Meanderthals http://internetbrothers.org A Hiking Blog Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:08:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 21607891 Duke Energy Begins Final Phase of Mt. Sterling Solar Project http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/19/duke-energy-begins-final-phase-of-mt-sterling-solar-project/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/19/duke-energy-begins-final-phase-of-mt-sterling-solar-project/#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:08:21 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31258

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Duke Energy will remove utility poles and overhead powerline along a 3.5-mile utility corridor that extends from the park boundary at Mt. Sterling Road (Hwy NC284) to the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower beginning Monday, November 19, 2018 through Friday, November 30. Work will not occur on […]]]>

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that Duke Energy will remove utility poles and overhead powerline along a 3.5-mile utility corridor that extends from the park boundary at Mt. Sterling Road (Hwy NC284) to the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower beginning Monday, November 19, 2018 through Friday, November 30. Work will not occur on weekends or the Thanksgiving holiday.

The overhead powerline is no longer needed due to the installation of a microgrid solar and battery facility that Duke Energy installed in 2017 to provide electrical power to park radio equipment located at the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower. This radio equipment is a vital component of the park’s emergency communication system, which serves both frontcountry and backcountry areas of the park. The overhead line has been decommissioned and the existing maintained corridor will return to a natural state.

Work crews will use chainsaws, off-road utility vehicles, and horses to remove the equipment. The area will remain open, but temporary restrictions are possible to ensure that hikers can safely pass thorough the work zone. Hikers should expect to hear noise associated with the work along the Mt. Sterling Trail and near the Mt. Sterling Fire Lookout Tower and backcountry campsite 38.

For more information about the Mt. Sterling Sustainable Energy Project, please visit the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website and following the link titled “Mt. Sterling Sustainable Energy Project” at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grsm.

 
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How to Survive a Forest Fire while Hiking or Camping http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/18/how-to-survive-a-forest-fire-while-hiking-or-camping/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/18/how-to-survive-a-forest-fire-while-hiking-or-camping/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 15:51:13 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31254

Extensive studies and research have proven that wildfires are occurring five times more often in the recent decades; such forest fires also burn six times the land area when compared to past occurrences and also tend to last much longer. According to scientific research, climate change and global warming are the two main culprits to […]]]>

Extensive studies and research have proven that wildfires are occurring five times more often in the recent decades; such forest fires also burn six times the land area when compared to past occurrences and also tend to last much longer. According to scientific research, climate change and global warming are the two main culprits to be blamed for the sudden increase in frequency and intensity of wildfires. Any responsible hiker must prioritize fire safety during hiking, no matter the season.

Should all the stars be aligned against you on a fateful day, you watch your nightmares turn real, and find yourself surrounded by a wildfire; here are a few things that might save your life:

 

How to Survive a Forest Fire While Hiking

 

This infographic is provided by my friend Arun Kumar for RidersTrail.

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Going for the three-peat: Franklin outdoor store opens two new locations in 2018 http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/17/going-for-the-three-peat-franklin-outdoor-store-opens-two-new-locations-in-2018/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/17/going-for-the-three-peat-franklin-outdoor-store-opens-two-new-locations-in-2018/#respond Sat, 17 Nov 2018 16:22:06 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31251

When Rob Gasbarro and Cory McCall met in 2008, their friendship formed around hiking and biking the mountains surrounding Franklin, NC, their weekdays filled by burgeoning careers in civil structural engineering and real estate, respectively. Then came the recession. Things got bad and then worse. By 2010, the careers that they’d planned to retire in, […]]]>

When Rob Gasbarro and Cory McCall met in 2008, their friendship formed around hiking and biking the mountains surrounding Franklin, NC, their weekdays filled by burgeoning careers in civil structural engineering and real estate, respectively.

Then came the recession. Things got bad and then worse. By 2010, the careers that they’d planned to retire in, provide for families with, seemed headed for an early end.

