Mountain Matron

 Human-Powered Outdoor Adventures of the Best Kind   

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Rozanne 'Mountain Matron' Cassone

 

Empower ~ Encourage ~ Educate ~ Explore

~~ Digital Journalist ~~

 

An adventure/travel/lifestyle community sharing skills, knowledge and, resources for safe, unforgettable and

empowering experiences outdoors.

Mountain Matron is truly honored and extremely excited to announce that we are now global

and our audience reaches beyond any borders we had envisioned.

We sincerely thank each of you for allowing us to be your community resource and trusted

link to reliable information.

 

 

 { May the journey be your adventure and not the destination }
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Lee Vining, California: What Seems To Be The Middle Of Nowhere Is Right In The Middle Of Everywhere

Posted on November 26, 2018 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Lee Vining, California: What Seems To Be The Middle Of Nowhere Is Right In The Middle Of Everywhere


Lee Vining is somewhere on U.S. Route 395 in California between Bishop, the middle of nowhere, and Yosemite National Park; it also happens to make the perfect basecamp for an extended visit during spring, summer, or fall. The Murphey’s Motel specifically, had me for a week. Warm rooms, free Wi-Fi, lots of hot water, and a 2-minute walk from the local coffee shop made for the perfect set up.

As a visitor from central Arizona I hadn’t ever been north of Lone Pine on the U.S. 395. I hadn’t been to the Eastern Sierras since 2013 when I hiked towards the Mt. Whitney summit from Mt. Whitney portal, so this trip was pretty exciting. As an absolute non-expert of the area I can tell you adventurers across the nation understand the Eastern Sierras as an elite landscape where even the best of the best are challenged to the extreme.


First, on the way in(coming from the south), you need to stop at Manzanar. If you’re unfamiliar with the name then you truly need to take an extra hour to learn about one of ten internment camps of World War II imprisoning Japanese Americans. Manzanar National Historic Site is said to be one of the most preserved locations across the United States. It’s a somber education for those unaware, and a deafening tone of heartbreak for each of us.


Once settled in to Murphey’s Motel in Lee Vining the options are endless. June Lake loop, Mono Lake, Bridgeport, California, Silver Lake, Mammoth Lakes, really too many lakes to name and summits beyond your vehicle’s ability. Our photos below starting with Convict Lake, will give your imagination a good start.

*As Mother Nature will always choose exactly how adventures will go, please consider your timing may or may not coincide with the most bubbling color for fall or may toss freezing temps your way. Stay prepared for this region’s change of season with proper clothing, outdoor gear, maps, and caution.









Did You Know: Ansel Adams, widely known for his outdoor photography is also known for his controversial book, Born Free and Equal, published in 1944.




Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

First-Aid Kit Checklist: 13 Must Have Items For Hiking And Backpacking | Mountain Matron

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

First-Aid Kit Checklist: 13 Must Have Items For Hiking And Backpacking | Mountain Matron


If you are not a medical professional your first-aid kit should focus on the following


  • Stop Bleeding
  • Clean/Wrap Wounds
  • Treat Symptoms/Pain
  • Seek Medical Professional

Entering the wilderness prepared is essential to safety, entering the wilderness with intentions of self-sufficiency is critical. Bring the right supplies and know how each can be used. Understanding when and how to use the items below can keep an emergency situation from becoming a formidable fight for survival.

 

1] Medical Grade Gloves: Statistics show if you’re ever caught in a bloody emergency there is a likely possibility it won’t be your blood, and if you have ever taken a first aid, emergency medicine, or wilderness medicine course you know the first thing you absolutely need to do to protect the wound and yourself from infectious disease is put gloves on. Carry minimum of 2 pair. 


2] Sanitizer, Antiseptic, Antibiotic Ointment: Hand sanitizer is a valuable way to rid your hands of any infectious agents. Use it before cleaning an open wound on yourself or anyone else. Saline/antiseptic solution is helpful for flushing deeper wounds and antiseptic wipes are effective for cleaning surface wounds. Antibiotic ointment will fight against infection when applied directly to burns, minor cuts or abrasions.


3] Bandages: Carry several size options in adhesive bandages. Medium to large rectangle bandages are good for knee abrasions, limb lacerations, or heel blisters. An Elastic Bandage is going to help for minor sprains or strains to your limbs or smaller extremities. Including a liquid bandage formula in your kit allows for additional treatment options for minor cuts and scrapes. Sterile gauze and adhesive tape can also be used to help treat and protect wounds.


4] Over The Counter Medication: Ibuprofen, chewable Aspirin, Meclizine, and an Antihistamine medication are common symptom relief, generating an effortless remedy when prepared. Your doctor or pharmacist should manage all of your medications.


5] Prescription Medication: Always bring an extra dose of important daily meds. If you get stuck for any reason, finding yourself hours behind your anticipated schedule, missing your daily prescription can turn things desperate very quickly.


6] Tweezers, Safety Pin & Cotton Balls: Tweezers are good for removing cactus spines or splinters from the skin or your four-legged companion. Safety pins work well to repair torn fabric on backpacks, clothing, etc. You can also use a safety pin to secure your elastic bandage. Cotton can be used as a multipurpose item; most commonly for fire starting and wound treatment.


7] Emergency Blanket: Sudden weather change can be deadly. An emergency blanket offers temporary relief from life-threatening low temperatures, shelter from light rain, and a source of reflective signaling for air rescue.


8] Trash Bags (13 Gal) x 2: A trash bag has a list of uses; a rain poncho, a rain cover for your backpack, a lightweight option for wet/dirty clothes, or the basic use of removing litter from the trails.


9] Lip Balm with SPF: the sun is brutal, having a lip balm with spf offers protection from harmful rays. Dehydration is common and can quickly cause dry, chapped lips, carrying lip balm for immediate symptom relief will prompt the skin’s healing process. Chapstick, Carmex and Vaseline contain enough petroleum to additionally help as an emergency fire starter.

 

10] Sunscreen: The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to wear long, light-colored clothing that cover all areas of the skin and a wide brim hat, if you are not covering the skin the next best option is a travel size bottle of sunscreen. Sunburns can become severe causing blisters, nausea, confusion, and extreme pain.

 

11] Sharpie: A permanent marker is an excellent resource for effective marking of maps, labeling personal items, or keeping tally. Writing things down can be crucial for keeping record when suffering conditions affecting memory retention or short-term confusion.

 

12] Bic Lighter: You do not need to be an expert survivalist. Bringing a Bic lighter will create efficiency when needing a fire; keeping warmth top priority and allowing for a better outcome in various emergency circumstance.


13] Extra Batteries: Bring extra brand new batteries for your headlamp. You could be stranded for hours without sunlight, having a functioning headlamp will add safety and comfort to any emergency.



Place each item into (1) half-gallon waterproof bag. Using a lightweight element-proof storage bag will allow for maximum comfort while on the move.


What do you pack in your first-aid kit? Do you pack activity focused items? Tell us about your kit and your first-aid hacks in the comment section below.


Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.


