During an August visit I made five trips to the west end of Kiawah Island to watch the bottlenose dolphins and their “strand-feeding” behavior. I got lucky on two days, with repeated displays of this behavior, in which a pod of dolphins herd fish toward shore and then, in a burst of activity, leap on shore to eat the captive fish. The pelicans are aware of this behavior too, and eagerly await an opportunity to snatch the jumping fish. One pelican, in this sequence of images, had trouble swallowing his catch!
The guidebook describes this route as the “most difficult along the A.T. [Appalachian Trail] in Maine”, and after hiking this section, I can certainly see why. It is incredibly rugged and steep – and we managed to avoid the tough conditions that might have come with rain: slipping down wet trails, and fording high-water streams.
Andy and I set out to backpack the A.T. from Route 4 (near Rangeley) to Route 27 (near Stratton), bagging eight four-thousand-footer peaks along the way. It was an ambitious five-day, four-night plan, part of my goal to complete the NE111. We had a great time, good weather, nice views, and I succeeded in bagging all eight peaks – but with a twist at the end. Read on, and be sure to check out the photo gallery.
Just back from a brief family vacation in Yosemite National Park. Somehow, I’d never managed to visit this gem of the park system, and have long been eager to do so. John is interning in silicon valley this summer so it provided the perfect excuse for the rest of us to hop out there to spend three days in the park. We were fortunate to have clear, sunny weather throughout – though it was hot (over 90° every day) and crowded. It was nonetheless a great place for me to test a new batch of camera gear. Read on for the full story – and photos! Continue reading Yosemite→
After a busy spring term at Dartmouth I decided to take advantage of clear skies and a clear calendar to hike Mount Washington. As I drove to the mountains, I could see that every mountain in New Hampshire was in the clear… except one. A persistent cloud snuggled the summit of Mount Washington. I headed up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at 7:15am, and intermittent views ahead confirmed this cloud was stuck on the summit. Still, the trail passes many beautiful waterfalls and rocky formations, and I saw only one other hiker in the early morning chill. I reached Lakes of the Clouds, and the AMC hut, in brilliant morning sunshine.
Fortunately, as I scrambled up into the cloud, it dissipated, and I reached the summit at 10am under sunny skies. After exploring there for a while, I headed toward the northern Presies (Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison), to each of which still clung small patches of snow. I hopped over the Cog Railway tracks, skirted Clay to the west, and dropped down the Jewell Trail to my starting point. [It’s amazing how pleasant the Jewell Trail can be in good conditions – i.e., when it’s not dark, 30 degrees and raining, postholing through an ice crust; but that’s another story.]
It was a great winter – once it got started, there was deep snow and many days with outstanding conditions. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to get out and enjoy it. Still, I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.
I had the great pleasure of spending 24 hours in Zion National Park, as a quick respite from the hustle and bustle of work life and a conference in Las Vegas. (After a brief visit to Zion in 2014, I knew I needed to come back for more!) I arrived at sunset on Monday and left at sunset on Tuesday, with the aim of doing several hikes and making the best of this photographer’s paradise. It had snowed over the weekend, so the high cliffs were dusted white, but the weather for my visit portended clear blue skies, a frigid morning, and a warm sunny afternoon. Read on, and check out the photo gallery. The photos are much more beautiful there!
I’ve just returned from India, where Pam and I had the opportunity to host a Dartmouth Alumni Travel group for a two-week tour of the history, architecture, culture, and arts of northern India. We joined a wonderful group of 12 interesting individuals, and an outstanding tour guide from Odysseys Unlimited, for a bustling tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Varanasi. I think what struck me most about the agenda was its fascinating mix of the sights (palaces, temples, mosques, etc.) with the culture (villages, markets, families. religion) and arts (dance, music, weaving, pottery, jewelry, stonework, carpets, and even paper). Read on for a summary of our journey, and for a sampling of the many photos!