Backpacking Cumberland Island: Campgrounds

Looking to camp on Cumberland Island, well then you’re gonna need to figure out which campground you want to stay at!  Although some of the barrier islands seem like backcountry playgrounds that allow beach camping, everything is tightly managed at Cumberland befitting it status as a National Seashore.

If you’re just joining me, then perhaps you’ll want to check out my previous post which provides an overview of my trip to the island.  Otherwise, read on!

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Canoe Camping the Okefenokee Swamp

There is always a first time for everything. Or, there is always a first time for everything you do at least once. For me, this was my first time canoe camping. I’ve camped instead of staying in hotels on long road trips. I’ve RV camped. I’ve gone glamping. I’ve camped on overnight backpacking trips. But canoe camping? This was new to me.

And you know what? Its awesome. But, a goodly part of it being awesome was the location, and of the Okefenokee Swamp I do not think enough good things can be said.

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Hiking the Wolfden Loop in FDR State Park

I’ve read somewhere that summer is the best time to camp (and thus possibly by extension to hike).  To that person, I ask “Have you ever hiked in the South?”

Maybe in Seattle where the summers are a balmy 70 degrees and the weather channel warns of a heat wave when the mercury rises to 85 (For my fellow southerners – I am not kidding.  It may have something to do with the fact that AC is not a standard features on homes) but in when its 95+ degrees out the only activity I want to do outside is drink beer.

That said, as August gets ready to give way to September, Atlanta has been treated to unseasonably cool weather!  An early Fall?  Fingers crossed!

So in order to take advantage of the cool weather a hike was called for! Continue reading

Lake Chicot – Best Seen by Canoe

My experience with swamps is fairly succinct:  When I was in 8th grade we took a class trip that included a jaunt down to the Okefenokee Swamp.  A brief raft ride, some pointing at alligators, and I think someone may have drank the swamp water after the guide assured us it was cleaner than it looked.

And that’s been it really.  As such, I think I should be forgiven for expecting to do any hiking in the vicinity of a lake swamp in Louisiana.

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Climbing Lascar – The Most Active Volcano in Northern Chile

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Lascar is in the center. Click image to enlarge. This is from the Salar de Atacama salt flats.

If you ever find yourself in the San Pedro de Atacama area of Chile, Lascar will prove to be an easy volcano to spot.  Its not the famously conical shaped one that everyone takes pictures of, that one is Licancabur.*   Lascar is the flat topped volcano streaked with white.  The white streaks aren’t snow (most of the time…occasionally it snows too) but are sulfur deposits.  Also, on most mornings you can see a small cloud over Lascar, due to the fact that Lascar is an active volcano.

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Licancabur – very symmetrical. Not very climbable, what with the landmines…

Not only is Lascar active, it is the most active volcano in Northern Chile.  Its volcanism is the cause of one of the strangest climbing difficulties I’ve ever heard of: toxic clouds of sulfur.  If the wind is coming from across the crater the hike can get very unpleasant.  It is sometimes so bad that the hike can’t be accomplished.

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Hiking Roman Nose State Park

Sometimes along our journey the logical route between two predetermined points takes us through, well, what could perhaps be described as the middle of nowhere.  I’m not certain that Watonga, OK is in fact the middle of nowhere – Oklahoma City is only a short 70 miles away.

Ok, perhaps slightly to the right of nowhere.

And to the North of slightly right of nowhere is the park we spent a couple of nights at: Roman Nose State Park.

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