Hike & Go Seek – Morman Pioneer National Historic Trail

A pointed bluff landmark sticks out above a flat valley with large green shrubs.

Covering Five States (IL, IA, NE, UT, WY)

Explore the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail across five states to see the 1,300-mile route traveled by Mormons who fled Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1846-1847

Martins Cove, Wyoming

A Brief History

The story of the Mormon Trail is rooted in the beginnings of a unique American religion. In 1827, 21-year-old Joseph Smith announced that he had unearthed a set of golden plates, inscribed with the tenants of God’s true church. Smith said that he had been directed to the plates by an angel named Moroni, who also had given him divine tools for translating the ancient inscriptions into English. Smith used these to produce new Scripture called the Book of Mormon. In 1830, in western New York, he organized a legal entity that would become The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His followers, who regarded Smith as a prophet, became known as Mormons.

Important differences between mainstream Christianity and Mormon doctrine quickly emerged, but it was primarily hostilities over land, business, and politics that caused Smith repeatedly to move church headquarters. Driven out of Missouri in 1838, the Mormons finally settled along a bend of the Mississippi River in Illinois. There they established a community they called Nauvoo, a Hebrew word meaning “beautiful place.” It was at Nauvoo that Smith cautiously began introducing the Old Testament practice of “plural marriage,” or polygamy, among select church leaders.

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Nature’s Silent Message 

Thousands of converts flocked to Nauvoo, soon making it the largest town in Illinois. Neighbors initially welcomed the orderly, industrious settlers despite their religious differences. But relations gradually soured, with complaints centering on Mormons’ clannish business practices, accusations of theft, their electoral sway, and Smith’s political aspirations. Meanwhile, dissent emerged within the church as rumors leaked of secret plural marriages. After an opposition newspaper publicly accused the prophet and other leaders of polygamy, Nauvoo’s city council and Smith declared the paper a public nuisance and Smith ordered destruction of its press. For that he and others were arrested and jailed at Carthage, Illinois. On June 27, 1844, a mob broke into the jail and murdered Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Other vigilantes attacked Mormon farms around Nauvoo in an attempt to expel them.

Brigham Young stepped up as Smith’s successor and began planning an orderly, spring 1846 evacuation of some 15,000 faithful to the Great Basin, Mexican-held territory beyond the Rocky Mountains. However, as anti-Mormon violence heated, Young decided to organize a vanguard of church leaders to depart in late winter, hoping that would pacify the vigilantes until the main body of Mormons could start west in April. On February 4, 1846, the first wagons ferried across the Mississippi to Iowa. This group halted after five miles and set up camp at Sugar Creek for a lengthy wait as Young and his associates concluded business at Nauvoo. Meanwhile others, anxious not to be left behind, drifted over to join the Sugar Creek camp. Young’s vanguard company unexpectedly swelled from his intended 1,800 emigrants to around 3,000—many without their own wagons and provisions.

https://www.nps.gov/mopi/index.htm

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Hiking the HaHa Tonka Spring Trail – MO —

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.

via Hiking the HaHa Tonka Spring Trail – MO —

 

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Medella Naturals Insect & Mosquito Repellent, DEET-Free All-Natural Formula, Safe for Kids and Pets, Made in The USA, Travel 3-Pack, 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz. Bottles

 

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

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Wild: From Lost to Found

Hike & Go Seek – Eagle Mountain, highest natural point in Minnesota

Eagle Mountain is the highest natural point in Minnesota, United States, at 2,301 feet.  It is in northern Cook County, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in the Misquah Hills, northwest of Grand Marais. It is a Minnesota State Historic Site.
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Eagle Mountain is only about 15 miles (24 km) from Minnesota’s lowest elevation, Lake Superior, at 600 feet/  It is part of the Canadian Shield. Confusingly, there is another, much shorter, peak named Eagle Mountain in northern Minnesota. The shorter peak is part of the Lutsen Mountains ski resort.
The hike to the summit can be made in about two and a half hours. The distance to the peak is about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) with an elevation gain of 550 feet (168 m). The trail is rocky and moderately strenuous. Whale Lake is about halfway along the trail and offers two campsites to hikers. The peak of the mountain is marked with a plaque.
Permits are required because portions of this hike enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Self-issued permits are available at any Superior National Forest ranger station or at the trailhead. Instructions and the permit can usually be found at the trailhead kiosk.
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Among the highest natural points (highpoints) in each U.S. state, Eagle Mountain ranks 37th. (wiki)
Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Ozark Mountains Road Trip: Osage Beach to Eureka Springs — by Jill Dutton | Travel Journalist

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

via Ozark Mountains Road Trip: Osage Beach to Eureka Springs — Jill Dutton | Travel Journalist

 

Just released last month!

Nature’s Silent Message 

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Nature’s Silent Message 

 

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A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson                         Wild: From Lost to Found

Hike & Go Seek – Petrified Forest

Although a bit west of what is considered the tradition Midwest, Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, park covers about 230 square miles, encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands.

