are to move our society into one with both a productive economy and a safe environment, we need to preserve and create new jobs (while also bolstering social safety nets, such as unemployment and health insurance—but that’s another discussion altogether).

America is on fire. But there is promise for a healthier future for all. If we just listen to the experts and turn our skepticism into action. Because it’s better to be cautious than to be ignorant.

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Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park (Blog Hike #825)

Trail: Plum Bayou Trail
Hike Location: Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park
Geographic Location: southeast of Little Rock, AR (34.6456, -92.0599)
Length: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: July 2020
Overview: A nearly flat hike around Arkansas' tallest ceremonial burial mounds.
Park Information: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/toltec-mounds-archeological-state-park
Hike Route Map: https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=825978
Summary Video: (coming December 25)
Photo Highlight:
Directions to the trailhead: On the southeast side of Little Rock, take I-440 to US 165 (exit 7). Exit and go south on US 165. Drive US 165 south 12 miles to SR 386 and turn right on SR 386. The park is 0.6 miles ahead on the right; park in the only parking lot.
The hike: Jutting up to 50 feet above the otherwise dead flat farmland of central Arkansas, the 18 mound complex protected as Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park contains the tallest surviving ceremonial burial mounds in Arkansas. The mounds were built by the Plum Bayou people, who lived in permanent villages throughout eastern and central Arkansas from 600 to 1050 AD. The Plum Bayou people had a distinct culture from their contemporaries of the Mississippi River valley, and these mounds stood near the Plum Bayou's largest village. Thus, much of what we know about the Plum Bayou people comes from archaeological work done at this site. Despite the park's name, the Toltec people who lived 1000 years ago in present-day central Mexico have no known connection to this site. The site was given the name Toltec by Mrs. Gilbert Knapp, who owned this land from 1857 to 1900 and mistakenly thought the Toltecs had built the mounds. Although the mounds have attracted national interest for over 100 years, the state park was established only in 1975, and the mounds were designated a National Historic Landmark only in 1978.
Of course the mounds form the centerpiece of the 132-acre state park, but the park also features a Visitor Center with many informative interpretive exhibits and an Education Pavilion. For hikers, the park offers two short trails that wind among the mounds: the paved ADA-accessible 0.8 mile Knapp Trail and the dirt 1.7 mile Plum Bayou Trail. The two trails cross each other at several points, and the longer and more extensive Plum Bayou Trail is the route described here.
Trailhead near Visitor Center First stop in the Visitor Center or Education Pavilion to pick up a trail guide for the Plum Bayou Trail, then begin at the trailhead located between those two buildings. After following the concrete entrance trail for a short distance, turn right to leave the concrete and begin the dirt Plum Bayou Trail. Numbered posts correspond to entries in the trail guide, and marker #3 tells you that this portion of the trail follows an ancient embankment wall that used to stand 8-10 feet high and form a semicircle around the south side of the site. Most of this hike will be hot and sunny in the summer, and the site's large mounds can be seen across the grassy plaza to the left,.Gazing at the mounds across the plaza At 0.4 miles, the trail curves left as you pass through a small grove of oak trees near the south shore of Mound Lake. I hiked here on a stifling hot and humid morning in late July, and shade from the trees and a breeze from the lake provided welcome relief from the heat. Now heading south, lettered signs mark locations of former mounds that were destroyed by time and/or the farmer's plow. Large amounts of goose droppings smattered the trail here on my hike.
Mound A

Mound B
Near 0.8 miles, you cross the two arms of the paved Knapp Trail and pass the two largest mounds. Imagine all of the basketfuls of dirt that were dumped here to build these mounds! Next the trail makes a loop through the southern corner of the park, which features some smaller mounds that have been excavated in attempts to learn more about the Plum Bayou culture.
Ignore the road that exits left and leads to the park superintendent's house, choosing rather to turn right and intersect the paved Knapp Trail at 1.2 miles. Turn left to head for the boardwalk over Mound Lake. Mound Lake is an oxbow lake that was the channel of the Arkansas River some 4000 years ago. The Arkansas River now runs almost 4 miles north of here. Parts of the boardwalk were closed for repair on my visit, but the lake breeze and shade from the shallow water's cypress trees made the boardwalk a pleasant spot.
Cypress trees in Mound Lake

Back side of Mound A On the other side of the boardwalk, the Knapp and Plum Bayou Trails run conjointly on a concrete surface for the rest of the hike. When the Knapp Trail closes its loop, turn left to return to the parking lot and complete the hike. Make sure you stop in the Visitor Center and view its exhibits on your way out if you did not do so before.

