Tag archives for Hiking
Hey there readers, how’s it going? This week we were in Dihovo, Macedonia. After 18 months on the road we realize it’s not the places we go but the people we meet that make the journey special. This week we met some pretty fabulous people. The family that ran our bed and breakfast couldn’t have been any more hospitable, friendly and welcoming. We joined them for a traditional lunch one day and met every one from the great aunts to the second cousins. There were even two girls around my age Matea 11 and Alexandra 14. We had a great time together playing cards and eating ice cream. We also did tons of other fun things.
We went on an absolutely, positively, amazing hike in the Baba Mountains. When we got to the top it was pouring rain, we were sopping wet and the wind was howling, but that added to the awesomeness. Our guide taught us a lot about mushrooms and showed us which mushrooms were poisonous and which ones weren’t. If you eat one type of mushroom you will slowly die for two to three years.
Another day we visited the ancient ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis which was founded by Phillip II in 168 B.C. It is the remains of a roman village. There is an amphitheater, church, the foundation of many houses, and beautiful floor mosaics. We also visited the American corner in Bitola. There is a little library area were Americans can go and read. They also have activities and classes offered in English.
For Halloween many American children and some Macedonian children went trick or treating and to a party there. Our last day we went into town and explored the old bazaar which oddly enough was filled with new stuff. The market was full of fruits and vegetables. Apples are in season and so delicious that we decided to get a four pound bag of every kind you can imagine. Another week filled with amazing people and things. Ciao for now, Aubrey.
We felt the soul of the city the minute we arrived in Krakow, Poland. There were tons of charming cafes, restaurants, and cathedrals. We stayed in the center of the Jewish Quarter which is the more bohemian, residential part of town. The days were filled with so many fun things, and a couple of very sad things, too. We zipped around town in a golf cart with a college student who told us all about their history. Did you know that at one point Poland didn’t exist and if anyone even said Poland they would be shot by a communist leader?
On the tour we went to many churches, synagogues (Jewish temples) and museums. One of the churches had a stone water fountain. If you drink from the fountain you are suppose to live for at least 100 years. We tried it, but it tasted like rotten eggs… icky!
Emily: Hooray! Today we went to Whitefish Mountain. Not only is it a wonderful resort, it is also home to the absolutely amazing… ALPINE SLIDE!!! The Alpine Slide is a huge slide that goes down the mountain. To get up, you go on a ski lift, or you can hike up. (I normally went on the ski lift.) To get down, you could go the extremely boring way, (a.k.a. the ski lift) or you could ride down the Alpine Slide on a self-controlled sled. I loved going on the Alpine slide; I went on it four times.
After riding on the wondrous Alpine Slide, we went up higher on the mountain by riding in a gondola. (You could also ride a ski lift chair.) It was a somewhat long gondola ride. (It really didn’t matter to me because that I was in the “Party Gondola.”)
At the top, we decided to go on a hike to Flower Point. To get there, I would first have to hike on a very large hill, and luckily, we were at the top, so we got to go downhill for a lot of it. Along the way, we tried to identify many different flowers and trees. After walking for a while, we decided that unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for us to go all the way to Flower Point. So, we had to turn back. On the way back up, it was very hard for me to hike because it was so steep.
When we got to the top again, we jumped into another gondola. This time however, it was about to rain. It was so foggy and cloudy, that it had a spooky touch to it. When we got to the end, we tried to go on the slide the rest of the way down the mountain, but it was closed because of the rain. So, without a rain jacket, I hopped onto a ski lift with two other people, and rode down. We started to sing songs. However, in the middle of the ski lift ride, the chairs stopped for a few seconds, and then eventually moved on. (That was scary!) When we got down to the bottom of the mountain, we got on the bus to go to the hotel.
As an added bonus to this wonderful day, in the morning, we got to meet Jack Hanna. I asked him this question: “If you could be a kid for one week, and go anywhere in the world, where would you go, and what would you explore?” He said that he would want to go to Rwanda, where the mountain gorillas live. Today was such a great day. (Too bad it’s our last day in Montana!)
Ben: Today was our first day waking up on the west side of the Rockies. We had lunch on the edge of a small cliff that had a great view of Hidden Lake. Since Hidden Lake’s water is glacial runoff, the water was a teal blue from the glacial “flour,” which forms as the glaciers crush the rocks to a fine powder. There was a chipmunk that would crawl on our boots looking for food.
After lunch, as we started hiking back down the mountain, we saw a female mountain goat with twins, which our guide said was very rare. (I named the goat Georgina the Jumping Goat! I like to name all the animals I see, so I named the grizzly bear that we saw earlier in the week Benny the Bounding Bear!) The mother was still losing her winter fur, so it looked like she had a ripped coat on. I wanted to go cuddle with the babies, but I doubt their mother would have appreciated that. As I was passing a grove of trees, I saw some snagged goat hair, which I stuffed into my pocket.
