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.
Arriving in Vegas pretty late, we rented a cheap hotel room and completed our obligatory night on the strip. Pretty lights, $20 dollar drinks, and an onslaught of bachelorettes tired us out pretty quickly, but we were able to rise early and head towards the wild. To save on checked bag fees for camping gear, we rented a trusty Kia Sorento and treat it like a camper.
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.
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.
Colorado might be the ‘homiest’ feeling place I’ve ever been. Jus tstepping off the plane and getting a nose full of the Rocky Mountain air after was enough to make you fall in love. Rachel and I took a little long weekend to Colorado Springs (more specifically, Manitou Springs) for some hiking, climbing, and photography.
It’s hard to beat the serenity and slow-paced relaxation that can be found in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I started visiting because I have so many friends in the region, but it’s easy to get addicted to the crystal-clear blue lakes, giant gorges, sprawling vineyards, long mountain ranges and the laid-back lifestyle that so many inhabitants enjoy.
As a major leap in overcoming my extreme case of winter cabin fever, I hopped on a plane and went down to visit my dear friends Michael and Sarah in Arkansas. It would’ve been 13 hours to drive each way, so in the order to maximize my vacation, it was totally worth it to fly.
Spring has finally sprung around these parts. Mom and I had some free time on a Friday, so we took the pups to Oak Hollow Park for a little exercise. Meanwhile, I spent more time with the camera then with dogs… business as usual. 🙂
Without a doubt, I say with great certainty that despite all of the backpacking, camping, and hiking trips I’ve done, I’ve never done one in more extreme weather than the trip I just returned from today. Organized by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Backpackers group on MeetUp, this “short” little trip on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail ended up bring a very brutal weekend in the woods.
Valerie is back in town for a few weeks, and we started off our time together by taking a little walk with Lumen.
Up in the hills behind my house, there are several fields which, despite my boyhood adventures to places my parents told me not to go, I’ve never been. So, me and Valerie enjoyed a bit of an expedition. I though that it would be nice to throw up some photos of our hike in the Level Green fields, as Val and Lumen both discovered the joys of milkweed.
It's done… It's over… The worst winter any of us can remember has been reduced to little dirty patches of snow and gravel on the sides of the roads.
To celebrate, Lumen and I took a much needed hike last night around the lower trails of Oak Hollow Park. The days are still short so we didn't get much time, but just being outside without a thick jacket on was liberating. I stopped to grab some random photos, nothing to earth-shattering, but I dropped them in the post anyways.