Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dream Trails

National Geographic asked 20 outdoor luminaries where they'd like to hike.  (Apparently I missed their call)


Although I would love to hike them all, the Long Range Traverse, in Newfoundland, Canada seems very doable to me.  It's not too far from where I live.  It's only 25 miles,  although I'm not sure why they say it's a 6 day trip - I can easily do 7-15 miles a day, depending on the terrain. 

It’s a route you have to earn: 25 miles by map and compass (there are no trails here) through an impressive wilderness populated mostly by moose and caribou—but not Homo sapiens. The payoff is genuine solitude, pristine camps, and the joy of traveling untrammeled backcountry in Canada’s most out-there province. —Peter Potterfield



Picture of Peter Potterfield as he hikes above Ten Mile Pond along the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland, Canada

The Details: This trail is not a trail at all. It is a romp across the wilds of Gros Morne National Park, a chunk of land that time forgot on the North Atlantic seaboard. It is well organized and strictly managed, however, with designated camp spots that break the trip down into a six-day adventure. The rules work in your favor—you may share one of those campsites with moose, caribou, or black bear as you trek over tundra and down to hidden lakes, but you won’t run into many other people.

Definitely sounds like my kind of place.  

I do most of my hiking in the Adirondack Mountains of New York which are contained in the very regulated, and protected, Adirondack Park.   There are more than 2,000 miles of trails that are generally well maintained and that wind along forested paths, skip along waterfalls, and lead to summits with 360 degree views that extend as far as the eye can see.


Mt Jo Summit



After weeks and weeks of rain and high humidity, our weather has finally broken, giving us beautiful, crystal clear, sunshine and deep blues skies.   I am about to lace up my boots and go into the mountains to enjoy it.


So, anybody else out there a hiker?  I'd love to know your favorite spots, or your dream places, and why.



14 comments:

  1. I suppose the politically correct answer here would be any hike I took with you. But my dream hike was Glacier National Park in Patagonia. The spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife were literally breath taking.

    I would be thrilled to do the Long Range Traverse with you. Looks great. Possibly this year?

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    1. Agreed, it would be tough to top the Glacial Trail.

      Let's definitely make plans for Newfoundland, which is further than I originally thought. I was thinking Nova Scotia. Oh well, I'm sure there are flights : )

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  2. Does hiking to the dairy aisle at the grocery store count?

    I admire your outdoorsyness, but it's not for me.

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    1. I love to hike the dairy aisle too !!!

      But it can't match the scenery of the great outdoors.

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  3. I used to be quite the hiker and even, gasp, backpacker (in my youth). I hiked a lot in the Pacific Coast Range as a teen, in Northern Arizona as a young adult and here in the Pacific Northwest as a middle ager.

    Around here, my favorite hikes are in the Columbia River Gorge. Dog Mountain is steep, but worth it. Talk about spectacular scenery! That one is on the Washington side of the river, and my fave on the Oregon side is probably Starvation Creek, although there are so many beautiful hikes in the Gorge that it's hard to pick. Google up some images!

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    1. I am putting the Columbia River Gorge on my list. . . with you as my trail guide. We've got to make this work.

      Starvation Creek sounds perfect after the dairy aisle hike : )

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  4. I am fortunate to have a wildflower sanctuary near me. It is only a short 1.5 stroll but contains a lake, meadow and wetlands. It is a perfect place for bird watching and flower smelling and an amazing transition from daily chaos to delightful calm.

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  5. Unfortunately, I suspect my hiking days are in the past due to injury. Now I walk and sit with emphasis on the sitting.

    My favourite hikes were in Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, where I know some secret spots that the tourists have no idea exist. After hiking a mike or two, you are far enough away that it is rare to even hear anyone else, although you may see a rattler or two and a cougar is a strong possibility. (Although the only time I've seen one was from my front porch. Twice.) You have to bring water, though, lots and lots of water. It gets very hot.

    There are some beautiful hikes not far from Flagstaff too.

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  6. Two favorite hikes so far: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop (you can see a video here)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC0xL55ZmmU

    The Kepler Track in New Zealand

    We're about to do the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, a 9 day B&B to B&B hike where they transport your luggage to the inns. I'll let you know how it goes!

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  7. Thank you so much for the link! Having pack mules carry everything and having camp set up and ready at the end of the day looks very, very appealing. All the joy of the hike, with less sweat.

    I hope you will post similar videos of your future hikes. I'd love to see them.

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    1. Well, the mules carry stuff for the camps, not for the hikers. But, since there are beds and dinner at the end of the day, and breakfast the next day, all you have to carry is your lunch, changes of clothes and rain-gear, water, and a Kindle-like thing! Best time to go is September - they say the flies are terrible in the summer.

      Another great place to hike is Iceland - we mostly drove around, but lots of people just go there to hike

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHDA16k2xmo

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    2. I just never knew such a thing existed. I was beginning to think that with my ever declining knees, and my back that takes longer and longer to recover, I was afraid that my backpacking days might be coming to a close. Now I see that there another option! I don't know if I'll ever get to the exotic places you are/have traveled, but I will definitely be looking into these assisted trips, which could extend my hiking to many more years. You have made me a very happy camper!

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  8. I've mostly associated hiking with church camps, so the notion of doing this voluntarily doesn't really come to me. Though, I suppose, if I liked hiking it might have made church camps more bearable? In any case, I'm going to say that my favorite hike is whichever one you take and share with us here. Enjoy!!

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    1. I imagine living where you do, you don't need much effort to experience the beauty of the earth. Personally, I need to be "out there" to ground myself and replenish my spiritual reserves. But I know there are as many paths to that place as there are people. As a friend of mine used to say - Different hikes for different dykes.

      {collective groan}

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