Teton Sports Altos Sleeping Pad | Product Spotlight | Mountain Matron

Posted on April 14, 2018 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Teton Sports Altos Sleeping Pad | Product Spotlight | Mountain Matron


Sleeping Pad   Insulated or Non-Insulated   Retail: $80


A sleeping pad is used as a plush layer between you and the definitively hard ground while camping in a tent or added comfort and warmth while hanging in a hammock; contributing an essential component for good sleep on any hard surface. Sleeping pads come in various lengths, weights, and categories, each chosen based on activity, features, and cost.


The Teton Sports Altos Sleeping Pad is a rectangular, inflatable sleep pad offered in an insulated or non-insulated version. Both are 6ft. x 2ft., weighing in at a tad more than a pound. Once inflated the pad lifts approximately 3 inches. The large air chambers at each side eliminate much of the chance of you slipping off the pad throughout the night. Keeping you comfortable, warm, and off the ground; sleeping well, without any added weight or bulk is a big bonus while backpacking. The Teton Sports Altos Sleeping Pad is easy to use, it folds up quickly, and fits right back into the included storage sack every time. Teton Sports also offers pump bags that create a quick and effortless inflation for all Teton Sports inflatable products, those bags double as dry sacks during the day.


 

*affiliate link below*



The innovative design of the Altos sleeping pad by Teton Sports works well for all sleep positions, especially those that alternate positions throughout the night. The Altos sleeping pad works well in a hammock or a tent, inflates and deflates easily, packs down to near nothing, and arrives in its own easy to use storage bag. The three inch lift alleviates pressure on the hips and back after a long day on the trail, so you never feel like you’re sleeping on the ground.


Sleep pads are not a one size fits all. Sleep position, weather, activity, and sleeping pad weight and length always play an important part in choosing a pad. Make sure to measure your sleep area before purchasing any pad. The Teton Sports Altos Insulated Sleeping Pad works well while sleeping in a tent or hanging in a hammock. The insulated version is perfect for cold weather, camping or backpacking, and the non-insulated version is best for warmer weather. Each excellent for various sleep positions. You’ll love them because they pack down to fit well in a backpack, weigh near nothing, and provide reliable comfort when you’re far from home.


You can also find the three season Altos Sleep Pad in Aqua Blue on sale with Amazon.



*Thank you Teton Sports, for allowing us to field-test your product free of charge we appreciate and value your enthusiasm to spotlight the Altos Insulated Sleeping Pad with an honest and free-spoken review*

Backpacking to Havasu Falls February 2018: What to Bring, What to Wear, What to Pack

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (2)

Backpacking to Havasu Falls February 2018: What to Bring, What to Wear, What to Pack


Entry into Havasu Canyon requires direct permission from the Havasupai Indian Tribe. Permits are purchased through the Havasupai Tribal office annually at 8:00 AM. MST. on February 1, and are released for the entire year. Required permits will be sold out by 9:00 am MST.

Tribal Office: ( 928 ) 448-2121 

website: theofficialhavasupaitribe.com



Weather: 50°F highs - 20°F lows - Supai, Arizona, USA


*In an effort to help you identify and understand the products listed we have provided affiliate links for selected items.


 

Meals for 3 Days 2 Nights


Breakfast (2) Mountain House Granola with Milk & Blueberries (hot water not required)


Dinner (2) Mountain House Chicken and Mashed Potatoes + Beef Stroganoff ( hot meals)


Snacks

7 ounces - Almonds (salted)

3-6 pieces - Hard Candy

4 - Jack Link’s Beef Steak Jerky

1-4 - Energy Chews ( Sports Beans, ProBar, Clif Blok)

1-2 - Chocolate Bars (Snickers + Twix)

6 - Bounce Protein Balls (Cacao Mint, Vanilla Almond, Coconut Macadamia)

2 - 5L-10L dry bags (food storage) Amazon 


Drinks

Electrolyte packets

Coffee (instant packets)

Sugar + Creamer (sealed packets work best for safe food storage)

Coffee Mug

Spoon + Fork + Bowl (long handle to eat directly from food bags)

2 1L Collapsible Water Bottles (DO NOT bring your Hydroflask!) Amazon

1G Empty Jug (water storage for cooking at camp) Alternative Option on Amazon


Hiking into Havasu Canyon prepared has its benefits and we suggest you do not overpack food. Count meals and calories, remember you can purchase a meal or two, hot coffee, and cold drinks from the cafe or general store. Fry bread is often available at the campground ($8-$12cash). It’s delicious! The Supai Village is where you will check in and get your tourist information, the cafe and general store both make the perfect stop when hiking in or out of the canyon. They accept cash or credit cards. Prices are subject to change.


Clothing

Sunglasses

Sun hat

Rain Poncho

Winter (knit or wool) hat

Wool neck gaiter

Gloves

2-3 wool socks

Bra + Underwear

Lined Leggings

Insulated Pants ( rain/evening lows)

Wool Half Zip Top

Heavyweight Wool Crew Neck (Evening Layer)

Fleece Vest

Heavy (650) TurboDown Jacket (Amazon)

Bandana


The clothing you bring is just as important as the clothing you leave behind. Every ounce adds up. Bring what you need and nothing more. (ie. 20°F provided less incentive for water shoes or swim suit.) If the temps are predicted to reach 50°F definitely bring shorts and tank.



Backpack Gear

Backpack (50-70L) - Teton Sports (Amazon)

Rain cover for backpack

Trekking Poles (Amazon)

Tent

2 Footprint/Ground Cloth (place one outside - under tent + one inside - under sleeping pad)

Sleeping Pad (insulated) Amazon

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag Liner (microfiber fleece)

Pillow

2-3 1L Collapsible Water Bottles

Sawyer Mini water filter (generally as a just in case for hiking to Beaver Falls & beyond)

Purification Tablets (water comes from the spring but it’s recommended you treat)

32oz. Hydrapak (for electrolytes mixins)

Stove Burner + Stove Fuel Cook System

2c. Cooking Pot

Headlamp

Inflatable Solar Lantern (LUCI) Amazon

Lightweight fast-drying Microfiber Towel

Travel wallet (ID, medical card, cash, credit card, keys)


Cellular Phone

Portable Power Bank

GoPro

Extra Battery + Memory Card

Lightweight Tripod




Lightweight Day Pack: (ie. JanSport) for daytime exploring between the campground and other waterfalls. The Havasu Creek from camp leading past Mooney Falls, through Havasu Canyon reaches the Colorado River. This is an additional 16-mile round trip hike from the campground and can be done in one day with an early start. Expect to make several creek crossings that can reach waist level for some adults..

Confluence Hike: water, water filter, food, sunscreen, hat, headlamp, lightweight jacket, water shoes, and camera. 


Boots: Some may prefer trail runners, but we highly suggest boots. This trail is long, rugged, and your loaded backpack will cause fatigue. Boots will help prevent ankle injuries during the long haul and rough terrain.


First Aid: Elastic (ACE) Bandage, blister bandages, pain reliever, emergency blanket, trash bags, lighter, extra batteries, wet wipes, latex gloves, tissue, chapstick, sunscreen, hand cream(cold weather), pen and paper, paracord, disposable hand warmers [Place everything inside a 1 gallon freezer storage bag; expel air, and seal for storage.] Waterproof bag is best.

 

Hygiene: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes, dental floss, tissue, toilet paper, extra ziplock for trash. [Place toothbrush in a 1qt. storage bag; place everything plus the bag with your toothbrush inside a 1 gallon freezer storage bag; expel air, and seal for storage.]

