Tag Archives: hiking

Quachita National Forest

Quachita National Forest is a beautiful forest and a hiking/camping/horseback riding/quad riding dream! Easier and harder trails for everyone’s ability.

A few snapshots of yesterday’s hike in 57 degrees of sunny, no wind day.

Barb Buchmayer, at the Blue Hole in Quachita National Forest. (pronounced Wash – i-taw)with two accomplished Border Collies she trained with positive herding dog techniques .

Quick Kansas Getaway

It’s ridiculous to take a short getaway, but guess i feel stressed and boxed in, so i left Monday afternoon – not really having any schedule though i did have some places i hoped to explore.

A lake at Watkins Mill State Park – not much to do here unless you have never seen a lake and want to walk three miles around it. Otherwise, mask wearing is required inside the museum and center – i skipped that.
View from high point of the Konza PrairieTrail south of Manhattan, Kansas – this hike is a must see and do. It’s not easy all the way through, but only bits and pieces are strenuous. By and large, it’s a casual hike. The views and foliage are stunning – not so stunning was the constant traffic noise. But don’t pass this up if you have time. It was cold and misty when i hiked and still enjoyed it a lot. Total i hiked this park was 4.4 miles, but total available to hike is 6 miles.
Truly it must have been a vision of heaven on earth as early settlers topped this hill and looked over tall prairie grasses, a wide river, and farmable bottom grounds.

Tallgrass native prairies grasses grow as tall as my head.

Next up was an enjoyable drive to The Land Institute. Unfortunately, due the china flu plandemic, they were not offering tours of their research and greenhouses, but they do have this land that can be hiked. It will be nice to go back to get the lowdown on if they are accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Part of the hike of the Marty Bender Nature Area and Trail. It was an easy hike and outing. Nothing fabulous, but good exercise. Worth the time.
Today’s hike was in high winds and an unusual heat wave for one day! It was 80 degrees when i started and 85 by the time i accomplished only 7.1 miles of this Tallgrass Prairie Hiking trails managed by The Nature Conservancy. I was almost back to the gate – like 100 yards – and there was a big ole bison on the path. They are unpredictable and warnings everywhere to turn back should this happen. But no way was i going to turn back at this point! i did take a wide berth by walking through the grass well away from him and not between him and the few mates a short distance away. This photo is taken at the Scenic Overlook 1495 feet. With the sustained winds at 30 mph and gusting to 48 – i was certainly walking and standing at an angle to be upright.
A new mate sharing the path with me.

After a hot afternoon of hiking at the Preserve, the next morning was greeted with a freeze warning – no different than Missouri!

On my way home, i discovered a farm run winery. I think it is important to support other farmers and ranchers by purchasing their good products. This one also provides a lovely wedding and reception venue.

White Tail Run Winery – Edgerton, Kansas

Here i’m enjoying a glass of wine from White Tail Run Winery by fall evening fire.

Ultimate Glamping

Fundo Panguilemu is just a 20 minute drive from Coyhaique, Chile.  Stepping into your booked yurt is settling into surprisingly luxurious accommodation overlooking the renowned Simpson River – famous for waters rich with trout and perfect for fly fishing.  and quiet.  Peace and quiet with dark skies and stars like diamonds.

Relax and get away from it all, fly fish, go for a hike, sign up for horse trekking, or just enjoy being on a working farm complete with sheep, cattle, chickens, and horses.  Owners José and Elizabeth are dedicated to regenerating their beautiful property to an even higher level of productivity and beauty through proper management of resources and they are happy to share their knowledge with anyone interested in such endeavors.

Follow along on Fundo Panguilemu Facebook page.  There is good reason to plan your Chilean trip around this outstanding experience.

img_7700
Walking towards one of three yurts available for booking.

img_7701img_7703img_7704img_7705img_7706

img_7707
There are two other yurts available.  you can see both here along with the larger one to the left of the photo which is the commons area where meals are provided (kitchen in the silver shed in back)

img_7694
Your hosts, José and Elizabeth.

Alaska, USA!

To begin our escape from annual ragweed allergies, Dallas and I headed to Alaska on 20 August 2019, the day after i mustered in my bulls and hauled them away from the cows.  All according to plan.  We got away just in time, however, this was a short trip because we needed to be back in time to celebrate Allen’s Aunt June’s 100th birthday party on the 7th of September.  Monday, we had appointments to adjust our backs, hips, heads, shoulders, ribs, etc and since allergies were extremely bad with no trend down, we came home from our afternoon appointments and i started booking Iceland.  We left for Iceland on the 10th.  Another blog entry for that later.

