West Virginia: 30 Photos of Half Moon Mountain – Impromptu Backpacking Adventure

From the Rockies to the Appalachians…

Imagine a last minute trip to the wilderness, packing everything you need for 2 days in only a single bag you can fit on your back, strapping it to yourself and carrying it 10 miles through the beautifully “wild and wonderful” state of West Virginia. This was my impromptu weekend this past week as I was invited to go backpacking with my friend Adam on the trail at Half Moon Mountain. Here are some of the photos I took during the trip. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

All photos taken (5/5/2012 – 5/6/2012)

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Feast of Foliage – Ramps / Wild Leeks

I recently went “Ramp” or “Wild Leek” (depending upon where you live) digging with my parents and good friend Deborah in West Virginia. It’s been a long honored tradition every few years of ours to go, since I was a small boy. Each time we trek 2 to 3 miles into the wilderness looking for the places we know they grow naturally and each time we dig them off the sides of the mountains. Ramps like to grow in rocky, wet, and sometimes obscure places with a preferred 45% or more downhill graded terrain, then we carry them out on our backs in bags.

I remember when I was a boy and upon returning with what my dad affectionately calls a “mess of ramps” we would have a ramp fry mixed with fresh potatoes, kidney beans (or the like), and ham, almost approaching something that sounds like it would be a story out of a Dr. Seuss book. We cleaned and ate them with delight …well ate them with delight, cleaning ramps can be a serious time consuming pain in the rear.

During the spring there are hundreds of Ramp festivals in which families and foodies alike from all over the various states and even Canada come together to enjoy ramp dinners and country food festivals, with one of the largest of these being the “Feast of the Ramson”, held in Richwood WV. Ramps have continued to grow with increasing popularity over the years and will surely continue to do so. Ramps now have even been shown in dishes on the food network and by Martha Stewart.

Anyways, whether you’re a foodie just now discovering ramps or someone that grew up with them like me, it’s always a fun adventure and although a lot of work from start to finish for what some might say is not worth it, depending on your pallet and personal tastes. It is a great time to me and the feeling of eating that first dinner after laboring and digging them out of the earth with your own two hands, means something more than most people will ever get to experience…. It just makes it all worth it. Plus, I also personally think they are quite delicious, comparable to garlic and who doesn’t love garlic?

For a little more information about Ramps / Wild Leeks visit the wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum

For a few recipes of what you can do with Ramps click on the links below:

Ramps with Linguine

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/05/dinner-tonight-ramps-with-linguine-recipe.html

White Cheese Pizza with Ramps

http://ourkitchensink.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/ramps/#more-1253

Fried Potatoes and Ramps

http://southernfood.about.com/od/ramps/r/blbb612.htm

Colorado (U.S.) : 50 Beautiful Scenic Photos

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams

I recently got the opportunity to go and see someone really special to me in CO. Having never been before (and for many other reasons), I jumped at the opportunity and was amazed at how utterly gorgeous of a place it really is. While I am not going to share all of my personal photos here. I did go through the many photos that were taken over the course of my 5 days there (over 400 photos in all) 🙂 and decided I wanted to share these 50 scenic photos, that I believe really illustrate the truly untouched beauty that is Colorado.

The photos cover a wide range from the many hiking trips we took and are relatively completely untouched (I’ve only made very minor lighting adjustments to capture the images as closely as I saw them in person). Including places like: The Garden of The Gods and Pikes Peak – which is over 14,000 feet in elevation.

As always I hope you enjoy the photos and thanks for visiting. 🙂

All photos taken (4/18/12 – 4/22/12)

12 Inspiring Photos of Space Exploration

In honor of today’s once in a lifetime and historic opportunity to see the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle Discovery at the Udvar Hazy National Air and Space Museum. I thought it appropriate to do a post on 12 photos (with links) all courtesy of NASA.gov that I believe help to illustrate the continued importance of the space program and its effect on both our progress as a people and our own individual lives. The sheer beauty alone is Awe inspiring….I hope you enjoy!!

Screen Captured Image of Shuttle Discovery Landing (live Online)4.17.2012

 The Shuttle Discovery at the Dulles Airport – Virginia 4.17.2012

Messier 70

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/messier70.html

‘Mount Sharp’ On Mars

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120328.html

 Saturn’s moons: Enceladus and Tethys 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/whycassini/cassini20120416.html

The Sun – (Eruption larger than the size of Earth)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News041612-M1.7flare.html

 The Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/

Moscow at Night

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2221.html

Apollo/Saturn 501 Vehicle Preparation

http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/UTILS/search.cgi

(To find Image search keyword – Saturn)

Saturn V S-1C Stages in Assembly 

http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/UTILS/search.cgi

(To find Image search keyword – Saturn)

A Spiral Galaxy in Hydra

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/hydra-spiral.html

NASA Picture of the Day 4.17.2012

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120417.html

My Top 7 World Travel Destinations

#1 Australia

  

Why I’d like to go?

To go scuba-diving off the Great Barrier Reef by day then ditch the wet suit for a dinner at Marque in Surry Hills, followed by a show of Bell Shakespeare or possibly the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Sydney Opera house by night.

Links:

Photo Source: http://www.wayfaring.info/2010/07/21/the-great-barrier-reef-australia/

Marque:http://www.marquerestaurant.com.au/

Sydney Opera House:http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/homepage.aspx

#2 Germany

Why I’d like to go?

To trace my ancestry by visiting the castle of my lineage / Experience Oktoberfest / Drive as fast as my car will go on the Autobahn.

Links:

Photo Source: http://www.bestourism.com/items/di/147?title=Hohenzollern-Castle-Germany&b=22

Oktoberfest: http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

#3 Egypt

 

Why I’d like to go?

To go camel back riding through the Sahara Desert to see the Great Pyramids of Giza and visit the Valley of the Kings, while learning about the architectural genius of the ancient Egyptians.

Links:

Photo Source: http://africancalabashvolunteer.org/traveling-to-the-egyptian-pyramids.html

Travel: http://www.egypt.travel/

#4 Iceland

Why I’d like to go?

Swim in the real “Blue Lagoon” then have a glass of scotch from the Ice bar, which is the equivalent of drinking from a giant functional ice luge, and go horseback riding around an active volcano. 🙂

Links:

Photo Source: http://www.bing.com/travel/content/search?q=Otherworldly%20Landscapes%3A%20Blue%20Lagoon%2C%20Iceland

Iceland’s coolest bars: http://www.openjourney.com/article/worlds-coolest-bars-39.html

#5 Italy

Why I’d like to go?

Attend the Carnevale Festival in winter, visit the Vatican, and sword fight in the Coliseum.

Links:

Photo Source: http://www.venice-carnival-italy.com/#&slider1=1

Carnevale of Venice: http://www.venice-carnival-italy.com/#&slider1=1 

#6 Hawaii

Why I’d like to go?

To go skydiving off the island of Maui in midday ….landing in time for happy hour on the beach and jimmy buffet on the radio.

Links: 

Photo Source: http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com/hawaiitravelblog/oahu-vacation-information/skydiving-in-hawaii.html

Go Hawaii: http://www.gohawaii.com/

#7 Switzerland

Why I’d like to go?

To snowboard the Swizz Alps, visit the Omega Watch Museum, and eat the best chocolate in the world.

Links: 

Photo Source: http://www.mountainphotographer.com/category/backcountry-skiingsnowboarding/page/4

Omega Watch Museum: http://www.omegawatches.com/spirit/history/museum