Meanderthals http://internetbrothers.org A Hiking Blog Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:56:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 21607891 Cat hiking videos are the wholesome escape you need in your life http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/22/cat-hiking-videos-are-the-wholesome-escape-you-need-in-your-life/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/22/cat-hiking-videos-are-the-wholesome-escape-you-need-in-your-life/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:56:24 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30896

Things you can reasonably expect to see on a hike: trees; rocks; streams. Thing you might not expect to see on a hike: A cat on a leash walking with its owner. Turns out that hiking cats are more common than you might think. These adventurous felines can be found on YouTube and Instagram, where […]]]>

Things you can reasonably expect to see on a hike: trees; rocks; streams. Thing you might not expect to see on a hike: A cat on a leash walking with its owner.

Turns out that hiking cats are more common than you might think. These adventurous felines can be found on YouTube and Instagram, where they explore rough mountain terrain, rocky beaches, and green pastures.

There’s Cezar, the traveling cat who’s been to France, El Salvador, and Malta. Then there’s Honey Bee, the blind cat who loves to spend time outdoors. Or Paul the cat, whose high-altitude hiking videos will put your own hiking abilities to shame.

While most cats are naturally pretty curious, not every cat is built to explore the outside world. Felines that possess a playful demeanor and an interest in the outside world — and are willing to wear a harness — might make solid hikers.

If you’re just looking for 15 minutes of nature footage and cute cats, watch a video or two and then daydream of one day climbing a mountain with Whiskers by your side.

Check out the videos…

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Fall into Volunteerism with Smokies Service Days http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/21/fall-into-volunteerism-with-smokies-service-days/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/21/fall-into-volunteerism-with-smokies-service-days/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 16:42:43 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30893

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce upcoming Fall “Smokies Service Days” volunteer projects. These unique opportunities allow community members and park visitors to get involved and become stewards of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for any of the scheduled service projects that interest them including unique […]]]>

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce upcoming Fall “Smokies Service Days” volunteer projects. These unique opportunities allow community members and park visitors to get involved and become stewards of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for any of the scheduled service projects that interest them including unique opportunities to help care for park campgrounds, historic buildings, and other natural and cultural resources within the park boundaries.

This volunteer program helps complete much needed work across the park and is ideal for those seeking to fulfill community service requirements, including high school and college students, scout troops, civic organizations, visitors, families, and working adults with busy schedules. Each project will provide tasks appropriate for a wide range of ages. Volunteer projects will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until noon on Saturday mornings, except for the November 23 service date. In addition, each project will be followed by an optional enrichment adventure to immerse participants in the abundant natural and cultural resources of the park.

Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by park staff. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as directed. Volunteers planning to stay for the optional enrichment activity must also bring a sack lunch.

Those interested in volunteering need to contact Project Coordinator, Logan Boldon, at 865-436-1278 or logan_boldon@partner.nps.gov prior to the scheduled event date to register. Space may be limited.

Current service opportunities include: all dates 2018

September 22: National Public Lands Day Litter Patrol

September 29: Campground Clean-Up at Smokemont

October 6: Historic Preservation & Campground Maintenance at Cataloochee

October 27: Picnic Area & Campground Clean-Up at Deep Creek

November 3: Campground Clean-Up at Cosby

November 10: Litter Patrol at the Gatlinburg Park Boundary

November 17: Campground Clean-Up at Elkmont

November 23: Vegetation Management at Wears Valley

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Is this Europe’s most underrated hiking destination? http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/21/is-this-europes-most-underrated-hiking-destination/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/21/is-this-europes-most-underrated-hiking-destination/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:11:50 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30889

Just over a century ago a chap called Pedro Pidal, Marquis of Villaviciosa and an Asturian senator, returned from a visit to Yellowstone and Yosemite in the US with a burning ambition to introduce the idea of national parks to Spain. “If we do not guard the possessed paradise between the lost paradise and the […]]]>

Just over a century ago a chap called Pedro Pidal, Marquis of Villaviciosa and an Asturian senator, returned from a visit to Yellowstone and Yosemite in the US with a burning ambition to introduce the idea of national parks to Spain. “If we do not guard the possessed paradise between the lost paradise and the promised paradise,” he said, “we do not deserve, like Adam, to have any paradise.”