Arabella: I knew that one of these days I would be riding a Red Jammer bus. I didn’t think anything of it–just another cool part of our trip on a bus. What I didn’t expect were open-topped, jeep style buses from the 1930′s.
They were all originals, from the seats to the doors, painted a bright, bold red. The inside seated 18 people including the driver. I stepped up onto the bus and sat on handmade leather seats made with oak and plated in metal.
Within two minutes the bus started moving. Plenty of wind sent my
journals and other things flying. We headed onto the Going to the Sun
Road that used to be used as a game trail before the road was created.
Our first stop was Wild Goose Island where we had stopped two days ago
on a boat ride. We were extremely lucky today–there was no wind. Our
guide explained that the particular location we were standing was
usually very windy. We stood there for a while taking pictures and
listening to the guide. The lake surface was so smooth that it seemed
like we were staring at a mirror. The guide was explaining some of the
local animals. The one I remember most clearly was the pygmy shrew. It’s
a tiny creature about an inch long that can take down other animals
three to four times its size.
Back on the bus, we continued driving,
stopping several times to take pictures. A part of the road was an
840-foot tunnel that had been hand-dug, five-and-a-half feet per day.
“We love Glacier, yes we do. We love Glacier, how about you??!!!!!!”
echoed around the three buses as we all screamed our excitement. A sweet
scent, created by sage bushes, filled the air. We stopped at the Sun
Rift gorge, a massive canyon (at least to me) with swift, swirling
waters. A bridge arched over the gorge, sending shade over us.
way to the Logan’s Pass visitor center, we passed a curve in the road
called the Siyaeh Loop. The bend was named after an Indian whose mother
named him after a rabid dog that appeared on the day he was born. We
reached Logan’s Pass visitor center shortly and hiked up to a
snow-covered field. I have hosted and been through many snowball fights,
but never one in July. What was supposed to be a hike became a
full-blown snowball fight. Cameras got set aside as we battled in
shorts, sunglasses, and sneakers.
Our hands cold, we headed back to the
bus. On our way to West Glacier, we had many cascades splash us. They
lined the roadsides, rock-touching waterfalls. Gorgeous scenery hovered
on both sides of the road–mountains on the left, and rocks and greenery
on the right. After a long, enjoyable ride, we arrived in West Glacier
just in time for lunch.
Michael: Today we went on a 5-mile hike to Avalanche Lake. The
cedar trees looked majestic as they towered over me. The layers of moss
growing on the forest floor made me think of home, because of the deep
green of the forest floor. I saw small insects crawling around in the
dirt amongst the rocks and the trees. I thought of how small they were,
but how great their impact is on the life cycle of the forest. I
slipped inside of small cracks in trees and looked up at the sky through
the broken-off tops. Sweat stuck my shirt to my body because it was so
hot and we had been hiking all afternoon.
When we reached the lake, I
felt as if I had accomplished something very great. As I prepared to
slide into the water, I wondered if it was colder than I thought it
would be. In fact, it was so cold that the icy tang of the lake made my
adrenaline rush as fast as the rapids in a river. It is hard to put the
hike into words, but what I can put into words is that Montana is a
great place to explore!
Thanks to everyone who is following our adventure! We love seeing your comments.
During the boat ride St. Mary’s Lake I learned a lot about Glacier National Park. Some of these things include that St. Mary’s lake is the 2nd biggest lake in Glacier National Park. Another is that there are 25 glaciers remaining Glacier NP. The boat was surrounded by tall mountains and the water was a really dark shade of blue.
All of a sudden, as we were cruising along, someone yelled “BEAR!” I dropped my notebook and rushed over. It was a male grizzly bear (called a boar) climbing down a funnel of big rocks toward the water. Then the captain slowed the boat while we all took pictures and looked through binoculars. Now everyone was on that side of the boat and it tilted. There was a lot of excitement. The grizzly looked so strong and his claws and teeth were enormous–it was simply amazing!!!
Those were the highlights of the boat ride.
Today we went to the First People’s Buffalo Jump. First thing when we got out of the bus we had to get back in because they wanted to drive us to another part of the park where the cliffs were. When we got to the cliff we hopped out of the bus and a park ranger told us a few safety things like “Watch out for rattlesnakes.” or “Don’t step in the prairie dog holes.” So about halfway through our walk the park ranger said, “Who’s the fastest male runner?” So I raised my hand and he said “Okay, what’s your name?” And I said “Jackson.” Then he said “Okay well you’re the young man chosen by the elders, you have to lead your group.” Then we had to assemble into three groups, a group in the back that wore wolf suits [not really], and two groups on either side that had to hide behind rock walls [again, not really]. And then there was me. I had to dress up in a buffalo calf suit [I know that the "not relays" are kind of getting predictable so let's say I pretended]. The idea behind this is since I’m dressed in a calf suit and I’m making noises like I’m hurt, the alpha female [the males are off partying], will come try to rescue me and when she goes all the other buffalo follow. So I have to gradually pick up speed and then the buffalo start running and they eventually run off the cliff. So that’s kind of the concept of the buffalo jump. Thanks for reading!
