Big Meadows

Last week I finally made it out to Big Meadows. Starting from the Visitor’s Center, I hiked about 8.5 miles (round trip) with an elevation gain of 736 feet. I previously hiked parts of this trail, but hadn’t made it up to the meadows. Which was beautiful!

The weather was lovely and there was a nice breeze. The trip up to the meadows was quiet, while the return was pretty packed with people (gotta get out early if you want a little solitude).

Like its name implies, the meadow was expansive. No idea how large the actual meadow is, but the park lists a north and south meadow (I didn’t hike to the south meadow, which was another .5 miles). I stopped for a quick lunch and enjoyed the beautiful grasses, flowers, butterflies, trees, and stream. Really was nice! I also saw several moose, a marmot and some chipmunks. Altogether it was definitely worth the wait.

Cascade Falls

This past Tuesday I hiked to Cascade Falls. A 7.14 mile hike with a 672 mile elevation gain, this trail provided me a nice workout.

My trek began with a nice view of a good-sized moose. Her smaller partner was hiding behind some willows so I couldn’t catch any pics of them.

The trail was a mix of meadows and forest with lots of birds, squirrels, and an occasional marmot. It was particularly rocky in spots, which I don’t particularly enjoy, but the falls were really nice. I’m always surprised at the level of sound a water fall generates. I was sitting about 10 yards from two other hikers who were holding a conversation, but I could only see there mouths move, as the sound of the waterfall dominated all other sounds. I love the unique solitude created by waterfalls.

Cascade Falls is a nice hike for any person (if I can do it, anyone can). It is a heavily-used trail so this isn’t the one for you if you want some quiet. All in all, it was a great morning. Below are the pics from the hike.

Hike and Overnight Camp

Tuesday I went for a 9.6-mile hike and camped overnight. I started out at the Shadow Mountain Dam and followed the Continental Divide Trail to the Arapaho Bay Roaring Fork Campground. Lots of pretty flowers and the views were amazing, especially when I reached Knight Ridge. Pretty exhausted once I arrived at the campground.

Set up my tent, had some food, started a fire and read a couple of chapters from Peter Heller’s Celine. Stayed up till around 11 pm so I could check out the beautiful sky with all the stars above. Truly amazing night.


The rain and snow has finally stopped. this is a view from our room this morning. Hopefully it will begin to feel more like summer in GL.

Read, Walk, Hike, Repeat…

Alex and I have been in Grand Lake a little over 4 weeks and it’s been lovely. “What have you been doing?” you may ask? Well, let me tell you: read, walk, hike, repeat…read, walk, hike, repeat. You get the idea. I’ve been reading some pretty good books (click HERE to view my site). I’ve been walking a minimum of 3 miles each day. And new for me this year, I’ve been trying to hike once per week. Below are some pics from my hike of the East Shore Trail. Good times! This coming week I’ll be doing a 1-night camp out at the Arapaho Bay-Roaring Fork Campground.

A little cold snap

Yesterday’s cold snap (and snow) reminded me of this article I found on CNN back in February. Click here:

A Federal Prison in NY State lost power on a Thursday and said it wouldn’t be repaired until the following Monday. What that meant for inmates is sporadic heat and power. Officials visiting the prison claimed there were no lights in the cells and the temperature was dipping into the high 40’s.

Last Saturday I camped out in my backyard in preparation for a summer camping trip. The low that night dipped into the 40’s. My wife did leave the porch light on and I had a key to come back inside the house at any time.

Do the inmates have a case for an eighth amendment violation (cruel & unusual punishment)? Maybe? Probably not as long as prison officials can show they were working diligently to restore power. But, seriously, where are the generators or backup power or PLAN?


How much is enough?

Those of you who’ve taken Sociology of Punishment & Corrections from me may remember a documentary entitled “What I Want My Words To Do To You.” It was a story about a women’s writing group in a maximum security prison (Bedford Hills) in New York State. Click HERE to watch the movie trailer.

One of the women in this documentary was Judith Clark who was sentenced to 75 years to Life for Murder (click HERE for more info). Judith was paroled this week after doing 40 years. I’m wondering if you believe 40 years was enough time for her crimes committed (be sure to read the article about her case)

Don’t be a Duck!

I spent 9 years at UW-W as the department’s internship coordinator. As such, I’ve spoken with numerous students going into the adul/juvenile corrections field. One of the most frequently talked about concerns was “being conned by offenders.” No matter whether your working in juvenile or adult corrections (and even students heading into law enforcement positions) this is a genuine concern. A good part of the tension lies between wanting to genuinely assist offenders in improving their lives and getting too attached. Click HERE and review this article on the topic.


Nice time of rest?!?!

I hope everyone got a bit of rest over spring break. I’m know that many of you work outside of school, but at least you didn’t have to read any juvenile delinquency chapters;)

Last, week I traveled to the Upper Peninsula (UP) and spent the week at a cabin next to Lake Superior. We’ve been traveling to the Rock Cut Cabin for many years now and love it. You can rent it by clicking HERE. The UP is a beautiful place and Marquette is a very nice city. Below are some pictures I took:

Yesterday we hiked a short segment of the Ice Age Trail in the Kettle Moraine. Perfect day for a hike.

For this week’s post, share something fun you did your break.