Sunday, June 13, 2021

Hiking Utah National Parks, Part 1

November 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Pole Tips, Trail Tips, Travel

Weather manages our outdoor activities.  Our journey to Utah parks was flip-flopped (again this year) so we could enjoy clear roads and excellent hiking weather, skipping snow, rain & ice in Bryce in favor of  50-ish degree perfect hiking weather in Moab.

Day 1:  Our first hike was the Neck Spring Loop, a LONG 5 mile hike in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  This loop was an excellent way to start the trip.  It’s an easy hike to find and has such a variety of terrain and features – it’s definitely one of our favorites.  From there we drove a short distance to hike a short distance to see Upheaval Dome.

Day 2 was also Canyonlands – we drove south to the Needles District to repeat an awesome hike we did 2 years ago.

Photos 1 & 3 show Neck Spring Hike & #2 is our first sight of the Needles after climbing up and down 2  ladders.  These new ladders were a huge improvement over what we encountered previously.   Thank you National Park Service!

Below are photos of the famous Landscape Arch and the fins in Arches National Park during our Devil’s Garden hike.  Part of this hike involved walking on top of one of those fins.  Often the direction you do a hike is critical.  Devil’s Garden is one of those – do it counterclockwise.  3rd photo is Elephant Canyon in Needles District.

Click on any photo to enlarge and click the back button to return to post.

We used our trekking poles every day.  Our rubber tipswhich we always carry with us – went on and off the poles.

When on slick rock, we either used poles with rubber tips or no poles.  The tips are more grippy (technical term).

At the end of the main trail at Devil’s Garden is a huge vertical rock called Dark Angel.  As we walked around the rock, we saw 2 climbers on the top edge heading for the top.  We watched them climb and, by the time we were walking away down the trail, they were enjoying lunch at the top of the rock.

Stay tuned for the 2nd half of our journey.

Yosemite Conservancy’s Spring Forum

April 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel

AdventureBuddies Jayah and Bob traveled to Yosemite for Spring Forum, a yearly event hosted by the Yosemite Conservancy.   Spring Forum is a day of adventures, lectures, hikes and Yosemite experiences.  We taught 3 classes:

  • Using POLES for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise – with a hike to Lower Yosemite Falls
  • Fitness for the Trail (keeping people OUTSIDE)
  • Using POLES for Balance & Mobility

Here are some photos of the day:  (be sure to click on the first one especially, then hit the back button to return to post) 🙂

On the way up we were in awe at the orange hillsides covered with California Golden Poppies.  We got up there a day early and hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls.    This is a hike where we DEEPLY appreciate our trekking poles.  Hiking up the rocky terrain we were able to get WAY more power.  Plus, being at sea level the day before, we needed all the help we could get 🙂   The downhill was significantly easier with our “extra legs.”   We were careful to put our feet, when possible, on flat surfaces as that type of terrain is real ankle twister.

The day of Spring Forum was unique for me.  Growing up in Florida and living in CA, I’ve not seen much snow.  That day went from bright to overcast to sunny to windy to gentle rain to FULL ON SNOW that blanketed everything in sight.  Roads were closed.  People were either putting on chains or wondering what to do.  We were playing 🙂  Hope to see you OTT (on the trail)!

Hiking with Trekking POLES in the desert

February 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Nature, Trail Tips, Travel

2 AdventureBuddies, 2 sets of poles.  Our annual Winter/Spring desert hiking trip this year found us in Sedona.   Our first stop was Phoenix to help some folks learn about using poles via the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center.  Then onto Sedona to enjoy some hiking on terrain that’s very different from our local mountains.   Using poles in the desert is the most powerful and efficient way to navigate rocky, steep terrain.   We especially appreciate our long foam grips &  gloves as we explore this glorious terrain.

Click on any photo to enlarge (esp #1) and press back button to return to post.  See the hole behind me in photo #3?   Look at photo #9.

Above are views from Bear Mountain, Bob negotiating rocky trail and an overhang at Long Canyon.

If you follow this blog, you will know that I LOVE cairns.   I have a new hobby – cairn topping (or cairn enhancing) ha ha!   We explored 3 days – Bear Mountain, Doe Mountain/Fay Canyon & Long Canyon, following Cairns to stay on the trail.

  • Bob and me on Bear Mountain
  • Cairn on Bear Mountain – the townhouse of all cairns!
  • Bob and his trekking poles on the top of a rock cliff at Long Canyon
  • A pretty, colorful rock in a creek-bed in Long Canyon
  • A canyon wall in Long Canyon
  • Bob looking thru the hole of the overhang

At Long Canyon, we got to the “end” and climbed up on a rock for lunch.  Bob went to explore the easiest way down the cliff.  When he returned, I gleefully noticed it was starting to  SNOW.  I was so happy eating my sandwich watching the snowflakes.   Bob said “We’re LEAVING, NOW!”   He knew immediately that we did not want to be walking down on wet rocks.  Good and fast thinking, Bob!

