Search for  Hike  found 29 posts
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Jul 17, 2004, Saturday
Jul 17, 2004, Saturday
Jul 20, 2004, Tuesday
Jul 20, 2004, Tuesday
Jul 21, 2004, Wednesday
Jul 21, 2004, Wednesday
Jul 22, 2004, Thursday
TMB    France, Hike The Alps, TMB  
Jul 22, 2004, Thursday
Jul 23, 2004, Friday
Jul 23, 2004, Friday
Jul 25, 2004, Sunday
Jul 25, 2004, Sunday
Jul 26, 2004, Monday
Jul 26, 2004, Monday
Jul 27, 2004, Tuesday
Jul 27, 2004, Tuesday
Jul 2, 2006, Sunday
Jul 2, 2006, Sunday
Jul 3, 2006, Monday
Jul 3, 2006, Monday
Jul 4, 2006, Tuesday
Jul 4, 2006, Tuesday
Jul 5, 2006, Wednesday
Jul 5, 2006, Wednesday
Jul 6, 2006, Thursday
Jul 6, 2006, Thursday
Jul 9, 2006, Sunday
Jul 9, 2006, Sunday
Jul 10, 2006, Monday
Jul 10, 2006, Monday
Jul 11, 2006, Tuesday
Jul 11, 2006, Tuesday
Apr 8, 2007, Sunday
Apr 8, 2007, Sunday
Apr 9, 2007, Monday
Apr 9, 2007, Monday
Aug 2, 2009, Sunday
Aug 2, 2009, Sunday
Aug 4, 2009, Tuesday
Aug 4, 2009, Tuesday
Aug 5, 2009, Wednesday
Aug 5, 2009, Wednesday
Aug 8, 2009, Saturday
Aug 8, 2009, Saturday
Aug 11, 2009, Tuesday
Aug 11, 2009, Tuesday
Aug 31, 2015, Monday
Aug 31, 2015, Monday
Oct 25, 2015, Sunday
Oct 25, 2015, Sunday
Aug 20, 2016, Saturday
Aug 20, 2016, Saturday
Oct 14, 2016, Friday
Oct 14, 2016, Friday
Oct 5, 2017, Thursday
Oct 5, 2017, Thursday
Oct 7, 2017, Saturday
Oct 7, 2017, Saturday
 
 
 
 
Regina, Paul, Emily, and Linda      
 
 

Tour Mont Blanc (TMB)

 
July 17, 2004   The Alps, Portland, Hike, TMB
 
 

We are at the Portland airport waiting for our flight to Geneva. We'll spend a night in Geneva, a couple in Chamonix, and then we'll begin our hike of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

 
jamesgaston.ca/1520
 
 

The start of the TMB

 
July 20, 2004   France, Hike, The Alps, TMB
 
 

Our first day on the trail is spent hiking to Miage.

 
 
 
Linda and Emily near Miage      
 
Miage view      
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
View from Miage      
 
Refugio Miage, France      
The places we stayed along the Tour du Mont Blanc hike varied, from very nice to crummy. Refugio Miage was the latter.
 
TMD day one: destination Miage      
Emily, Linda, and Regina, our three hiking companions.
jamesgaston.ca/1522
 
 

TMB: Miage to La Balme

 
July 21, 2004   France, Hike, The Alps, TMB
 
 

Today we left Miage to hike to the nicer La Balme.

 
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
Emily & Tor, Ref. Miage      
 
Refuge Miage      
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
From Miage to La Balme      
 
Linda & Emily heading to La Balme      
 
View from La Balme      
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
jamesgaston.ca/1523
 
 

TMB

 
July 22, 2004   France, Hike, The Alps, TMB
 
 

 
 
 
La Balme      
 
Regina, Paul, Emily, and Linda      
 
La Balme      
 
The hiking group taking a rest      
 
Regina @ La Balme      
With Emily and Linda on the stairs.
 