The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch.  The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name.

Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Trekking the National Parks Family Board Game

 

The park’s seven maintained hiking trails, some paved, vary in length from less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to nearly 3 miles.  These named trails are Painted Desert Rim, Puerco Pueblo, Blue Mesa, Crystal Forest, Giant Logs, Long Logs, and Agate House.  Hikers and backpackers may also visit the park’s wilderness areas.

1000px-Shortgrass_pano_Petrified_Forest_NPPanorama of shortgrass prairie near Dry Wash in the southern section of the park.

 

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National Parks 18″ x 24″ Collector’s Series Puzzle

 

Some of the larger animals roaming the grasslands include pronghorns, black-tailed jackrabbits (hares), Gunnison’s prairie dogs, coyotes, bobcats and foxes. Bobcats and bullsnakes hunt smaller animals, such as deer mice and white-tailed antelope squirrels in the park’s riparian zones.  More than 16 kinds of lizards and snakes live in various habitats in the park.

 

 

Memorial Day Mountains (Great Smoky Mountains) — Treat Yourself to Travel

Thinking about the upcoming Memorial Day weekend during quarantine, I figured I would reminisce on our road trip from last year. We made our way through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the Asheville side (NC) by Cherokee to the Gatlinburg side (TN). It was a perfect long weekend getaway from the DC area. We were able to do some hiking, see some beautiful scenery and explore downtown Asheville.

The Smokies | TeamTravelsBaby

via Memorial Day Mountains (Great Smoky Mountains) — Treat Yourself to Travel

 

Just released last month by Scott Stillman…Nature’s Silent Message

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Nature’s Silent Message 

Hike & Go Seek – Petrified Forest

Although a bit west of what is considered the tradition Midwest, Petrified Forest National Park is an American national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, park covers about 230 square miles, encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands.

The Petrified Forest is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees that lived in the Late Triassic Epoch.  The sediments containing the fossil logs are part of the widespread and colorful Chinle Formation, from which the Painted Desert gets its name.

Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Trekking the National Parks Family Board Game

The park’s seven maintained hiking trails, some paved, vary in length from less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to nearly 3 miles.  These named trails are Painted Desert Rim, Puerco Pueblo, Blue Mesa, Crystal Forest, Giant Logs, Long Logs, and Agate House.  Hikers and backpackers may also visit the park’s wilderness areas.

1000px-Shortgrass_pano_Petrified_Forest_NPPanorama of shortgrass prairie near Dry Wash in the southern section of the park.

B07PC22WJ8

National Parks 18″ x 24″ Collector’s Series Puzzle

Some of the larger animals roaming the grasslands include pronghorns, black-tailed jackrabbits (hares), Gunnison’s prairie dogs, coyotes, bobcats and foxes. Bobcats and bullsnakes hunt smaller animals, such as deer mice and white-tailed antelope squirrels in the park’s riparian zones.  More than 16 kinds of lizards and snakes live in various habitats in the park.

 

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America’s Best Day Hikes       Great Hiking Trails of the World

Trekking Arizona – Yuma AZ – East Wetland Park — Inside A Soul

East Wetlands Trail 2.7.2020

The month of February was an active one for me, as I was exploring the beauty of the Desert South West in Arizona. First weekend of February, I walked around the trails of the East and West Wetland park, an easy trail that travels through hummingbird exhibits, burrowing owl exhibits, along the Colorado river. A small piece of nature in Downtown Yuma AZ, where the city began. Check it out if you are in the Yuma Area! Great for family trips, children and grown-ups of all ages. If you go to the Castle Park, be careful with the Duck pond, as there are some geese there who are not nice! Haha, enjoy, stay tuned. Travel, hike and enjoy nature, wherever you are. Even the cities have a beauty about them, nature still exists.

Alltrails is a great app to download to look up hiking trails in your area. Just a tip!

“East Wetlands Interpretive Trail is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yuma, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail. ” Quote from Alltrails

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beartracks blog on wordpress

Common wild life include: Wild cats, coyote, variety of birds, Beaver, and more. Not often you’ll see a coyote or bob cat though!

The East trail follows along the Colorado river:

Beginning of trail is Prison Hill

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Colorado river view from visityuma.com

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Pivot Point

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There is also the West Wetlands park, that has a Castle park and an easy walking path along the duck pond, where you can fish too.

visityuma.com

There is an easy path to follow along the Westland park as well, that leads you to humming bird and burrowing owl exhibits:

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via Trekking Arizona – Yuma AZ – East Wetland Park — Inside A Soul

Unforgettable Double Decker Living Root Bridge — Mad about Birding and Travel

I guarantee that a visit to the Double Decker Living Root Bridge will be unforgettable; if not for the beauty then for the hike itself. Double Decker Living Root Bridge? One may be wondering what I am talking about. Well, my family and I were on a 5-day trip to the north-eastern state of Meghalaya […]

via Unforgettable Double Decker Living Root Bridge — Mad about Birding and Travel