Spring Natural Phenomena to Enjoy

Everybody has their own favorite season, of course, but in North America, the hallmarks of Spring are very nearly universally appealing. It’s hard to resist, after all, the perfumed scent of blooming wildflowers on the breeze, the happy trickle of meltwater streams, the symphonies of birdsong in the marshes and meadows, and other signs of vernal reawakening on the heels of winter chill and quiet. As we all take advantage of the longer days and warmer temperatures for hiking, camping, paddling, and other outdoor fun, let’s take a moment to spotlight just a few of the classic natural phenomena that … Continue reading

Spring Backcountry Safety

It was a long, gnarly winter in many parts of the country, but spring is most definitely here and undoubtedly singing a very sweet siren song to any and all outdoors-folks. It’s an exciting time to get into the backcountry, whether on skis or snowshoes or along hiking trails that have thawed out. The days are lengthening, the angle of the Sun is increasing for warmer weather, and the intoxicating phenological signs of the season are unfolding: north-bound flocks of waterfowl, melodious songbirds in the budding thickets, frog choruses from the marshes and hollows, wildflowers starting to strut their stuff … Continue reading

Bataan Death March: 26 Miles in the Desert

Mountain House Employees pay tribute to The Greatest Generation In April of 1942, in the early days of World War II, 60-80,000 Americans and Filipinos were captured by the assaulting Japanese forces after the Battle of Bataan. These prisoners of war were then forced on a 65 mile death march north to various camps.  Wounded, malaria ridden and lacking essential survival supplies many did not survive the journey.  Many others were summarily executed by their captors for minor offenses.  The ones that survived the trek spent the remainder of the war struggling in some of the most austere prisoner of … Continue reading

Getting in Shape for Hiking Season

Maybe you’ve spent the winter regularly hitting the ski slopes, cross-country trails, or snowshoe loops; maybe you’ve even been summiting some iced-over mountaintops. If so, you’re likely well primed for the upcoming summer-through-fall peak hiking and backpacking season. Perhaps, though—like oh so many of us—you haven’t been out playing in the snow quite as much as you would have liked, and challenging winter weather has mostly seen you just daydreaming about great hikes you want to tackle in a few months (and top off with our tasty backpacking food!). Perhaps you haven’t been hitting up the gym very often—or at … Continue reading