Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Guess Who's Back?

Dearest Readers -

I'm fresh off a week of hiking in some incredible places not inside national parks, and I can't wait to share the trails with you.  Here's a teaser.  More to come!

- Stumbles

Saturday, April 7, 2012


And now for an announcement of Things Dear Readers Already Know:  Stumbles is on a bit of a hiatus.  I don't want to be, but life.  Oh life.  Life is agreeing that your boyfriend can take the camera on his round-the-world adventure, resulting in an inability to document hikes for blog posts.  Life is you joining your boyfriend in New Zealand for a three week trip that somehow dominated the entire winter.  Life is finding out you're moving to Detroit on two weeks' notice.

I'm sad to be leaving the DC area so soon and to be missing out on the fabulousness that is spring and summer in the mid-Atlantic.  My trips to see the fields of spring flowers in Dolly Sods and many other areas will have to wait.  Instead, I'll have to find the good spots in Michigan and the Midwest for the next series of posts, and dream of a fall road trip to The Wave (I hope).

In the mean time, here are some photos from the wilds outside New Zealand's national parks:

Near Kaikoura.

During the hike to Homunga Bay. 
There's a penguin in this photo!  in Curio Bay.

The lovely Moke Lake.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Florida Trail: Corbett Wildlife Management Area

In early January, Papa Stumbles and I explored a section of the Florida Trail in the Corbett WMA near West Palm Beach, FL.  It is a different environment than the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor WMA  that I reviewed last year.  If you have a few hours (or a few days) and want to get to know one of south Florida's wilder areas, this is a great place for it.  Come prepared, and you'll have a nice time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold Mountain and Mt. Pleasant (near Buena Vista, VA)

Blue Ridge Mountains, indeed.
The loop trails of Cold Mountain (6.2 miles) and Mt. Pleasant (5.9 miles) provide a nice day hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the George Washington National Forest.  If you only have the time or inclination to do one, go with Cold Mountain.  It has more highlights than Mt. Pleasant, although the view from the top of Mt. Pleasant is quite lovely.  I hiked both on New Year's Eve Day.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hocking Hills State Park and State Forest (Logan, Ohio)

Stumbles Recommended!

Not a bad sight for late December in the Midwest.
Waterfalls, technicolor cliffs, gorges, massive caves - they scream Ohio, don't they?  Well, ok, then prepare to be surprised.  During my Christmas visit back to Ohio, my mom and I took a trip to the Hocking Hills.  We hit three of the many highlights of the region: the Rock House, Old Man's Cave, and Cedar Falls.  With more time, we could have added Ash Cave, Conkle's Hollow, Airplane Rock, and Cantwell Cliffs, to name a few.  An overview map is here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Five Meadows Circuit (George Washington National Forest, Conicville, VA)

Stumbles Recommended!

Over the course of this moderately-challenging hike, the Five Meadows Circuit (8.2 miles) passes through five meadows of at least three types, with views to boot.   Alaska, The Hammer, and I hiked it in mid-August, and the lushness of summer is definitely the time to see this area. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dolly Sods: Rocky Ridge Loop (Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia)

Stumbles Recommended!

Dolly Sods is a slice of northern Canada's rocky, windswept plateau in West Virginia.  It is a wild and beautiful place - and very muddy and windy.  Long backpacking and day hiking loops abound, as do good campsites.  It truly is a "wild" outside the national parks, and Rocky Ridge's 10.8 mile loop is a great introduction to what the region has to offer.

During my mid-November visit, I hoped to catch the tail end of the fall foliage season.  But fall comes late in the city, and the fact that DC trees are filled with oranges and reds meant that it was pure winter in Dolly Sods.  Fortunately, I had come prepared.  (See Logistics, below.)  It was so gray that most of my photos look black and white, but it didn't matter:  I can't wait to get back and explore more of the area.

 Not quite the weather I was hoping for when I got out of the car.