These shoes are fabulous. I have terrible feet with bunions on both big toes and the aches / pains / deformities one would expect from a 40+ year distance runner. This Topo style fits my feet, though I do have to wear different sock combinations due to inconsistent foot sizes and toes. I put around 150 miles on my first pair and will wear them for another 50 miles or so … (i replace running shoes at 200 miles too)
What I liked
dries quickly after crossing streams
What I did NOT like
no ‘catch’ on the back for gaiters
fabric allows very fine dust to penetrate – cascade volcanic dust fills up
fabric started to tear slightly at high use / friction points around toe bunions
Would I recommend buying Topo Terraventure 2 trail running shoes?… Read the rest
The Granite Gear pack was selected over a couple others from REI around the same price range +/- $75. With special REI promotions, I ended up paying <$150 for the pack delivered to my front door.
Weight is good with sufficient straps, adjustments and side & belt pockets. The main compartment is one big bag with a roll top and a detachable top pouch. The material seems sufficiently strong / thick though see ‘heat’ below.
What I like
Size and weight capacity can easily carry >5 days of gear
Detachable top pouch
What I did NOT like
Side pockets are hard to reach for water and skinny bottle required
With light load & without top pouch, pack just was not comfortable – not good ride found
Internal temperature was high on hot day; seems like an oven inside pack
No good way to attach sleeping pad (i use Nemo foam) below pack so it covers outside stretch pouch
Belt is long – I am size 31″ waist and it is just too big and not adjustable
The first use was 2 days of day hikes w/out top pouch and I was ready to take it back.… Read the rest
quote, “Out of 54 states, 34 have either passed a law banning plastics and implemented it or have passed a law with the intention of implementation. Of those, 16 have totally banned plastic bags or have done so partially without yet introducing regulations to enforce the bans. Compared to the rest of the world, the continent is seemingly doing a great job, but let’s look at the reality of plastic bans in Africa.”
Sad part is that in US, local cities are making these decisions, not the federal government as they should.… Read the rest
The problem of disposing of expired / old solar panels came across on multiple news feeds this week. Like technological gadgets that we love to buy and then throw away (regardless of where they eventually end up), these solar panels are going to create a problem – somewhere. … ‘not in my backyard goes the familiar refrain’. Once a process is created to effectively and cost neutral recycle or at least safely dispose (it’s an engineering problem right?), there’s some money to be made eventually and a planet and its people to be better protected.… Read the rest
Unfortunately, these numbers are so large that it’s way hard for me to internalize and visualize. Not to leave me helpless, Statista folks added an analogy, quote: “Group member Tom Slater was quoted by the Guardian as he put the figure into perspective. He said that “28 trillion tonnes of ice would cover the entire surface of the UK with a sheet of frozen water that is 100 metres thick,” and that “it’s just mind-blowing.””… Read the rest
Statista put out this data, and there were some surprises for me. I knew that cow-milk was the most impactful but this data visualization and narrative makes it pretty clear that a better milk can be found – environmentally speaking.
Quote: “Since the production of oat and soy milk is so light on the environment, packaging and transport actually becomes the bigger component, according to a report by the BBC. Depending on the location of the drinker, one of the two could be more likely to have been imported from a far-flung location, but its not always easy to find out where the products used in a specific plant milk originated.… Read the rest
Part 1 was the up / down South Sister to Moraine Lake Trail- post.
Starting from Moraine Lake trail, getting to the PCT starts with more alpine meadow views of South and then into burnt forests until Middle Sister appears.
Much of this section was a blur given the fatigue and need for water! I original planned to camp at Mesa Creek where I did finally get good water, but it was too early to stop ~2:30pm. I talked to a PCT thru guy who told me about a pond / lake that would be a great camping spot about 2 miles further … off I went with good water, and what a decision!… Read the rest
Last year I said that I would NOT scramble up South Sister again given the over crowded trail (post). Well, I did it again, but I decided to add a PCT twist. Hike up South with full overnight backpack and then take on another chunk of PCT returning to Devil’s Lake trailhead. Original plan.
An additional post from this trip is here, and this post will have two parts: 1 – Up/down South Sister (USFS), and 2 – Moraine Lake trail to PCT to Obsidian Creek (& back) post.… Read the rest
While on a recent backpacking trip in the Three Sisters Wilderness, dancing clouds caught more of my camera than I thought until I reviewed the pics.
This set of pics covers all the views captured, and another upcoming post will focus on one sequence. My two days in Three Sisters Wilderness were all between Obsidian Creek Trail and Devils Lake (map); my original plan had me off PCT, but my feet stayed on PCT and S. Sister Climbers’ trail.
All pics were taken over 2 days, and the only pic manipulation is Adobe’s ‘auto’.… Read the rest
Facts, figures and details sometimes get in the way of prompting people to both understand and take action … something we all need more of to reverse climate change.
Story telling has long be THE method of transferring information from one human to another … goes way back in our history as humans. I learned this first hand studying oral tradition with Lilyan Kesteloot in Dakar (bio). She understood the power of story and was taught by some of the last great African griots.
From Grist, “The research jibes with other studies suggesting that scientists and activists might rely too heavily on facts and evidence in their attempts to persuade people to take action, and not enough on stories like Mode’s.… Read the rest
Day 1 of 3 … Drove straight to the trailhead – North Crater Trailhead which is very close to the northern entrance road to Crater Lake National Park.
This was my first experience on Thielsen, and the PCT southern approach in August was not the best choice … dusty, dry and hot. There some thru hikers going south, but for the most part, I had the trail to myself until I reached the climber trail.
The trail starts off in the now familiar ‘bent knee’ forest.
As the PCT climbs higher to the ridge that intersects the climbers’ trail, more views of Bailey, Thielsen and Diamond Lake appear and one gets a good idea of what is ahead.… Read the rest
After awaking to the singing of multiple coyotes, day 2 was set aside for Mt Bailey. I had even thought about punting on it and redoing sections on PCT, but kept with the original plan and headed out for Bailey … walking from Broken Arrow.
The start of the trail – Silent Creek – hits the lake as one of those slow lazy central Oregon trout creeks. That quickly changed to a faster moving creek with all these blowdowns across the creek, and every tree was covered, i mean COVERED, in pretty little yellow flowers.… Read the rest
Day 3 of 3 had me heading back to Mt Thielsen, after a less than wonderful day 1 on PCT, but getting on the trail early so I could make it home for happy hour. I hit the trail from my car a bit before 07:00 … i spent a bit of time taking sunrise pics over the lake – see ’em here.
Heading up the mountain from the NW side via Howlock Mt trail (from the pony pens) to Cedar Ridge trail (back down via Thielsen Creek Trail) to PCT and then back up the climbers’ trail.… Read the rest
With little input to planning than Diamond Lake is central to 3 hiking adventures: 1) cover more of PCT south of Willamette Pass, 2) hike Mt Thielsen, and 3) hike Mt Bailey. Diamond Lake is a gem of a place to base day adventures (pun intended); I was surprised at every turn around the Lake with things to do and see – all without feeling like I was on top of other people.
The first morning at the lake, coyotes singing woke me around 4:00 – they sang back and forth for about 5 minutes – some closer than others, but truly beautiful.… Read the rest
The level of distrust and passion for conspiracy theories about vaccines are both completely irrational. Public health policy seems to have a problem, and possibly helped with a good ‘ol fashion PR campaign.