Trail: Plum Bayou Trail
Hike Location: Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park
Geographic Location: southeast of Little Rock, AR (34.6456, -92.0599)
Length: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: July 2020
Overview: A nearly flat hike around Arkansas' tallest ceremonial burial mounds.
Park Information: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/toltec-mounds-archeological-state-park
Hike Route Map: https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=825978
Summary Video: (coming December 25)
Photo Highlight:
Directions to the trailhead: On the southeast side of Little Rock, take I-440 to US 165 (exit 7). Exit and go south on US 165. Drive US 165 south 12 miles to SR 386 and turn right on SR 386. The park is 0.6 miles ahead on the right; park in the only parking lot.
The hike: Jutting up to 50 feet above the otherwise dead flat farmland of central Arkansas, the 18 mound complex protected as Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park contains the tallest surviving ceremonial burial mounds in Arkansas. The mounds were built by the Plum Bayou people, who lived in permanent villages throughout eastern and central Arkansas from 600 to 1050 AD. The Plum Bayou people had a distinct culture from their contemporaries of the Mississippi River valley, and these mounds stood near the Plum Bayou's largest village. Thus, much of what we know about the Plum Bayou people comes from archaeological work done at this site. Despite the park's name, the Toltec people who lived 1000 years ago in present-day central Mexico have no known connection to this site. The site was given the name Toltec by Mrs. Gilbert Knapp, who owned this land from 1857 to 1900 and mistakenly thought the Toltecs had built the mounds. Although the mounds have attracted national interest for over 100 years, the state park was established only in 1975, and the mounds were designated a National Historic Landmark only in 1978.
Of course the mounds form the centerpiece of the 132-acre state park, but the park also features a Visitor Center with many informative interpretive exhibits and an Education Pavilion. For hikers, the park offers two short trails that wind among the mounds: the paved ADA-accessible 0.8 mile Knapp Trail and the dirt 1.7 mile Plum Bayou Trail. The two trails cross each other at several points, and the longer and more extensive Plum Bayou Trail is the route described here.

Trailhead near Visitor Center

First stop in the Visitor Center or Education Pavilion to pick up a trail guide for the Plum Bayou Trail, then begin at the trailhead located between those two buildings. After following the concrete entrance trail for a short distance, turn right to leave the concrete and begin the dirt Plum Bayou Trail. Numbered posts correspond to entries in the trail guide, and marker #3 tells you that this portion of the trail follows an ancient embankment wall that used to stand 8-10 feet high and form a semicircle around the south side of the site. Most of this hike will be hot and sunny in the summer, and the site's large mounds can be seen across the grassy plaza to the left,.

Gazing at the mounds across the plaza

At 0.4 miles, the trail curves left as you pass through a small grove of oak trees near the south shore of Mound Lake. I hiked here on a stifling hot and humid morning in late July, and shade from the trees and a breeze from the lake provided welcome relief from the heat. Now heading south, lettered signs mark locations of former mounds that were destroyed by time and/or the farmer's plow. Large amounts of goose droppings smattered the trail here on my hike.

Mound A

Mound B

Near 0.8 miles, you cross the two arms of the paved Knapp Trail and pass the two largest mounds. Imagine all of the basketfuls of dirt that were dumped here to build these mounds! Next the trail makes a loop through the southern corner of the park, which features some smaller mounds that have been excavated in attempts to learn more about the Plum Bayou culture.
Ignore the road that exits left and leads to the park superintendent's house, choosing rather to turn right and intersect the paved Knapp Trail at 1.2 miles. Turn left to head for the boardwalk over Mound Lake. Mound Lake is an oxbow lake that was the channel of the Arkansas River some 4000 years ago. The Arkansas River now runs almost 4 miles north of here. Parts of the boardwalk were closed for repair on my visit, but the lake breeze and shade from the shallow water's cypress trees made the boardwalk a pleasant spot.

