Adventure Travel

Adventure Travel

A River of Ice on the Paine Circuit, Far-South Patagonia

The notorious Patagonian weather had been following us uphill for most of the day as we made our approach to the ‘crux’ of the Torres del Paine Circuit trek in Chilean Patagonia: John Gardner pass at 4660’ elevation.  I know, less than 5000 feet, shouldn’t be much of a big deal – but at 51 […]

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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 […]

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The Unexpected Minefields of Cross-cultural Sensitivity

                                            I like to fancy myself a person who has pretty well developed cross-cultural ‘antennae’.  I read ahead about the cultural norms, I advise my travel companions about the local sensitivities and customs of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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A Gift of Glory – Sunrise over Cerro Torre, Patagonia

The firefly glow of our headlamps mapped out the winding trail through trees and boulders to the moraine, the ghostly spire of Cerro Torre just peeking over the top.   Cresting the ridge, across our field of view was luminescent ice, vertical rock and water: Laguna Torre and behind it a row of high sheer pinnacles […]

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The Primal Race Between Sockeye and Brown Bear at Brooks Falls, Katmai, Alaska

I was one of those kids who couldn’t get enough of Mutual of Omaha’s ‘Wild Kingdom’ and the voyages of Jacques Cousteau. Nature’s splendid diversity and mystery was captivating, though sometimes the violence of it made me hide behind the sofa (“Nooooo, not the baby elephant…..!!!”) I found myself feeling the same combination of wonder, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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A Rich Feast on the Alpamayo Northern Circuit, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

A Rich Feast on the Alpamayo Northern Circuit, Cordillera Blanca, Peru

….superlatives crash and burn in a brave attempt to capture the beauty of the place.” Lonely Planet Trekking in Peru Snapping awake sometime before dawn, I extracted myself from sleeping bag and tent as quietly as possible so as not to awaken my tentmate.  Snuggling in down parka,  alpaca cap and mittens, I found a […]

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