Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Did you know that Fern Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park was once the site of a backcountry lodge? Over the course of the first half of the 20th century, hikers had the option of overnighting in style alongside this beautiful subalpine lake. During the summer of 1958 the lodge was managed by future folksinger Judy Collins and her husband. Several years later Collins would hit the big time with her hit “Both Sides, Now", which was released in 1967. Less than decade later, in 1976, the National Park Service razed the property and returned the lake to its natural state. Modern-day hikers visiting the lake would never know the lodge even existed.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to Prevent Blisters

As Sheri Propster emphatically states, blisters do suck! In this short video she offers several ways to help prevent, and treat, blisters. A couple years ago I also published a blog that offers several tips for "taking care of your hiking feet", which provides an overview of taking care of your entire foot while hiking.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Arkansas Headwaters presents Cottonwood Gulch hike

Volunteer Naturalist Bob Hickey of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) will lead the public on AHRA’s first spring hike on Saturday, March 28, through Cottonwood Gulch east of Salida. Hickey is excited to begin AHRA’s 2015 spring and summer hike line up with this “hidden gem” of a walk through unique closed and open canyon scenery.

Hikers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the trailhead on Railroad Street in Salida, which is accessed off County Road 175 and runs south and parallel to the railroad tracks along the east side of the Arkansas River. Throughout the duration of the hike, participants will experience a variety of spectacular geology and unique rock features while traversing pinon forests and beautiful valleys.

The hike will be approximately six miles round trip, and last about five hours including breaks, lunch and geology exploring along the way. Hikers need to dress for the weather and trail conditions, and bring water, sunscreen, a sack lunch and snacks. There is no fee for the event, but interested hikers must call AHRA at 719-539-7289 by the morning of March 27 to register and for exact directions and detailed hike information.

The AHRA is managed through a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Formed in 1989, this partnership allows agencies to provide visitors with recreation opportunities and care for significant natural resources of the upper Arkansas River valley.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday

There are times when you probably think that stupidity runs rampant among some who venture into the wilderness these days. There may be proof, however, that it just might be in our DNA. In 1888, 16 years after Yellowstone became our first national park, the first valor award was given to an army soldier for rescuing a woman who climbed to the top of Old Faithful - just so she could look inside. After a shift in the wind a cloud of steam enveloped the woman, and she became disoriented and was unable to safely descend. In those days, before the advent of park rangers, U.S. Infantry soldiers were in charge of protecting Yellowstone. Private John Coyle climbed the wet, slippery cone and brought the woman to safety. However, in the process, he suffered a serious scalding of his face, and was unable to walk for four weeks. Coyle would become the first person to be formally recognized for a rescue in a national park.


Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Climb a 14er

Next month each of the REI stores in the greater Denver area will again be offering a program on "How to Climb a 14er".

Whether it's a relatively easy 14er, such as Quandary Peak or Huron Peak, or if you have plans on climbing Mt. Elbert, the highest mountain in Colorado, REI is prepared to provide you with all the basic essentials and know-how to tackle Colorado's giants. You'll learn about food, equipment, training, weather and safety considerations during this 1.5-hour program.

Each of the programs are free, but do require registration. They will be offered from 6:30 - 8:00 PM at the following locations:

On April 9th: Boulder

On April 13th: Ft. Collins

On April 15th: Denver and Englewood

On April 21st: Lakewood

On April 30th: Denver

For more information, please click here.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Your Chance To Be On Survivorman Episode With Les Stroud

Les Stroud, star of OLN Canada and Discovery Channel’s Survivorman, is heading into the wilderness again, but this time he will not be alone. Les is taking one lucky fan with him, with no food, no water, no shelter and no camera crew, for an episode of Survivorman. Les has survived in a raft at sea, fought off the frigid cold, avoided bear attacks and more, logging a half-million miles trekking across the world in the process, but can he survive while having to lookout for another person?

To be considered, fans must convince Stroud, via uploading a five to 10 minute video, that they’re the right person for the job. This is your chance to impress Les! Submit your best video that shows Les your personality, filming ability, and unique qualities. Please note: your video is NOT to be about your survival skills. You have to convince Les that YOU should appear on Survivorman.

Aspiring contestants can visit for details about the contest. Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 1st.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Standing up to the man! That’s exactly what the Walker Sisters of Little Greenbrier did when the Federal Government wanted their 123-acre farm for inclusion with a new national park. In the 1930s the Great Smoky Mountains Park Commission, charged with purchasing property for the park, tried to persuade the sisters to sell their land. Eventually the Feds backed down, admitting that "These old women are rooted to the soil.” The five spinster sisters would continue to maintain their traditional mountain life - within the park boundaries - into the 1960s. Today park visitors can visit the Walker Sisters homestead by taking the easy 1.3-mile hike along the Little Brier Gap Trail.