Personal hygiene products should be travel size.


Notice: No shovel. There are vault toilets available at mile 0, mile 8, and mile 10. The tribe does fill the vault toilets with toilet paper, but women should carry small amounts as they have been found empty at times. Traveling with a group can help distribute weight of group gear. Share responsibility and only take the gear needed. (ie. 3-5 days, 4-6 ppl: Two burners, two pots, two 4oz. fuel canisters.)




Havasupai Indian Reservation, Supai, Arizona, USA

  • Hualapai Hilltop to Supai Village(one way) 8mi
  • Supai Village to Campground(one way) 2mi
  • Campground to Beaver Falls(one way) 4mi
  • Beaver Falls to Colorado River(one way) 4mi


Campground: Once you’ve completed the 10-mile hike to the bottom of the canyon, having passed the tourist office and checking in, trekking the last 2 miles in sand; passing the most beautiful 90ft. waterfall you’ve ever seen, you will select any open location along the ¾ mile campgrounds. The campground operates on a “choose any open spot” system. Nothing is assigned. The earlier you arrive the better the spot. Some spots will have tables others will have trees. Make sure you use dry bags for food storage upon arriving to the campgrounds. The Mule Station located at the bottom of Havasu Falls right as you enter the campgrounds has several large buckets for visitors, but can run out.


Cell Service: Cell service is interrupted the moment you turn on Indian Road 18. Service usually reconnects, a bit spotty, but connects at the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead and Supai Village.


Gas: Fill your gas before hitting Indian Road 18, you can find gas in Kingman coming from the West or Seligman coming from the East. There are NO OTHER services available, and Indian Road 18 is a 60-mile drive one-way. If you're approaching from Phoenix, refuel here. If you're approaching from Kingman, refuel here.

 

Water: Is unlimited and readily available with a free-flowing spring at the campground,10-miles into the canyon. After passing Havasu Falls, the Mule Station, and the first set of bathrooms, approximately ¼ mile into camp you’ll follow the main trail to see the wooden signs for spring water. Carrying 2-4L of water while hiking the 10-miles in and out of the canyon is always recommended. You can buy cold water bottles at the General Store located in Supai Village, 8-miles from the hilltop; 2 miles above camp. You can also buy water from the village Cafe (check hours of operation for the Store and Cafe). Confluence Hikers: Bring a water filter for the 18-mile hike.


Car Amenities: Bring a gallon of water and extra food to leave inside the vehicle. This isn’t a region where vehicle food is a concern. If you have an open-bed truck don’t leave anything behind that a village dog might find interesting. They are known to hop inside the bed and tear apart anything they deem delicious. Dry/warm/clean clothes and an energy drink are also often enjoyed after the long trek out of the canyon.


Evening Before: There are a few options for overnight sleep the evening before your hike. Your style and length of travel will be a deciding factor. The City of Kingman is west of Indian Road 18 and has camping, and/or Hotels. Peach Springs is east of Indian Road 18 and has Grand Canyon Caverns Inn. The Inn is located on Historic U.S. Route 66, mile marker 115, 6-miles east of Indian Road 18. The Caverns Inn is the closest option of comfort. Some car camp(sleep inside your vehicle) at the trailhead. Others choose to pitch a tent beside their vehicle at the trailhead. Neither, although I haven't heard the tribe officially stop it, are exactly recommended by the tribe. Sleeping at the trailhead is loud and likely windy and cold, also the closest and cheapest option. Indian Road 18 is always riddled with cattle and wild animals, drive slow.


Parking: From Historic U.S. Route 66 turn north onto Indian Road 18, follow the paved road for 62-miles. Indian Road 18 ends at the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead parking. There are many spots within the paved lot, once the parking in the lot is full the parking begins to follow along the paved road. The trailhead is easy to find as the paved main road, Indian Road 18, abruptly ends directly in the trailhead parking lot. Google Maps



*Hiking into Havasupai makes backpacking incredibly easy as you will have food, water, bathrooms, toilet paper, cell service(Supai Village), and supervision while in the canyon. Bring cash or credit card and you’ll have anything you need. Both are a lot lighter than unnecessary food and water. Overpacking is easy to do - use this list as a guide, bring only the items you are certain to use. It’s a long, rugged hike in and out of the canyon and likely harder than any other 10-mile hike you’ve ever done.

Additionally, we highly suggest bringing trekking poles for this hike. Some don’t prefer them, but it can be a highly appreciated support system with the heavy backpack.


Supai, Arizona, home of the Havasupai “Havasu ‘Baaja” tribe is considered one of the most remote villages in the nation. It is the only location in the country still receiving mail by mule. Accessibility is limited to a dusty, rugged 10-mile trail navigated by foot and horseback. Most recently, seasonally, and weather permitting you can fly in by helicopter. As the tribe sustains difficulty managing the 25,000 visitors per year, their only source of economic trade, they ask that visitors carry all trash out of the canyon. 


**Mule Trains: The canyon has horses and mules frequently running up and down the canyon all day. Be aware! Make sure to step on the inside of the trail when they’re passing. DO NOT step to the outside of any ledge or ridge while they pass you. The animals are carrying loads and cannot tell nor care if they hit you and send you falling off the cliffside.

Practice the Leave No Trace ethics while staying in the sacred land of the Havasupai Indian Tribe. Protect their tranquil water, love their sacred home, and connect with the tiny, hidden, sovereign nation in Supai, Arizona.


 

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Icebreaker Women's Winter Zone Long Sleeve Half Zip | Product Spotlight | Mountain Matron

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Icebreaker Women’s Winter Zone Long Sleeve Half Zip | Product Spotlight | Mountain Matron

Women’s Base Layer | 260 Midweight | Retail: $130


 

Icebreaker Merino Long Sleeve Half Zip is soft, naturally odor-resistant, and engineered for movement. The snug fit sits close to the skin, not too compressed, but comfortable. Adding zero bulk to your layering system this top is long enough to cover your hips, it’s styled for movement, and naturally protects against the sun . Icebreaker BodyfitZONE™, is a body mapping technology; a high tech solution for body heat management. The zip collar offers temperature control for extended day wear and drastic temperature changes. The dropped front and back bottom hem allow for added coverage providing a complete no-fuss fit for an active lifestyle. 


This Icebreaker Winter Zone long sleeve offers ergonomic seam placement for excellent layering, along with flatlock seams to prevent chafing, both serve as a savior while carrying a backpack. The sleeve length joined by thumbholes perform well as a barrier from the wind, especially, when paired with gloves. When temperatures are low or anticipated to change it’s crucial to start your clothing with a good base layer, not only for comfort, but for all day protection. This Icebreaker women’s half zip (260gm) is considered a heavyweight baselayer and works really well keeping you warm and active during early winter mornings. Merino wool is a natural sun protectant, this top carries a rating of UPF 30+. After a complete breakdown under the scope of analysis this top ranks 5 out of 5 stars for all-around performance, optimal fit, and outstanding odor resistance.



