The Waimangu Volcanic Valley features numerous geothermal features. Mount Terawera erupted June 1886 destroying everything in the area and totally reshapedpp q the land. Lake Rotomahana grew 20 times in size and became North Island's deepest lake. The famed pink and white terraces vanished beneath the water or were destroyed. The world's largest hot pool, Fryingpan Lake, was born. Today a fantastic mixture of re-emergent flora and fauna combine with the landscape to create a stunning special place.

More re photos and video coming  

 

Direct download: Waimangu-Volcanic-Valley.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:21pm EST

The Coast to Coast Trail runs between Waitemata Harbor and Manukau Harbor in the city of Auckland, New Zealand. It is 10 miles long and does have some modest climbing , mostly up and then down Mt. Eden, the local high point. This is an urban walk but don't let that fool you. We saw a lot and were very pleased with this hike through neighborhoods and parks. Enjoy the audio diary.

You can learn more about the trail in many places. Here is just one that includes a map.

Coast to Coast Trail Infow.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/en/parksfacilities/walkingtracks/pages/coasttocoast.aspx

 

Direct download: New-Zealand-Coast-to-Coast-Trail.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:32am EST

We have now been in Auckland for two days.
Our first day we spent wandering around town: visiting the harbor, walking through some parks including part of what might be the largest park in Auckland - Auckland Domains -and getting a sense of the city. Once you get off of the main streets things get quieter and there certainly are neighborhoods to be found. One thing that struck us is that the vast majority of the people we are seeing seem to be fairly young. I'm not sure how many of them are locals and how many of them are tourists, students from abroad, or workers from abroad but the general trend seems to be towards younger people. We have also noticed a large number of people especially from Pacific Rim countries which I suppose make sense if those people are coming here to work, travel, or study. Our second day we explored a little bit more of the city and also took the harbor tour; featured in the bonus material you'll find at the end of the podcast. Both days the weather has been A bit cloudy and warm. When the sun does break through the clouds it feels quite a bit warmer. So far, we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We have even managed to find some rather nice places to eat which sometimes is a challenge for us.

 

Direct download: New-Zealand-days-1-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:52am EST

It is a partly sunny afternoon. The temperature is warm enough with just a hint of coolness in the modestly blowing breeze. It's the last day Argo Canoe Livery will be open this year and I am taking advantage of the fine afternoon for one last paddle to Barton Dam and back. This is an easy paddle of just under 4 miles round-trip. You don't really have anything to worry about on this stretch of the Huron River unless you somehow ignore the presence of the dams. While I am sure people can get hurt (I recall a woman did drown in this area years ago) it's hard to imagine. It's hard to imagine even getting stuck though there are shallows, naturally enough, by the banks. It is a thoroughly lovely easy paddle marred only by the roar of nearby traffic.

 

Photos viewable in an album from Apple iCloud (not captions) or from Google (captioned).

Well Ive been fooled by objects for decades. Here is , it seems, another example. I wonder where the geese were?

Spot Color in AutumnWell Ive been fooled by objects for decades. Here is , it seems, another example. I wonder where the geese were?Well Ive been fooled by objects for decades. Here is , it seems, another example. I wonder where the geese were?

Direct download: Fall_Paddle_2016.m4a
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 2:18pm EST

Amsterdam Day 1 - August 5, 2016
Our first day in Amsterdam has come to a close. We spent it exploring beyond the immediate neighborhood. Our apartment is located near museums including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Somewhat farther away we found , in due time, Central Station and even the location of the apartment Mom, Dad and I stayed in 16 years ago when last here. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours exploring the immediate surroundings; today we wandered farther afield. Amsterdam is certainly walkable but you had best pay attention to the countless cyclists and motor scooter riders. While the vast majority of them follow the same rules of the road that cars do their bike lane is right next to the sidewalk and easy to stray into. It is certainly an extra challenge for anyone with low vision , let alone blind people; walking here can be a real trial even though traffic lights have audible warnings for when you can cross or not.

We walked around for several hours with notable breaks to take in the Van Gogh Museum. He certainly led a troubled life and yet during his productive career, just ten years, he would have a large impact on the world of painting. It is a remarkable museum even if it is somewhat crowded.

Later in the day, a pleasantly warm partly cloudy afternoon, we took a canal boat tour. You get a bit of a sense of the city's age when doing that. You pick up a few tidbits of information along the way too. It is a nice change of pace.

We wrapped our day up with a jazz concert at the Concert-Gebouw. That was a very fine way to top off the first full day here in Amsterdam.

Direct download: Amsterdam_Day_1_July_2016.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:19am EST

Andy and Ken at Sentinal Campground with our full packs on for the first time.SEKI Adventure Show Notes

Part 1

Andy and I start our adventure in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI). There are many reasons a trip can be an adventure and only some of them ares strictly physical. I certainly would experience several of them during the trip. In part 1 we get things going from our flights from Michigan to California, initial meanderings through the mountains in search of a campsite and stove fuel, and then the actual backpacking portion of the trip itself. 

Getting deeper into the mountains. With the rain coming down now and then sometimes things seem better in monochrome.

We saw this huge bear from easily a quarter mile away. This picture was taken a little closer than that but not a lot. He is a huge animal.You can see the complete trip journal in the A Wandering Knight blog (awanderingknight.blogspot.com). Photos are presented in several different albums and you can find those referenced from the trip journal. Video will be coming soon.

You can find complete photo albums that document the whole trip in Apple (doesn't show photo captions and EXIF data), Flicrk, and Google (same photos different presentations).

 

Direct download: SEKI_May_2016_part_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm EST

It’s time for summer trail maintenance on the North Country Trail (NCT). Andy and I maintain a section between 13 Mile road (Cleveland Drive) and 16 Mile Road in Newago County. The section also includes the side trail to Highbanks Lake Campground. All told the section is easily 6.5 miles long. This year we hoped to do a lot of re-blazing. Circumstances would rather dramatically affect our plans. Trail maintenance can be saticefying but it can be hard work too. 

Learn more about the North Country Trail at their website northcountrytrail.org. Andy and I are part of the Western Michigan chapter.

Get a visual sense of what things can be like from this short video on youtube (https://youtu.be/7iNYXnHSGnw)

Direct download: NCT_Summer_Work_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm EST

Top of the Park Wraps Up - Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2016

Top of the Park has wrapped up for another year. You can get more of a sense of what this year was like from the previous podcast (there are also some others in the queue if you look back far enough). In this one I feature bits of music from Shari Kane and Dave Steele, Whit Hill and the Postcards, and George Beddard and the Kingpins.

Direct download: Ann_Arbor_Summer_Festival_2016_Wrapping_Up.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:17am EST

Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2016

Ann Arbor Summer Festival runs for the last three weeks in June. It actually runs through the July 4 weekend. While the festival features numerous paid ticketed shows at the Power Center the real meat and potatoes of the event are, I feel, to be found at the Top of the Park. There you'll find free music of various types from singer songwriters, country, intriguing bands that defy easy categorization, and rock 'n roll. Events for kids as well as other special events happen there too. There is also a wide assortment of food available. Music heard here includes: Magdalen Fossum, Annie and Rod Capps, Annebelle Road, RFD Boys, and Hoodang.

Direct download: Ann_Arbor_Summer_Festival_2016_old.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:06am EST

West Park hosts a variety of events in the summer. The Penny Seats Theater (penny's eats.org) are doing two shows this year. Now, and the weekend of June 30, 2016, they're doing a version of The Cantebury Tales.

Direct download: The_Cantebury_Tales_in_West_Park.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00am EST


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