Tag Archives: hiking trails

Still an Island

A stretch of sand clasps Great Island to the mainland now.  But, before the currents of Cape Cod Bay swept the sandbar into place Great Island truly was an island, the residue of melting glaciers.

If Cape Cod were the muscled arm of a flexing bodybuilder, Wellfleet, Massachusetts would be the forearm.  Chilly Atlantic waters crash heavily on the open ocean side inevitably tugging down statuesque bluffs in the ongoing rearrangement of sand by Sea.  The inner side of this forearm is Great Island.

We hiked the Great Island Trail after a weekend of celebration: a fiftieth birthday and the subsequent reunion of favorite family and friends. Great times. I had run the roads of Wellfleet the morning before and was primed to walk its adjacent shores and marshes before driving back toward Boston.

We followed the Great Island Trail through a pitch pine forest, by salt marshes and along sandy shores adorned with flowing sea grasses.  Color was nuanced across a spectrum of gold, brown and russet red, pierced by the brilliant blues of sky and sea.

And as we wandered through its desolate beauty and tranquil seclusion, Great Island still felt every bit the island it once was.

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook

 

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I Spy from Sky High

Aside from its 7000 foot elevation and lack of community garage sales (or garages, for that matter), it was still a different sort of neighborhood.  While I might glance across my street to admire lush landscaping or to see if the neighbor who occasionally rides to my lawn’s rescue on a John Deere lawnmower is headed my way, Walnut Canyon tenants watched the inhabitants of their cliff side community for more serious considerations.

The Sinagua people’s version of the neighborhood watch was an ongoing monitoring of cross-canyon villages.  Awareness lowered the probabilities of surprises in a place where the unexpected was unlikely to be a positive event.  A cliff side perch allowed for controlled access and a passive defense.  It was community living at arms length and with a roughly 600 foot drop-off in between.

Water could be found far below.  Sometimes.  Water storage was critical as the dry season was desert dry —the Spanish words sin and agua translate to “without water.”  Food was hunted, gathered and grown on the relatively fertile soil of the cliff rims above.  Observing the neighbors in 1125 AD was more about computing essential survival information than today’s mundane curb check to verify trash collection day.

The cliff dwellings: Sinagua Style Sky-boxes

The lifestyle: Just a Wild Guess?

 

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook

Flagstaff Things To Do

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Treetop Views from Yokahu

Ninety-eight steps took us directly to treetop views of the El Yunque National Forest.  It seemed a pretty easy way to gain a panorama after our adrenaline-laced morning spent zip-lining, rappelling and hiking through the Luquillo Rainforest! The 360 degree perspective atop Yokahu Tower also included San Juan, Luquillo, Faro de Fajardo (from which we would eventually ferry to Isla de Vieques) and Playa Seven Seas.  Punctured periodically by arched windows, the silo-styled tower, erected in 1963, also afforded decent vistas during our climb to its observation deck.


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