In 1918, as a result of his efforts, Covadonga National Park was established in the Cantabrian Mountains, with the protected area extended in 1995 to its present boundaries, which take in chunks of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León – a total of 250 square miles.

This year therefore marks the centenary of what is now called the Picos de Europa National Park, an extraordinary prickling of scenery that lurks just inland from the Asturian coast and is easily reached from the UK via Asturias, Santander or Bilbao airports. It’s an immensely popular destination for Spanish tourists, but other country’s citizens have yet to find it, which is a peculiar state of affairs when you consider the abundant virtues on show: staggering, razor-sharp peaks, endless hiking paths and adjacent Atlantic beaches.

The Picos range is split into three main massifs: the eastern, western and central peaks. The latter two are separated by the mile-deep Cares Gorge, with the village of Caín at one end. It’s one of the most popular day hikes in Spain: a six-hour route over 14 miles.

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Shell and Exxon’s secret 1980s climate change warnings http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/20/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/20/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:03:03 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30885

In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and […]]]>

In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels (and even more compared to pre-industrial levels).

Later that decade, in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections.

Shell’s assessment foresaw a one-meter sea-level rise, and noted that warming could also fuel disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, resulting in a worldwide rise in sea level of “five to six meters.” That would be enough to inundate entire low-lying countries.

Shell’s analysts also warned of the “disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction,” predicted an increase in “runoff, destructive floods, and inundation of low-lying farmland,” and said that “new sources of freshwater would be required” to compensate for changes in precipitation. Global changes in air temperature would also “drastically change the way people live and work.” All told, Shell concluded, “the changes may be the greatest in recorded history.”

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This is what hiking 2,000 miles feels like http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/19/this-is-what-hiking-2000-miles-feels-like/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/19/this-is-what-hiking-2000-miles-feels-like/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 13:03:02 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30883

Hiking 2,000 miles feels like waking up tired every morning, like eating the same food again and again until it loses all meaning. It feels like wondering with amazement when 20 miles became a short day. Like pushing yourself up the last climb of the day. Going faster and faster while your legs ache and […]]]>

Hiking 2,000 miles feels like waking up tired every morning, like eating the same food again and again until it loses all meaning. It feels like wondering with amazement when 20 miles became a short day. Like pushing yourself up the last climb of the day. Going faster and faster while your legs ache and sweat runs down your face and into your eyes, but you don’t slow down, you keep pushing because you’ve become so strong that you no longer know where your limit is, where the bottom of this energy sits and it feels good to dig way down deep, to where you forget what easy is and there is only the burning left.

And suddenly. Suddenly you’re at the top of the climb and the world erupts around you and a wave of endorphins threaten to overwhelm your more human side and you laugh away the urge to open up your throat to the heavens and howl. But the urge is there, it is right below the surface.

Hiking 2,000 miles feels like the merging of what you hoped would be and what is. Where you realize that you’re now doing all of the things you’d dreamed of when you planned this hike. All of those desires which you held at arm’s length, knowing that the odds for finishing the PCT are not in your favor and it would break your heart to admit to yourself how desperately you wanted this, only to not get it.

But now you’re here and it’s nothing like what you imagined, though all the better for it. Hiking 2,000 miles feels like making it to the playoffs, the final round of the spelling bee, it feels like the moment before the hero pulls off the big heist. You’re not there yet but you are so, so close. And if you can just be smart and lucky and hold your body together for a little longer, then you’ll make it. And that will be the best worst day of this whole thing.

