A Tourist Guide to the Berkshires

1. Introduction: Characterized by rolling hills and peaks, and dissected by river valleys, the Berkshires, considered southern extensions of Vermont's Green Mountains, traverse Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, diminishing in elevation and profile from both north to south and west to east. Named by Sir Francis Bernard to honor his home county in England, they constitute both a highland geologic and cultural region, attracting significant tourism during the summer months. 2. History: Wind, weather, and erosional chiseling of once towering mountains that formed the Housatonic, Green, and Hoosic River valleys after retreat of the last ice age some 25,000 years ago created the current hills and low-elevation peaks. Mohican Indians, who had defected from the Hudson River Iroquois settlements during the …

Surprises at every turn – coastal treasures, rugged Northern Cascades – amazing Northwest

I couldn’t believe it. The big plan: stay in nice Bellingham, Washington motels, and alternate that with camping in the countryside slightly north of Bellingham. We were off to the coast to visit our little girl going to college in Bellingham, Washington at Western Washington University. We should have realized when we were getting camping reservations that this was not your standard Montana style camping – reservations? Regardless, I still laugh at our expressions as we pulled up to the campground, smack dab in the middle of rolling green farm country – fields of corn, truck farms, dairy farms. Needless to say, the campground was wonderful and provided for all our travel needs, in remarkable style. Complete with a fishing …

Making Clothes For Backpacking

Making clothes? If you enjoy backpacking AND sewing, go for it. As for myself, I started buying gear again after the first hundred tedious hours of sewing . Then I discovered that there are some backpacking clothes you can make cheaply and quickly. Making Hand Warmers Stick your hands inside a pair of socks and mark where your fingertips and thumb-tip are, using a pen or marker. Then cut holes where the marks are. You now have hand warmers that leave your fingers free. Mine weigh about an ounce, but this depends on the socks that you use. You can use these under other gloves or mittens in colder weather, and when you remove your mittens to tie your shoes, …

Joshua Tree – Hiking Ryan Mountain

With the onset of winter, hikers in California turn to Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert. Hiking Ryan Mountain is good way to see an excellent summit view of the park. Joshua Tree – Ryan Mountain If you’re looking for the best view in Joshua Tree National Park, Ryan Mountain is the undisputed winner. Make it to the top and you’ll find a 360 degree view of the park with mountains on one side and the sprawling desert on the other. Ryan Mountain is reached by hiking the…drum roll please…Ryan Mountain Trail. The trail is roughly one and half miles and takes 45 minutes to an hour depending on your pace. Easy to follow, the trail winds to and up …

Fall Foliage Scenic Drive in New Hampshire

Fall foliage scenic drives in New Hampshire are bountiful covering Lake Winnipesaukee, Connecticut River and a bunch of trips throughout the White Mountain region. But the perennial favorite among locals and visitors alike remains the 34 miles between Lincoln and Conway on Route 112. You can drive it in just about an hour. But you’d miss experiencing one of the most colorful scenic drives in the entire northeast – and some would say the U.S. for fall foliage. Route 112, or as its better known the Kancamagus Highway, is the only road that runs directly east and west through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. This is a dramatic road that shows off the magnificence of one of …

Fall Foliage Scenic Drive in Massachusetts

Spectacular fall foliage scenic drives are plentiful in Massachusetts from the south shore of Boston down to Cape Cod, and the Quabbin Reservoir area of the central region. But perhaps the most dramatic lay out west in the Berkshires and Mount Greylock region. Here the mountains provide the perfect terrain and temperatures to showcase fall in its entire splendor. And nowhere is this most evident than on one of my favorite Massachusetts scenic drives. Stretching for 63 miles from the Massachusetts-New York border to Millers Falls on the Connecticut River is a stretch of road known as The Mohawk Trail. It offers one of Massachusetts most beloved and popular fall foliage scenic drive areas. Attractions in the region of the …

Fall Foliage Scenic Drive in Maine

Fall foliage scenic drives in Maine are varied and include coastal drives around Acadia National Park and the rocky coastline of upper Northern Maine to Baxter State park region, to some of the larger lakes in the state. Many of the scenic drives emphasize the rugged wilderness of thick forests and impressive mountain terrain of the Maine backcountry. Maine is one of the most heavily forested states in the nation, containing over 17 million acres of natural beauty, hikes, and magnificent summer scenic drives. One of the drives is nicknamed “The Lakes and Leaves” and I’ve chosen it because it’s especially stunning in fall foliage season. The “Lakes and Leaves” route follows a 218-mile loop through central west Maine along …

Chimborazo: Climbing Glaciers Near The Equator

Climbing the glaciers to the summit of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador isn’t highly technical. It is mountaineering, but how hard can it be, considering I went to 20,600 feet the first time I used crampons and an ice axe? Okay, I used them once for practice, on a sledding hill near my house. I climbed forty feet while people walked by with their sleds, telling their kids to stay away from me. It’s also easier to climb when the guide drives you to 15,000 feet. Don’t get me wrong. Climbing the last 5,600 feet was incredibly difficult, but not for the skill required. The air missing half of its oxygen is what had me quitting twenty times on the way …

Bird Watching Presents – Christmas Gift Ideas

Bird watchers are rabid about bird watching, and rightfully so. If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents, here are a few keepers. Bird Watching Presents As with practically anything in our modern society, there are all kinds of gadgets and unique gifts that make great Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents. 1. Electronic Bird Identifier – The Electronic Bird Finder is a device that provides you with the ability to recognize bird sounds and appearances through a comparison with a database in the device. Bird appearances are shown on the device and an ear plug lets you listen to bird calls until you match what you are hearing in the wild with a specific …

Bird Watching Presents

Bird watchers are rabid about bird watching, and rightfully so. If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents, here are a few keepers. Bird Watching Presents As with practically anything in our modern society, there are all kinds of gadgets and unique gifts that make great Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents. 1. Electronic Bird Identifier – The Electronic Bird Finder is a device that provides you with the ability to recognize bird sounds and appearances through a comparison with a database in the device. Bird appearances are shown on the device and an ear plug lets you listen to bird calls until you match what you are hearing in the wild with a specific …