Mt. Mansfield November

DSCF8205copyWThe world is going to hell, no doubt. Meanwhile, manmade snow on Mt. Mansfield (VT), above, and the British are still insisting on quirky signs. (Scroll down to see what I mean.)

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British Signs

D7K_2289copyWSHIs it just me, or is there something funny about British signs?



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Posted in Coast to Coast, England, signs

Sticks on the Water


Warm weather, sun low in the sky: a final (?) Stick Season paddle, Waterbury Reservoir, VT.



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Posted in Autumn, kayaking, Stick Season

Late Colors, Early Snow

DSC_2856copyWA twofer: First snow and the dreaded fall foliage shot, all in one, Stowe, VT. The fall colors came weeks late this year, to mix with some early snow over this past weekend. Above, snow squall blows in over the valley. Below, Smugglers Notch and Trapp Hill Road.DSC_2753copyWDSC_2912copyW DSC_2815copyW1  DSC_2747copyW1

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Posted in fall foliage, mountains, Snow, Vermont

The Most Depressing Landscape in Europe? (C2C #2)


More from England’s Coast to Coast path.

And two other things:

• One of the most common questions we got was: Why did you come all the way over here to hike if you have the Appalachian Trail at your doorstep? We tried to explain about the Green Tunnel effect of hiking in the eastern US compared to the long views of the Lake District, which is virtually treeless in the mountains: the trees have long since been cut down and along miles and miles of stone walls sheep have been grazing to the summits for centuries, keeping regrowth in check. It turns out that those long views can be controversial. George Monbiot, an advocate of “rewilding,” calls the Lake District “one of the most depressing landscapes in Europe.” He suggests prohibiting sheep grazing on at least part of it and allowing and fostering regeneration of trees and other native plants. His view — The Lake District is a wildlife desert. Blame Wordsworth. — is here.  Some of the opposition is here.

• More pictures below. And there’s a gallery here.


Fell runner, mountain runner; Angle Tarn near Patterdale, Cumbria, England

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Posted in Coast to Coast, England, hiking, Lake District

C2C #1

d7k_2186copyWEngland’s Coast to Coast path stretches from St. Bees on the Irish Sea in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea in North Yorkshire, a distance of about 190 miles. Conceived and first walked by Alfred Wainwright in the 1970s, it has become one of the most popular walking routes in a nation of walkers, despite the fact that it is not designated as an official national path. It crosses the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks and miles of public rights of way over private land on its way from sea to sea.  Last week the western portion — over the beautiful, rocky, sheep-infested, almost treeless and boggy mountains of the Lake District —was full of hikers from Britain and around the world, traipsing between hotels, b and b’s and youth hostels. Heading east, you eventually emerge into rolling farmland and moors, also full of sheep and a few cows and horses, also incredibly boggy in places. Purple heather and thorny yellow gorse were in bloom and the weather was excellent (for England in September). It only poured for parts of two days in a week. More photos and some logistics to come. More info about the route is here, and here.



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(Map from Contours Walking Tours, UK)


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Posted in England, hiking, walking

Boot & Reboot


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Posted in art, Seattle, walking

Black and Blue

DSC_1986WSHcopyMountains above the North Santiam River, late afternoon light, Cascades, western Oregon.

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Posted in mountains, Oregon, silhouette

Wet But Dry


The mountains of the Pacific Northwest can usually depend on snow melt and summer rains to keep things wet, but this year lack of snow and summer drought have driven water levels down. Above, Detroit Lake, in the mountains east of Salem, OR, is a dam-controlled reservoir that is drained in the winter, but it’s supposed to fill during the summer. This year it’s far below normal. Even rainy Seattle is drier than normal, though you could hardly tell from the old Dodge pick-up truck, below, parked in the city’s Green Lake section. Puget Sound natives like to say they grow up in a climate so wet that they grow moss between their toes. The pick-up, which looks like it was last moved in about 1985, is working on it, despite the drought.


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Posted in climate, Oregon, Pacific Northwest Tagged |

Smoke Sight


How smokey is it in the Pacific Northwest? Very, depending on the day and the place, as windblown smoke from nearly 40 wildfires sweeps across the region. This was last week in the Columbia River Gorge of Washington and Oregon between Hood River and the Bonneville Dam. Video and info from a Portland TV station are here.

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Posted in Columbia River Gorge, forest fires, Oregon Tagged |