After two days of kayaking we decided to do a bit of hiking. We went back to the Park Loop and found our way to the Precipice Trail. This was reportedly the most strenuous climb and involved a lot of scrambling and a good number of ladders and ledges. I’m not much for heights, but I like the climbing part so I figured I’d see how far I got before deciding we needed to turn back. We ended up making it to the top – nothing quite so bad as the walking along a ridge style of Angel’s Landing. We descended via the Orange & Black Trail which was the recommended route to avoid a lot of crossing paths and having to navigate around hikers coming up.
Overall the trail wasn’t too bad, but to my entertainment, we crossed paths a few times with a couple who apparently were not in agreement about either how far the hike was going to be or how concerned one of them was about the climbing. There were several stages of a somewhat stressful debate observed over the course of the hike.
A different kind of picture from Italy. Taken from Murano Island off of Venice where much of the fancy hand blown glassware that the place is famous for is made. I didn’t make it out to the island when I was in Italy in 2001, so it was kind of my goal to get out there in the 2011 version of the trip. I think it’s kind of a cool picture of the shop, and I’m entertained by the apparent lack of concern by anyone to the cigarette hanging out of the one worker’s mouth.
Pictures taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 17-85mm lens @ 66mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO 400
By the time we got to Riomaggiore it was pretty much night – we went into town and got a few beers, walked back out to the point to watch the sunset and drink our beers and then hiked up the hill over the town while waiting for the train. I suspect Riomaggiore was the smallest of the towns and the least touristy, you can see the train station is pretty minimal.
Pictures taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 10-22mm lens @ 10mm, f/3.5, 1/13 sec, ISO 1600
OK, last one of Vernazza… Looking back as we were hiking out of town. I’m not sure why I have a disproportionate number of pictures from Vernazza – must have been the most picturesque town of the five.
Pictures taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 10-22mm lens @ 17mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400
Pictures taken with Canon 60D, EF-S 10-22mm lens @ 14mm, f/16, 1/80 sec*, ISO 100
* I’m pretty sure I deleted two of the three shots that went into the HDR composition, which makes me feel dumb. The one I have was shot at 1/80 sec, but I’m not sure if it was the mid or the under exposure.
Day 7 was partially taken up with our descent from Lake of the Angels, partially taken up with our loitering at the trail head pondering what to do next and partially taken up driving toward Mt. Rainier. We stopped off at a hotel along the way as it was suspected that accommodations nearer Mt. Rainier would get more sparse and more expensive. The next day that suspicion was validated – everything near the park was sold out or very fancy. This also made sense once we got into the park and saw just how busy it was by midday.
Mt. Rainier from the end of our hike.
We arrived at the White River entrance to Mt. Rainier around 8:30 and drove in. The initial plan was to do two hikes, so starting at the northern end of the park, we went to the White River Campground to hike toward Rainier on the Glacier Basin Trail. The trail is reportedly 7 miles round trip, but there wasn’t really an end destination, though looking it up on the map afterward, we went about 3.5 miles in, so I think we made it to the point we were supposed to. Much of the hike was along the White River which was fed by glacier melt from the Emmons Glacier which is the largest in the lower 48 states. We did see a team of five hiking along the glacier further up – and according to some person I overheard, hiking Rainier is relatively simple though being a multi-day event. Continue reading →