Mount Marcy Summit — 5344 ft.

This Spring marked my first trip to the Adirondacks, where, to close a great few days of camping at Rollins Pond, my friend Micky and I hiked to the top of Ampersand Mountain. At the top, we discovered a beautiful 360-degree view wedged between the lakes region to our West and the High Peaks to our east. It was during that trip where I learned about the 46 Adirondack High Peaks — a group of mountains in the High Peaks region originally surveyed to be at least 4000 ft in elevation. (Though, when poking around for maps, I learned that a re-survey later revealed that 43 peaks sit at or above 4000 ft.)

As last weekend approached, I pulled up a list of the High Peaks to find a challenging day hike with a 360 degree view at the summit. At the top of the list was the tallest mountain, Mount Marcy at 5344 ft, which met my criteria. With a goal in sight, I loaded the Jeep and journeyed North on Friday night to tackle my first of the Adirondacks High Peaks.

During my early morning drive into the High Peaks region from Interstate 87, it didn’t take long to notice that trailheads lining the High Peaks Byway were loaded with hikers taking advantage of their Saturday. Towns like Keene made it impossible not to think “the ski people are out”, as mostly everyone was decked out in their fancy outdoor gear. Though, perception is relative, and I probably looked like an amateur in a pair of old blue jeans and my tattered boots of 17 years.

The people pattern continued after I turned down the worn and rugged Adirondack Loj Road, where I was dumb-founded by the number of cars behind and ahead of me, dodging fractures in the road among patches of newer asphalt. (I later learned the road had been damaged by Tropical Storm Irene.) For the first time in my life, I felt like I were in a children’s book. It was as if I were driving a cartoon Volkswagen Vanagon among a few hundred other hiking families all flocking to a nearby trailhead, all of us eager to enter the woods.

On Ferguson, and Being a White Ally →

It is never to late to educate yourself on racism.

A lot of white people aren’t speaking out publicly against the killing of Michael Brown because they don’t see a space for themselves to engage meaningfully in the conversation so that they can move to action against racism. It’s not so much that they have nothing to say but rather they don’t see an opportunity being opened up for them to say something or to do something that matters. Or they might not be sure what to say or how to do it. They might have a hard time seeing a role for themselves in the fight against racism because they aren’t racist, they don’t feel that racism affects them or their loved ones personally, they worry that talking about race and differences between cultures might make things worse, or they think they rarely see overt racism at play in their everyday lives. And, sometimes, they are afraid. There’s a real fear of saying the wrong thing even if the intention is pure, of being alienated socially and economically from other white people for standing in solidarity with black people, or of putting one’s self in harm’s way, whether the harm be physical or psychological. I’m not saying those aren’t valid fears but I am challenging white people to consider carefully whether failing to speak out or act because of those fears is justified when white silence and inaction mean the oppression and death of black people.

Maps.Me — Offline maps →

Maps.Me is an iPhone map application that works offline. Unlike Google Maps, or Apple’s Maps app, Maps.Me won’t rack up data on your cell phone plan while you are traveling.

(via The Loop)

Haleakalā National Park, July ’08

In the throwback Thursday spirit, here are some photos from my July ’08 drive up Haleakalā, the volcano on the East side of Maui, Hawaii, which makes up over 75% of the island.

Our drive up the volcano was a small but memorable part of my two week stay in Hawaii. I was there visiting my longtime friend, Eric, who was living on the island at the time and was a fantastic tour guide.

It is hard for me to design something if you don’t know what it is that you want me to design.