Thursday November 5, 2009
Posted by: Canyon Kyle at 2:10PM PST on November 5, 2009
At the Sierra Club, one of our icons is John Muir (he’s our founder after all). But who knew the country of Scotland was so fond of the man who made his name in the mountains of California? (Okay, we admit, he was born in Scotland.) Well, apparently the folks at STV in Scotland have Muir on their mind this fall too – just as we did during Ken Burns’ The National Parks
– because some of them have nominated Muir for the title of Greatest Scot.
There’s going to be a whole series of shows about Scotland’s greatest, with the one about Muir airing on Friday, November 13th. You’ll be able to watch the show online
after the broadcast. We have a cast of our own John Muir groupies here on trails. Join the group today!
Posted by: Tioga Jenny at 8:01PM PST on October 25, 2009
I've never had the pleasure of traveling to the Northeastern states to check out the autumn colors I've heard so much about.
But I was just poking around Trails, looking for some yellows, reds, and oranges, and happened on Gonzo John's Hoosier National Forest photos on his profile page
, and David Scarbrough's images in the main Trails Gallery, taken on the East side of the Sierra Nevada in California, like this one
. And there's Larry Mix's photo of the White Mountains
in New Hampshire, too.
If you've posted photos of fall colors recently, comment on this blog and provide a link so we can all check them out, whether they're in the gallery, part of a trail description, or in the photo gallery on your profile.
Posted by: SC Trails at 3:21PM PST on August 31, 2009
I'm on vacation this coming week through Labor Day and, because I can't decide which mountains I'd like to hike this time, I bought a last-minute ticket for Burning Man.
While I'm off being a Burner for a week, I want Trails fans to keep the home fires burning -- and I want a lot of friends to greet me when I get back from the desert.
To that end, I've cooked up a little challenge. The Trails member who gets the most friends to register on Trails and send me a friend request by midnight on Sept. 8 (Labor Day) will receive their choice of a brand new Primus ETA Power Stove or Therm-a-Rest Woman's Trail Lite mattress (sorry, I only have a woman's). AND their friends who sign up and friend me will get a Sierra Club daypack (at least until I run of daypacks, but I have a couple of dozen brand new ones).
Not only that -- but the first person who gets at least one friend to register and then friend me will get a nifty backpacking chair. And that first new friend will get a daypack, too!
Here's how it goes:
Invite your friends to become members of the Trails community. Go to your Dashboard (you can get to it in the green Trails banner at the top of each page when you're logged in), and on the left you'll see "Invite Friends." Click on that and you can then click on a link that lets you choose email addresses from your address book.
Send the following message (customize it, if you like) to your friends:
I'm having fun finding cool trails to hike in the new Sierra Club Trails community. I think you'll enjoy it, too. If you sign up before Labor Day, you'll put me in the running for some cool outdoor gear -- and if I win, you could receive a free Sierra Club daypack.
Please register here (it's quick and easy!)
and then, while you're logged in, visit Tioga Jenny's profile
and click on the "Connect as a Friend" link in the Interact box at the upper left. In the message box, be sure to mention my name and email address.
[your name and email address]
After a few days, send a reminder to your friends!
I'll miss Trails while I'm gone, but I hope to return to lots of happy friend requests! My Trails friend Zheem promises to answer any questions on this post.
Posted by: SC Trails at 9:49AM PST on August 25, 2009
Photo courtesy Sonny McCormick.
I've been getting a kick out of the pictures Sonny McCormick shares in the photo gallery on his profile.
Sonny lives in Cocoa, Florida, and his place backs up to 300 acres of gorgeous wildlands. He has a motion-triggered camera set up there, and has snagged shots of deer, boar -- and the little squirrel above.
I love two things about this picture: the "I'm so busted" expression on the squirrel's face, and the bird (is that a cardinal, Birding Phil?) on the tree below him.
Check out more of Sonny's wildlife photos on his profile page. And send him a friend request! He's an interesting guy -- a life-long hunter, angler, and camper who says he does so with ethics and respect for the land.
We're happy to have you in the Trails community, Sonny!
Posted by: SC Trails at 1:19PM PST on August 13, 2009
Gonzo John at Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mountains. All photos in this blog post are courtesy of John Gowin.
