Tag Archives: Johns Hopkins Glacier

January 9, 2017 Trekking the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Paneveggio Pale di San Martino, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

My 10 Rules of Adventure Travel

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By Michael Lanza

I remember well my first big “adventure.” Two buddies and I, all 19, biked from our hometown in central Massachusetts to the summit of Mount Greylock—the highest peak in the state. It took us four days to ride there and home again. We had cheap 10-speeds, bulky, old sleeping bags, no tent but two big plastic sheets to lay on the ground beneath us and over us if it rained—which it did the first night—and hardly a clue about what we were doing.

Although it was not evenly remotely exotic, in our minds, it was an epic adventure, and it helped kindle in us a fire for more experiences that would give us that buzz again—that feeling of being entirely on our own and not knowing what’s going to happen next, but whatever lay ahead, we were excited to leap into it. Continue reading →

November 28, 2016 Hiking Blahnukur, in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland.

15 Adventures on Earth That Will Change Your Life

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By Michael Lanza

“Change your life.” That’s a tall order, isn’t it? I mean, how many experiences have that magnitude of impact on you? I can think of several that overhauled my perspective on life, or at the least, expanded how I view the world and other people.

Looking at the highest mountains on the planet and walking through villages in Nepal where people live much as their ancestors have for centuries. Seeing the surreal landscapes of Iceland (photo above) and Patagonia. Immersing myself in the mountain culture on hut-to-hut treks through the vertiginous Swiss Alps. Paddling a kayak below jungle-clad cliffs rising 4,000 feet straight out of the sea in New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound, and hiking what’s reputedly the hardest hut trek in that adventure-addicted country, the Dusky Track. And seeing unforgettable mountain ranges like the Scottish Highlands, Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park, and Italy’s Dolomites, and seals, brown bears, and sea lions in Alaska’s Glacier Bay through the unclouded eyes of my kids. Continue reading →

June 24, 2015 Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Photo Gallery: Sea Kayaking Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park

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By Michael Lanza

When John Muir visited Alaska’s Glacier Bay in 1879, he wrote that, at night, “the surge from discharging icebergs churned the water into silver fire.” On a five-day, guided sea-kayaking trip in the upper West Arm of Glacier Bay, probing deep within a national park the size of Connecticut, my family explored a wilderness that remains one of the few places left on Earth that resemble what the planet looked like right after the last Ice Age. We saw sea otters, seals, sea lions, mountain goats, bald eagles, puffins, and countless other birds, and a brown bear wandering the beach (as well as bear scat that convinced us to choose another campsite). We listened to the concussive explosions of enormous chunks of ice calving from giant glaciers into the sea. I consider it one of my top 10 adventures ever, and our campsite for two nights on Johns Hopkins Inlet is one of my 25 favorite backcountry campsites. Continue reading →

April 7, 2015 Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Video: Sea Kayaking Alaska’s Glacier Bay

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By Michael Lanza

Sea kayaking and wilderness-beach camping on a five-day trip in Johns Hopkins Inlet, in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, my family saw sea otters, seals, uncountable numbers of sea lions, bald eagles, puffins, and countless other birds, mountain goats—and a brown bear (from a healthy distance). We listened to the concussive explosions of enormous chunks of ice calving from giant glaciers into the sea. For a fleeting handful of days, we had a glimpse of what the Earth was like during the last Ice Age.

Continue reading →

April 22, 2013 Nevada Fall, Yosemite National Park

5 Great National Park Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

Hearing the thunderous roar and walking through the rain of mist coming from some of North America’s biggest and most iconic waterfalls in Yosemite Valley. Seeing mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and one (fortunately unaggressive) sow grizzly bear with cubs in Glacier National Park—as well as incredible mountain scenery almost every step of the way. Backpacking through a landscape of multi-colored canyon walls and wildly sculpted sandstone monoliths in Zion National Park. Paddling a sea kayak past seals in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, while watching a mile-wide glacier with a snout 200 feet tall explosively calve bus-size chunks of itself into the sea. And backpacking through vast fields of wildflowers below jagged peaks on one of the country’s premier multi-day hikes, the Teton Crest Trail. Continue reading →

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