Fabric - Body: 97% Merino Wool, 3% LYCRA® Panels: 78% Merino Wool, 22% Polyester Eyelet: 99% Merino Wool, 1% LYCRA®


PROS

  • Machine Washable & Machine Dryable
  • Flat lock seams to prevent chafing
  • UPF Rating: 30+
  • Available in Women’s Sizes: XS to XL
  • Flattering Fit
  • Half Zip Neckline


CONS

  • Price - Retail: $130
  • Sizing (only) available to XL



The Icebreaker Winter Zone Half Zip women’s top was tested for months in canyon activity, sunless temperatures just above 20F, and strenuous activity in exposed sunlight above 60F extending proof of maximum body heat control. The fit, function, and comfort will keep you coming back to this top for guaranteed performance. The Icebreaker Winter Zone Long Sleeve can easily be a favorite cold weather base layer essential during high – low impact outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, backpacking and camping. View Icebreaker women’s clothing using our affiliate link below.


You can find the Icebreaker Winter Zone Long Sleeve On Sale now with Amazon.




Stay Warm When the Temperatures are Low: What to Wear While Backpacking a Winter Without Snow - Womens Clothing [20F+] -- Mountain Matron

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Stay Warm When the Temperatures are Low: What to Wear While Backpacking a Winter Without Snow - Women’s Clothing [20°F+] -- Mountain Matron


High 50°F - Low 20°F


Backpacking into Havasu Canyon via Hualapai Hilltop in February; campfires are prohibited, intermittent wind is expected, chances of rain are predicted, and low evening temperatures are prevalent. This can prove extremely difficult for someone that gets cold quickly. The list below allows preparation for cold weather; highlighting multiple layers, and fundamental fabrics.


If you leave your home ready for a backpacking trip without considering the weather you’re going to be miserable, and possibly, in some serious danger. The women’s clothing recommendations below can be utilized for backpacking with a tent in winter lows without snow [20°F+]. (affiliate links are included as they do not apply cost to our audience, do allow for a visual reference, and additionally, help this website offer articles as this one.)



Head - to - Toe 


  • North Face Knit Hat + Trucker Hat
  • Icebreaker Merino Long Sleeve Half Zip
  • Minus33 Merino Expedition Heavyweight Crew
  • White Sierra Fleece Vest
  • Columbia 650 TurboDown Hooded Jacket
  • Soft Shell Jacket or Plastic Rain Poncho
  • Eddie Bauer Flux Pro Touchscreen Gloves
  • Under Armour ColdGear Compression Leggings
  • Arctix Mesh Lined Snowboard Cargo Pants
  • Farm to Feet Midweight Wool Boot Sock
  • Ahnu Montara Boots
  • Missing Item: Wool Scarf or Neck Gaiter - Bring one.

 

Cost, performance, weight, and weather are all factors when considering clothing for your outdoor experience. This list is intended only as a guide. View our Amazon link for the best price available for each item above.

 

Down and wool fabrics are not for everyone in our audience and we would appreciate any choices available as an alternative. Please leave all recommendations in the comment section below.



Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Ice Cave via Blue Ridge Cave Trail 608 | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on February 11, 2018 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Ice Cave via Blue Ridge Cave Trail 608 | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron


The “Ice Cave” a primitive three chamber lava tube serving an eternal flow of cold air (50°F/10°C), but shows no signs of actual ice. Approaching the Ice Cave via Blue Ridge Cave Trail enters the forest along fenced private property, including equestrian stables; crosses Porter Creek, wraps along the southern portion of Scott Reservoir to twist and turn through the well-marked Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The White Mountain Trail System provide white diamond trail markers notched to the trees ¼ mile apart along every trail, keeping the entire system as easy to follow, self-guided routes through the more than two million acre Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.


The Osprey Connector Trail junction is located 1 mile from the trailhead, the Ice Cave junction is near 2.2 miles. The main trail continues towards Blue Ridge Trail #107 for a 9-mile round trip hike reaching higher elevations. The spur trail veers towards the Ice Cave leading approximately ¼ mile before reaching the fenced cave. The fence is in place by the U.S. Forest Service and should not be entered. Reverse the route to return to the trailhead.


 

Highway 260 (White Mountain Road) at Porter Mountain Road




3103 Porter Mountain Rd, Lakeside, AZ 85929


  • Trail Elevation: 6,800ft
  • Level: Easy- Moderate
  • Length: 4+ miles
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Open: Year around
  • Permit: No
  • Conditions: Well Maintained
  • Vehicle Requirements: None
  • Services: None
  • Drive Time from Phoenix: 3 hrs 30 min
  • Features: Riparian Bird Activity , Panoramic Views, Ponderosa Pine, Arizona Woodlands
  • Trail Time: 2+ Hour
  • No Parking Fee
  • Lakeside Ranger District, 928-368-2100 


The parking at Porter Mountain Rd. can fill fast during the busy season, an alternate connection is to start at the Osprey Connector Trail via Timber Mesa Trail. Timber Mesa is located at the Porter Mountain Rd. and Penrod Rd. junction; follow signs. The White Mountain Trail System offers more than 20 connecting trails in the region.

*The Ice Cave is fenced off and no visitor should cross the fenced area nor enter the cave. Maps available at select trails; visit the Lakeside Ranger Station for additional resources, including maps.


 

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.


Country Club Trail 632 | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on February 9, 2018 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Country Club Trail 632 | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron


A relatively flat well-maintained, self guided trail through the dense pine, oak, and manzanita in Navajo County, Pinetop, Arizona. The 3.5 mile loop is well marked with White Mountain white diamonds providing an easy to follow multi-use trail. To add additional miles take the spur trail for Pat Mullen Scenic Vista, the Iron Horse or Chipmunk connector trails.



  Pinetop, AZ 85935



  • Trail Elevation: 7,000ft
  • Level: Easy
  • Length: 3.5 - 4.5+ miles
  • Type: Loop
  • Open: Year around
  • Permit: No
  • Conditions: Well Maintained
  • Vehicle Requirements: None
  • Services: None
  • Drive Time from Phoenix: 4 hrs.
  • Features: Panoramic Views, Ponderosa Pine, Arizona Woodlands
  • Trail Time: 2+ Hours
  • No Parking Fee
  • Lakeside Ranger District, 928-368-2100

From the Lakeside Ranger District office, travel northwest 5 miles on White Mountain Blvd. to the traffic light of Buck Springs Road. Turn left and proceed ½ mile to Sky Hi Road (Forest Road 182). Turn left, drive 2 miles to Forest Road 185. Turn right onto FR 187. Trail parking is on right.


Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.


Willow Springs Lake | Visit Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on February 5, 2018 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Willow Springs Lake | Visit Arizona | Mountain Matron



Willow Springs Lake; Coconino County, a cold water lake in northern Arizona, adjusted along the Mogollon Rim offering visitors fishing, hiking, boating experience with nearby camping; wrapped in the woodlands of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, 7,600ft elevation. Willow Springs Lake located directly off AZ-260, one of the most accessible cold water lakes in the state, a four-season location; delivering a scenic escape in the summer, lead by ice fishing and snowshoeing through the winter.


