All posts tagged: travel

Amsterdam: Where to Run in the City of Canals, Weed & Poffertjes

Amsterdam probably doesn’t come to mind when you think about running; if you’re confined to a city, then surely one where bikes outnumber people nearly 2 to 1, coffeeshops (not what you think they are) are found on every corner, and tourists flock to some of the best museums doesn’t come to mind. Nick and I recently spent two weeks in Amsterdam, enjoying everything from Indonesian food  to wandering the Red Light District, but we still made time to run. Luckily, if you’re willing to rent a bike or jog your way around a few bikes, then Amsterdam can be a great place to run. Here’s our list of the best places to get off of your bike and onto your own two feet: 1. Westerpark Located directly west of the city center and adjacent to the bustling, boutique-filled Haarlemerstraat, Westerpark is home to a variety of festivals throughout the summer and one of the more convenient parks to access from the city center. More than 4 miles of trail, both paved and unpaved, skirt …

Hike to Panamint City

Location: Surprise Canyon in Panamint Valley Length: Roughly 10 miles out-and-back; factor in another 2-4 if exploring the town Duration: 7-12 hours depending on pace and how long you wish to explore the town Intensity: Strenuous with 4,000 feet of elevation gain and loss Death Valley is an inhospitable place, and its neighboring valley, Panamint, is no more appealing. With temperatures that can hover upwards of 100° F from May to October and a dry wind that can parch your skin into something reptilian, images of Panamint Valley don’t typically conjure lush oases. And, for the most part, they’re not. Surprise Canyon, sitting below the 9,600 foot Sentinel Peak in the Panamint Range, is, however. There’s water and, beyond that, there’s life–hermit thrush flit from branch to branch, Pacific tree frogs cling to moss, and thick, black carpenter bees whizz through the sky–all of which comes as a surprise. Hence, the name Surprise Canyon. Follow the trail to the end of the canyon and you’ll find the remains of a once-thriving silver mining town, replete with 2,000 …

Top 10 Things to Do: Big Island, Hawaii

What area of the world contains 10 of the 15 climatic zones of the world? Better yet, what island has both tropical and temperate rain forests, hot, arid landscapes and even periglacial climates? Hawaii. But not Hawaii the state–Hawaii the island, more commonly referred to as the Big Island. Earlier this month, Nick and I spent 8 days traversing the Big Island by foot and by Jeep Wrangler. It’s difficult to pick a favorite activity, let alone a favorite place, as the island is so big that all of the other Hawaiian islands (Maui, Moloka’i, O’ahu, Lana’i, Kaua’i, Kaho’olawe, Ni’hau and yes, I’m including the yet-to-surface young Lo’ihi) still don’t fit within the expanse of the Big Island. That said, I narrowed down ten of my favorite things to do if you visit (and you really should). 1. Captain Cook Hike & Snorkel If you’re on a budget or simply more interested in warming up before jumping in the cool waters of the Pacific, hike to the Captain Cook Monument on the northern edge of Kealakekua Bay. Many companies offer boat and catamaran tours …

The West Coast Trail: Day Two

Day Two: 62-42km (Camper Cove to Cribs Creek) By morning the sky had cleared and rain was no longer a concern. Still, our tent was damp from the night as we folded away the various parts into the tent’s pack. Nick boiled water for oatmeal and yerba mate as I changed into warm gear, thinking that the temperatures would remain cool since the first half of today’s hike would be inland. As soon as we started hiking, however, I needed to peel off rain jacket and rain pants, donning just a shirt and shorts. While I’d like to say that we were whine-free on this trip, it just wasn’t true. The backpacks felt heavier than the day before and while Nick complained of sore shoulders, I whined that my hips were bruised from the pack’s waist strap. After a few kilometers of continually stopping to figure out how to fix the issues (hint: wear a shirt around your waist for extra padding!), we settled into the meditation of the hike. After 10 kilometers of ladders, suspension bridges and …