Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Driving Through The Thick Of It

This isn't a storm:
From a far-off distance my wife and I both thought we were approaching another storm as we traveled across southeastern Wyoming this past Saturday. Earlier that morning we had left Grand Teton National Park for our long drive home. We knew a few storms were passing across the state. The night before winds from an approaching front howled over our condo near Teton Village. The next morning saw thick fog and rain throughout the mountains.
After seeing several warnings along the highway regarding high winds in the area, I began to suspect that maybe we were witnessing a major dust storm. However, as we approached Laramie, it became clear that what we were actually seeing was thick smoke pouring out of the Medicine Bow Mountains just east of town. This was confirmed as we got to the outskirts of town when we could smell the smoke, a result of the Mullen Fire, now listed as being 78,000 acres in size.
Due to extreme winds that day, thick smoke was blowing directly eastward, which meant it followed along the I-80 corridor from Laramie to well-past Cheyenne. As a result, we drove through smoke for more than 75 miles. We later learned that the wind-driven fire forced authorities to issue evacuation orders for both residents and recreationists in the mountains.

Although driving in the smoke for that long was pretty bad, the favorable winds throughout most of the day resulted in almost 4 more miles per gallon to our gas mileage!



Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, September 28, 2020

Blue Ridge Parkway Begins Repairs in Roanoke Area

National Park Service (NPS) officials announced that work began today to mitigate a slope failure that resulted in the closure of the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Explore Park entrance (milepost 115.5) to U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4). The work, which will be completed under a full parkway closure, is expected to take about 10 days, and will allow for the section of parkway from U.S. 24 to U.S. 220 to reopen for the busy fall season. The road will remain closed to all uses south of U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4) to Adney Gap (milepost 135.9).

On May 22, 2020, NPS officials announced heavy rain created multiple road hazards in the Roanoke, Virginia, area of the Parkway that required a road closure from milepost 112.4 to milepost 135.9, from U.S. Route 24 to Adney Gap. The section from Milepost 112.4 to 115.5, at the Explore Park entrance, opened earlier this summer and remains open.

The largest hazard is a full road failure roughly one hundred and fifty feet (150') in length near milepost 128. This complex road failure will require a closure of at least 12 to 18 months. Visitors are reminded that, due to the hazardous nature of this slope failure, the section of parkway from U.S. 220 (milepost 121.4) to Adney Gap (milepost 135.9) is closed to all uses including motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

Updates to the road status will be made when available on the park website at www.nps.gov/blri, via press release and on social media at www.facebook.com/blueridgenps







Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How Wolves Change Rivers

Although this short video is a little dated (from 2014), it still highlights an important lesson that continues to be valid today. The video discusses how the introduction of wolves in Yellowstone have alterred the food chain, created opportunities for other wildlife, and have changed the geography of the park itself. Moreover, it shows the importance of having a complete ecosystem in places like Yellowstone:









Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, September 18, 2020

Lend a Hand on National Public Lands Day

September 26th is your chance to be a part of the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Each year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers come together on the fourth Saturday in September to assist with various projects designed to restore and enhance public parks, forests, waterways and more. From trail maintenance to tree planting—volunteers of all ages and abilities roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side to care for public lands. The day also features a variety of hikes, bike rides, community festivals, paddling excursions, and other fun outdoor activities—all set on the backdrop of the country’s public lands and waterways.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of daily life in this country, and our public lands are no exception. Due to social distancing requirements remaining in place for the foreseeable future, many public lands sites will be unable to host large, in-person NPLD events. With this in mind, NEEF has announced that they will be expanding the available options for volunteers during this year’s NPLD on September 26, 2020.

Virtual and In-Person Events for NPLD 2020 The theme for NPLD 2020 is "More Ways to Connect to Nature." In addition to the standard NPLD programming, this year's celebration will include virtual events designed to connect the public to iconic parks, national forests, marine estuaries, and other public lands sites. These online events will serve as an alternative for NPLD site managers who are uncomfortable with or are not allowed to host in-person events due to local regulations.

This does not mean there won't be any in-person events. Public land sites that wish to host in-person events—in accordance with local rules and regulations regarding COVID-19—will still be able to register their event on the NEEF website.

Please click here to check out the official National Public Lands Day event map, which makes it easy to find all of the events that will be available later this month.







Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, September 14, 2020

Donate $5 and Receive Walk the Distance App A.T. Download

Take a hike on the Appalachian Trail today, no matter where you are!

For September only, you can unlock the A.T. on the Walk the Distance app when you donate $5 or more to the ATC! Your donation helps us on our mission to protect, manage, and advocate for the Trail.

Walk the Distance uses your daily steps tracked through your iPhone and converts them to miles hiked on the Trail. You can track where you would currently be on a northbound A.T. hike, and you can see other users completing the same route. Checkpoints along the virtual footpath highlight trivia on iconic views, shelters, ATC projects, and more, providing fun facts and Trail history on your virtual journey! Visit appalachiantrail.org/walkseptember to donate and get your code today!




Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, September 11, 2020

Tennessee Serves on National Public Lands Day

In honor of National Public Lands Day on September 26th, Tennessee State Parks, Friends Groups and Tennessee State Natural Areas are hosting a variety of volunteer stewardship projects, hikes and interpretive programs for all ages. Last year, more than 600 people participated in this day of service. This year, we have a variety of events and service projects planned, including litter clean-ups, trail maintenance, hikes, and even a few canoe floats. Events are being held at different times throughout the day and some parks are having multiple events. This is also an excellent opportunity for TN Promise Scholars to bank volunteer hours. Find a park near you and join us!

For more information on hikes and events around the state, please click here.








Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Update on Plane Crash and Trail Closures in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park has learned that that the man who passed away in the plane crash near the Buck Hollow Trail in Rappahannock County is 35-year old Nicolas Hellewell from San Luis Obispo, California.

The following trails and parking areas remain closed in order to keep the site of the plane crash secure and minimize disturbance while the area is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. These areas will remain closed until the investigation is complete and the wreckage is removed from the scene which will likely be early next week.

* The Buck Hollow Trail (including the parking areas on Highway 211 and the Meadow Spring parking area on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5)

* The Buck Ridge Trail

Although the Hazel Mountain Trail and the Meadow Spring Trail (which leads to the Appalachian Trail and the summit of Mary’s Rock) are not closed, there will be no access to these trails from the Meadow Spring parking area.

The Virginia State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are assisting with the incident.




Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Plane Crash Results in Fatality in Shenandoah National Park

On September 2, 2020 at 11:14 a.m., the Shenandoah National Park Communications Center received a report that the wreckage of a plane crash had been found approximately 0.75 mile down the Buck Hollow Trail from Skyline Drive in the Central District of Shenandoah National Park. The body of an adult male was found in the wreckage. The plane that crashed was a Piper PA-20 airplane.

The Buck Hollow Trail (including the parking areas on Highway 211 and the Meadow Springs parking area on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5) and the Buck Ridge Trail are closed until further notice while an investigation takes place and the wreckage is removed from the scene.

The Virginia State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are assisting with the incident. No further information is available at this time.








Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park