La Balme      
 
Goodbye to La Balme      
Ref La Balme, in the foreground, offered a room of bunk beds plus a good dinner. Nice views from the patio, too.
jamesgaston.ca/1524
 
 

TMB: A rest stop in Courmayeur

 
July 23, 2004   The Alps, Hike, Italy, Courmayeur, TMB
 
 

 
 
 
Emily, Courmayeur, Italy      
jamesgaston.ca/1525
 
 

TMB: The views from Bonatti

 
July 25, 2004   Italy, Hike, The Alps, TMB
 
 
 
Linda & Regina & Mt Blanc      
We're on our way to Rifugio Bonatti.
 
Resting at Rifugio Bonatti      
 
Rifugio Bonatti, Italy      
Bonatti offers a comfortable bed and good food along with eye-watering views of Mt Blanc.
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1526
 
 

TMB: Bonatti to Ferret

 
July 26, 2004   The Alps, Hike, Italy, Switzerland, TMB
 
 
 
Malatrá valley      
We've left Ref. Bonatti, with it's postcard view of Mount Blanc, and are heading over the border to a hotel in a small Swiss town.
 
Rifugio Bonatti and Malatrá valley      
A two-photo panorama assembled fourteen years after the original two photos were taken.
 
Malatrá valley      
 
Malatrá valley, Italy      
 
Linda & Regina and glacier in Malatrá valley      
Hiking from Ref. Bonatti, in Italy, to Ferret, Switzerland.
 
Regina at the col      
 
Hiking near Ferret Switzerland      
 
Dinner at our hotel, Ferret, SW      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1527
 
 

TMB: Ferret to Champex

 
July 27, 2004   Switzerland, Hike, The Alps, TMB
 
 

We didn't do the full TMB route. Instead we stopped for a night in Champex and the next day took a bus to the train and then on to Paris.

 
 
 
Swiss trails marker      
 
Our last day on the TMB      
 
Our last day on the TMB      
 
We're done! Champex-Lac      
jamesgaston.ca/1528
 
 

Dolomites map

 
July 2, 2006   Hike, Italy, Dolomites, Maps, The Alps
 
 
 
Dolomite's trails map      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1059
 
 

Dolomites day 1

 
July 3, 2006   Hike, Italy, Dolomites, The Alps
 
 
 
Trailhead for hike to Rifugio Fodara      
 
Paul hiking in Dolomites      
 
Trail marker      
 
On our way      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1511
 
 

Dolomites day 2

 
July 4, 2006   Hike, Italy, Dolomites, The Alps
 
 
 
Refugio Fodara      
 
Refugio Fodara      
 
The Dolomites      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1514
 
 

Dolomites day 3

 
July 5, 2006   Hike, Italy, Dolomites, The Alps
 
 
 
Paul heading down a trail      
 
Small chapel      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1513
 
 

Dolomites day 4

 
July 6, 2006   Hike, Italy, Dolomites, The Alps
 
 
 
Paul at breakfast      
 
Paul hiking      
 
Parco Naturale      
 
Colorful mountains      
 
War ruins      
 
Paul hiking up to Rifugio Lagazuoi      
 
Paul viewing colourful mountains      
 
Cable car to Rifugio Lagazuoi      
 
Rifugio Lagazuoi      
This is a popular lunch spot easily accessed by cable car.
 
Rifugio Lagazuoi 2752m      
 
Cable car to Rifugio Lagazuoi      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1512
 
 

Dolomites day 7

 
July 9, 2006   Italy, Dolomites, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
Rifugio Lagazuoi      
 
Paul in the Dolomites      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1516
 
 

Dolomites day 8

 
July 10, 2006   Italy, Dolomites, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
Rifugio Staulanza      
 
Hike to Rifugio Asonino Al Coldai      
 
Hike to Rifugio Asonino Al Coldai      
 
Rifugio Asonino Al Coldai      
 
Hiking nuns      
 
Hiking in the Dolomites      
 
Refugio Tissi      
 
Hiking to Tissi      
Ref Tissi is just barely visible, it's on the right, the tiny bump on the jagged slope.
 