58848133153--7341EB0A-EE25-464E-86A7-F59DE99BA28F
We flew Alaska Airlines from Kansas City to Barrow (Utqiaġvik), Alaska.  It’s a long way from our house.  Since we attended a wedding near Hamilton the afternoon before, we took separate vehicles with Allen returning home whilst Dallas and I drove on to Kansas City.  We stayed at a hotel that allowed us to park there for the duration of our holiday.   After 15 hours of flights and connections from Kansas City to Barrow, Dallas stood beneath the iconic baleen whale rib bones on the beach of the Arctic Ocean in the most northern city of the United States.

IMG-6263
Arctic Ocean, Barrow, Alaska

IMG-6281
Looking towards Point Barrow.  We could only drive within about a mile of the Point.  Mud and degraded road conditions preclude going further – plus, you pretty much have to obtain permission from private landowners to go any further.

IMG-6273
Bowhead Whale Skull – these buggers are huge and are still hunted in traditional wooden boats with harpoons during the spring by local  Iñupiat,

IMG-6266

In an October 2016 referendum, city voters narrowly approved to change its name from Barrow to its traditional Iñupiaq name, Utqiaġvik. The governor had 45 days to rule on the name change and it was officially adopted on December 1, 2016.

IMG-6331
Yup, proof – we was there!

IMG-6320
Main airport terminal at Utqiaqvik (formerly known as Barrow), Alaska.  Name of the airport is the Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport.

IMG-6317
All the dumpsters were decorated as part of a town beautification project.

IMG-6329
Rebuilding the ocean wall protecting the town from the constant waves needs regular attention.

IMG-6307
This is the old Top of the World hotel which burnt August 31, 2013.  We stayed at the new one located on the north beach.  Highly recommend.

IMG-6300IMG-6285

IMG-6288
Evidence that this area has been settled since at least 800 AD.  Remains of horses and musk ox indicate that this area was much warmer in the past than it is now.

IMG-6341
Since there are no roads and rails from Barrow to Fairbanks, we flew, then hailed a cab for a trip to our hotel.  Our hotel did provide a free shuttle, but i had no phone service in Alaska!!  One of the spots that Chariton Valley Wireless doesn’t quite reach i guess.  The iconic Moose Antler Arch – Gateway to Fairbanks.  Antler Arch web cam

IMG-6347
Downtown Fairbanks is an historical and tourist destination.  The locals have created a wonderful place to learn about this city’s unique contribution to US history.  If you have time, read the above Vignette of History about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.  Amazing structure.

IMG-6348
The horizontal support is topped with a Teflon type product which allows the pipeline to slide back and forth as needed to accommodate the 39,000 earthquakes (about every 15 minutes) Alaska experiences each year.

IMG-6376
Sure you can rent a car out of Fairbanks and drive to Denali, but the train provides a different view and experience.  We chose the dome top full service guided car.  Well, we did have to pay for our meal.

IMG-6366
Hiking in Denali National Park

IMG-6412
Ptarmigan – Alaska state bird.

IMG-6425

IMG-6428
There are no fish in the glacial melt in Denali National Park because there is so much gray silt in the water.  However, someone thought they spotted a fish, so this multi million dollar overpass is being built courtesy of you the taxpayer just in case there was one.

IMG-6453
Beaver dam on the Horseshoe Lake Trail.  There are a multitude of easy and moderate trails in the park.

IMG-6454

IMG-6459
Not just big ole mushrooms are grown in Alaska.  Despite the short growing season in days, the length of daylight each day compensates and record breaking produce is grown and exhibited at the state fairs.  The 2019 pumpkin weighed 2051 lbs!

IMG-6392
There’s the engine pulling our McKinley Explorer dome topped car – Alaska Train Denali to Anchorage

IMG-6489
Gray silt-filled glacial melt water just outside Anchorage.

IMG-6508
Not as much to do as i expected there would be in Anchorage, but a highlight is this well maintained Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.  We didn’t walk the whole thing (11 miles one way), but we enjoyed part of it.  There are no grocery stores in the touristy areas.  Historical and cultural museums are great as well as the city tour on the Anchorage Trolley.

IMG-6510