In 2016, getting outside and experiencing the outdoors is more popular than ever, and along these lines, microadventures are more popular than ever. In case you’ve been living on the moon, a “microadventure” is an adventure that doesn’t require a large amount of time or specialized gear, and is something that in theory, is accessible to everyone, and yet somewhat secret at the same time. In short, a microadventure is whatever one wants it to be. As a long-time San Diego resident, it’s been my position for years that San Diego County is one of the best spots in the country to have microadventures, mainly because of the huge variety in types of terrain located in a two hour radius (beach, mountain foothills, alpine, and desert) and because of the many wilderness pockets that honeycomb the area, even in the urban corridors of the City of San Diego.
On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Park Service Organic Act, which established the National Park Service, a federal bureau that would be responsible for preserving and protecting the existing thirty-five national parks and monuments at the time, and would also bear the same responsibility for those areas yet to be designated. Over the last hundred years, the National Park System has grown to encompass fifty-nine national parks, and over one hundred and twenty one national monuments. More importantly, over the last one hundred years, the United States National Park system has served as an inspiration to the creation of similar preserves around the world.
Other than the ten essentials, one of the most important – and overlooked items that people need for any adventure is a quality night’s sleep. From helping experienced mountaineers to acclimatize or novice hikers to simply rest, a good night’s sleep provides a plethora of benefits, irrespective of whether one is in the front or backcountry. While many factors go into obtaining a good night’s sleep, the main factor is appropriate overnight gear, which in most outdoor adventures means a good sleeping bag. While over the last thirty years sleeping bag technology has advanced with new materials, synthetic materials, and better construction, even in 2016, not all sleeping bags are created equal.
Before there were any of the superstars that grace magazines, social media postings, and every aspect of modern day life, there were a smaller series of stars of early Hollywood that first America, and then the world knew. Out of this group, by far, the most infamous was Lon Chaney. While Lon Chaney has somewhat disappears into the mists of history, in his heyday, he was well-known as “The Manof a Thousand Faces”, and turned in iconic performances as the Phantom of the Opera, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, among many others. Although there are many interesting facts about Lon Chaney, one of the more little-known facts about him is that he had a 1,288 square foot cabin built in the Inyo National Forest. While Lon Chaney is long gone the cabin remains to this day, and is a great halfway point for a day-hike through some of the more pristine wilderness in the Eastern Sierra.
Los Angeles is a top tourist destination, with many famous attractions that you've no doubt seen on TV or in the movies. The city has much more to offer, however, than just Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theater and Sunset Boulevard.To get the most out of your trip to LA – or any destination for that matter – you must get off the beaten path and discover some of the nuances that make the city truly unique, places that maybe even some locals don't know about. Based on my experience, here are a handful of excursions and places to consider visiting during your next trip to LA.
One of the most unique sights in New Zealand lies along the East Coast of the South Island, in the Otago region. The Moeraki Boulders are a series of spherical boulders that appear randomly placed along the tideline. With unique and distinctive lines crisscrossing their surface, they look like something out of a science fiction novel, or, in line with New Zealand’s spate of recent high fantasy movies, dragon’s eggs. The scientific explanation for the boulders is that they are concretions (hard, compact items that are formed by precipitation of mineral cement that are found in sedimentary rocks) that have been eroded for the last sixty-five million years. However, despite the geologic and scientific explanation that exists, the Moeraki Boulders also have a cultural and mythological explanation as well.
One of Yosemite’s most iconic hikes in the hike country is the Cathedral Lakes hike. Whether it is the start of a high country backpacking loop, a day hike, a through hike from Tuolumne Meadows to the valley, or a jaunt up to the peak itself for some climbing, the trail has challenges for just about every skill level. In addition to providing something for every skill level, the hike has some stellar views, no matter what season it is. Because of all of these things, and because Tuolumne Meadows is in itself one of the more popular regions of the park, over the years, the Cathedral Lake trail has become very popular for day and overnight use. Normally, this type of popularity – and higher traffic would lead me to shy away to other, more remote areas of the park that are just as spectacular.