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We pulled up to San Antonio, our refuge in the high country near Aconcagua, the western hemisphere’s highest summit and stood in awe of the magnificent Andes Mountains. We were ready to do some hiking.
We started our first morning with our new guide, the montana perro (mountain dog), the best guide on the mountain. We hiked up the river bed and down the snail trail. It was gorgeous. The sky was sapphire and the wind was blowing, it was a fantastic day for a hike. The vast mountains took our breath away. We saw so much wildlife, from stallions and cows to colorful birds and foxes.
We went back to a delectable dinner in the refuge after our big adventure with a really big appetite.
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Our trek in the Himalaya mountains was awesome! When we left our lakeside cottage in Pokhara with our guide K.B. and our porter, who happens to be K.B.’s dad, it was fogged in and hard to see the mountains.
Our first day was relatively easy. We trekked about 4 hours among rice terraces and little villages. We ended our day in the pretty mountain town of Hille and checked in to our first teahouse, Mamta’s. The sun was shining. We rested and started talking with some great ladies from Portugal. Then we enjoyed a nice dinner of Dal Bhat, a traditional Nepalese dish with rice, lentil soup and vegetables. The Nepalis believe it will give them 24 hour power.
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On our last day in Bhutan we hiked to Tiger’s Nest, which is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan and is perched on the top of a cliff. The view was breathtaking. It took us about 3 hours to get to the top and about one ½ hours to get down.
The food in Bhutan is really good, but we were very excited to have pizza one more time when we got back to town. After lunch we played at the playground in town.
Thanks to everyone who has left comments for us! Skimp27, the food is pretty much the same as the food we eat at home, but there’s a lot more seafood. The hotel is really nice. We love that we can walk right from the pool to the ocean, and it’s very close to cool sites. The drives to the activities are pretty short.
Emmie: This morning we departed our hotel after breakfast and drove to the Mastic Trail. It was a longer bus ride then the ones before, but the scenery was amazing! There were really pretty trees with gorgeous orange flowers, cows, and even a sign with “Goats for sale” written on it! We got to the trailhead, where we were met by our guides. We split into four groups–two each of parents and kids. Our tour guide was very interesting, talking about birds, plants, and the island’s history. A few minutes into the hike, our tour guide stopped and pointed out what looked like an ordinary fern. Then we looked closer. A tiny little snake lay curled up on the fern! It was amazingly camouflaged, looking exactly like the fern it sat on. Our guide explained that this was a ground boa-a very rare species of boa constrictor. It was so small, we could hardly believe that it was a boa! As we continued, he pointed out several species of toxic plants, including one that had fruit that could kill a horse. Needless to say, we gave those plants a wide berth. The trail became very rocky, so we had to look at the ground to make sure we didn’t trip. There were some tiny flowers that I doubt I would have noticed otherwise. They were lovely, and we got some great pictures.
A little further down the trail, we heard woodpeckers. The guide located the nest and told us that woodpeckers had been almost wiped out by Hurricane Ivan. I borrowed Kobie’s binoculars and saw a woodpecker feeding a baby chick. The woodpecker had a striped head and was amazing to view up close. However, since it was up a tree that was off the trail, it was very hard to photograph. Also hard to photograph were the swallowtail butterflies, which were very fast. I managed to capture one shot of a bright orange butterfly near Michael’s knee. After some more walking, the trail evened out. We came upon a mango tree, which had very small, yellow fruit. We took a few, which were very sweet and stringy. When we finished the two-mile hike (which took us two and a half hours because we kept stopping) we stepped gratefully into the air-conditioned busses and guzzled ice cold water.
BOOK NAME: Nature Girl
AUTHOR: Jane Kelley
Being stuck in Vermont with no internet, cell phones, best friends, or TV was NOT on Megan’s summer to-do list, but it was on her parents’. Megan leaves home with her family to go to Vermont, only to find that her days will revolve around hiking, watching her sister and her boyfriend flirt, and drawing for hours upon end.
Megan isn’t so sure she will survive this vacation, especially when she gets lost on the Appalachian Trail. Once lost, she has a choice; she can wait for help or hike the whole trail to prove to everyone she can survive.
I think the author created a typical family in this book and the characters were so predictable. Although I did like the book, it wasn’t good enough to read again. In the book, Jane Kelley kind of re-created and modernized My Side of the Mountain, using a girl instead of a young boy.
In this book, Megan learned a lesson about not giving up and being brave. When she got lost in the woods, I thought that maybe she’d come to love nature and the woods. It seems like Megan just learned her lesson and the Appalachian Trail was used to make her lesson more interesting. Megan DID learn and understand her wrong doings in the end, but it was rough getting there.
This book is recommended for girls ages 9 to 12. It didn’t have any crude language or anything frightening in it. Nature Girl is a calm, humorous book with a few illustrations drawn by the character, Megan, on her journey through the Appalachian Trail.