Hike to Tissi      
 
Tissi      
 
View from Tissi      
 
Tissi      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1061
 
 

Dolomites day 9

 
July 11, 2006   Italy, Dolomites, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
Leaving Tissi      
 
Leaving Tissi      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1517
 
 

Death Valley

 
April 8, 2007   Death Valley, California, Hike
 
 
 
Death Valley      
 
Last Rites      
 
Paul on a hike      
 
Paul hiking in Death Valley      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1535
 
 

Death Valley

 
April 9, 2007   Death Valley, California, Hike
 
 
 
Paul hiking up Telescope Peak      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1534
 
 

Haute Route, day 1

 
August 2, 2009   Switzerland, Haute Route, Hike, The Alps
 
 

We met in Geneva, hung out in Chamonix (i) for a couple days, which was just time enough for another visit to Aiguille du Mid, then we took the train to Finhaut where we began our hike. Here we are in Finhaut, stoking up for the days ahead.

 
 
 
Yours truly in Finhaut      
 
Gingie, Emily, and me, Finhaut      
Preparing for our hike of the Haute Route to Zermatt.
jamesgaston.ca/1493
 
 

Haute Route, day 3

 
August 4, 2009   Switzerland, Haute Route, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1494
 
 

Haute Route, day 4

 
August 5, 2009   Switzerland, Haute Route, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1065
 
 

Haute Route, day 7

 
August 8, 2009   Switzerland, Haute Route, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
Gingie and Emily in Evolene      
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1495
 
 

Haute Route, day 10

 
August 11, 2009   Switzerland, Haute Route, Hike, The Alps
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
jamesgaston.ca/1496
 
 

Juan de Fuca Trail

 
August 31, 2015   Hike, 24-120/4, Vancouver Isl, Hiking
 
 

Yesterday I woke to the sad news of Oliver Sacks. It wasnt a surprise; he had written earlier in the year of his diagnosis. And of course he wrote as he had written on many other topics - like the mysteries of the brain, recreational drugs, and being gay clearly and rationally. He lived an interesting life, made many contributions to the human condition, and was always a pleasure to read.

Sacks was in my mind yesterday as I hiked part of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a damp, grey trek accompanied by the crashing of the cold Pacific. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is one of two long trails on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The two trails - the other being the West Coast Trail - would be one if it werent for the bay of Port San Juan.

The section I hiked was from Botanical Beach to Parkinson Creek. The hike is a bit of a slog, which is because the west coast of Vancouver Island is a lush rain forest overlaid on a jagged outcropping of rock. There is no flat land and there are no stretches of dirt path. The ground is largely rock and root.

Following the shore, which is what both trails do, means hiking a sequence of ups and downs, down to a creek then up to a ridge then down to another creek. And the footing sucks. The spiderweb of roots that blanket the ground are slippery smooth, just tempting you to stand on them where the slightest movement translates to a slip and a fall. There are the occasional breaks, wooden boardwalks and clever wooden stairs, which help make the hike a bit easier, but there arent enough and the dampness rots the wood faster than they can be repaired.

The day started with sunshine but it soon reverted to the norm of mist and rain. I spent most of the hike staring at my feet, calculating what placement offered the best hold. The hypnotic crash of wave on stone was background music to the hike.

Lucy the dog came along for the hike, her first adventure with the hiking group. She quickly assumed the typical dog behaviour of running ahead then back then ahead again, easily tripling the distance her fellow humans covered. She was full of energy all of the way but was so tired by the time she landed in the truck that, for once, she forgot to get carsick.

 
 
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      
 
Juan de Fuca Trail      
jamesgaston.ca/303
 
 

The Road to Portagem

 
October 25, 2015   Hike, Portugal, Marvao, Spain-Portugal
 
 

We were up early as daylight saving time ended in the night. Yesterday's fog was gone. Breakfast was in the hotels comfortable dining room. The friendly husband set out a buffet of coffee, juice, fruit, cheese, ham, bread and a dessert.

We'd a goal for the morning, to reserve a table at the Sever restaurant, which meant we had to walk to the neighboring town of Portagem. The town is in clear view as Marvao is on the hill overlooking it.