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A Leave No Trace Principles Refresher http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/18/a-leave-no-trace-principles-refresher/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/18/a-leave-no-trace-principles-refresher/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:19:06 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30880

Outdoor enthusiasts often prefer visiting different types of locations. Some love trekking high into the Appalachian Mountains, while others enjoy paddling through the river-carved rocks of the Southwest. Some may like to explore the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, while others enjoy ambling about aimlessly amid the grass-dotted dunes of the Gulf Coast. You like […]]]>

Outdoor enthusiasts often prefer visiting different types of locations. Some love trekking high into the Appalachian Mountains, while others enjoy paddling through the river-carved rocks of the Southwest. Some may like to explore the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, while others enjoy ambling about aimlessly amid the grass-dotted dunes of the Gulf Coast.

You like forests; your buddy prefers prairies. One of your kids likes the beach; the other prefers the bayou.

But these various locations all share one uniting characteristic, one about which all outdoor enthusiasts can agree: They offer you the chance to spend some time in an unspoiled place, which has suffered only a minimal amount of human impact.

Whatever types of places you prefer for hiking, trekking, camping or paddling, you surely appreciate that these activities all give you the opportunity to spend time in untouched wilderness areas.

However, careless use of these places will quickly ruin them. After all, they’re becoming more and more popular by the day. If those who visit these pristine places aren’t careful, they’ll destroy the very thing that they sought in the first place – natural, untarnished beauty.

Fortunately, a lot of outdoor enthusiasts have already begun taking steps to protect these places, and you can join right alongside them. You just have to embrace Leave No Trace Principles.

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The 25th Annual National Public Lands Day is happening on September 22, 2018 http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/18/the-25th-annual-national-public-lands-day-is-happening-on-september-22-2018/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/18/the-25th-annual-national-public-lands-day-is-happening-on-september-22-2018/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:05:53 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30877

Mark September 22 on your calendar and make plans to head to your favorite outdoor spot as NEEF gets set to celebrate the 25th annual National Public Lands Day. No matter what is happening in the world, on National Public Lands Day, outdoor enthusiasts turn out in droves to give back to and enjoy their […]]]>

Mark September 22 on your calendar and make plans to head to your favorite outdoor spot as NEEF gets set to celebrate the 25th annual National Public Lands Day. No matter what is happening in the world, on National Public Lands Day, outdoor enthusiasts turn out in droves to give back to and enjoy their favorite outdoor places.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands, held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. NPLD is also a “fee-free day”—entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.

Every day, natural disasters and extreme weather, human activities, and a host of other factors take their toll on our public lands, threatening the health and wellbeing of the people and wildlife who depend on them. Public land managers, volunteers, and others who steward these special places work tirelessly to restore these areas, make them more resilient to future threats, and ensure that people and wildlife continue to enjoy them for years to come.

This enduring support and commitment to public lands year after year inspired NEEF to focus National Public Lands Day 2018 on resilience and restoration. Our natural resources are resilient, but only if we treat them right and give them the care they need. Through volunteer service on National Public Lands Day as well as grant support to local organizations, NEEF helps ensure people of all ages and abilities connect with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning, and community-building—now and in the future.

Interested? Learn more here…

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Wyoming, the country’s top coal producer, is wrangling support for wind power http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/17/wyoming-the-countrys-top-coal-producer-is-wrangling-support-for-wind-power/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/17/wyoming-the-countrys-top-coal-producer-is-wrangling-support-for-wind-power/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:45:06 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30874

Just off Interstate 80 in Sinclair, Wyoming (population 415), the Sinclair Refinery processes crude oil from the United States and Canada. Every day the refinery, one of the region’s largest, converts 85,000 barrels of oil to gasoline, diesel, propane, and other petroleum products. But the town may soon become famous for a cleaner sort of […]]]>

Just off Interstate 80 in Sinclair, Wyoming (population 415), the Sinclair Refinery processes crude oil from the United States and Canada. Every day the refinery, one of the region’s largest, converts 85,000 barrels of oil to gasoline, diesel, propane, and other petroleum products. But the town may soon become famous for a cleaner sort of energy, as the gateway to the biggest wind farm in the Western Hemisphere.

