Happy Tramper

R.I.P.

R.I.P.
A short while ago I finished an epic October hike with a 4-hour descent in a steady cold rain.  As always, when the rain began I fished my trusty Helly Hansen full-zip rainpants out of my pack and slid them over my boots and hiking pants with nary a moment's delay and continued on.  Alas, within a half hour the rainpants…

Afternoon in Bhaktapur

Afternoon in Bhaktapur
The ambiance of the ancient Newari trading center of Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal creeps up on you slowly, like the satisfaction of a rich, unfamiliar yet luscious multi-course meal eaten with the fingers. The Newars were the original residents of the Kathmandu Valley and the majority ethnic group until the Gorkha conquest of the valley in 1769. Bhaktapur, a center…

Circling Mount Doom on the Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

Circling Mount Doom on the Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand
Taranaki once lived with the other mountains of the central North Island: Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. Unfortunately, Taranaki fell in love with a pretty hill called Pihanga, who happened to be the wife of Tongariro.  After a fiery battle with Tongariro which he lost, the tall and handsome Taranaki, like many a young man, headed west. His falling tears at…