My trip reports, mostly from my "Blogging Across America" tour. On that trip I spent four months driving from Los Angeles to Maine and back, blogging all the way. You can also sign up to post your own quality trip reports.

Easy gift guide for backpackers

Buying a gift for a backpacker doesn't have to be difficult, but it might not turn out that well if you aren't familiar with the sport and what type of backpacking they engage in.... (read more)

September 3, 2009 – 7:59pm

Ebright Azimuth: Delaware's highest point (more or less)

Other states' highest points are in pristine wildernesses at towering heights, but Delaware is different.... (read more)

August 23, 2009 – 12:00pm

Mountain biking above Pasadena, California (video)

The following video was shot at a super-secret hiking trail high above Pasadena and/or Altadena outside Los Angeles (in the San Gabriel Mountains/Angeles National Forest).... (read more)

January 28, 2009 – 11:48pm

Hiking Mt. Marcy, highest point in New York State

On September 20, 2003 I hiked up one of the better state highpoints of the trip: New York's Mt. Marcy, the highest point in New York State at 5344 feet.... (read more)

January 26, 2009 – 9:35am

Wappingers Falls was already back to normal in 2003

In 2003, after having thankfully escaped from Connecticut and entered the next state over, New York, on the 84 I looked at the map and made a happy discovery: I had the opportunity to drive through Wa... (read more)

January 25, 2009 – 8:21am

Ice axe tips for self-belay and arrest

In the future, this post will describe how to use an ice axe for self-belay and for an emergency arrest on steep icy slopes.... (read more)

December 19, 2008 – 3:38pm

Olympics Mountain Biking: that's it? (Beijing 2008)

Mountain biking is a relatively recent addition to the summer Olympics, but their definition of the sport might differ from yours. It definitely differs from mine, since I mainly bike on hiking trails in the actual mountains and I've dragged the bike up to 10,064' (Mt. Baldy) and around 13,000' (White Mountain Peak).... (read more)

August 18, 2008 – 10:25pm

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a popular tourist destination that's in some ways like a very small version of the Grand Canyon. It consists of a rim at between about 8000' to 9000' in elevation with the canyon itself a garden of "hoodoos", multi-colored limestone spires. Unlike the GC, the canyon is only about a thousand feet deep. Hiking below the rim is allowed, but due to the elevation and the gain some of those are considered strenuous.... (read more)

August 10, 2008 – 12:10am

Arches National Park

Arches National Park (link) is located outside Moab, Utah and consists of a large number of natural rock formations in the form of (you guessed it) arches. I visited there at the end of a day and, while it was certainly interesting, it wasn't exactly the highlight of the trip. While the formations were impressive as well as beautiful, I guess I don't get the appeal of looking at arches. Perhaps it was due to an overdose of McDonald's or something. My visit was on August 31, 2003.... (read more)

August 9, 2008 – 11:29pm
arch · arches · Utah · utah

Machias Seal Island: Canada off U.S. soil!

Canada and the U.S. have a boundaries dispute involving a small island off the Maine coast, Machias Seal Island. It's home to Atlantic Puffins, two varities of Terns, and other types of birds. Tour operators take birders and others out to view the island, and while I didn't visit the island itself I did briefly stop in and chat with Barna Norton, former captain for Norton of Jonesport, Maine. He informed me that the island is actually American territory and my preliminary investigation reveals that to be the case: here, and a longer treatment is here.... (read more)

July 1, 2008 – 9:43pm

Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock

Back in 2003, the Bill Clinton Presidential Library was just a glimmer in the eyes of various Saudi princes (link) and the ex-wife of Marc Rich (link). At that time it was in the process of being built and the only artifact available was an artist's rendition of what it would look like, as shown in the following picture shot at the River Market in downtown Little Rock. Note: as an apparent tip of the hat to Al Gore, the building is highly energy efficient (link).... (read more)

June 22, 2008 – 9:43pm

Route 66 Gas Station Museum, Springfield Illinois

Bill Shea operates the Route 66 Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and the single picture to the right can't do it justice. It's already been covered many times. On a visit there in 2003 he showed me various articles that U.S. and overseas newspapers had written about him, including one from the February 17, 2002 Los Angeles Times.... (read more)

June 13, 2008 – 5:43pm

Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest point

Mt. Mansfield - Vermont's highest point at 4393', link - is located in the Green Mountains, with a ski resort owned by the Trapp family - of The Sound of Music fame - located on one side of the mountain and with a state park on the other.... (read more)

April 5, 2008 – 1:35pm

Crater of Diamonds State Park

In early November 2003 I paid a brief visit to Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro AR (link). Visting the "Crater of Dirt" was a bit of a waste of time and money; I went there on the state highways and if I'd just gone from Hot Springs south along the interstate I could have saved myself at least an hour. The park is basically just a big field that looks like it's been plowed. As in fact it has, by thousands of visitors who come here looking for diamonds. While the rules and regulations might have changed, at the time they were just charging a $5 entrance fee, which let you go in and dig to your heart's content. I don't recall it at the time, but a recent news report says you can't sell any diamonds you find (link).... (read more)

December 11, 2007 – 9:00pm