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Balabanova All Over

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[Mt Rainier national park, July 21, 2018] For our day in Mt. Rainier national park, we picked the most popular trail in the park – Skyline trail. At only 5.3 miles with 1700 ft of elevation gain, it’s not terribly demanding, although you are bound to feel the effects of high altitude – the trail begins at 5,400 ft. Our visit also fell on a Saturday, so we knew we had to… Read More

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[Olympic National Park, July 17, 2018] The Olympic peninsula is on the Western edge of Washington state, across Puget sound from Seattle. Its home to the northwestern most point in the United States, Cape Flattery. At about 3600 square miles, the peninsula remained largely unmapped until the late 19th century. The Olympic mountain range sits in the center. It blocks the passage of rain-producing systems and casts a dry “shadow” in the… Read More

[North Cascades National Park, Jul 15, 2018] With my Ragnar race now over, the actual vacation part of my trip finally began! On the agenda for the day was a trip into North Cascades National park. This very wild and undeveloped park is a haven for the backcountry hiker, but there are some great trails for day hikers as well. It has over 300 glaciers, the greatest concentration in the US outside… Read More

[Colorado Springs, CO, July 7, 2018] As I mentioned in my previous post, there are several mountain towns nestled in the foothills of the Pike’s Peak mountain. Manitou Springs is one of them, and it is home to a hike that ranks amongst the most difficult I’ve ever done – The Incline. This unique hike is actually a whole bunch of stairs – 2768 of them, to be exact. The incline was… Read More

[Congaree National Park, June 2, 2018] As the week of Memorial Day drew to a close and my conference wound down, it was time to head to Augusta, GA for the post-conference adventures I had planned. Augusta is the second-largest metropolitan area in Georgia, but it is overshadowed by Savannah, GA in popularity. You only hear about Augusta once a year in April when it hosts the Masters golf tournament. Therefore, I… Read More