In this area of our website, we will be featuring destination trips that we will share with you. This might include an Alaskan cruise, an African safari, a week’s stay in a wonderful spa, or any other destination that arouses the senses.
Rather than rehash a past experience, we will wait for our next exciting destination: the Big Island of Hawaii.
When one is traveling, or off on some great adventure, your gear can not only bring about convenience, but it can also mean life or death.
When we started hiking the mountainous back country of the Sonoran desert, we very quickly learned that this is not anything like hiking in Michigan. In fact, during the hot summer months, we often hear of some unsuspecting tourist meeting their death while hiking in our arid deserts.
Here are a few of the important items to consider if you plan to hike our desert mountains:
Water – In this pack I have 6 liters of water. This is overkill, but I like to have extra in case I encounter someone who is without water. You will never find me on the desert trails without at least 2 liters of water in my pack.
Sun Protection – the sun is very unforgiving in the desert. You must have a strong sun block as well as a hat upon your head, and preferably a hat with vents that can breath.
Food – at least have a protein bar with you. If you become stranded for some reason, you will be happy to have it.
Notification – never, ever, ever hike our desert mountains without telling someone where you are going, and when you plan to return. This way, if something should happen to you, they will at least know where to look.
For those who plan to become hiking enthusiasts, here are a few more considerations:
Whistle – three bursts on a whistle means you need help.
Compass/Maps/GPS – in some areas, it is easy to get turned around. Know where you are going.
Hiking Poles – it is amazing what a good set of hiking poles can do for the hiker. They provide you an extra set of legs for balance, they reduce a little stress from your joints with each and every step, and when dealing with inclines/declines, they provide a wonderful assistance. I won’t hike without my poles.
Boots – a good-fitting pair of hiking boots, with a wicking pair of socks underneath will solve you a lot of problems with blisters, and sore feet. They will also provide much needed traction in slippery areas.
I could go on with more, but I think this will provide the basic tools for the serious beginner.
In future posts we will get far more specific regarding various tools, gizmos, doodads, products, and gear.
Conde’ Naste Traveler Magazine just announced its 2010 Gold List.
About 20 years ago, my wife and I hired an unknown travel agent to book us a romantic trip to the Bahamas. The brochures were beautiful, but when we got there we were completely aghast at this so called resort. It more resembled someone’s backyard.
After only 15 minutes, we determined that we were not going to stay in this place, and set about to get our way to a more recognized resort.
From that day forward, we vowed to never again trust an unknown resource for travel, and certainly not trust the claims of a brochure.
The photograph above is from The Boulders Resort which happened to be one of our first choices from the Gold List many years ago. We had an enchanted visit, and we now actually live right across the street from this Waldorf Astoria owned landmark resort.
Global Traveler Magazine just published its sixth annual GT Tested Award Winners.
According to Global Traveler, 25,951 people participated in their annual survey rating their favorites in 60 different categories. The categories ranged from favorite hotels, airlines, destinations, and many more.
While visiting the Phoenix area, if you have time for a day trip, and love to see incredible panoramas, then in my humble opinion, you simply must take a drive on the world famous Apache Trail Scenic Drive.
To help you enjoy your drive on the Apache Trail, I have prepared for you a custom Google Map, complete with turn by turn instructions, and helpful tips. Depending on how often you stop to gawk at the scenery, you should plan on 7-10 hours to complete this trip.
A great portion of this trip is driving through the Arizona back country, so you should plan to bring along water and snacks. You should also plan to have great stretches where you will have no cell phone service.
Here are a few tips:
Plan to leave around 8:00 a.m. with the idea that you will have a late breakfast at Tortilla Flats. Tortilla Flats was a stagecoach stop in 1904, and today is a wonderful place to have breakfast/lunch. Depending on your speed, and how often you stop to enjoy the scenery, you will probably arrive at Tortilla Flats around 10:30ish, if you are leaving from the East side of town.
After breakfast, you will head east from Tortilla flats into the vast wilderness of the Tonto National Forest, climb upon dirt roads for the first time, and work your way across the 40 +/- miles of the Apache Trail.
At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with views of the Roosevelt Dam, and the Roosevelt Bridge.
From the Roosevelt Bridge, you will once again drive on paved roads, and make your way back to Phoenix as you drive through the historic mining towns of Globe and Miami.
I have provided quite a few more tips in my interactive custom Google Map. Enjoy your trip, and drive safely.
When you get back from your trip, come back, leave me a comment, and tell me about your trip! I would love to read a little of your adventures.
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