Glacier National Park, 2019: Wildlife

Here are some animals I encountered during my hikes in Glacier National Park. I was particularly thrilled that I was able to see a bighorn sheep in the wild on my way back down from Grinnell Glacier.

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Canada Trip, 2016: The Ovens and Lunenberg

In the middle of our long drive from Halifax to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, we stopped at The Ovens, a beautiful coastal national park featuring a hiking trail along a series of sea caves. We then had a nice early dinner at a little German restaurant on the side of the road before heading into the cute seaside town of Lunenburg for a walk. Lunenburg is another of those towns that made me fall in love with the Canadian Maritimes and fantasize about moving there.

Fans of Locke and Key may recognize both The Ovens and Lunenberg as filming locations for the series, though our visit was long before the show aired. I seem to have a habit of visiting places before a TV show begins filming there–years ago I visited both Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia before Game of Thrones had begun filming in those cities.

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California Trip, 2014: Redwoods in Yosemite

On my way out of Yosemite National Park I stopped for a hike through the Mariposa grove of giant sequoias (aka redwoods). They don’t grow as tall as the coastal redwoods, but they grow wider–some are so massive that their branches actually look like trees themselves. It’s impossible for any photo to do these behemoths justice, but the people in some of the shots below, and the fact that many of the large surrounding trees look like sticks next to the redwoods, help to provide a sense of scale.

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Glacier National Park, 2019: Panoramas

This is a collection of panoramas from my visit to Glacier National Park. For the most part I didn’t take any deliberate panorama shots on this trip–these were all stitched together from separate photos that I later realized would make good panoramas. The exceptions are the two night shots, which were sort of deliberate in that I aimed the camera in the dark at different angles for long exposures and hoped for the best (the Lake McDonald one, in particular, turned out pretty well).

The first four photos below feature views from the hotels where I stayed in Apgar Village and Many Glacier; the next three were taken during my hikes of the Highline and Grinnell Glacier trails, and the final photo is a view that should be familiar to fans of The Shining or Big Sky.

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American Southwest Trip, 2018: Bryce Canyon – Thor’s Hammer and Rim Trail

This final batch of photos from my visit to Bryce Canyon National Park consists of shots from the other leg of the Navajo Loop Trail, where I partially descended for a view of the famous Thor’s Hammer rock formation before climbing back up and starting my full descent into the canyon down the Wall Street leg. Additionally, there are photos from my walk along the Rim Trail between Sunrise and Sunset points.

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Glacier National Park, 2019: Twin Falls Trail

These photos are from my hike of the Twin Falls Trail in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park. I had booked a boat (which I nearly missed after hitting road construction on the way to Two Medicine) to the far end of Two Medicine Lake, where I embarked on a guided hike to Twin Falls. I normally prefer to hike on my own, but being by myself in grizzly country, I thought it best to stick with a crowd, and considering the trees along the trail that were marked with giant grizzly claw scratches, I think it was the right call.

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American Southwest Trip, 2018: Bryce Canyon – Queen’s Garden Trail

These photos are from my ascent up the Queen’s Garden leg of my 3-mile hike down into and back out of the canyon. As I’ve mentioned before, a stroll through Bryce Canyon National Park is like a visit to another world, and there are definitely some otherworldly looking photos in this batch.

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Glacier National Park, 2019: Running Eagle Falls Trail

These photos are from my hike to Running Eagle Falls in the Two Medicine region of Glacier National Park–actually, more of a stroll as it’s a short, easy trail to get to the falls.

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Canada Trip, 2016: Franey Mountain

The centerpiece of our stay in Cape Breton was our hike of Franey Mountain, an 1,100-foot ascent that took us between 3 and 4 total hours up and down. It could have been done more quickly but we took our time, soaking in and photographing the beautiful scenery of the Cape Breton Highlands along the way (as well as a pretty bird that I believe was a ruffed grouse).

There are two trails that lead to the top. The one we chose for the climb turned out to be the better one in terms of the views–we chose the other trail for the hike back down, which was much less challenging but also much less interesting from a scenery perspective. I don’t remember which was which, but if you’re looking at a map, the straighter looking trail is probably the less interesting one. Either way, you are likely to take both: one on the way up and the other on the way down.

Overall, it’s a beautiful hike. Climbers who reach the peak are rewarded with spectacular views of lush green mountains along a picturesque coast, as well as the opportunity to sign the hiker’s guest book attached to an Adirondack chair at the top. If you find yourself in Cape Breton, Franey Mountain is definitely worth a visit.

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Union Transportation Trail – October, 2020

Back in late October my wife and I decided to check out the relatively new (opened in 2010) Union Transportation Trail in Upper Freehold, a nine-mile rail trail not far from where we live. I was itching to get out and about after being mostly homebound for seven months (outside of a week in Cape May in September and dog walks around the neighborhood, I had barely left the house since the pandemic began), and it seemed like a good opportunity to see some fall foliage.

We got a late start, so we only had time to do the short leg of the trail traveling north from the Sharon Station Road parking area to 539–this section of the trail had opened to the public in 2017. It’s a pleasant little trail that also has a detour through trees that opens up into a large field of wild grass. I’m looking forward to returning to explore the southern portion of the trail, as well as the new section being planned that will extend the trail all the way to our home town.

Here are a few photos from our short hike: