Sandstone Trail

Sandstone Trail

Posted on Jun 20, 2017 in Day / Weekend Trips, Featured, Photography, Places I Go, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Stephy suggested I do a hike or something for fathers day. So I took the opportunity to get in some “training” for an upcoming backpacking trip. After tossing around several ideas, I finally set out for Prairie State Park, armed with my 17-40mm wide angle lens and a backpack full of unnecessary baggage, just to help get me into shape! I have been wanting to visit this park during the summer when wildflowers are in bloom, but the prairie is notoriously lacking in...

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Ozark Adventure

Ozark Adventure

Posted on Apr 16, 2017 in Day / Weekend Trips, Rural America | 1 comment

The other day Emma asked me if we could do another “long” hike sometime soon. So naturally I started making arrangements for us to do a 10.2mi hike in a wilderness area where I have hiked and backpacked a few times before. When the day came, we left the house bright and early and drove to the trail. The girls always want to stop and add rocks to these piles when they see them. Since this area is a “wilderness”, it is by law generally void of anything...

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Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountains

Posted on Jan 7, 2017 in Mountain Climbs, Photography, Places I Go, USA | 2 comments

We spent the week between Christmas and New Years in the Smoky Mountains.  It’s my second visit to the area so I’ve started to learn a lot more about this interesting and beautiful area.  Like the Ozarks, the Smokies change dramatically with the seasons. I’ve only seen the Smokies in winter, so I am sure it would be interesting to see another season when the deciduous trees aren’t bare.  Many people may not think of winter as a time to hike, but...

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Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Posted on Nov 1, 2016 in Day / Weekend Trips, Photography, Places I Go | 1 comment

Sometimes I am reminded that Missouri, while not a national mecca for scenery and tourism, is actually quite a playground for those who appreciate nature.  This past weekend was one of those experiences.  We took a mini trip to a new state park called Echo Bluff, which is adjacent to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  ONSR is a national park that many people do not realize is a national park in Missouri. The main attraction here is paddling opportunities on the Current...

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Elk Mountain

Elk Mountain

Posted on Mar 14, 2016 in Day / Weekend Trips, Photography | 0 comments

For a long time I’ve been wanting to take Emma on a mountain climb. So this year I decided to stop thinking about it and just do it, and we invited my dad and Steph’s dad to go with us.  I wanted something fairly difficult, with a good view, but not any severe exposure along the trail. Missouri has a near endless supply of scenic hiking, but the nature of the terrain means there aren’t a lot of isolated high points (it’s mostly ridges and deep...

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The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 in Mountain Climbs | 0 comments

While in Tennessee last month, I got to do a little hiking on my old friend the Appalachian Trail.  I say “old friend” as if I have a lot of experience with the trail, but I have actually only hiked it once before and that was 10 years ago.  But the section I did was a significant section… the northern terminus of the trail up to the top of Katahdin, the highest point in Maine.  I thought this sign was cool because it actually showed the distance to the...

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