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shutterBURGH | Nick Smarto
Spheroidal Weathering in the Alabama Hills of California

Spheroidal Weathering in the Alabama Hills of California

Did some quick reading on these potato-shaped prizes in the Alabama Hills: they are mostly made of biotite monzogranitean, quite a sexy mineral in its own right. But what really makes them stand out from the landscape is their spheroidal weathering pattern. It makes them bulbous, almost cloud-like.

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Twlight in Joshua Tree

We needed a bugout weekend in a bad way. So, much credit to Frontier Airlines, $140 per ticket round-trip got us safely to Las Vegas. Close enough to the desert we were looking for, thankfully we were able to get the best video streaming solutions to create this amazing film for all of you.

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Yough Rafting and Cumberland Climbing

We’re trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer, and this weekend we found ourselves adventuring around the Youghiogheny River and back to my hometown of Cumberland, MD to do some climbing with our new friend Todd. You can grade a successful RV weekend by getting her uncovered before Friday’s sunset and getting it buttoned back up by Sunday’s sunset. Mission accomplished.

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Climbing the Cumberland Narrows

Big storms rolling through Western, PA pushed us to my hometown of Cumberland, MD to find some sunshine. I lived there until I was about 9, and it’s nice to detour through town to appreciate it as an adult.

We climbed the Cumberland Narrows up over the north ridge; not a maintained trail by any means but trafficked enough to find our way. Took turns holding the dogs far enough from the edge to keep them out of peril. At the top of the Narrows is Lover’s Leap, which has a Romeo and Juliet-esque backstory, link below for more.

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Overnighter in Forbes State Forest

Late summer in our region is a precarious time to camp; some nights can be downright uncomfortably hot, and we were specifically trying to escape the heat wave of the weekend, so we headed towards the closest peak we could get to by sunset: the Laurel Summit. It didn’t take much planning, and I wanted to test out some new gear, so without much thought we headed east.

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Tri-County ATV Spring Open House

The folks at Tri-County ATV sure know how to throw a party. Since 2000, the group (which is sponsored by the local fire and rescue crew of Heilwood, PA) has owned/leased over 1000 acres with limitless trails get muddy on. Twice a year, they hold an open house and for a small fee, anyone can come get their machines in the mud.

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Aspen 2016 – 3 Parks in 3 Days

Annual snow trip time! This year, the gang headed to Aspen, CO to partake in the epically, pillowy-fresh snow of the Rocky Mountains. We found time to hit up 3 parks in 3 days, the quintessential: Aspen, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass. We stayed at a little VRBO in Woody Creek and threw ourselves down the mountain for an epic long weekend.

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Epilogue: The Passport

Epilogue: The Passport

The holy grail of the process. The tangible proof. The gateway.

The passport.

One thing is for sure: The Italians are an opaque bunch, at least when it comes to citizenship.

When I last wrote about the IDC process, it was February 2013. I had received a strange envelope from Italy. It contained voting ballots, the first on-paper proof of my Citizenship. Gratifying, yes. But I was slightly surprised that I never received any official proof that my application was accepted. No ‘Benvenuto in Italia’. No fancy, embossed letter recognizing the arduous path I walked. Nothing to frame and hang next to my diplomas.

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