Tag Archives: hiking

Climbing Mount St Helens…or Not

We’ve known since last year that we wanted to climb to the summit of Mount St. Helens back in Washington.  My sister had suggested it for 2016 without realizing we needed permits for the high country, so we planned it for 2017 instead, coinciding with her college graduation at Oregon State. (Which was fabulous—you rock, E!) The summit of Mount St. Helens isn’t supposed to require climbing gear, but it’s still tough.  There’s a rise of 4000 feet in elevation, with about two miles of forest, two miles of a boulder field, and a mile of ash field. And then back down. It’s a little hard to prepare for a climb like that in Central Indiana (the land of the flat), but we did the best we could.  Eagle Creek Park has trails that are mostly up and down small hills if you stay along the lakeside, and I’d been … Continue reading

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Yes, Ireland Has Trees

Have you ever noticed that most of our favorite pictures of Ireland’s scenery are grass-covered hills with stone walls and sheep, but hardly any trees?  The more I looked, the more I wondered if I’d be able to handle a land without forests.  But Ireland has forests! According to one site, Ireland had only 1% forests a century ago.  The Irish Forest Service has been planting managed forests, and when they got to a third of a million hectares (however that translates into acres), the company Coillte was formed.  Coillte (sort of pronounced Kweelcheh) now privately owns most or all of the harvested forests, which have walking trails and recreations spots in the “forest parks” which are open to the public.  Other forested land is owned by farmers, and the total is now up to about 10%. If you want a long hike, head for the waymarked trails.  But for shorter adventures, you can head … Continue reading

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Hiking in Ireland

We want to walk and hike in Ireland, and have found that hiking is generally called hill-walking.  After browsing a link that Ciaran (pronounced Keeran) sent after our “cultural orientation,” it sounds awesome!  Ireland is filled with “waymarked walking trails,” paths & roads through public and private land that are marked for hikers.  Some go through several counties, some are short with different starts and finishes, and some are loop trails.  There are guides for difficulty level, length, how much elevation, etc., so you know what you’re getting into.  And if you follow one trail along over several days, there are usually youth hostels or bed & breakfasts to stay in on the way.  So maybe I didn’t manage the mini-marathon, but I’m really looking forward to this.  Here’s a map showing the trails (if you click on it you’ll get the big version).  And check out the link to … Continue reading

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