A Press Democrat Blog


A blog about Bay Area hiking…. mostly

Looping around Turtle Rock

One of the cooler rock formations I’ve encountered came on a recent trip to Laramie, Wyoming, and the surrounding countryside. Tucked into the 2.2-million acre Medicine Bow National Forest is the Turtle Rock Trail. The 3-plus mile loop completely encircles a cluster of large granite rock shapes. According to geology websites, the rocks are from the 1.4-billion-year-old (yes, billion) Sherman Granite that is underneath Wyoming. Seismic activity much more recently (100 million years ago?) formed the modern mountain ranges that now fill… Read More »

On Walden Pond

When Henry David Thoreau wandered into the woods on July 4, 1845, to start his live-in-nature experiment, the setting was a fairly young forest around a pond that had been formed more than 10,000 years earlier by glaciers in the eastern Massachusetts countryside. It is considered a great example of a kettle hole, the name for the sediment left behind by retreating glaciers. Today, Walden Pond is much different but retains enough remnants of that remote isolation. On a recent… Read More »

Hiking on The Big Island (yes, Hawai’i)

My calendar of hikes for the past month has gone something like this: Annadel. Shiloh. Annadel. Hawai’i. Annadel. Annadel. Not the most varied of treks, but that one in the middle was a nice detour from the usual trails. During a recent trip to the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, known of course as the Big Island, I had the chance to do a mild amount of hiking, in between all the other fun pursuits to be explored on that… Read More »

How city folks hike

Tennessee River, Chattanooga, TN Off traveling again, but did take a long hike all around downtown Chattanooga. The city, which is in the Tennessee mountains, has a great riverfront, so started out there, walked along the banks and cut over the Tennessee River on a fairly new pedestrian bridge that spans the river, and then through the neighborhood on the other side, and then back. It was Super Bowl Sunday so it was all just a precursor to football, My… Read More »

Maybe the bells scared them off

Flat Top Mountain, Chugach State Park, Anchorage, AK Was in Alaska tending to some family business. (Not nearly as dramatic or Mafia-like as it sounds. Just helping a relative out.) But even though it was a quick trip, it was my first chance to see Alaska in the winter. I had been once in the fall when it was pretty mild and entirely un-snowy. It was a winter wonderland. After spending the last dozen years in the Deep South, I… Read More »