 

AZ-260 Payson/Heber


  • Lake Elevation: 7,700ft
  • No Camping (nearby camping available)
  • Level: Moderate-Difficult
  • Open: Year around
  • Permit: No
  • Vault Toilet
  • Conditions: Well Maintained
  • Vehicle Requirements: Snow Present in Winter
  • No Day Use Fees
  • Drive Time from Phoenix: 2 hrs 10 min
  • Features: Arizona Woodlands, Fishing, Boating, Snow Shoe
  • No Parking Fee
  • Four Season Experience
  • Non-Motorized Boats
  • Motorized Boats (Max. 10hp)
  • Fish Stocked (weekly) Spring - Fall
  • Fishing License Required
  • Black Mesa Ranger District ( 928 ) 368-2100
  • Camping at Sinkhole Campground or Canyon Point Campground

From Payson: Take Highway 260 East to Forest Road 149. 30 miles East of Payson, Arizona. Follow signs.





Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Show Low Bluff Trail | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on February 3, 2018 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Show Low Bluff Trail | Hiking Arizona | Mountain Matron



An easy, well marked 1.5 mile loop showcasing Show Low Creek of Navajo County. Follow the trail along the meadow to loop back through the pine forest. From the parking lot the first ¼ mile is paved leading you along an interpretive walkway, over a foot bridge, and into the forest. This trail is directly off the highway with a small parking lot offering free parking, no permits required. Each season the AZGFD stocks the creek with fish in support of the local community fishing program. A license is required and can be obtained in town. Dogs are welcome, must be leashed. The Show Low Creek provides a feeding environment for raven and blue heron.





769 S White Mountain Rd, Show Low, AZ 85901





  • Trail Elevation: 6,100ft
  • Level: Easy
  • Length: 1.5 mile
  • Type: Loop
  • Open: Year around
  • Permit: No
  • Conditions: Well Maintained
  • Vehicle Requirements: None
  • Services: None
  • Drive Time from Phoenix: 3 hrs 30 min
  • Features: Bird Watching, Arizona Woodlands, Fishing
  • Trail Time: 30 min.
  • No Parking Fee
  • Lakeside Ranger District, 928-368-2100




Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Mogollon Rim Interpretive Trail 615 | Mountain Matron

Posted on December 16, 2017 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Mogollon Rim Interpretive Trail #615 | Mountain Matron



The Mogollon Rim is a prehistoric, geological fault line running southeast through the northern portion of Arizona into the proximity of New Mexico. The fault line extends roughly 200 miles, dividing the Colorado Plateau and the Desert Canyon. This transition zone presents a unique, inherent demonstration of various trees, shrubs, and plants that commonly require vastly individual climates, generally not found to exist in cohabitant growth, bestowing spectacular panoramic views from the cities of Payson, Sedona, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside.


Along the southside of State Highway 260, at the edge Pinetop-Lakeside you find the signage for Mogollon Rim Interpretive Trail #615. The level terrain wraps around an easy to follow, well-maintained, 1-mile loop through the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, including 17 interpretive signs describing the history and growth of the region along the way. The first half of the trail is paved in asphalt and allows additional accessibility. The paved portion ends at the sandstone ledge, introducing panoramic views of the largest standing contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest of the world, separating the contrast ecosystems of the Piñon-Juniper Woodlands and the Alpine Tundra of Arizona.






Getting There

State Highway 260

Parking and signage are found on the southside of highway 260 between Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside

Mogollon Rim Trail, Lakeside, AZ 85929






Need to Know

Partially Paved

Self-Guided

Interpretive Stops

Check Winter Weather Temperature




 


  • Trail Elevation: 6,800ft
  • Level: Easy
  • Length: 1 mile
  • Type: Loop
  • Open: Year around
  • Permit: No
  • Conditions: Well Maintained
  • Vehicle Requirements: None
  • Services: None
  • Drive Time from Phoenix: 3 hrs 15 min
  • Features: Panoramic Views, Ponderosa Pine, Arizona Woodlands
  • Trail Time: 1 Hour
  • No Parking Fee
  • Lakeside Ranger District, 928-368-2100

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.


Apache Trail Scenic Drive - Arizona State Route 88 - Mountain Matron

Posted on December 10, 2017 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)

 Apache Trail Scenic Drive - Arizona State Route 88 - Mountain Matron

     [ Apache Lake - Apache Trail - Arizona ]


AZ88, Apache Trail, the historic stagecoach route (some parts are unpaved) through the Superstition Mountains of Arizona is a memorable and largely scenic one. Set aside a day and explore the route of the Apache Tribe, and modern day travelers.

This is one of the best drives in eastern Arizona. The Scenic Drive will begin in Apache Junction and will end at the Roosevelt Dam as a one-way route. We highly suggest you complete a 120 mile loop versus returning the same way. Set aside several hours for this roadway of history, depending on the amount of time spent and number of times you stop, we suggest 6-9 hours.

The drive from Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction to Theodore Roosevelt Lake although only 40 miles, will take 3 hours. That does not include stops or exploring. Once you’ve reached the Roosevelt Dam and are ready to return, turn south, towards Superior and you can turn the drive into the deserving loop of 120 miles. Before leaving the area completely, stop in at Tonto National Monument. It’s worth the drive all on its own.

From the Dam to Superior (48 miles) with no stops, the drive takes 60 minutes. From Superior to Apache Junction (34 miles) with no stops, takes 40 minutes.

Get an early start, we suggest you reach Apache Junction just after sunrise as to see everything along the way. Many parts of this route are narrow, dirt-filled paths, and one-lane bridges. Any sedan can make this drive but we don’t recommend large trailers or RV’s.



Expect To See

  • Native Arizona Flora & Fauna
  • Goldfield Ghost Town
  • Old Mines
  • Lost Dutchman State Park
  • One Lane Bridges
  • Canyon Lake
  • Tortilla Flat (Town: population 6)
  • Apache Lake
  • Theodore Roosevelt Lake
  • Theodore Roosevelt Dam
  • Arizona Trail Passage #20 / Vineyard Trail #131
  • Tonto National Monument/Tonto Basin




If you’d like to hike Arizona Trail passage #20, find our article about Vineyard Trail #131 - Vineyard Trail.

Parking for the trail is on the northside of the suspension bridge and eastside of the highway.

The list above is in order as you take the drive from Apache Junction, and each location deserves an entire article of explanation. Below we will include a brief description to each.




As you make this historic drive through the rugged mountain ranges and curvy dirt roads you’ll be smothered in views of the most biologically diverse desert of the world. Palo Verde, Mesquite and Ironwood Trees, Creosote Bushes, Barrel Cactus, Agave Plants, and on the Vineyard Trail, Banana Yucca. Let’s not forget the well-known Saguaro. Keep your eye out for bighorn sheep, roadrunners, javelina, eagles, cactus wren, scorpions and rattlesnakes. If you’re really lucky you’ll see a desert tortoise or gila monster.