“Long story short, one day he and I just met for lunch and we were like, ‘Let’s just open an outdoor store,’” Gasbarro recalled. “‘What’s the worst that can happen? We starve and it doesn’t work and we’re unemployed? We’re already facing that anyway.’”

Now an anchor store on East Main Street in Franklin, Outdoor 76 was born — or at least conceived — as a rough business plan scribbled on the back of a lunch napkin at Sunrise Restaurant.

McCall and Gasbarro, ages 36 and 42, both live in Franklin, though they considered setting up shop elsewhere. But the more they investigated, the better Franklin looked. It’s within two hours of a list of cities with a combined population of 14 million people. It’s an Appalachian Trail town, and located in a county with a bounty of outdoor opportunities, including 18 peaks over 5,000 feet.

“We’re starting to see that manifest now,” said Gasbarro. “Franklin is growing.” So is Outdoor 76. In the past six months, the company has opened two new stores, in Cherokee and in Clayton, Georgia.

Read full story…

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New permit system will limit hiking in Oregon’s Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters wilderness in 2020 http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/16/new-permit-system-will-limit-hiking-in-oregons-mount-jefferson-three-sisters-wilderness-in-2020/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/16/new-permit-system-will-limit-hiking-in-oregons-mount-jefferson-three-sisters-wilderness-in-2020/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 11:56:43 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31248

Hiking and camping in three of Oregon’s most popular wilderness areas will be restricted starting in 2020, an attempt by outdoor officials to limit damage from growing crowds of visitors. The U.S. Forest Service announced a decision to install a permit system limiting the number of people in the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount […]]]>

Hiking and camping in three of Oregon’s most popular wilderness areas will be restricted starting in 2020, an attempt by outdoor officials to limit damage from growing crowds of visitors.

The U.S. Forest Service announced a decision to install a permit system limiting the number of people in the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Washington Wilderness areas.

A sharp increase in crowds during the past decade — and environmental damage that’s followed — prompted the agency to enact sweeping changes to the way people access 450,000 acres of Oregon’s most iconic backcountry.

“The goal is to maintain the quality of our wilderness areas and the experience they offer,” said John Allen, supervisor of Deschutes National Forest. “It’s about keeping the amount of people to a level where they’re not degrading these special places.”

Anyone camping overnight in the three wilderness areas will need a permit from a limited pool, under the new system. Day-users also will need a special permit for 30 of the most popular trails, including routes to Green Lakes Basin, Marion Lake, South Sister and Jefferson Park.

The decision marks a fundamental change to the unencumbered way most Oregonians currently hike, backpack and ride horses on public lands. It’s a system that treats hiking in a way similar to fishing or hunting, which have long been more regulated.

Learn more here…

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Exploring Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/15/exploring-arizonas-vermilion-cliffs/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/15/exploring-arizonas-vermilion-cliffs/#respond Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:36:12 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31245

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is only a few hours north of the state’s most famous attraction, the Grand Canyon, but most people have never heard of the stunning wilderness area, much less visited its swirling, colorful sandstone. There’s a reason for that—getting to know the monument isn’t easy. While the stunning 2,000- to 3,000-foot namesake […]]]>

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is only a few hours north of the state’s most famous attraction, the Grand Canyon, but most people have never heard of the stunning wilderness area, much less visited its swirling, colorful sandstone.

There’s a reason for that—getting to know the monument isn’t easy. While the stunning 2,000- to 3,000-foot namesake cliffs run for 30 miles and can be viewed from U.S. Highway 89A, getting to the monument’s other treasures takes a little effort.

There’s no visitor center, no paved paths, and only a few hardscrabble trails. But once you make it into this truly wild backcountry, most of which is protected as a wilderness area, it’s a chance to experience sherbet-colored slot canyons, sandstone arches, and endangered California condors.

Before you head into one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets, make sure you have plenty of water, a pair of broken-in hiking boots, and your sense of awe.

