Guides and Trips

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River Trail - Congaree National Park
by autarkis on Oct 29, 2013
Hiking | 14.8 miles
We decided to make a trip up to North and South Carolina to catch a late viewing of the changing leaves and were not disappointed!Congaree National Park is small and quiet, tucked off the beaten path but still easy access.  It shows off a unique ecosystem of flooded forest and has some easy hikes.  The longest hike is called the River Trail because you get to see the Congaree River at the...
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Caddo Bend Trail - Ouachita State Park
by autarkis on Mar 18, 2014
Mountain Pine, Arkansas, United States
Hiking | 4.4 miles
During our visit to Hot Springs National Park we stayed at Lake Ouachita State Park for two weeks.  The State Park only has two marked trails, the other being a half-mile loop.  In mid-March with great 70F weather we took our time on this trail, stopping several times to enjoy the view and the quiet.  We left after lunch and took just over two hours to do this trail.The trail was in...
Bayshore Loop Intersection Photo
Trail opens to the coastal prairie Photo
Trees close the trail in Photo
Turtle Photo
Everglades NP - Coastal Prairie Trail
by autarkis on Feb 17, 2014
Homestead, Florida, United States
Hiking | 13.8 miles
For our last day in the Everglades we decided to hike one of the longest trails in the park.  We started after sunrise and enjoyed the cooler weather until the return leg, and started to wish we had started earlier!The hike was not very exciting.  Wildlife was almost non-existent, we spotted one turtle, 2-3 osprey and a few crows.  Mosquitoes and gnats don't count as wildlife in my book!  We used 100%...
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Yala National Park - Block 1
by autarkis on Jul 19, 2012
Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Photography | 141 miles
For our last big adventure before returning to the US we decided to go to Sri Lanka.  We had looked at the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia but couldnt find any way to help out the endangered animals while we were there.  We finally chose Sri Lanka because of the elephant and slow loris programs we found.Sri Lanka is the best place in the world to view leopards.  There are no lions or...
Double Springs Trail - Wakulla State Forest
by autarkis on Jan 25, 2013
Tallahassee, Florida, United States
Hiking | 4.3 miles
Just outside Tallahassee is a great swim hole, Wakulla Springs.  It is a busy hangout for the college students during the summer.  It is also a great place to see the endangered manatee during the winter.Just outside Wakulla Springs is the Wakulla State Forest, and a short loop hike out to the Double Springs.  The "forest" is the typical North Florida pine and sand, and the trail is a mix of forest...
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River Road - Big Bend National Park
by autarkis on Mar 16, 2013
Big Bend National Park, Texas, United States
Offroading | 53 miles
During our road trip to Colorado we snuck south for a few days in Big Bend National Park.  We hiked The Window  and a few smaller hikes, but had the afternoons open.  Even in March it reached into the 90's, so we decided to go for a drive!The River Road is officially broken into East and West, but we decided to drive the whole thing.  We labeled this activity "off-roading" but there...
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Devils Canyon Plus
by autarkis on Apr 02, 2013
Redlands, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 1.7 miles
A great little hike in the Colorado National Monument, with an added loop that is not in the official trail.
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Colorado National Monument - Ute Canyon Trail
by autarkis on Mar 30, 2013
Grand Junction, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 5.8 miles
Our first hike in Colorado since returning to the US.  A very nice hike almost completely downhill.  Starts with a steep descent on switchbacks down the side of Ute Canyon, and proceeds along the creek bed.After cresting a small gorge, the trail continues along the flat canyon bottom into dryer territory.  the trail stays in the canyons shadow well into the morning and then widens into the base igneous layer of rock.The...
Yearling Trail - Ocala National Forest
by autarkis on Jan 20, 2013
Salt Spring, Florida, United States
Walking | 5.8 miles
This was our second "hike" after returning to Florida.  The first 20 minutes of the walk is through a prairie, but it turns into sparse evergreen forest for the rest of the hike (at the Trail Split marker).  The trail is well marked, and has about 10 markers related to the history of the trail. The area was made famous by a book and then movie titled "The Yearling" that was based and...
Mirihi Island from the air Photo
One of many beautiful fish around the island Photo
Coral blocks in the
Playful dolphins! Photo
Maldives Marine Photography
by autarkis on Mar 28, 2012
Nalaguraidhu, South Ari Atol, Maldives
Photography | 46 miles
We stayed at the Mirihi Resort for four nights during my wife's Spring Break vacation.  I bought an underwater housing for my Canon 5DM2, as well as my first "tough" point & shoot.  Both worked wonderfully!  We booked the whaleshark day trip from the resort, and had a great day!  I brought the GPS along, but had to leave it in the boat as I couldn't find a waterproof bag to throw it in...