 



  • Old West gunfights, gold mine tours, museum of History, and several shops to see at Goldfield Ghost Town
  • 320-acre park at the base of the Superstition Mountains, namesake follows the legendary tale of lost gold.
  • Offering a Marina, Campground, and Amenities, Canyon Lake, the smallest lake of the four reservoirs damming the Salt River is perfect for day-use, overnight stays, and additionally, has boat tours and old fashion ice cream.
  • The final and only remaining Stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail is Tortilla Flat. This noticeably small, unincorporated town is perfect for photos, and lunch.
  • The unmistakably long, narrow Apache Lake offers visitors lodging, camping, and resort style amenities with smaller crowds.
  • Sandy shores, scenic campgrounds, historic recreation, Theodore Roosevelt Lake, the largest man-made lake wholly in Arizona. Lake Powell, and Lake Mead which are respectively shared with other states, are the only reservoirs larger.
  • Named after President Theodore Roosevelt, the Roosevelt Dam was once considered the largest masonry dam in the world. The Roosevelt dam was largely responsible for ensuring agricultural growth of Phoenix, Arizona in the 1900’s.
  • Arizona Trail (AZT) is a non-motorized continuous path stretching 800 miles from Mexico to Utah. This passage is a 19-mile introduction through the Four Peak Wilderness.
  • A dynamic view into a thriving civilization of Native Americans who once inhabited the prehistoric cliff dwellings of Tonto National Monument. Many tribes are connected to the Tonto Basin, and surrounding environment. 

 






Whether in Arizona for business or adventure add this route to your agenda for a sincere introduction to the southwest region of the state and one of the most scenic drives in America. 

Map [  goo.gl/maps/mNav9M84yd32 ]

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

 

Horseshoe Bend | Mountain Matron

Posted on November 26, 2017 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Horseshoe Bend | Mountain Matron



Horseshoe Bend is a radical 270° curve carved by the Colorado River 1,000ft below the walls of Glen Canyon. The iconic, scenic, and boisterous views of Horseshoe Bend are a must-see if visiting the area. The parking it free, no permit required, and no reservations need to be made. Simply stop as you’re passing by.


The blue-green water beneath the red-orange rim of the canyon mystify the mind, simultaneously stimulating your vision, leaving you speechless. Millions of visitors every year marvel in the iconic view of Horseshoe Bend, 4,000 ft. above sea level. Looking over the edge it's hard to immediately imagine this isn't the greatest thing to do in Coconino County. Standing center of the Grand Circle, in Navajo Nation, near the second largest man-made lake in the U.S. -- your extraordinary adventures of the southwest are endless.




The Trail

The hike was short for most, 1.5-2 miles round trip. The trail is soft sand and has a short but steep hill you’ll need to climb. You will see many in unorthodox hiking-shoes, and no real preparation, don’t let that be you. We suggest you bring decent footwear and 1 liter of water per person, at the very least. We watched all ages and fitness levels find their way to the canyons’ bend.



[ a photo from our parking spot as we left]



Getting There

Horseshoe Bend, is just south of Page, Arizona, on U.S. Route 89 with vivid landscape of the Navajo Nation as you drive in either direction. Entering from the south you find the Horseshoe Bend Overlook Sign just before entering Page, and turn left to enter the parking lot. Visiting from the north, you follow US-89 south from Glen Canyon Dam for 5.3 miles, you will see the Horseshoe Bend Overlook Sign and turn right to enter the parking lot. The parking lot 40 minutes before sunset was quite busy, but manageable.



[ the invasive gap of Horseshoe Bend as you approach the overlook at sunset]


Things You Need To Know


  • No Shade
  • Uneven Terrain
  • Sand Trail
  • Short & Steel Hill
  • No Fee or Permit Required
  • Restrooms Located in Parking Lot
  • Open Year Around
  • Bring Water



We suggest you take an hour or more to visit the Horseshoe Bend overlook. Most stay for less than 30 minutes and you're likely to get that great viewing spot with a little patience. You can find a ton of information about times to photograph the bend and get the perfect photo, but we would enjoy this view any time of day. Take caution when you approach the edge, it's a scary 1,000ft. drop, and there will be no railing for your error in judgement or collapse of the foundation. 


Other Interests in the Area


Antelope Canyon X 


*The Navajo Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, many would agree the landscape is the most picturesque as well. When you’re a visitor to any tribal nation it’s important you be mindful of their culture, tradition, people and land. Traveling on the Navajo Nation you must remember that you are on a self-governing nation, and just as you would overseas, obey all tribal laws and regulations.

Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Antelope Canyon X | Taadidiin Tours | Page, Arizona | Mountain Matron

Posted on November 24, 2017 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Antelope Canyon X | Taadidiin Tours | Page, Arizona | Mountain Matron

Navajo Nation ~ Page, Arizona ~ USA



Experience northern Arizona below ground immersed in the sandstone of Canyon X, part of the many Antelope slot canyons gathered along the private land of the Navajo. Canyon entry is only permitted by guide of the Navajo Nation and to experience the sandstone carved by millions of years of wind and rainfall you will be required to reserve with a guide company. The land is privately owned and this company is family operated. Each experience will be unique as you may have a different guide, driver or tour group, but be assured the members of Taadadiin Tours want your experience to be an amazing one. They truly do their best to accommodate all ages and abilities for this adventure, give Jackie a call and ask if this tour could work for you. Canyon X of the Antelope Slot Canyons is less crowded, this operation is appreciatively smaller, open just over a year and, currently, needs little to no upfront reservation. The groups are small and the tour is generously considerate.

 

Below you can take your own virtual tour.











 *The Navajo Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, many would agree the landscape is the most picturesque as well. When you’re a visitor to any tribal nation it’s important you be mindful of their culture, tradition, people and land. Traveling on the Navajo Nation you must remember that you are on a self-governing nation, and just as you would overseas, obey all tribal laws and regulations.


Antelopecanyon-x.com

( 928 ) 660 - 8961


Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Long Beach, California, USA | JetBlue Long Beach Marathon | Mountain Matron

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Long Beach, California, USA | JetBlue Long Beach Marathon | Mountain Matron

The gun goes off and the runners begin their long awaited journey towards the finish line.

 

On October 8, 2017 the registered runners of the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon line up ready to take on the much anticipated day of events, PR setting, and first-time finishers. The crowd navigates the announcers instructions, the runners get ready, and the excitement can be viewed across the course. There’s no lack of energy at this event, even for those that don’t run.



Cloud coverage, cool temps and dedicated runners make this an event to remember.



Looking for a new challenge outside of the 48th State? We suggest you cruise the crowds of Ocean Blvd. in the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon. Run side by side the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific Ocean through Shoreline Village locking eyes on the historic Queen Mary.


Getting There: Before you can do anything in Long Beach you’re going to have to cross a bridge, or two. It’s no surprise for California residents, but this geographically challenged adventurer from the 48th State had no idea.

Vincent Thomas Bridge - 2.2mile long suspension bridge caps out at the fourth longest bridge in the state, and the only suspension bridge in the world solely supported by steel piles.-- Think about that as you drive across ;-)

Portoflosangeles.org 

Gerald Desmond Bridge - although currently under replacement construction you will utilize the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The bridge completion is projected for 2018. Once the bridge is finalized it will be awarded as the tallest structure in the city, allowing the area to further adapt to the newest generation of cargo ships.

Newgdbridge.com



The Yard House, located within Shoreline Village offers visitors a patio view of the marina and popular shops that line the walkway. Make sure you take a timeout during your stroll to stop in for a bite to eat or better yet a yard of drinks.


 

Registration & Race info

Register: motivrunning.com/run-longbeach/

Long Beach Convention Center

300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802


Stop demoralizing, criticizing and romanticizing the Havasupai Tribe: Supai Village, Arizona - Mountain Matron

Posted on November 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (3)

Stop demoralizing, criticizing and romanticizing the Havasupai Tribe: Supai Village, Arizona - Mountain Matron



The smallest Native American tribe in Arizona with slightly more than 600 members sits in the ranks for the poorest education in the country, sustaining constant criticism and scrutiny while assembled center of the most romanticized natural formation in the United States. Behind all the beauty lies generations of pain. Beneath the red rock rim the Havasupai Tribe struggle day to day. They struggle to keep their tradition, their culture, their language, their future.