South of the highway here lies the Overland Trail Ranch, 500 square miles of rugged terrain where several thousand black angus graze among the dusty buttes and sagebrush prairie. Soon the feeding cattle will wander beneath a thousand towering wind turbines. Called the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, the ranch, owned by Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz, could potentially generate up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity­—enough to power one million homes. The project has been crawling through the regulatory process for more than a decade, but if all goes as planned, the first 500 turbines will be churning out electricity by the end of 2020, and the remainder will be up and running sometime in 2023.

In the ten years since Power Company of Wyoming (the Anschutz Corporation subsidiary running the project) began working to create Chokecherry and Sierra Madre, wind energy has boomed nationwide. The cost of wind power has dropped by 66 percent since 2009. Over the past 15 years, wind has gone from being a trace component of the U.S. power mix to holding a 6 percent share, and today, it’s a leading source of renewable energy in the nation.

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A day with long-haul hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/16/a-day-with-long-haul-hikers-on-the-pacific-crest-trail/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/16/a-day-with-long-haul-hikers-on-the-pacific-crest-trail/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 14:45:30 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30871

They’re easy to spot this time of year in the North Cascades: lean, fast-moving hiking machines in their trail-running shoes, ultralightweight backpacks and a look in the eyes that says they have places to go. It’s the annual migration of thousands of northbound hikers traveling the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexico border to […]]]>

They’re easy to spot this time of year in the North Cascades: lean, fast-moving hiking machines in their trail-running shoes, ultralightweight backpacks and a look in the eyes that says they have places to go.

It’s the annual migration of thousands of northbound hikers traveling the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexico border to Canada. Most of them began the journey in late spring, which means to reach their destination before the snow falls, they’ll need to average at least 18 to 22 miles per day.

Hence the look you get as they whoosh! past you on this well-traveled highway to heaven, their eyes clearly on the prize ahead.

“We call it the 10,000-yard stare,” said Katie, a spokesperson with the Skykomish Ranger Station. “And that’s kinda sad, because they’re coming into the most beautiful part of the Cascades.”

At this point, long-distance PCT travelers, or “thru-hikers” as they’re more often called, are just beginning to experience classic North Cascades hiking, with its signature glacier peaks and glistening, high-Alpine lakes.

Five years ago, 988 northbound permits were issued. In 2017 that count more than tripled to 3,496 permits.

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Friends set off on 1000-mile UK journey without money or clothes http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/15/friends-set-off-on-1000-mile-uk-journey-without-money-or-clothes/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/09/15/friends-set-off-on-1000-mile-uk-journey-without-money-or-clothes/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 16:44:22 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=30868

George Mahood and his friend Ben set off on a three-week journey from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland wearing nothing but a pair of Union Jack shorts. They didn’t have food, bikes or any money. The plan was to complete the 1,000 mile journey from Land’s End to John O’ Groats […]]]>

George Mahood and his friend Ben set off on a three-week journey from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland wearing nothing but a pair of Union Jack shorts. They didn’t have food, bikes or any money. The plan was to complete the 1,000 mile journey from Land’s End to John O’ Groats depending entirely on the kindness of strangers to provide them with accommodation, food, clothes, shoes, bikes and beer.

George and Ben eventually made it to Scotland and along the way, they met all kinds of generous people who provided them with the necessities to help them complete their journey. Their story appears in The Kindness of Strangers, a book of 25 stories from accomplished travelers and adventurers that tell of a time when a kind stranger came to their rescue when they were in need.

George says: “At every stage of our journey we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the people that we met, as they went out of their way to offer us food, accommodation, clothes, bikes, directions, beer or conversation. Britain is a melting pot of cultures, races and personalities, and this eclectic mix of characters should be embraced and celebrated. Britain is far from broken; it just needs a bit of love and affection.”

The Kindness of Strangers was put together by Fearghal O’Nuallain, a geography teacher and explorer from South London to raise money for Oxfam’s work with refugees. All proceeds from the book go directly to the charity.

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