Cameo and Ken are a couple of working stiffs who discovered long ago that life's more satisfying when they're chasing grizzlies and climbing mountains.
So far their travels have taken them to six continents from Tuktoyaktuk to Tasmania with a few stops in between.
This is their adventure...
Category Archives: one thing
If you’re contemplating a trip to Yellowstone National Park – and who isn’t – the one thing we’d recommend you include in your itinerary is at least a day trip to the Lamar Valley. Tucked into the north east corner of the park amongst the mountains exists a place where time, “progress”, and crowds have thankfully forgotten. Elk, bison, and pronghorn graze along the banks of the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek under the watchful eyes of golden eagles, wolves, and grizzlies. With seemingly no attractions and fewer services the Lamar is easy to overlook, but if you’re wildlife junkies like us this is where the real Yellowstone exists.
If you need a little stretch, a short trip to Trout Lake will reward the patient with delightful sightings of River Otters and,if timed right (late June early July) Cutthroat gathering to spawn at the mouth of the inlet stream. Each evening the pullouts are populated with spotting scopes as the ‘wildlife hopeful’ scan the fields for wolves and grizzlies.
The closest services outside the Park can be found in the hamlets of Silver Gate and Cooke City MT. Interesting places onto themselves and well worth a look to get something to eat before returning to Yellowstone to continue wildlife watching.
Sometimes our adventures don’t go as planned with unexpected results. Our time experimenting with rail travel in Australia’s outback was one such occasion.
The plan was to ride The Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide enjoying a classic rail adventure on New Years Eve featuring a desert sunset, a decent meal, and some drinks to welcome the New Year. A quick nap and a dawn arrival in Adelaide also worked in our favour as we avoided a costly hotel stay during the holidays. At the time it sounded like a no-brainer.
Our research indicated that it was way cheaper to fly but we were hooked on the romantic notion of spending New Years Eve on a train in the outback so we elected for most cost effective option Red Kangaroo class. How bad could it be?
a) Scenery – The outback is gorgeous,
b) “Fresh light meal” means foil wrapped microwaved bacon burger,
c) Bar service closes at 10. But it’s New Years Eve. Bar service closes at 10,
d) Red Kangaroo class rail cars (at least the one we were in) are showing their age; uncomfortable, hot, and odiferous.
An epic fail on our part.
The one thing we’d recommend if you find yourself contemplating a similar situation… fly. It’s cheaper, far more convenient, and you’ll probably get a better meal on the flight. If you still insist on riding the rails, we’d recommend a researching other levels of hospitality that The Ghan offers and hop over Red Kangaroo class.
Walking the fortified walls of Dubrovnik was a pleasant surprise and highlight of our trip to Croatia. If you had to do one thing in Dubrovnik we’d recommend spending the 10 euro per person and take your time exploring the city’s history and archecture along this 2 kilometre wall walk.
Bonus Tip: Hold on to the ticket you receive for the wall walk, it also allows you to enter the St. Lawrence Fortress opposite the fortified city free of charge. Great views overlooking old Dubrovnik.
Our traditional Law teaches us the proper way to behave. We ask you to respect our Law by not climbing Uluru.
What visitors call ‘the climb’ is the traditional route taken by ancestral Mala men upon their arrival at Uluru in the creation time. It has great spiritual significance.
After reading the above message Cam was quick to remind me that I tend to get a little curmudgeon-like when kids walk across our lawn, and it has no spiritual significance. Needless to say the decision not to climb Uluru (Ayers Rock) was made then and there.
The one thing we’d recommend to those visiting Uluru is do some research and soul searching before arriving and decide whether or not climbing is for you. It’s far too easy to show up and convince yourself that you’ve travelled too far and spent a considerable amount of money to be ‘denied’ by ‘someone else’s superstitions’. Enjoy the natural wonder that is Uluru for what it is.
Our two cents: It’s about respect. Please stay off our lawn and don’t climb Uluru.
Airfare – $1200. GoreTex jacket, fleece jumper, and glacier glasses – $695. Four sleepless nights with a throbbing headache, wretching your guts out, and missing your summit opportunity – Pricey.
If we were to recommend one thing regarding selecting the best route up Africa’s highest peak it would be take your time, acclimatize properly and spend at least 8 days on the mountain.
As economical and efficient as shorter routes, such as the Marango (aka ‘the coca cola’ route) appear, recent studies have demonstrated “budget” routes are associated with poor summit success rates and higher occurrences of acute mountain sickness, a potentially debilatating condition caused by poor acclimatization due to ascending too quickly.
Consider the following excerpt from a study following trekkers on the Marango route:
The incidence of AMS for all trekkers was 77%, which is among the highest incidence rates of any trekking location in the world. In addition, only 61% of trekkers reached the summit (5895m).
Davies – Determinants of Summiting Success and Acute Mountain Sickness on Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895 m) Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 20, 311-317 (2009)
Odds are this is something you’re only going to want to attempt once. As the old adage goes – if something is worth doing then do it right the first time.