Cypress trees in Mound Lake

Back side of Mound A

On the other side of the boardwalk, the Knapp and Plum Bayou Trails run conjointly on a concrete surface for the rest of the hike. When the Knapp Trail closes its loop, turn left to return to the parking lot and complete the hike. Make sure you stop in the Visitor Center and view its exhibits on your way out if you did not do so before.

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Mount Tetnuldi – Georgia RU New Route up N. Face + Monumental, 13,147, Taylor – CO + Inyo Mountains – inyo Range – CA – T/R

Mount Tetnuldi – Georgia – Caucasus – RU : New Route up N. Face – PlanetMtn
Monumental, 13,147, Taylor – Colorado – Trip Report with pictures from Seano
Inyo Mountains – Inyo Range – CA — Trip Report with pictures from Bob Burd
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https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/mount-tetnuldi-georgia-temur-kurdiani-solos-new-route-west-face.html — Mount Tetnuldi – Georgia – Caucasus — New Route up North Face.
http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/10/24/a-roundup-of-easy-thirteeners/ — Monumental, 13,147, Taylor — Colorado — Trip Report with pictures from Seano.
https://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_reports/peak_7,260ft_n3_1.html — Inyo Mountains – Sierras – California — Trip report with pictures from Bob Burd
====================================================
======================================================
Please visit my website
http://www.hiking4health.com

Mount Tetnuldi – Georgia – Caucasus – RU : New Route up N. Face – PlanetMtn
Monumental, 13,147, Taylor – Colorado – Trip Report with pictures from Seano
Inyo Mountains – Inyo Range – CA — Trip Report with pictures from Bob Burd
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https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/mount-tetnuldi-georgia-temur-kurdiani-solos-new-route-west-face.html — Mount Tetnuldi – Georgia – Caucasus — New Route up North Face.
http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/10/24/a-roundup-of-easy-thirteeners/ — Monumental, 13,147, Taylor — Colorado — Trip Report with pictures from Seano.
https://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_reports/peak_7,260ft_n3_1.html — Inyo Mountains – Sierras – California — Trip report with pictures from Bob Burd
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Please visit my website
http://www.hiking4health.com

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BMT Day 17 – 26.8 miles (312.6 total)

The antidote to great effort is great rest. The need for a great rest was becoming more and more apparent as my energy levels and motivation waivered.

The route today was to follow a trail in the Bear Creek drainage for over five miles, then pop up at the Summit Guard Station and then drop steeply into the Five Points drainage on a trail that probably wasn’t there. That sounded like a whole heck of a lot of effort, and as I was reviewing the map and terrain last night saw there was another trail that climbed up out of Bear Creek after maybe a mile, and then I could connect back up to the route near the top of Mt Emily just north of La Grande. I decided that I’d let the Bear Creek trail make my decision for me. If the trail was in good shape, I’d take the trail. If not, I’d consider the hike out.

And the Bear Creek trail was the trail that time forgot. I found the tread, but there were trees growing over the trail….thats how long it has been let go, maybe 10 years? It was slow going…

The antidote to great effort is great rest. The need for a great rest was becoming more and more apparent as my energy levels and motivation waivered.

The route today was to follow a trail in the Bear Creek drainage for over five miles, then pop up at the Summit Guard Station and then drop steeply into the Five Points drainage on a trail that probably wasn’t there. That sounded like a whole heck of a lot of effort, and as I was reviewing the map and terrain last night saw there was another trail that climbed up out of Bear Creek after maybe a mile, and then I could connect back up to the route near the top of Mt Emily just north of La Grande. I decided that I’d let the Bear Creek trail make my decision for me. If the trail was in good shape, I’d take the trail. If not, I’d consider the hike out.

