“Pic of the Week”, July 2, 2021: Pinelands Trail, Everglades National Park

00 Pinelands Trail, Everglades

Pinelands Trail is located seven miles (11 km) from the southern park entrance. It’s a fairly short trail, just 0.4 miles (650 m), and you walk on a pavement or boardwalk so it’s easy to do. It’s also handicap accessible.
I think this walk is a great way to experience this unique ecocystem of the Everglades up close. The ground is swampy but home to a forest which contains pines, saw palmettos, and assorted wildflowers — quite a bit different than the “river of grass” which dominates this landscape.
There are many better places for alligator viewing than from this boardwalk — to this end I recommend Shark Valley.  We visited Pinelands Trail in December and there were …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Southern California is at its best in the winter

Southern California is at its best in the winter

Our family lived in Southern California for several decades before moving to Eastern Washington in 2004.  We enjoyed our life in the Sunny Southland but felt it was time to leave — and we have no regrets about this decision.  We still love to travel to SoCal, especially in the winter, as it is the best time of year to visit.  The temperatures are pleasant (usually mid-60s — while the rest of the country is chilly), the sky blue and dotted with fluffy clouds (not gray and opacified by smog), and the hills are lush and green (not brown tinder like they’ll be late summer).

We own a timeshare in Newport Beach, which we bought almost a decade ago.  The Marriott Newport Coastal Villas is a …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 10) Adam’s Peak

Sri Lanka —  10) Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak (also known as Sri Pada, or “holy footprint”) is located in the southwestern part of Hill Country.  It’s 2,243 meters (7,359 ft) high, the tallest mountain in this region and the fourth largest in Sri Lanka.  Because of its size and distinctive pyramidal top, Adam’s Peak stands out when one is traveling through the region; on a clear day it can be seen from the ocean.  The mountain is set in a region of wilderness so much of its vegetation and fauna are pristine.

I was first introduced to Adam’s Peak in Arthur C. Clarke’s book, THE FOUNTAINS OF PARADISE (which also features Sigiriya, hence the title).  In this story a mountain bearing an uncanny resemblance to Adam’s Peak is the earthbound terminus of Arthur’s …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 9) Horton Plains

Sri Lanka —  9) Horton Plains

My first introduction to Horton Plains National Park was in Hans Mohemius’ photo room at his home in Colombo.  Hans was a skilled amateur photographer who shared with me a magical photo of a sunrise on Horton Plains, the setting misty and light softly diffused over frosted grass and trees.   I knew at that moment I had to visit this place so on my last trip to Sri Lanka I finally did.  As it turns out, Horton Plains is a great place to go for a hike — the best I personally encountered in Sri Lanka.  There are several hiking options in the Park but the most popular is the loop trail to “World’s End” which I’ll discuss below.

Horton Plains National Park is a high altitude plateau in the …

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