Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 3: Permits

Sunday, March 29, 2020 The GDT uses a patchwork of shorter trails, some of which are well-maintained and popular and some of which are the complete opposite. In most of the parks, camping requires permits that may be of two varieties: 1) random camping permits for less popular trails/areas without maintained campgrounds; 2) campsite bookings …

Continue reading Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 3: Permits

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 2: More Coronavirus

Saturday, March 28, 2020 How things change in just a few weeks! On the day that I cancelled my Grand Enchantment Trail hike, there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sasky, none in New Mexico, and I believe eight in Arizona. Those three places still have a (comparatively) low number of cases, but numbers are …

Continue reading Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 2: More Coronavirus

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 1: Coronavirus

Monday, March 16, 2020 Let me suggest a scenario. A seemingly normal human being opens his bathroom cupboard and methodically counts the eight rolls of toilet paper inside. He frowns. He drives to the supermarket. He fights another shopper for a cart. He rushes to the toilet paper aisle, bowling over several children on the …

Continue reading Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 1: Coronavirus

Great Divide Trail: Introduction

Sunday, March 15, 2020 https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49651710888/in/dateposted-public/ As a hiker I drift between extremes. Too much easy hiking provokes a mental backlash; too much difficult hiking provokes a different kind of mental backlash; they must be measured so that by the time I return to one or the other I've forgotten whatever boredom or frustration I was …

Continue reading Great Divide Trail: Introduction

Florida Trail (2019-2020) 5: Arrival At I-75

The mosquitoes were thicker overnight than those in the Diamond Peak Wilderness during my 2017 PCT LASH, and that's saying something. Those that crowded into my vestibule were easy to kill by pressing my tent mesh against the doors, so Florida played witness to a bloodbath in the morning when the mosquitoes and a burst …

Continue reading Florida Trail (2019-2020) 5: Arrival At I-75

Florida Trail (2019-2020) 4: Day of Wading

Beautiful weather today! Soon after the mile 27 marker (which actually marks 21 miles from Oasis Visitor Center), the route became 99% wading with a few sections of mud. The mud was more difficult than the wading, having incredible suction. https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49709185562/in/dateposted-public/ Muddy. The water level was below my knees most of the time, but still …

Continue reading Florida Trail (2019-2020) 4: Day of Wading

Florida Trail (2019-2020) 3: Suddenly Dry

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49703260252/in/dateposted-public/ The trail was suddenly dry this morning. I encountered no water until a notorious alligator hole located directly beside the FT, where a small amount of water was visible. Guthook claims that the alligator lives underneath a ledge inside the hole, so despite no alligators being in sight, I wasn't going to stick my …

Continue reading Florida Trail (2019-2020) 3: Suddenly Dry

Florida Trail (2019-2020) 2: Still No Alligators

Day two on the FT. Everything was misty and wet this morning and I felt little incentive to get up, but get up I did. The sun emerged just before I entered a section of wading. https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49702938816/in/dateposted-public/ 7 Mile Camp https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49702475783/in/dateposted-public/ I don't know what I was expecting from the swamp water, but I was …

Continue reading Florida Trail (2019-2020) 2: Still No Alligators

Florida Trail (2019-2020) 1: Escape to Florida

On December 21st, I flew down to Florida to hike the first thirty miles of the Florida Trail and engage in some touristing. Aside from my working holiday in Australia, I've taken no winter holidays since childhood, but this year the stars aligned with a work vacation and my antipathy towards facing another commercial Christmas …

Continue reading Florida Trail (2019-2020) 1: Escape to Florida

Overland Track: Concluding Thoughts

https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49682581693/in/dateposted-public/ Monday, March 14, 2016 Overland Track complete! I would recommend it to anyone in this part of the world, especially if you have a decent chunk of time to take advantage of side trip opportunities. The area is lovely and the trail less crowded than I thought it would be, probably because of a …

Continue reading Overland Track: Concluding Thoughts

Overland Track Day 8: How Much Would You Pay for a Boat Ride?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016 I woke up, dried most of the condensation off my tent, ate the dodgy couscous for breakfast, mulled over the possibility that the dodgy couscous had already been cooked, and set off towards Narcissus Hut. I had decided pre-hike to take the ferry to Cynthia Bay instead of walking around the …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 8: How Much Would You Pay for a Boat Ride?

Overland Track Day 7: Beware the Possums

Monday, March 07, 2016 It poured during the night and my tent floor soaked through below my air mattress. The sky still looked ominous in the morning, so rather than hanging up anything to dry, I propped up my mattress inside my tent and hoped that everything would dry while I was gone (my tent …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 7: Beware the Possums

Overland Track Day 6: Mice vs. Possums

Sunday, March 06, 2016 I left the Overland Track at the Pine Valley junction and walked to Pine Valley Hut, where I'll spend two nights with a day trip to the Labyrinth. The walk was mostly flat, crossing suspension bridges through meadows and a mossy forest as silent as a crypt. https://www.flickr.com/photos/187104378@N07/49683399842/in/dateposted-public/ The trail was …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 6: Mice vs. Possums

Overland Track Day 5: Waterfall Day

Saturday, March 05, 2016 After breakfast I said goodbye to the Belgians, Ontario Guy and the French(Belgians?), who were planning to walk further than me today. The French(Belgians?) pointed out that they were leaving earlier than I was. You win, get-up-early-kings. My quads felt like they had been skewered from descending Mt. Ossa. I thought …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 5: Waterfall Day

Overland Track Day 4: Mt. Ossa

Friday, March 04, 2016 Coincidentally the French(Belgians?) and I both got up at 6:00 AM, making us the best of roommates - almost. One of them snored and had a comically loud air mattress. I once received a complaint about my Thermarest Neoair, but his mattress sounded like a thunderstorm. I have no idea what …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 4: Mt. Ossa

Overland Track Day 3: Rocks, Rocks, Rocky Rocks

Thursday, March 03, 2016 At dusk yesterday I walked with the Belgians to Lake Windermere to look for platypuses, but none revealed themselves in the dim light. The night was chilly and my new sleeping bag overestimated, so I kept getting cold, waking up and adding layers. The Belgians got cold as well and moved …

Continue reading Overland Track Day 3: Rocks, Rocks, Rocky Rocks

Overland Track Pre-Hike 3: Unconventional

Monday, February 29, 2016 I took the McDermott shuttle from Lanceston to Cradle Mountain today. Unexpectedly the shuttle was part of a day tour, so the driver was providing information in a stream-of-consciousness type of way, including points like 'there are some people over there, I'm not sure what they're doing' and 'there's a student …

Continue reading Overland Track Pre-Hike 3: Unconventional

Overland Track Pre-Hike 2: Launceston

Sunday, February 28, 2016 Launceston has a good selection of hiking/camping stores, parks and signs directing you to public washrooms, so it's basically heaven. I purchased a fuel canister and enough food to remind me of the downside of eight days in the wilderness, deciding after feeling the weight of my pack to not return …

Continue reading Overland Track Pre-Hike 2: Launceston