Happy Tramper

Among the nomads of Lycia

Among the nomads of Lycia
Chunks of rough rock far outnumbered actual soil on these dry scrub-covered hills overlooking the Mediterranean on the steep narrow join of the Taurus Mountains to the sea. This section of the Lycian Way between  Patara and Demre wound high above the sea, intersecting remote tumble-down ruins of ancient Lycian sarcophagi and Byzantine churches wrapped in the elegant red of Strawberry trees, a…

Off the beaten track in the Khumbu of Nepal: Gokyo to Thame over Renjo La

Off the beaten track in the Khumbu of Nepal:  Gokyo to Thame over Renjo La
It was one of those magical, sparkling mornings when the light painted every rock, lichen, yak and peak in surreally vivid relief.  A flock of birds burst upward from an adjoining field like a scatter of buckshot against the blue-violet of the morning sky. We had emerged shivering from our rooms that mid-October morning in our tiny lodge in Lungden,…

Off the beaten track in the Khumbu of Nepal: Lobuche to Gokyo via Cho La

Off the beaten track in the Khumbu of Nepal:  Lobuche to Gokyo via Cho La
In a place where superlatives ring hollow for overuse, Gokyo finds a way to make an impression. Out the back door of our well-kept lodge in the lakeside town of Gokyo in the northern Khumbu of Nepal, groups of brightly dressed porters stood talking around their cooking fires, smoke curling upward with its now familiar sweet-bitter yak dung fragrance.     The…

A Date with the Devil: Jakita Ridge-Devil’s Dome Loop, North Cascades, Washington State

A Date with the Devil: Jakita Ridge-Devil’s Dome Loop, North Cascades, Washington State
"The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, as long as we keep our foot on his neck. "  WILLIAM JAMES We climbed up and up, the vistas unfolding, the massive glaciered crag of Jack Mountain – the “King of the Skagit” – revealing itself close enough to touch, the Picket Range and Mount Baker gathering up…