I started seeing Gonzo John's footprints on Trails a couple of months ago. He put up a few trails, and then he started a group called Kentuckiana Hiking, which is how folks in Kentucky and Indiana refer to their two-state region. Then I saw him put up this great post in Forum about wild chanterelle mushrooms, complete with striking photos of the sunset-orange fungus. So I checked out his profile and found not just a lot more photos, but a personal blog on Trails as well as a link to his off-site blog, the Kentuckiana Hiker's Review.Then I even saw more trails…14 in all!
I had to meet this guy! So I gave him a call...
Posted by: SC Trails at 2:27PM PST on July 14, 2009
First -- a shout-out to all who entered their excellent pictures in our National Parks Photo Contest.
It was a painful process narrowing the field to 20 finalists. Thanks for participating!
See the winning photo and the other 19 finalists here.
Now, on to our winner! Meet Josh Myers.
Josh was bound for law school when he decided to hike the length of the 2174.6-mile. Appalachian Trail with his fiancee Sarah in the summer of 2006.
"The hike changed my life," he says. "I realized I couldn't be the type of person who works in an office -- I need to spend as much time as possible outside."
He shot 8,000 photos on that trip, and that winter, when his family asked him what he'd like for Christmas, he asked for a camera and got a Nikon D200. "It's been glued to my face ever since," he says. "With photography I've found my passion and my love, and I hope to do it the rest of my life."
Josh is hoping to turn his hobby into a profession, and just recently sold an image to Backpacker
magazine -- his first sale!
The winning photo of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park was shot on a one-month road trip Josh took with his roommate. They arrived at the arch at sunset.
"It was beautiful, but there were people everywhere, and I had a hard time getting a clear shot without people in it," he says. "I finally walked down a really steep embankment and got one with no one in it."
The photo was taken with a fish-eye lens on his Nikon D200, with High Dynamic Range (HDR) which helps balance the broad range of exposure.
The shot came without incident, but the road trip wasn't without its challenges. Josh says the engine went out on his '91 Jeep Wrangler in the middle of nowhere in Arizona, and he and his friend had to spend a week in Page waiting for a new engine to be shipped and installed.
"Then it broke down again in the middle of the desert in Utah," he says, "and we rigged the jeep with a sail made out of a tarp and the side doors, and coasted almost 15 miles through the desert until someone finally stopped and towed us into a town that was 40 more miles away!
"The wind had actually got us going 20 mph at one point! The trip was one big adventure, now it's paying off even more with this winning photo!"
As someone who built forts in the woods as a child and recently got into mountaineering, Josh will continue taking his camera everywhere he goes.
Visit Josh's photo site here.
Visit our National Parks group on Trails
to see all entries in the contest.
Posted by: SC Trails at 11:47AM PST on June 30, 2009
Anyone heading to North Carolina this summer? If so, you're in luck, thanks to two very active community members. Patricia Carstensen and Heather Phillips have contributed a combined total of more than 30 trails
in the Tar Heel state!
Thanks to their efforts, North Carolina has more trails posted than any other state, with the exception of California -- and there are 13 Sierra Club chapters in California!
Patricia has a naturalist's eye for fauna, noting the rarity of white pines at low altitude in her entry for the White Pines Trail, and pointing out a great place to view Atamasco lilies along New Hope Creek -- Githens Loop.
Heather seems to be a bit of a completist -- she's posted five trails from Eno River State Park, and another four from Raven Rock State Park.
Kudos to Patricia and Heather for their efforts to share some of North Carolina's special places!
And remember, you can tout your home state's natural beauty, on Trails, too!
Posted by: SC Trails at 4:42PM PST on May 22, 2009
If you click on "Find a Trail" and search on the great state of Pennsylvania, you'll discover more than a dozen gorgeous trails -- all of which (at this writing, at least) were posted by David Meiser
As a traveler who's been to Pennsylvania just once (on a family trip when I was in third grade), I had no idea the state was so lush, with so many beautiful places to explore. Many of Dave's trails include photos of the area in the trail's photo gallery. My favorite one is the Ringing Rocks Trail, which includes a great video of people banging on rocks with hammers. Some ring, some don't -- who knew?
Take a look at Dave's trails, then click on his profile on one of his trail pages and ask him to be your friend. He's a Trails rock star!
We've got some outdoor gear that we'll be sending off to super-active community members, and Dave will receive something soon.