See here for the videos that we've been making of our journeys (to include Bullfrog Love Orgy).
We've been so busy for so long... it's kind of hard to figure out all the places that we've gone and done, but here are some of them.
The most recent place is the final part of the trail at Glen Onoko. We went there last year, but after doing Bushkill falls, Ariel stopped at the first falls (Chameleon Falls). This year, we did all 3 falls, but I wrecked my back on this part of the rocks that we descended (as it was the easy way down - really) while Ariel wrecked her foot, and since then (Saturday), we've been kind of mopey and gimpy.
One can argue the worth of a hike that we take ourselves out on, but views of the Lehigh Gorge that look like this make it all worthwhile.
We like to refer to this picture as a new standard of toughness since it represents the hike that we did to make it to Hidden Sweet, which was through the "trail" that is located in the picture after it. In all honesty, I've never gone off the map like that (through stream, trees, and all kinds of other obstacles to get to some semblance of a rock and boulder path) to get where I was going. It felt like being Lewis and Clark.
The picture of the 2 of us standing is a shot taken from the top of Hidden Sweet, which despite having no view of anything represents the culmination of ascent on our hike that day.
This is a view from the 2nd falls (Onoko) and a view of the top of the 2nd falls.
This next picture is what Onoko Falls looks like after a night of rain. I have to say that it was so much more vibrant and gushing than when I made it to this point last year.
This is a picture of the first falls (Chameleon Falls), which is quite beautiful and difficult to get to on its own.
This is the first of many nameless falls on the trails. In all honesty, with the steepness, it's kind of hard to tell where falls begin and end.
When our day was over on Saturday, we ended up at Beltzville Lake for a Subway picnic. Sure, it's a manmade lake and over-trafficed, but it was a fun day.
The following pictures were taken at Ricketts Glen. I've elaborated on this park many times, so I don't really think I have to do too much for this, but I will say the top picture at Harrison Wright was one of the few pictures that actually didn't get botched by the white light of the waterfalls and the intense sunlight peering through the trees on the mountainside. On another note, that's our friends Steph and Nic in the picture with us. She finally got to see Ricketts properly, and he saw it for the first time.
This next picture was the cherry tree blossoms at the school that I teach at. We missed out on the cherry blossoms at DC (ending up at Mount Vernon instead when we were stuck in traffic way too long).
The following 2 pictures were taken of a very hot day at Mount Vernon that was really neat (save the 2 hours waiting in line to get in the mansion in a herd formation) - even if it wasn't Jefferson's Monticello (so much cooler, but then again, TJ was so much better than GW).
These next 2 pictures were taken at Long's Park in Lancaster. I was really digging the pink cherry blossoms in nature poses this season. Check out the duck in shadows behind them.
The next 2 pictures are the Ephrata Cloister. The people who run the place want $9 to get in, but you can get in the museum for free. You can also shoot pictures over the fence for free after you wander around the graveyard for free. Frankly, spending money to look at several hundred year old recreated houses that belonged to one of the endless cults of no sex in America isn't what either of us wanted to do, so even though it's about 5 blocks or so from our current abode doesn't mean that we've actually truly seen it. And no... Ariel isn't Amish or Mennonite.
The pictures of cherry blossoms here are from down our street. Beau-tee-full!!
The following pictures were taken at Knife's Edge and Bear Rocks just off the Appalachian Trail in eastern PA (outside of Allentown by a little ways).
The following 2 snake pictures (as taken on that trail) are a garter snake and an eastern hognose snake.
The following pictures are from the mountain that is above Cabelas in Hamburg (the biggest Cabelas in the world!). If you look at my pictures throughout all of my hikes, you might be convinced that there is never a day without fog on that mountain. You'd most likely be right. Either that or I have bad luck.
The next pictures were taken on our hike to the Pinnacle, which is located near Hawk Mountain, but is not actually a part of that place. It's about a 9 mile hike that gives 2 excellent views of the surrounding farms and valleys.
This is what I like to refer to as bullfrog love orgy. Cue Marvin Gaye, Barry White, or Slayer... whatever you play, love is in the air!! Actually, there were 8 bullfrogs in the mud puddle - of which 6 were "gettin' it on!"
The following 4 pictures were taken on my 20 miles around Blue Marsh to prove that I could still do it (also, to celebrate the 19th anniversary of my first day in the Air Force) hike. I did it, and I walked the next day, but I wasn't doing well as the sweat stuck to my chest, and I burned a hell of a lot more calories than I took in. It took about a week to feel normal again, but I did it!!
I must say that the green fields was the best nature image of the day - although the sky above where I took the self picture (while listening to Polyphonic Spree) ranked a very close 2nd! A much better way to spend a work day than actually working!!!!
The final 2 pictures are a hike that Ariel and I took along the Tulpehocken Creek where they built a brand new trail that is very well manicured. Not many views, but it does link that 8 mile back and forth trail to Blue Marsh for about a 40 mile total jaunt- if a person is up for it!
Note the fish in the stream. We were contemplating telling the fishermen of their location, but alas, we let them swim another day.