Articles by: Cheryl Talbert

A September Idyll at Klapatche Park

A September Idyll at Klapatche Park

Some travelers seem to blast through the Wonderland Trail as a test of will and endurance, a daily torture trial of miles and elevation gained. For me, though, with some extra days to make the trip it was the long lazy warm afternoons at certain special camps that really made the experience. Klapatche Park Camp is one of those, and one where the afternoon idylls can be accompanied in September by blissful hours of blueberry grazing.

by September 23, 2013 0 comments Trails
Backpacking Pickles

Backpacking Pickles

This year, packing lunch food for an early-season hike, I opened the fridge to be confronted with the label of our favorite mega-jar of dill slices.

by September 13, 2013 0 comments Fireside
Pacific Crest Trail – Washington And Oregon Book Reviews

Pacific Crest Trail – Washington And Oregon Book Reviews

These guidebooks provide good concise descriptions of a selection of nice hikes of 1 to 5 days duration along the PCT in Oregon and Washington, with some handy features and information.

by May 6, 2013 0 comments Gear
The Perseid Meteor Shower 2013

The Perseid Meteor Shower 2013

There are a few times in one’s life when the planets align and something spectacular happens that you know you may never experience again. In our case, the brightest of the planets literally aligned across the midnight sky during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, and our little backpack quartet, my husband John and I and our friends Dick and Steve, found ourselves fortuitously under a clear sky next to Purple Lake in the central Sierra on that exact night.

by May 1, 2013 0 comments Earth, Fireside
Trekking in Nepal Part 2: Gokyo to Thame

Trekking in Nepal Part 2: Gokyo to Thame

The route that day was the next-to-last of a three-week trek, a combination of transcendent joy and stoic endurance, that had taken our Mountaineers group from Lukla up to Everest Basecamp and the Kala Patthar lookout, then over the grueling pass of Cho La to the lovely “resort” town of Gokyo perched on its jeweled necklace of lakes. The next day we would head west from Gokyo to cross 5340-meter Renjo La on our way through Thame back to Namche.

by April 3, 2013 0 comments Community, Trails
Trekking in Nepal Part I: Gokyo

Trekking in Nepal Part I: Gokyo

In a place where superlatives ring hollow for overuse, Gokyo finds a way to make an impression as we were trekking in Nepal. Out the back door of our well-kept lodge in the lakeside town of Gokyo in the northern Khumbu of Nepal, groups of brightly dressed porters stood talking around their cooking fires, smoke curling upward with its now familiar sweet-bitter yak dung fragrance. The tiny internet room out back was packed with trekkers charging phones and pecking away on laptops.

by March 19, 2013 0 comments Community, Trail of the Week, Trails
John Muir Trail 5: Thousand Island Lakes to Happy Isles

John Muir Trail 5: Thousand Island Lakes to Happy Isles

The morning sun was warm on our backs as we stood high in the sky atop the aptly named, huge stacked-granite mound called Cloud’s Rest at 9926’ and looked down 1100 feet to the top of Half Dome and over a mile down to the Yosemite Valley floor below. Today we would finish our journey along the northern John Muir Trail among the masses of humanity in the Valley, having started 13 days and 144 miles earlier in Bishop.

by February 19, 2013 0 comments Fireside, Trail of the Week, Trails
The Geology of the Thousand Island Lakes and Tuolumne Country

The Geology of the Thousand Island Lakes and Tuolumne Country

As recently as 2000 years ago nearly all of Yosemite National Park, including the promontory of Cloud’s Rest where we sat, had been covered by a 60-mile-long, 2000 foot thick glacier that extended from Mt. Lyell, Yosemite Park’s tallest peak to our southeast, all the way down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River to our northwest. Only the tips of the highest peaks in the area protruded from the top of the ice.

by February 19, 2013 0 comments Fireside
John Muir Trail Part 4: Piute Creek to Red’s Meadow

John Muir Trail Part 4: Piute Creek to Red’s Meadow

If the song of the southern John Muir Trail was a Wagner opera, starkly beautiful and moving with long buildups to dramatic crescendos, then the song of the northern Muir Trail was a lilting Vivaldi symphony: many changes of tempo, full of bright loveliness and depth, but sometimes also inspiring tears of pain.

by February 16, 2013 0 comments Trail of the Week, Trails
John Muir Trail Part III: Golden Staircase to Evolution Basin

John Muir Trail Part III: Golden Staircase to Evolution Basin

From where we sat with our backs against a white-speckled granite rock on the top of Mather Pass at 12,100 feet in the southern Sierra, the view could have fit with any good post-apocalyptic science fiction novel: bare jumbled rock spreading away to the horizon south and north, rimmed by the next column of stark dry peaks, sparse alpine plants clinging to fragile rootholds, scattered tarns reflecting the striking blue sky above, and not another soul in sight for miles. It would be easy to imagine that something big went “BOOM!” here and the lifeless land had not yet healed its scars.

by February 4, 2013 0 comments Fireside, Trail of the Week, Trails