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Shizuoka Sightseeing
by autarkis on Jul 24, 2011
Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan
Sightseeing | 4.2 miles
Our trip to Shizuoka-ken, our 33rd prefecture in Japan!
View down the ski slopes Photo
From Mt. Maemori to Mt. Nishimori Photo
View back up Mt. Maemori Photo
Beautiful trees in the snow Photo
Appi Kogen Snowshoe
by autarkis on Feb 20, 2011
Appikogen, Iwate, Japan
Snowshoeing | 4.1 miles
Easy hike when you use the ski lifts!
The approach to Chikubushima Photo
There are several temples and shrines on Chikubushima Photo
This temple had small clay discs to write on that you would then Photo
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by autarkis on Oct 29, 2011
Chikubushima, Shiga, Japan
Photography | 0.6 miles
One day while wandering the internet I found a book on the old tales of Japan.  It told the story of two sisters who lived on Biwa-ko, an Ancient Lake in Japan.  It talks of giant catfish (a special catfish is indigenous to the lake), self-sacrifice, Cannon, and a message to Oda Nobunaga, a fierce warlord to spare the temples on the island.The story caught my attention so much because I had been wanting...
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Naeba Short Trek
by autarkis on Feb 24, 2012
Snowshoeing | 4.6 miles
We did two and a half days in Naeba Ski Resort in the winter of 2011-2012, the first full day had beautiful weather!  Down the road from the resort is the location for the old Minakuni Ski Resort that is no longer in operation.  The road is still there, but no buildings remain.  The road has about 300m elevation gain, but it is all gentle slope through beautiful foothills.  Right at the first...
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo Photo
It looked like a petrified onion to me! Photo
The front side of Mt. Rufus Photo
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Shadow Lake Circuit Hike
by autarkis on Aug 10, 2011
Derwent Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Hiking | 8.5 miles
A leisurely walk on the Shadow Lake Circuit at Lake St. Clair in the Cradle Mountain / Lake St. Clair National Park in Tasmania, Australia.  An absolutely gorgeous day for a wonderful hike!  We thought about doing Mt. Rufus but decided there was too much snow still, although another hiker/runner did the Mt. Rufus route and back in less than 5 hours the same day we went out!We could have done this...
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Team Monkey! Photo
Angkor Wat and Surrounds
by autarkis on Mar 20, 2011
Phumĭ Trâpeăng Séh Khang Lĕch, Khétt Siĕm Réab, Cambodia
Photography | 233 miles
We spent 4 days Siem Reap visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the area.  We did all the touristy stuff including elephant ride, boat ride to Tonle Sap floating village, and even a helicopter tour!  The ruins are immense and very atmospheric in the early morning.  We made a day trip up to Phnom Kulen National Park and had a great time on our last day.  The shopping was a unique...
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Return to Miyajima
by autarkis on Mar 22, 2009
Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Sightseeing | 8.5 miles
After visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima several years ago with my family, I decided to return and enjoy some more time on the famous island.  Although we planned to hike, the weather was quite wet, so we decided to take it easy and enjoy the ropeway and coastline instead. We were able to visit the World Heritage shrine and famous Torii that stands in the water, this time catching it at low tide...
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Zao-san to Fubo-san
by autarkis on Oct 06, 2007
Yamagata, Japan
Hiking | 9.3 miles
As the leaves were turning colors in 2007 we visited the famous Okama Lake and hiked from their to Fubo-san.  This is a nice easy hike as we rode a bus up to the Okama Visitor Center.  The lake was formed about 400 years ago during the last activity of the volcano, and is so alkalai that it is not safe to drink.  However is does create many different colors depending on...
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Jigokudani Onsen
by autarkis on Jan 04, 2008
Nagano, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Photography | 1.9 miles
The winter of 2008 was especially fun for us, we had a great New Year and we kept the momentum going by starting to snowshoe.  While in Nagano we made an overnight side trip to the famous Monkey Onsen.The onsen is tucked up into a valley behind a museum and small neighborhood that have a few hotels mixed in.  The onsen is home to Japanese macaques, which are among the northern-most primates...
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A small lake in the  Photo
The Garden Photo
A beautiful walk Photo
Chillingham Castle Overnight
by autarkis on Oct 12, 2004
Alnwick, United Kingdom
Romantic Getaway | 0.0 miles
The third stop on the first trip together with my future wife.  After a night in London we headed into the countryside and stayed at a "haunted" castle!  We stayed at the top of one of the four towers.  It was a bit chilly (pun intended) in October, but we enjoyed the grounds, a very atmospheric garden, and of course the 15th century castle.

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