At the northern end of the monument is Paria Canyon, the best nontechnical canyoneering trip in the U.S. Typically, hikers take three to seven days to traverse the 38-mile sandstone canyon. The opposite of the wide-open spaces surrounding it, Paria is a world of walls, with 500- to 1,000-foot sandstone edifices occasionally opening into meadows of willow and rabbitbrush before squeezing back together.

Read full story…

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In stunning loss, 83% of Santa Monica Mountains federal parkland burned in Woolsey fire http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/14/in-stunning-loss-83-of-santa-monica-mountains-federal-parkland-burned-in-woolsey-fire/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/14/in-stunning-loss-83-of-santa-monica-mountains-federal-parkland-burned-in-woolsey-fire/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:08:27 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31242

The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California. The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city […]]]>

The Woolsey fire burned about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space area for Southern California.

The Santa Monica Mountains, which stretch from Hollywood Hills to Point Mugu in Ventura County, have long offered Southern Californians a respite from the city below with the range’s array of hiking trails, waterfalls and rock pools. And its sprawling ranch land has given Hollywood real-world ties to the frontier life it exhaustively depicted on screen.

The Woolsey fire destroyed more than 400 structures but also took a deep toll on landmarks of the mountain areas.

Wildfires decimated the historic park tucked inside the Santa Monica Mountains a day earlier — taking with it markers of its proud past as a backdrop for television shows and movies such as “Planet of the Apes.”

Flames consumed the set of the long-running TV series “MASH.” The same went for the Reagan Ranch, named after the former president and actor who used to own one of three parcels that comprise the 44-year-old park’s footprint along with Bob Hope and 20th Century Fox.

Cite…

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What made this father/daughter hike in Yosemite work? Respect, reliance on each other and appreciating what it means to be young http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/14/what-made-this-father-daughter-hike-in-yosemite-work-respect-reliance-on-each-other-and-appreciating-what-it-means-to-be-young/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/14/what-made-this-father-daughter-hike-in-yosemite-work-respect-reliance-on-each-other-and-appreciating-what-it-means-to-be-young/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:49:10 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31238

The first night camping set the pattern for our trip. We slipped into roles without asking each other who was going to do what. We just did what needed doing. On our hike, Alanna set a moderate pace. The Vogelsang High Sierra Camp became our point of no return. If we kept going now, we […]]]>

The first night camping set the pattern for our trip. We slipped into roles without asking each other who was going to do what. We just did what needed doing.

On our hike, Alanna set a moderate pace. The Vogelsang High Sierra Camp became our point of no return. If we kept going now, we had to continue all the way. I knew how much it meant to her, and I too wanted to know whether I could still handle a 10-mile-a-day backpacking trip.

We forged on, up and over the pass, my feet beginning to ache, and down the other side into a wonderland of granite and pine until we reached Florence Creek, a torrent we had to cross. It was harrowing, but working together we made it and celebrated by camping nearby.

The next day Alanna hiked ahead, and sometimes I had to remind her to stay with me. My feet were forcing me to remove my boots every hour to let the pain subside, while she rested without complaint.

At one point when I found her waiting around a bend, I asked her to slow down. “There’s no need to go gangbusting down the trail,” I said.

“But Daddy,” she said, “I like gangbusting. What else would we do all day if we weren’t hiking?”

I smiled, because I remembered being like that. There was a time when hiking was the whole point.

Read full story…

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First responders train for wilderness rescues at DuPont Forest http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/13/first-responders-train-for-wilderness-rescues-at-dupont-forest/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/13/first-responders-train-for-wilderness-rescues-at-dupont-forest/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:41:14 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31236 More then 200 emergency personnel from across the United States gathered in DuPont State Recreational Forest this past weekend for the 13th annual DuPont Rescue Experience.

The training exercise, which began Friday and concluded Sunday, was divided into four 12-hour operational periods and managed using the National Incident Management System.

This year the theme of the exercise was “Creating a culture of preparedness.” Training and scenarios involved combining knowledge, skills and abilities to overcome challenges found in the wilderness environment, officials said.

