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Articles, Going Solo / 01.05.2017

One of the most amusing activities of backpacking is watching while someone else tries to throw a bear bag line. This usually starts with finding a likely branch, then looking for a stick or rock to tie to the end of a rope. Given how many rocks you wear your feet out on while hiking, it's amazing how you can't find a rock when you really want one.   Easy Way to Hang a Bear Line The real fun starts as the hiker begins throwing. Over and over again. Typically the...

Hiking, Snowbird Wilderness, Southeast / 22.02.2017

It wasn't the best start. I had just left my van and crossed the footbridge over Snowbird creek. I saw where the trail turned uphill. It also continued up the creek, but I thought that direction was false; a trail made by trout fishermen. It was a wrong turn. The trail followed a smaller creek, rising steeply. Eventually the trail nearly disappeared but I could see the ridge top just ahead. I popped out onto a leafy road. Following this road and my GPS, I was able to...

Articles / 22.02.2017

You wouldn't think someone could drive to these isolated high ridges. Here is a photo on a ridge in North Carolina that is over 4600 feet elevation. These 4-wheelers leave behind more than rutted washes. The drivers also haul up all manner of camp material, chairs, tarps, ropes, tables, and grills. This is mostly left permanently onsite. It builds and adds to the accumulation of garbage and left-behinds. For the few that drive into these remote areas, these left behind stashes allow the convenience of a lazy and...

Articles, Mindfulness / 01.02.2017

So often we just plod along the trail with our eyes on the trail ahead, staring at rocks and roots as we pick our way step by repetitive step. We might be listening to a recorded book or music or perhaps having a conversation with another hiker or even with ourselves. Take some time to turn off the music and look up into the trees (without tripping over a rock). Looking around will force you to slow down for a while. Take that opportunity to tune into the sounds...