Posts Tagged ‘adventure running’

Upper Loop Rattlesnake Arches

March 28, 2011

Rattlesnake Arches are the best kept secret in Utah.  That’s because they’re in Colorado.

The largest concentration of rock arches in the world outside of the eponymously named National Park, is in the Black Ridge area just west of Colorado National Monument.  A series of beautiful red rock canyons drains the north side of  Uncompahgre Plateau for a distance of 80 miles; the Monument is well regarded, while the canyons to the east and west are almost unknown yet just as spectacular.  This is the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, so it is geologically the same as the iconic landscape of Utah, which makes it quite satisfying to drive only 4 hours from Denver/Boulder, then stand alone in the middle of a large federal Wilderness area, almost in sight of the steady stream of SUV’s blasting down Interstate 70 on their way to standing in at Pasta Jay’s in Moab.

OK, enough shuck and jive; what’s the deal?

Tongariro Circuit

March 1, 2009

An Award Ticket from UAL allows one free stopover. This is a key benefit to be aware of; a stopover adds major options to what already is a great deal. So on Feb 22 I boarded the plane in Sydney for my return to the States, got off in Auckland, picked up my Toyota Corolla at 9:15 pm, and drove until 1:30 am before pulling over and catching some Z’s in the back.

t-1Destination: Tongariro National Park, in the center of the North Island (and the 4th oldest Nat Park in the world). I had only 4 days in New Zealand (the downside to Award Tickets is you take what dates you can get). I had just come from doing the Overland Track and the South Coast Track – rated the #1 and #2 best trails in Australia – and the “Tongariro Circuit” is rated the best trail in New Zealand, and one of it’s super classic “Great Walks”. It circumnavigates two semi-active volcano’s; a 50 km track thru alpine terrain and fresh lava fields, all with big views.

So guess what I was going to do the next morning? OK, so I’m totally predictable … (more…)