Sessions hosted by DuPont Rescue Experience instructors focused on search management, technical rope rescue, land navigation, wilderness EMS, mountain bikes in search and rescue, disaster communications, canines in search and rescue and incident management.

A Special training: Minimal Gear Sustainment class gave students the skills necessary to shelter in place overnight with minimal gear. It covered how the body loses heat and several ways to minimize it. Skills taught included campsite selection, what items to carry, knife/tool safety and use, shelter construction (manmade and natural materials), and fire-making.

The training is hosted each year by Mountain County Emergency Managers and local emergency response agencies. The training is considered one of the top search and rescue exercises in the nation.

Cite…

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Effect of Recreational Trails on Forest Birds: Human Presence Matters http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/12/effect-of-recreational-trails-on-forest-birds-human-presence-matters/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/12/effect-of-recreational-trails-on-forest-birds-human-presence-matters/#respond Mon, 12 Nov 2018 14:20:05 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31233

Recreational activities in nature have increased enormously in the last decades. This trend is raising concerns of researchers and conservationists about the potential impact of human recreation on wild animals. Humans are often perceived as potential predators by wildlife. Thus, when exposed to human presence, animals may react with important changes in their behavior and […]]]>

Recreational activities in nature have increased enormously in the last decades. This trend is raising concerns of researchers and conservationists about the potential impact of human recreation on wild animals. Humans are often perceived as potential predators by wildlife. Thus, when exposed to human presence, animals may react with important changes in their behavior and physiology, which in turn might have consequences for individual fitness and the dynamics of animal populations.

Forests are a natural environment often used for such activities as jogging, hiking, dog walking, mountain biking, or horse riding. The mere presence of people in forests can disturb wildlife. Many of these activities rely on trails, which intersect an otherwise contiguous habitat and hence impact wildlife.

The aim of this study was to separate the effect of the change in vegetation and habitat structure through trails, from the effect of human presence using these trails, on forest bird communities. Therefore the scientists compared the effects of recreational trails on birds in two forests frequently used by recreationists with that in two rarely visited forests.

They found that in the disturbed (i.e., high-recreation-level forests), the density of birds and species richness were both reduced at points close to trails when compared to points further away, whereas such an effect was not statistically discernible in the forests with a low-recreation-level.

Read full study…

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Hit the dirt and say happy birthday to the Continental Divide Trail http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/11/hit-the-dirt-and-say-happy-birthday-to-the-continental-divide-trail/ http://internetbrothers.org/2018/11/11/hit-the-dirt-and-say-happy-birthday-to-the-continental-divide-trail/#respond Sun, 11 Nov 2018 14:28:34 +0000 http://internetbrothers.org/?p=31229

This weekend, one of America’s most prestigious trails, and one that winds through Colorado, turns 40 years old. The Continental Divide Trail, which runs 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, was officially founded in 1978, marking 2018 its 40th year serving as a beloved part of Colorado’s outdoor recreation. Hikers, horseback riders, runners, cross-country skiers, […]]]>

This weekend, one of America’s most prestigious trails, and one that winds through Colorado, turns 40 years old.

The Continental Divide Trail, which runs 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, was officially founded in 1978, marking 2018 its 40th year serving as a beloved part of Colorado’s outdoor recreation. Hikers, horseback riders, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, fishers, hunters and more have used the 800 miles of trail within Colorado before continuing on into Wyoming or New Mexico.

The people who know it best — members of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition — write on their website that the CDT is a “museum of the American West, a place to reconnect with nature, and a unifying force bringing people of all walks of life together.”

The CDT varies in difficulty. Some sections require solid trail experience and other parts are doable for a new day hiker. The elevation on the trail ranges from 4,000 to 14,000 feet, with some of the highest points in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

According to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition website, the trail winds its way through numerous beloved landscapes in Colorado including alpine tundra of the South San Juan, Weminuche, and La Garita Wildernesses, where the CDT remains at or above 11,000 feet for almost 70 miles.

Cite…

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