And the Bear Creek trail was the trail that time forgot. I found the tread, but there were trees growing over the trail….thats how long it has been let go, maybe 10 years? It was slow going. It was hard walking.
I decided to choose the river gauntlet as opposed to the trail gauntlet. The river had been scoured clean like many of the others in the area, but this smaller creek also contained a lot of log jams, so I had to carefully climb up and over them. Packrafting has given me a lot of great experience with climbing over log jams…and it is easier to do without a boat…but it was still not easy.

This bushwack stood between me and the way out. The only thing to do was put my head down and hope I didn’t get poked in the eye. Literally.

By the time I got to the first side trail I had gone a mile and a half in an hour and a half. By this rate I’d get to La Grande in another week. No good. I saw a way out and I took it. Into the unknown again.

I climbed steeply up the trail that went up the spine of another ridge. Once I reached the two-track road on top, my efforts of hiking the first three miles of the day had taken three hours. So tired. I’m tired. And the road was not flat.

I put on some David Bowie and powered up. My reserves were low and sputtering on empty. That road was a cruel joke. That road took what little effort I had left and ground it under its steep rocky boot. The only thing moving my legs at this point was the magnetic pull of La Grande. The Big. I’ll be there as soon as I can. I put on the Beastie Boys, and substituted “Brooklyn” for “La Grande”. No sleep till La Grande!!

So that was when the thought entered my head that I would just keep moving, whatever the speed and just get where I get (maybe town?) I didn’t look at the mileage between me and La Grande, I knew it was a lot.

So I walked and walked. I transcended the effort and distracted myself with podcasts…and fortunately Mount Emily was a beautiful amazing distraction. The views up top were INCREDIBLE. No words to do it justice.

On the south side of the mountain I entered MERA, a system of trails for hikers, bikers, horses, and ATVs. What an awesome recreation infrastructure so close town! I was already getting a serious crush on La Grande.

And wow, what an entrance! Damn La Grande! I like! It was one of the most scenic and beautiful entrances to a town I’ve seen. I walked down out of the mountains near dusk with pinks and purples streaking the sky.

I walked right to the first hotel I could find that had laundry available (very important) and checked in for three nights. The time for great rest had now begun.

No Comments on BMT Day 17 – 26.8 miles (312.6 total)

Five Last Great Alpine Climbs + Aconcagua Season Closed + Carlos Garranzo Going to K2 Winter + Broad Peak Winter (Facebook below)

Five Last Great Alpine Climbs – from Explorersweb.com
Aconcagua Season Cancelled due to Corona Virus – from Stefan Nestler's blog
Carlos Garranzo is also going to K2 Winter – from his Facebook post
Broad Peak Winter by Alex Goldfarb and Zoltan Szlanko – from Facebook (below)
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/23/five-last-great-alpine-climbs/ — Five Last Great Alpine Climbs.

https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/aconcagua-season-cancelled-due-to-corona-pandemic/ — Aconcagua season cancelled due to corona pandemic.
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http://carlosgarranzobp.blogspot.com/ — Carlos Garranzo is also going to K2 Winter

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https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener — Please log in

https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener/photos_all Please log in

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Please visit my website
http://www.hiking4health.com

Five Last Great Alpine Climbs – from Explorersweb.com

Aconcagua Season Cancelled due to Corona Virus – from Stefan Nestler's blog

Carlos Garranzo is also going to K2 Winter – from his Facebook post

Broad Peak Winter by Alex Goldfarb and Zoltan Szlanko – from Facebook (below)

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/10/23/five-last-great-alpine-climbs/ — Five Last Great Alpine Climbs.




https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/aconcagua-season-cancelled-due-to-corona-pandemic/ — Aconcagua season cancelled due to corona pandemic.

.


http://carlosgarranzobp.blogspot.com/ — Carlos Garranzo is also going to K2 Winter

====================================================

https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener — Please log in

https://www.facebook.com/cyril.kaicener/photos_all Please log in

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Please visit my website

http://www.hiking4health.com

No Comments on Five Last Great Alpine Climbs + Aconcagua Season Closed + Carlos Garranzo Going to K2 Winter + Broad Peak Winter (Facebook below)

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