Showing posts from January, 2015

Musings: Life Lessons on the Trail

How to Have a Successful Hike.  I stumbled across this wonderful blog post on the Pacific Crest Trail Association website and can't say enough how much I appreciate author Joan West's thoughts on what it truly means to be successful. This wisdom applies not only to hiking, but really to life in general.

In 2014, Joan West set out to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. Clearly, this is a daunting endeavor, but come hell or high water, Joan was single-mindedly focused on accomplishing her goal of making it to Canada. However, a stress fracture in her foot derailed those plans. Head on over to Joan's Rambling Hemlocks blog (love that name!) to read her excellent take on how a failed attempt to thru-hike the PCT became a revelation about defining your own success and enjoying the journey.

Joan's writing about her experience on the PCT really got me thinking about my own experiences in the outdoors...

Defining your own suc…

2014 Was a Record Year for Climate Change

... and that's not necessarily a good thing. Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record, with global temperatures on average 1.24 degrees F above normal.

Click here to read the full NOAA report for 2014

In addition to snagging the award for being the hottest year on record, 2014 was also the 38th consecutive year of above-average global temperatures, following the alarming warming trend driven by climate change.  How alarming is this warming trend? Well, 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have happened since the year 2002. That's a very high concentration of record-hot years in a very short time span.

The fact that our global climate is changing at an unprecedented rate is undeniable.  Also undeniable is the fact that human activity is responsible, mainly through burning fossil fuels that fill the atmosphere with heat-trapping carbon dioxide. In case you're wondering, the atmospheric carbon dioxide conc…

Wanderings: Wallace Falls First Day Hike

Although it may be difficult to believe given the nature of this blog, I was not a fan of hiking in my younger days.  As a child, the mere suggestion of going for a hike would cause me to cringe, and I'm sure plenty of whining and pouting would ensue.  Given my enthusiasm for hiking now as an adult, I was always a bit mystified as to why I was so averse to the activity as a child. However, after going for a "first day hike" yesterday, I may have found the culprit: Wallace Falls.

My memory is terrible, but I'm pretty sure that I was taken for a hike at Wallace Falls as a child.  During the first day hike yesterday, after the first set of switchbacks and steep up-up-uphill climb, I had a sense that this is where my childhood hiking career had gone off the rails - if not this hike, then a similarly difficult one. My lungs were burning with exertion and from the cold air heaving in and out of them; each of my feet felt like they weighed 50 lbs; and all I could think was…