The weather was mild and sunny last week. While others were COVID pool partying in the Ozarks, StevetheBikeGuy and I selected a Moderate hiking trail at Ha Ha Tonka State Park and headed for the hills and woods.
Ha Ha Tonka, meaning laughing waters, has many trails, some which wind around castle ruins. Other trails go through the forest and rock formations.
Trails vary in difficulty from Easy to Moderate, to Rugged.
We chose the Spring Trail, a 1.5/3.0 mile loop which goes through forests with varying shade, through sunny, rocky terrain and back again.
Some areas have good lookouts far below on the forest floor. Other sections had some stairs to aid in steep climbing portions of the trail.
Take a meandering route through Missouri and into northern Arkansas to enjoy scenery that changes with the seasons. The Ozark Mountains span four states and consist of a plateau that covers 50,000 square miles. There’s plenty of hiking, rivers, lakes, and caves interspaced amongst the wilderness areas, making for a great road trip adventure with both scenery and historical destinations.
Years ago, I traveled this route as part of an assignment that involved researching why people live in particular areas. Life in these parts is slow-paced, almost reflective. What I found during the road trip was that a good many people choose to live in this area for the lifestyle; they value the slower pace and the access to nature and its outdoor activities. It’s a pleasant drive through a peaceful and scenic area when you follow the rolling hills from Osage Beach, Missouri, to Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Just released last month!
As with last weeks post, I have been digging through the archives to find captures that I have not done anything with. That being said, we are jumping back to 2013 in North Bend, Washington. North Bend is on the western side of the Cascade Mountain Range just east of Seattle. The town is nestled in a beautiful valley and is home to numerous hiking trails and some pretty intense ones at that.
Todays captures come from two different trails, the first one is called Little Si and is rated low to intermediate.
I miss the lushness of the Pacific Northwest woods…….
I love the way the sun was shining through the forest canopy on these moss covered boulders.
The next three captures are from the Twin Falls trail. I have shared numerous shots of the falls, but nothing from the trail to get to them.
Milky Way at Arches:
Bryce Canyon in Winter:
Mesa Arch at Canyonlands:
Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
Everglades National Park has a number of videos on their website for the housebound to explore during the Covid-19 shutdown, including this video with Ranger Ally of the mangrove forest.
In 2016, we took the Mangrove Wilderness tour with the only company licensed to do boat excursions inside the National Park boundaries. You can find them by clicking here.
The tour was very similar to what is shown in the video, without the corny acting. If you have 10 minutes to spare, I encourage you to watch the video. I enjoyed re-living this lovely journey through the Everglades.
It’s National Park Week over in the USA – and with the exception of a couple of pretty awesome cities, the national parks are my absolute favourite thing about America.
Sadly nobody can visit the national parks at the moment, but I wanted to do a round up of the ones I’ve been to – I’ve been to eight!
When we started planning our American road trip in 2018, the focus was on national parks, and we managed to hit up six in our time on the road (I always forget that Monument Valley isn’t actually a national park, which I can’t get my head around for some reason). The other two I visited a decade previously in 2008 on a Trek America coast to coast tour.
In keeping with my last post, I’m going to put them in alphabetical order, because I don’t feel like I can fairly rate them – although I do have two firm favourites! Here’s the list of all the parks I’ve been to.
I really didn’t have any expectations for Arches National Park, one of the smaller of Utah’s big five. I knew I wanted to hike out to Delicate Arch, and that was about it.
So when we drove into the park and were faced with monumental rocks and an alien-like landscape, I was gobsmacked. I really enjoyed exploring Arches, and it’s hard to take photos that do it justice because everything is GIANT. We were constantly stopping and looking up.
Because it’s a smaller park, it’s pretty easy to do in a day, even if you want to do some hiking.
Winter is associated with migration, hibernation, changes in animal behavior, plants becoming dormant, and humans experiencing special health concerns ranging from hypothermia to seasonal depression. Winter even invokes its own special vocabularies to describe the conditions (e.g. black ice, whiteouts, and corn snow). Descriptions of winter camping depend on geographic location, opportunities to go camping […]