We walked to the town wall, passed through an arch, crossed the road then started down a trail past a convent. From here we were soon on the Road to Portalegre. Though we weren't going as far as Portalegre, just to Portagem. As we walked we were largely in the shade, from cork trees, many showing signs of harvest, plus other oaks and pines. The road's stones were laid out in lines and stars. It was tranquil. It also felt well trod.

After about an hour we entered Portagem. Here the Sever river runs constrained by a cement channel. In stark contrast to the stark colors and lines of the modern channel there stands a beautiful old stone bridge. We walked along the river and quickly found the restaurant where we made our reservations.

We hiked back up the hill to Marvao to eat lunch and plan the rest of our day.

 
 
 
Passed on our way out of town      
 
Our passage through the city wall      
 
The Road to Portalegre between Marvao and Portagem      
 
Cork tree post harvest, road to Portalegre      
 
Cork tree after harvest on path to Portalegre      
 
Rio Sever, Portagem, with Marvao on hill      
jamesgaston.ca/371
 
 

Hurricane Ridge

 
August 20, 2016   Hurricane Ridge, Hike, Port Angeles
 
 

It's a heat wave in Port Angeles today so we went up into the mountains to hike the Sunrise trail in Olympic National Park. The sky was a bit hazy from forest-fire smoke but it was still a beautiful hike.

 
 
 
Hurricane Ridge      
 
Hurricane Ridge      
 
Hurricane Ridge      
 
Hurricane Ridge      
 
Hurricane Ridge      
Note the smoke from a forest fire in the distance.
 
Hurricane Ridge      
 
Hurricane Ridge      
jamesgaston.ca/462
 
 

To the top of Mt Zas

 
October 14, 2016   Naxos, Greece, Hike
 
 

The day started with a Seinfeld reference and ended with a hike to the highest point on the island of Naxos.

We woke to see the cruise ship MV Astoria anchored offshore and unloading passengers via tenders. The Astoria, it turns out, has had seven owners and ten names since it entered service in 1948 as the MS Stockholm, though I don't know whether this is unusual for a ship of this vintage. What is interesting is that, sailing under the name Stockholm, it collided with the Andrea Doria off the coast of Nantucket Massachusetts in 1956, resulting in the sinking of the Andrea Doria and the loss of 46 of its 1,660 passengers. Both crews shared in the blame.

If you are a Seinfeld fan you'll recall that George Costanza lost an apartment to a survivor of the sinking. While George's tales of woe drew more sympathy than the survivor's experience, a bribe from the latter won the apartment.

Now to the serious business of being a tourist. Most of our day was spent hiking to the top of Mt Zas (or Mt Zeus) , the highest point in the Cyclades at about 1000 m. The views are far reaching all the way up to the peak: we could see inland Naxos, the neighboring island of Paros, as well as the Aegean sea and several of the other Cycladic islands.

 
 
 
Naxos      
 
Hiking Mt Zas      
jamesgaston.ca/502
 
 

Two hikes and a road race

 
October 5, 2017   Hike, Serriera, Porto, France, Corsica, Cars
 
 

We decided to leave Algajola a day early, to get in some hiking in the Porto - Piana area. So we got back in the Citreon and retraced our path from a couple days earlier. Our goal was Serriera, a village about 10 minutes outside of Porto. After a while we arrived. On checking into our simple but roomy hotel we learned from the friendly proprietor that the road to Porto was closing in half an hour! Turns out the road was being used by the Tour de Corse. It would reopen at 19:00, she said. Since she spoke no English and we know little French the conversation took place courtesy of google translate which we used by taking turns typing into a computer. This worked quite well actually.

Of course we'd no idea what the Tour is, a bicycle race? A foot race? A car race? Turns out, well, more on that later.

We jumped back into the car and headed south to get past Porto and then onto the trailhead. The road either side of Porto, a road we'd driven days earlier, is both painfully beautiful and white-knuckle scary: it's carved into the side of a wall of granite and in places it is barely one car wide.