Weather can manage our outdoor experiences.  We knew the forecast and, even with a slight possibility of rain or snow, we were well prepared with gear.  45 degrees and wet is a recipe for hypothermia.  We had full head-to-toe Gortex gear – NO bluejeans for hikers!  On again, off again, gear changes, but we were comfy, dry and safe.

New Yorkers are NICE!

September 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Our World, Travel

From SFO to JFK for our 101st  Family Reunion in upstate NY, I spent a couple of days exploring NYC.

I went with no expectations and found a clean, busy city filled with treasures where I was treated with courtesy, respect and overwhelming kindness.   People went out of their way to help me – an overt tourist – map in one hand,  camera in the other.

From the young man who jumped off (and back on)  the subway to turn me in the right direction to the grizzled construction worker who escorted me to the entrance of the 9/11 Memorial to all the people who made sure I was heading in the right direction, I was treated with friendliness.   Navigating the New York City Subway (by myself, thank you), the Long Island Railroad, the City Streets – day and night,  I needed all the help I got!

My cousin took me on an orientation tour.  From 29th, we walked uptown to Central Park then took the Subway back downtown.   In under 2 hours,  (and not in order) we saw:

  • Walking UPtown, we saw lots of big buildings, including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Tourists look UP in NYC!
  • We wandered all around the New York Public Library – do NOT miss this amazing building, which is celebrating 100 years serving NYC!
  • We went thru Rockefeller Center and passed the famous 42nd Street
  • We explored the awesomely beautiful  St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • We wandered around Grand Central Station ended our walk at the the southern edge of Central Park.

I visited the glorious and vast  Metropolitan Museum of Art, the huge Museum of Natural History, then walked across Central Park to the Guggenheim.   I had my portrait drawn for $5.  I had a real NY Deli Sandwich (it made 3 meals).  I treated myself to a pedi-cab ride thru Central Park on my way south “downtown” towards the Theater District.

With little hope in my heart I went into the Theater and asked if there was any possibility of a ticket for the widely-acclaimed Jersey Boys.  The agent grinned at me, paused, then told me she had a front row, center ticket at half price.  I have one word for Broadway – WOW.  From start to finish I was completely enthralled by this amazing show.

I experienced a magical nighttime impromptu concert near the arch in Washington Square park – a gathering of city people from all walks of life.  The sounds were profoundly professional and organic.  Guitars, percussion, voices raised – everyone simply enjoying the balmy evening, the music and the camaraderie.  I was particularly enchanted when the lovely Mzuri started singing.  She joyfully joined in and everyone was mesmerized.

After failing to get  9/11 Memorial tickets on line, I lucked into a same day (free) ticket. I was deeply moved and, because I’d seen the Nova 9/11 Memorial production, I had a deeper appreciation of this monumental and moving memorial.


I got comfortable riding the Subwayall by myself!  My feet, unused to pavement, needed all the TLC I’ve learned to bestow.  Below photos are from the Froggie Exhibit in the Museum of Natural History, cute!

Our family reunion was at the Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook New York  The weather, the company, the food, the accommodations were all wonderful.   We had almost 60 family members and it was, as always, great to connect and to continue our family tradition.

Just  down the road from the resort is The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo World Headquarters.  The sculpture collection began in 1965 and now consists of 45 works by major 20th century artists on 152 acres of beautifully tended landscape.  If you find yourself in Rye Brook , this is an amazing collection in a beautiful setting and a great place to walk.

As always, click on any photo to enlarge and just click the back button to return to the post.  Wishing you happy journeys, filled with wonderful sights and helpful people!

Oh, and about New Yorkers.  They ARE nice!  They might not give you extra info, but they’ll give you what you need.

No Barriers Summit: July 2011 Winter Park, CO

July 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Our World, Travel

The No Barriers Summit (held every 2 years) brought together people from all over the world for 4 days of outdoors events, lectures, connecting and living.  After a torrential hail/thunder/lightening storm on Thursday afternoon (the mountains really DO create their own weather), the weekend was sunny, warm and perfect.  Here are a few shots from the Village of Winter Park, CO.   There are wonderful chimes scattered throughout the village, to be enjoyed by budding musicians of all ages.  We cheered in the Push America bikers as they  rode thru the Village  (on part of their 4,000 mile ride)!

With 200% snowfall in the CO mountains this year, the rivers were roaring on this hike to and beyond Adam’s Falls.   I know the phrase abundant profusion is redundant, but imagine countless flowers lining glorious hillsides.  The magic of this mountainous garden was breathtaking.  That it’s also about 10,000′  was a bit breathy for this flat-lander.


All of us were present.   What’s our reaction when we see someone with a disability – whether blindness or missing limb(s) or anything different than “normal” ?   And what is normal anyway?  Here, at No Barriers, we were all just having a good time.   Whether with a service dog, a wheelchair,  Side Stix, a little help from a friend or poles,  we were just people being outside, enjoying nature and each other.

The PowerPoint slide is from one of the many captivating lectures of the event.  MIT Associate Professor, Hugh Herr, PhD, powered  up to the podium to give his talk about advances in prosthetics.   During his lecture, he casually mentioned that he is a double amputee.    His story is moving and fascinating.   Other lectures discussed the latest in vision, autism, advances for the deaf, adaptive technology for pets, etc.   The entire event was deeply inspiring  and I was honored to be a part of it.