For decades the people of Supai have been desperate to keep the future of their tribe moving in a positive direction. Often reaching out to the federal government for guidance and repeatedly ignored.


Without paved roads beneath the canyon rim the Supai village has restricted accessibility limited to horseback, helicopter or by foot. It’s the only place in the nation that still receives their mail via a mule train. The locals have their school, general store, and tribal offices within steps of one another. The only school in the village has endured decades of opening with extremely limited resources to then having to close for lack of any. Fighting to keep credentialed educators in the classroom the students, parents and tribal future are at a loss.


While millions of visitors will eagerly wait an entire year to receive the required permit to enter the remote portion of the Grand Canyon occupied by the Havasupai Tribe, why can’t the Tribe get anyone to hear their cries for help? How can the most visible village in the nation be invisible to those with the ability to assist? How does the most romanticized location in the U.S. also become the most tyrannized? The isolation of the village seems to make it easy for many to throw abusive language, cruel accusations and demoralizing generalizations at the tribe.



Now imagine that this was happening in your home.



I get defensive and even angry when I hear someone decide they have enough knowledge to place condemning comments about the Tribe, especially, as an entirety. It’s incredibly uneducated, but more so, it’s wrong. It’s no surprise visitors flock the beauty of the canyon, all for their own reasons, many returning time and time again, but before you ever say anything demoralizing about the tribe be sure you, and your grandparents could withstand a century of the same traumatizing indignities with a better outcome. The Tribe’s people are only human with room for error. The Tribe has leaders, just as the U.S. does, and not everyone makes perfect decisions. The Tribe is committed to their cultural ways, as it should be, and fight every day to keep their Tribe’s voice alive, heard, and protected.

 

I believe those visiting find it easy to condemn the Tribe, I believe many wouldn’t miss them from the canyon. I believe tourists can be selfish, greedy, invasive, and perpetual burdens, but we’re also the Tribe’s only connection to economic contribution and independence. Many don’t understand the facts, and when they do they turn a blind eye. Other’s understand their difficulties, yet dismiss their needs. When will we stop romanticizing the village as our vacation destination and rather start respecting the human lives, culture, and citizens we should be protecting?


As I thumb through the 76,000 photos on Instagram alone, bearing the hashtag Havasupai, I notice the pungent glamorization of humans and the pride they believe they’re entitled to for hiking a mere 10 miles to the canyon floor. I see half naked people flaunting their beauty and all that they love within themselves. I see some amazing creativity in the photos shown, but if you read the captions it’s really hard to find people discussing anything but themselves. You find graffiti from outsiders believing the canyon cares they’ve been there. I see shameless individuals who knowingly signed a responsibility contract restricting alcohol posting pics of hard liquor near the falls. It’s disgusting, shameful and deeply hurtful for tourists to take their own way of life and impose it upon the Tribe. Hundreds upon thousands perpetuating the same indecencies every year.


Before you throw out any comments regarding the Tribe make sure you’re educated on the realities, not your opinions. Make sure you have generations of family below the canyon walls, and most importantly, make sure you’ve lived in their shoes. Otherwise, you’re just a bully, an oppressor and a tyrant. Don’t allow the prosecution of the individuals left in the hands of leaders. Don’t demoralize an entire culture for a few human errors. Find the needs and help where you can. Don’t stand by in idle while millions of people invade a community of a couple hundred and pick apart their livelihood. Don’t be the one who romanticizes the destination, but turns their head to hardships. Don’t be an accuser and abuser. Be an encourager, inspirer, a revitalizer to our Indigenous. Look into your heart, find the kindness, and extend it to those who need it.

I call upon my Outdoorists who have visited to align yourself with the dignity, respect and culture we so deeply enjoy visiting. Find a tribal need within your grasp and work to fill it.



Do not use your privilege to condemn, insult or betray an entire culture and the well being of humans walking the face of this earth. Use it for the betterment.


**We would like to highlight a group of individuals who took that notion and made it a reality. A great group of hikers were visiting during my time in the canyon in 2016. These individuals took the time to post a pic of their good deeds. It was truly a heartwarming post, and entirely too rare a post on social media. These individuals took time out of their lives, their vacation and their short visit in the canyon to leave it better than they found it. If everyone made a single solitary effort to do that, the Tribe would have a far better chance of proper preservation.

Lake Hollywood Park, Los Angeles, California - Mountain Matron

Posted on October 28, 2017 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Lake Hollywood Park, Los Angeles, California - Mountain Matron


 

Have a picnic, walk the dog, take the kids to the park or simply sit in your own silence, but this article lets you do it all while getting a real life close up of the globally recognized Hollywood sign.


 

Situated more than 1,000ft. above the city on Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles, California is the iconic American Landmark. The sign was established in 1923 as an extreme real estate advertisement for an upscale neighborhood using mule trains to get the supplies up the massive Mount Lee. When first built it was only meant to be used for a very short period. Overlooking the city the sign stretches 45ft. high and 350ft. long. Those numbers may not surprise you but, it may surprise you to know the Hollywood sign we see today is a reduced visual of the original illuminated sign spelling the word “HollyWoodLand”.

The sign has a long history of acknowledgment, some not so glamorous. Well-known entertainers such as Gloria Swanson, Gene Autry, Alice Cooper, and Hugh Hefner stood with the sign when the sign was at its worst making sure to restore, preserve and protect it. Many others agreed, even Panasonic is responsible for the first-rate security system used to monitor the sign. In 1923 the original price tag of $21,000 was unprecedented. Needless to say the sign has also had a tough road to success. After the discovery of a death in 1932, expected deterioration of time, termites, automobile accident, and an arsonist during the late 70’s the sign found itself under massive construction, but it’s only after many efforts of fundraising the sign was rebuilt and beautifully resurrected in Fall 1978. That price tag was a whopping $250,000. The largely viewed sign is truly a beloved Historic Landmark and it has its own trust fund. Today, though not originally built for it, and after 75 years, it is still a globally recognized billboard symbolizing glamour, success, fame, and the magic of movie making.




Lake Hollywood Park

3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068


  • No Parking 8PM - 6AM (Tow Signs Are Posted)
  • No Fees
  • Dogs Welcome
  • Picnic Tables
  • Play Structure
  • Moderate Size Grass Field


Once in the residential area simply follow the road all the way until you can see the park. It seems long, but really it’s just a narrow, winding roadway to the upper half of a hillside. Don’t forget your camera!

Find another amazing view of the Hollywood sign outside of Lake Hollywood Park from Griffith Park Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.


** Please understand due to the tremendous and increasing number of visitors it’s very important you adhere to all laws and restrictions while visiting Lake Hollywood Park, ultimately respecting the homeowners in this neighborhood. The Hollywood sign is restricted and monitored 24/7 behind secure gates by Park Rangers, cameras, and LAPD. It is unlawful to attempt any further viewing beyond those perimeters.