Within five minutes we were stuck in a traffic jam. Cars, trucks, buses, and motorbikes took turns squeezing past each other on this ridiculously narrow road, with granite hanging over us and a sheer drop to the sea below. On the bright side it was great for picture taking: while Paul sat in the Citroen's driver's seat I walked around and shot photos.

Eventually we made it to Porto where we discovered the Historical Tour de Corse is a car race. So that mystery was cleared. It also explained the cars we'd seen earlier, all decked out in numbers and stickers.

The hike was great: it overlooks the Calanche de Piana with its pink granite forest broken by views of the turquoise Mediterranean. Much of the hike follows an old stone path, what was likely an old road connecting villages.

Corsica looks to be a hikers dream as the mountainous island is covered with trails. We see many people decked out in full hiking gear. The Corsican trails are well marked plus every one I've looked for I've found in OpenStreetMaps using the CityMaps2Go app.

After the hike we headed to Piana for lunch then followed that up with another hike. We had to kill time till the road re-opened. We hiked about half of the Capu Rossu trail, which heads west out to a promontory with, again, great views of pink granite mountains, scrubby green forests, and that crystal clear Mediterranean sea.

Soon we were back in Porto where we hung out with the Tour racers and waited for the road to reopen, which it did promptly at 19:00. The drive back involved another traffic jam as cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and Tour support vehicles squeezed by each other to get to their destinations. At this point we thought we were through with the boy racers. We weren't, though.

It was a long day with a lot of beautiful scenery topped with a taste of an old Steve McQueen movie. We were glad to get back to our charming hotel, drink a beer, and call it a night.

 
 
 
Hope no one needs ambulance      
This narrow road is carved into a cliff. Beyond the short guard rail on the right is a cliff side that drops toward the sea.
 
Golfe de Porto      
 
Golfe de Porto      
 
A bit of beach      
 
Road as seen from hike      
 
Paul on Calanche hike      
Corsica is beautiful, and the Porto area is my favorite beautiful place in Corsica.
 
A forest of pink granite      
 
Hike to Capu Rossu      
 
View from Capu Rossu hike      
After the hike we headed back to Porto.
 
Finish line for this segment      
 
A cool blue car      
 
Drivers waiting race results      
 
Porto sunset      
 
Beach near our hotel      
 
Traffic jam as we headed home      
 
A busy day comes to a close      
jamesgaston.ca/766
 
 

Col de Bavella

 
October 7, 2017   Hike, Zonza, France, Corsica, Cars
 
 

Today we drove to a nearby mountain pass, hiked out to an odd rock formation, then ate a delicious lunch on a patio overlooking mountains, the Mediterranean, and the island of Elba.

About 15 minutes from Zonza is the Col de Bavella, a 1,218 m pass that offers great views of the Aiguilles (needles) de Bavella. The Aiguilles are rocky spikes of red granite. The col also offers several trailheads (the GR20 passes through) as well as accommodations and restaurants. The hike to our destination, the Trou de la Bombe, starts at the Col. It is an easy hike out to an interesting hole in a rock face.

We returned to our hotel in Zonza just in time for me to catch the last few cars in the Tour de Corse.

 
 
 
Hotel du Tourisme in Zonza      
 
The trail to Trou de la Bombe      
 
The Aiguilles de Bavella      
 
Rocky landscape near Col de Bavelle      
 
Paul climbing at Trou de la Bombe      
 
Yours truly hiking in Corsica      
 
Paul and chapel at Col de Bavella      
 
Lunch in the Village de Bavella      
The Aiguilles (needles) de Bavella are to the left. In the distance is the Mediterranean and the island of Elba.
 
The Tour de Corse passing through Zonza      
Unlike the Porto leg this leg doesn’t feature a closed highway. So the racers share the roads with the public. By the time we got back to Zonza most of the cars in today's leg of the Tour de Corse had passed. Still, I walked from our apartment to the center of town (this took about 1 minute) where there were no spectators just a few support vehicles – largely Porshe SUVs – as well as drivers and support staff. I crossed the street and then sat on a wall where I hoped to capture a few of the laggards slower cars as they came into town.
 
A blue racer      
 
Tour de Corse' Mini Cooper      
jamesgaston.ca/769