Sunday, July 7, 2024

Rain, Mosquitoes, and Deer Flies

 


We've had warm, humid weather that spark thunderstorms, mosquitoes, and deer flies. I don't like deer flies or horse flies. They circle and buzz and... bite. Mosquitoes just float around and settle onto one's skin–an easy kill. Not so with deer flies and horse flies. It takes skill to slap one of those suckers.  








Thursday, July 4, 2024

The last seven hikes

Cloudy summit view
Click on pictures to enlarge


Since returning from out west, I've taken seven hikes plus 10 walks. I'm bothered by patella tendonitis but if I ice and rest, the aching disappears. Rest is usually the best procedure.   

 










Sunday, June 16, 2024

Hiking Out West with The Rig

 

A bit cluttered but this map showcases my basic route. 

Iron Mountain Ski Jump & Pine Mountain Ski Area

First stop for hiking and exploration. A misty day in Michigan but a beautiful area to explore.  Next to the ski jump is a beautifully developed memorial park celebrating veterans. There's a road on the back side of the mountain that folks can drive to get to the jump and the memorial park. 

Iron Mountain Ski Jump
Note the stairs on the far right. 


Staircase with Plaques

Tom Izzo's plaque

Izzo Family Plaque

Hotel, Golf Club House

Pine Mountain Ski Slopes

Snack Shack at the top



Back stay cables. "No, Knightsie, I didn't
help grease these puppies."

America Legion memorial at the base of the jump








Pine Mountain ski map 


Christie Mountain Ski Area, Wisconsin





Rock Climbing class on the mountain

Towers on this tow were painted to by 
local artists to raise money for the ski area. 


Artwork




Great Bear Ski Area, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This is a ski area just on the outskirts of the city.  

The snow pond... I wonder if the snow is green
to begin with. 

"...Thin Green Ice"

Nice. 



Great Bear Lodge all run by the city




After my gentle 3-mile hike. 



 The Badlands National Park, South Dakota



Last-minute openings in the camping area. I snagged
#43 for the evening. Cost? $7










Saddle Pass Trail... this trail made
me a bit nervous. 

Saddle Pass Trail

Saddle Pass Trail (Frightening). The access is
at the back but the top is the very peak and I
found that platform a bit hairy.  





This ladder created a bottleneck of people. I ended up
finding my own trail to the left of the ladder. It was a 
slightly stupid move with a four foot rock wall in the middle
with crumbing rock. Not smart.

Enough said. 



The Burger Walk, Badlands, South Dakota


View from "hike" :-) 



Yellowstone National Park and the Cascade Lake Trail

Waking up in a Walmart parking lot before an early drive
up over the mountains into Yellowstone. 

Sunrise as I drove toward Yellowstone











Yellowstone Lake 

Classy license plates. 








Outside Yellowstone

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota: the Wind Canyon Trail







Upper Jones Creek Trail, NoDak NP







Buffalo scratching his butt on the sign. 

Prairie Dogs... coolest little voices. 

A baby Prairie Dog trying to get home to mom & dad. 






Sperati Point and the Achenback Trail, NoDak NP




The Achenback Trail had
reasonable switchbacks not unlike
the Grand Canyon but without the depth. 











Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Newberry Michigan 






Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill & Mt. Zion Ski Area

Mt. Zion Ski Hill is located on the campus of Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan. The college has a ski industries program, and the students manage the ski area under the guidance of college staff members. Graduates of the program find jobs at ski areas throughout the United States. While chatting with a couple walking their three Brittanys, I learned about Copper Peak, just a short drive out of town. 

With a $20 million dollar grant from the State of Michigan, Copper Peak will soon be the largest jump in the world sanctioned by the Federation International de Ski. Last used in 1994, the hill has a small, but well-appointed museum and gift shop as well as chairlift and elevator trips up to the top of the jump. 


Click on photos to enlarge

Borrow from the Mt. Zion Ski Hill Facebook page



Borrowed from the ski hill's website.

Borrowed from the ski hill's website. 


The Western Trip by Words and Numbers

National Parks 
–Badlands 
–Yellowstone 
–Theodore Roosevelt

State Parks 
–Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan

Hiking
Mountains…12                                      
Ski Areas……4                                  
Ski Jumps….. 2                                   

Boondocked/camped 
Walmart……………………….5
Home Depot..............................2
National Park Camping.....……4
Motels…………………...…….3  

Travel Data
States…………………………..11
Provinces……………………….2
Countries…………….………….2

Mileage……………..……….5197.6 miles                            
Gas mileage…………......…....16.6 mpg                          
Average speed…………….......45 mph                    
Time Driving………...………111 hours, 45 minutes 

Lost or Misplaced……….At least 6 times

Coolest Town Name…….Good Thunder, MN

Funniest Thing…………. A buffalo scratching his
Butt on the Badland’s sign

Scariest Thing………….. Rattle Snake warning 
sign & Hiking The Trail up Saddle Pass in the Badlands.

Least liked……………….  Yellowstone Traffic

Worst roads……………..  Sudbury, ONT, Canada

Most Impressive…………  Friendliness of people 

Most Surprising………..  I didn’t read a book 
  although I did teach an online writing class

Dumbest…………………..  Driving out of Duluth, MN at 5am––Following my Garmin only… I started 
heading onto a freeway  on-ramp going the wrong  way.  In the Garmin’s defense, Duluth has a ton of construction going on.  In my defense? Zero. Nada. I was careless.  

Longest day 
of driving………………… 14 hours 

Other Pictures  


Bailey deserved to come. 

 

Four young guys wearing similar attire
in a rainstorm looking at the Badlands.
As I took their picture, they turned their
cameras on me and my HYOY Rig... one yelled,
"We gotcha too, buddy!"  

I ended up going to Good Thunder, MN because
of the name I saw on the map. I turned a hard
left and headed down. I met the mayor in a 
convenience store; I asked about the history of
the town's name... he wasn't quite sure. 


Fun sign at the convenience store in 
Good Thunder, MN. 


Lunch outside a library in Iowa; working on 
my writing class and catching up on Facebook
chats. 

A telephone booth in Canada... 

I'm sure they meant stay in your car and 
leave as quickly as possible... that's wha I did. 

The Rig outside Yellowstone. 

  
                 Dozens upon dozens of signs along the freeways 
      introduced the city of Wall and its humongous store, Wall Drug.
                                                   

Coffee, Diet Coke, and high-powered 
mint gum kept me awake and moving forward.