 

Here's what the Rio Grande, Continental Divide Elevation 4,585 feet, Interstate 10, and New Mexico really have in common - Mountain Matron

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (3)

Here’s what the Rio Grande, Continental Divide - Elevation 4,585, Interstate 10, and New Mexico really have in common - Mountain Matron


The Rio Grande flows through three U.S states eventually creating a border between Texas and four states of Mexico in an astounding length of 1,900 miles. Those statistics rank it among the top 5 longest rivers in North America. The Rio Grande starts in the snow-filled San Juan Mountains of Colorado continuing generally south through New Mexico along the border of Texas and parallel states of Mexico eventually funnelling its way into the Gulf of Mexico. The river has an expansive entirety of 336,000 square miles, yet because of the arid nature of much of its lower region only half of its existence contributes to the river's flow.

There had been long-time controversial border disputes of ownership between the U.S and Mexico because of the river’s shifts in flow at the Texas and Mexico junction. In 1968 Texas ends the 114-year argument by diverting the water to a 190-mile concrete channel below what is now Big Bend National Park retaining U.S protection as Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.



 

  • In 1828, after the abolishment of slavery in Mexico, slaves from Texas would cross the Rio Grande to seek freedom
  • In the 1800’s more than 200 steamboats used the Rio Grande as a transportation route between Brownsville and Rio Grande City.
  • The Rio Grande has been placed on the Most Endangered Rivers list 6 times between the years 1993 & 2003
  • Before rushing into the gulf coast the Rio Grande slices three magnificent canyons varying from 1,500ft. - 1,700ft. creating a “big bend”   (Read more at Big Bend National Park)



The Rio Grande, Continental Divide, Interstate 10 and myself became acquainted on my recent traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to El Paso, Texas to Las Cruces, New Mexico back to El Paso, and then on the return home to Phoenix.

About 5 hours into this trip, heading eastbound approximately 30 minutes past Lordsburg, New Mexico occupying a quiet deserted Interstate 10 I crossed paths with the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande. It was dark and I saw nothing but the green signs posted near the highway. Fortunately for me I was ready with my phone on hand and fast enough to photograph the river as a passenger moving 80mph 6 days later on my way home. I wasn’t however as lucky when shortly after we reached the clearly marked sign acknowledging the 4,585ft. elevation portion of the Continental Divide. You will see a sign for both on both the east and westbound lanes of Interstate 10 between Lordsburg and Deming, New Mexico.

 


After spending 7 days in two new to me states, mostly indoors, it was quite interesting to experience the region from a historic and geographic perspective.

 

  • What are your most interesting facts about the Rio Grande, New Mexico or Texas? Comment below.




The Tri-State Road of the Southwest: The Drive on I-15 N from Nevada to Arizona to Utah will blow your mind.

Posted on September 2, 2017 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (2)

The Tri-State Road of the Southwest: The Drive on I-15 N from Nevada to Arizona to Utah will blow your mind.


 

It’s often the backroads, dirt roads, and deserted desert trails that I seek, but recently I had the opportunity to see the highways that get us across country, in an entirely different way. Below you can take a moment to see the incredible view between the Tri-State region of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah from I-15 N. The drive is short, but if you’re anything like me, the sights are something you’ll remember for a lifetime.


As I drove the windy road I instinctively knew something was very different about this region, something I hadn’t ever seen before but I didn’t have the education to know just what it was. As I sat inside the walls of my hotel room during my work week, I studied the drive, and why it had hit me as so significant. Here’s what I learned.

This geographic area is unparalleled as it’s a merged ecosystem trifecta; the Mojave desert, the Great Basin desert, and the Colorado plateau, officially titled a “transition zone”. A geographic explosion of drastic formations, and fascinating fauna and flora, even the most uneducated eye can recognize as spectacular.





Here are a few things to do in Nevada, Arizona, & Utah on the I-15 N drive from Las Vegas to St. George.


  • Valley of Fire State Park
  • Virgin River Gorge
  • Lake Mead Recreational Area
  • Moapa Valley & Moapa Reservation
  • Zion National Park
  • Red Cliffs Desert Reserve
  • Snow Canyon State Park




Unfortunately, for me, the weather at 3,000 feet in the city of St. George, Utah was incredibly similar to my home in Phoenix, Arizona during August. Which left very little time for safe exploring. I look forward to the opportunity to see the area again and would love to hear what you love about the entire Tri-State area of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, below in the comments.


Disclosure: As with any outdoor activity you need to plan properly and adhere to all National, State and City ordinances. We only offer an insight to our own experiences and do not take any responsibility for you or any persons accompanying you on this or any outdoor recreation activities listed on this website or any other Mountain Matron Social Outlets.

Home Below Hell's Canyon | A Closer Look at the Book by Grace Jordan | Mountain Matron

Posted on August 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Home Below Hell’s Canyon | A Closer Look at the Book by Grace Jordan | Mountain Matron

Copyright © 1954 by Grace Jordan (April 16, 1892 – September 20, 1985)


Have you ever taken the history, recognition, and experience of your own explorations and examine the depth through someone else’s word? Explorers and Adventurers since ancient era have taken journal to their findings and experiences. Home Below Hell's Canyon written by Grace Jordan, is just that. A piece expressing the day to day of a family who spent their years on a sheep ranch during the depression era far below the rough ridges of Idaho at the hands of Hell’s Canyon


Let's back up for just a second. A couple years ago during the summer of 2015, I found myself taking part in the largest and longest solo adventure to date, willfully entering the deepest gorge of North America. Only I wasn't exactly solo. 





I, alone, away from my family, flew more than 800 miles from my home in Arizona to Boise, Idaho having my first handshake with a dozen other enthusiastic adventurists. We all loaded a passenger van, traveled through Riggins, Idaho and began to backpack the Seven Devils Mountain range into Hell's Canyon along Little Granite Creek; after a night on the river we were to board a raft and paddle down the Snake, exiting at Pittsburg Landing. Taking rest along a 5 day route we spent our first days in the wilderness of Idaho then along the banks of Snake, including a night at Kirkwood Ranch; home of Grace, husband Len, and three Jordan children during the 1930’s.




Route Markers of My Travels


  • Hell’s Canyon
  • Little Granite Creek
  • Martin Hibbs Camp
  • Suicide Point
  • Len Jordan - Kirkwood Creek - Kirkwood Ranch
  • Pittsburgh Landing







Home Below Hell’s Canyon, is a retell of the unique and extraordinary life starting in Spring 1933. Grace Jordan along with her three children, ages six, three and a half, and seven months traveled a weary, resistant journey by train, bus, and boat holding a knapsack full of fruit, milk, eggs and sandwiches, blissfully full of hope in arriving to Kirkwood Ranch. Husband Len Jordan (later becoming governor of Idaho and a United States senator) who had hurried ahead to secure the land purchase waited joyfully, as all were ready to endorse the canyon life for the next many years.




Read the 243 page book and better understand a place that may only be approached by boat, foot or horseback. The memoir is commonly recognized as Grace Jordan’s best work, translated into many languages.




 *After traveling 800 miles by airplane, two hours by automobile during my 2015 Idaho visit, I had a wonderfully perfect overnight stay held at the Meadows Valley Motel, New Meadows, Idaho. They are ready for the weary traveler and can accommodate you during your own backpacking adventure.

 










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