No Barriers USA Summit: Winter Park CO

June 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Poles, Travel

Here’s what’s next up for me:  I’m honored to have been asked to assist leaders in the Pole World, Suzanne Nottingham, Tom Rutlin and LEKI, at the 2011 No Barriers event:

Every couple years, in a naturally beautiful and challenging setting, the international No Barriers Summit brings together adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts as well as scientists and innovators for an outdoor summit unlike any other. The No Barriers Summit combines hands-on clinics, product demonstrations, nature excursions, films, art and music, keynote addresses, leadership exercises and a scientific symposium. We feel there is no way to separate technologies from challenges and believe that inspiration and opportunity fuel achievement.

Have camera and poles; will travel.  Stay tuned for updates!

Rocky Mountain National Park POLES Field Seminar

What’s the very best way to learn optimal use of poles and really feel the many benefits?  Out on the trail. We try out different models, we learn ways to improve performance on a variety of terrain, we explore ways to preserve our joints and to improve confidence, endurance and strength.  We share tips and strategies for more completely enjoying the glorious outdoors!

Here are some photos from my recent visit to CO.  We hold this seminar through the Rocky Mountain Nature Association on one of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever seen:  from Wild Basin Trailhead (get there early because the parking lot fills up) to Ouzel Falls by way of Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades.  Roaring water most of the way up.  Waterfall after cascading waterfall.     Click on any photo to enlarge and click the back button to return to the post.

On rocky terrain/trails, try to step on “flat” places.  This will help your ankles.

Be careful you don’t leave your poles just lying around.  Notice how our poles are nicely propped safely out of the way?  And no, they’re not teetering ready to fall into the raging torrent.  I’ve heard tales of chipmunks eating pole straps.  I’ve seen and heard so many strange tales that this did not surprise me.  Plus those little guys are BOLD.

Happy Summer 2011!  Late Spring in Rocky Mountain National Park was glorious.

Trekking Poles: Travel Tips

June 20, 2011 by  
Filed under DVD Updates, Gear, Pole Tips, Poles, Travel

Question from the Facebook PoleWalking page:

“In mid-October I am going to northern Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago and would like to get information on air travel with poles and any other info about this walk and the weather you may have.”  Margy S.

I’ll address the travel with poles question and hope fellow AdventureBuddy  Lee Sandstead might address the other questions as I believe he’s there right now.

POLES in carry on: Good Question.  Far be it for me to predict what current airline policies are.

Carrying your poles onto the plane:  Another quagmire.  If you look like you NEED them, then maybe.  But only if you have your rubber tips on.

POLES in checked baggage: Absolutely!

  • Make sure you know how to easily take apart and put together your poles  (you might not believe the number of people who have trouble with this).
  • Take them apart for travel if they do not easily fit into your luggage.
  • Secure expanders if they are the removable kind.
  • Put a rubber band around all sections
  • Put all sections in a pillow case.  Lose one section and you’re sunk (yes, this happened to a buddy in a remote section of China, yikes!).
  • Rubber tips are considered an accessory.  I consider them an essential part of your poles.  Use them instead of travel tips.
  • Make sure your rubber tips are securely affixed.  We like LEKI tips for the models of poles that we recommend.

As I like to convey in my Yoga classes – enjoy the journey as well as the destination.  Happy Travels!

Travelling, using poles, Happy Knees!

June 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Testimonials, Travel

I love getting photos and feedback from people with whom I’ve worked.    Here’s a note from Pam:
Thank GOSH for Poles!
We just returned from our trip to the Amazon jungle and then the Galapagos.  It was so much more rigorous than we’d expected, with 2 hikes a day and always a snorkeling session.
So, thank YOU for our private pole lessons!  Can you imagine hiking over these uneven boulders and slick lava without poles? We had no trouble at all – our knees didn’t even hurt at the end of the day, and the only difficulty was attending to pole placement so as not to spear an iguana!

Hiking Northern California Redwoods

May 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Nature, Travel

Walking on redwood duff is like walking on air.  My hiking feet were so happy!  Northern CA has the biggest trees.  Here are some highlights from our mid-May trip to several state parks.  Below are some photos from the trail:  click on any to enlarge, then click the back button to return to this post.

Above photos: the base of a redwood tree with my trekking poles, the waterfall at the apex of our hike, a redwood tree with a silhouette that reminded us of a former president, a hemlock tree roots – everything grows on everything in these forests, the Founders Tree specs in Humboldt State Park and perky moss.

The forest is magical.  Here is Bob enjoying the trees, the ferns and the water.

Much of the forest is right in front of your eyes.  But you have to LOOK for the Ginger flowers.

Ginger Flower

Look under the Ginger Leaves for the flower

Trillium still in bloom, Whites, Pinks, Purples

Lots of flowers in bloom in the forest

Lots of Rhododendrons in Bloom!


Redwood Violet

Five Finger Ferns - VERY Happy!

Bridges are wonderful

Hope your Spring is magical and that you have the opportunity to enjoy nature!

Happy Hiking!  jayah

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