The Wonderland Trail: Field Test for the AT

Perhaps one of the most intimidating factoids about an Appalachian Trail thru hike is the vertical elevation to be ascended (and descended) as you walk the 2189 miles from Springer to Katahdin – 500,000 ft!   As I was planning, for other purposes, a thru hike of Washington State’s iconic Wonderland Trail (WT) I became aware of the statistics for this 95 mile trail that circumnavigates Mt. Rainier and its glaciers – 22,000 vertical feet to be ascended and descended.  When I did the math I found that the AT, at an average of 228 vertical feet per mile and the WT, at 231 vertical feet per mile were almost identical.  Continue reading “The Wonderland Trail: Field Test for the AT”

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Night (and day) of the Living Dead Chipmunk

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Back at our house in Maryland we had a beautiful backyard – wooded, sloping hill with a patio and garden plots close to our backdoor.  I enjoyed looking out our sliding doors into the backyard – every year it seemed we had a family of chipmunks who would make a home in our garden and who would frolic and dash nervously back and forth across the patio pavers.  I worried that the neighborhood cats would wipe them out.  However, my recent climbing trip to Oregon has changed my perspective about these creatures. Continue reading “Night (and day) of the Living Dead Chipmunk”