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Born in Oregon 1969
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Few sights on Earth—our grand and mostly liquid planet—are quite so bewitching as a waterfall. Freefall plunges off overhangs, horsetail falls rivuleting down slanted rock faces, whitewater cascades frothing through a long forest chute: There are many kinds of waterfalls, many shapes and configurations, and of course a vast size spectrum—from tiny streamers on a steep-coursed brook to immense cataracts such as Angel, Iguazú, Victoria, and Niagara falls. What’s remarkable is how even a little waterfall, or a drought-diminished one, retains almost magnetic appeal. Who knows: Maybe there’s something to the whole negative-ion effect said to be at play around … Continue reading

The Biggest and Best Waterfalls in the US

Few sights on Earth—our grand and mostly liquid planet—are quite so bewitching as a waterfall. Freefall plunges off overhangs, horsetail falls rivuleting down slanted rock faces, whitewater cascades frothing through a long forest chute: There are many kinds of waterfalls, many shapes and configurations, and of course a vast size spectrum—from tiny streamers on a steep-coursed brook to immense cataracts such as Angel, Iguazú, Victoria, and Niagara falls. What’s remarkable is how even a little waterfall, or a drought-diminished one, retains almost magnetic appeal. Who knows: Maybe there’s something to the whole negative-ion effect said to be at play around … Continue reading

Best Destinations for Fall Colors

Now’s the time of year to unleash your inner “leaf-peeper!” With the growing season giving way to autumnal wind-down, deciduous trees and shrubs are easing off photosynthesis and therefore production of grandly green chlorophyll, and showing off the crimsons, goldens, purples, burgundies, and browns of other pigments before shedding their leaves and settling in for the long barren haul of winter. The perfect combination of botanical diversity, latitude, and climatic factors gives the northeastern United States and adjoining Canada perhaps the world’s most celebrated fall colors, but America’s got no shortage of other leaf-peeping hotspots: from the North Woods of … Continue reading

Impress Your Campfire Buddies With Pieces of U.S. Mountain Trivia

It’s prime time for getting up in the high country, so here at the Mountain House blog, we thought we’d compile some miscellaneous mountain trivia for you to casually drop at your next slopeside campfire. We’ve plucked these factoids from a few sources, including this RootsRated roundup as well as the mountaineering websites Summitpost and Peaklist. Read on for some American mountain minutiae! The Five Highest Peaks in North America Here are the five most skyscraping peaks in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico: Denali, Alaska Range (Alaska, USA): 20,320′ Mount Logan, St. Elias Mountains (Yukon, CAN): 19,541′ Pico de Orizaba, … 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

Cave No Trace

by John Waller With a heavy clunk, Phyllis removes a metal bar that gates a cave entrance in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. It’s a small entrance, with an upward grade and not much room to spare when a body wiggles through. At the age of 77, Phyllis Bonneau is an unlikely character to push forward into this dark hole. With a few grunts and the sound of knee and elbow pads grating across limestone, she emerges through the hole: A cave system, miles in length, sprawls before us in the blackness. I’m with my buddies Scott, Liam, and … Continue reading

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