Issue 16A

Powered By Two Feet

June 2023


Trip Reports

GPS Routes

Tales & Tails

The Real News!



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Southern France

Chapelle de l'Hospitalet

Mr, Mrs & Dog

Two weeks of delight in May of 2023 when I joined Road Scholar [my second and counting] to explore Southern France. Beginning in Bordeau we visited many wineries, then to beautiful Sarlat (my favorate) where we explored the Rouffignac Cave, then to Rocamadour to explore the deep natural chasm of Gouffre de Padirac, and lastly to Toulouse where we admired the post-impressionism of Toulouse-Lautrec. View my annotated photo album.

NYC and Barritz France

Soprano Singer

Villa Belza

In May of 2023, before joining Road Scholar in southern France, I visited New York City for theater & museums, and then hopped over the big ditch to the delightful French seaside community of Barritz. For a few days I explored miles of coastline enjoying fabulous views of the ocean tideline, I visited museums, and I dined on marvelous French cuisine. A most exceptional way to relax. View my annotated photo album.

Southern Italy

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lama Monachile Beach

In May of 2022 I joined Road Scholar for a visit to Southern Italy. It was a brilliant holiday after a 2 year respite from Covid. The cuisine was absolutely stupendous as we ravished local varieties of Italian cooking that were each an orgasmic delight and uncommon at home in the States. Our small group of 18 visited 24 cities from Bari (along the Ionian Sea) south to Reggio Calabria (near the channel to Sicily). View my annotated photo album.

Scenic China

Court Lady

at West Lake

In October of 2019 I explored China with the Sierra Club for 3 weeks visiting national parks from Shanghai to Beijing. I hiked everywhere and enjoyed stupendous real Chinese food. In Shanghai, on the Bund, I rollicked on China's 70th birthday with scads of others jammed curb-to-curb. I visited the Yellow Mountains, the Memorial Archway, the Great Wall, Suzhou aka Venice of the Orient, the Forbidden City, and much more. View my annotated photo album.

Vietnam & Thailand & Singapore

Lana Folklife Museum

Ninh Binh NP

In November of 2019, after my China visit, I traveled to Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. In Vietnam I cruised Halong Bay and then roamed Ninh Binh NP by rowboat and bicycle exploring caves, bird sanctuaries, monuments, and more. In Thailand I visited Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Bangkok, most remembering Doi Inthanon NP and a thrilling elephant ride. Singapore brought modern sights and friendly food. View my photo album.

Malta & Sardinia


San Michele Church, Sardinia

In June of 2018 I traveled to Malta for 1 week and then to Sardinia for 2. Malta was fine, but Sardinia was great. While in Malta I visited both its main island and smaller Gozo. In Sardinia I traveled from the far north at Porto Torres to Sassari, Alghero, Bosa, Tinnura for its stupendous murals, Oristano, and Cagliari. Along the way I viewed historic sites, museums, and lots of art, and dined spectacularly on the best food anywhere. View my annotated photo album.


Street Art of Mazara del Vallo

St Mary's of the Stairs, Ragusa

In May of 2018 I joined a small group with OAT to Sicily - from Palermo to Catania. Along the way we visited Mazara del Vallo, a city landscaped with hundreds of storied ceramic tiles; Valley of the Temples, a place with numerous Doric style temples; Villa Romana del Casale, a 4th century Roman villa; Raced the narrow streets of Ragusa in classic Fiat 500s; visited the Greek theater of Taormina, and conquered Mount Etna. View my photo album.

Madagascar Madness

Grey Bamboo


Utter madness - dust, heat, humidity, famously rutted roads, and more - things I survived while enjoying the wonderful and exotic nature of Madagascar. It's a place of the adorable: Lemurs and geckos and chameleons and frogs and birds and fun bugs, but I won't mention the not-so-fun bugs. Everywhere I journeyed the always smiling Malagasy people were a delight. In November 2013 I traveled with a small group for 3+ weeks of sublime madness. View my photos.

Carson Pass

Woolly Mule Ears

We celebrated the 4th of July in high (9000 feet altitude) style by walking the PCT above Carson Pass, soaking in Grover Hot Springs, and dining at Markleeville's Stonefly. View my annotated photo album.

Sierra Scenic Byway

Violet Clay Mariposa Lily

A fine road trip in June of 2016 along the Sierra Scenic Byway near Yosemite. 100 miles of back roads, lovely wildflowers, beautiful glacier valleys, the Nelder Grove Giant Sequoia Redwoods, and more. Enjoy my annotated photo album.

Crested Butte


Mariposa Gunnisonii Lily

In July of 2014 I spent a week at Crested Butte, Colorado, with a group of friends where the countryside is carpeted for as far as the eye can see in floral excellence. During the days we walked the diverse wildflower landscape taking in the floral bouquet in the thin air often at 11K feet. Late afternoons we relaxed in a soothing hot tub, then in the evening we dined at one of the many fine restaurants nearby. Enjoy the flowers of my photo album.

England's Cornwall Coast

Blackhead Point

Roseland Heritage Coast

It was as good as it gets, walking bits and pieces, 80 miles, of the Cornwall Coast from Land's End (most western locale in England) to Lizard Point (most southern) to Plymouth. Exquisite coastline, lovely port towns, fine B&Bs, superb locally caught seafood and succulent lamb, fabulous cast beer, all with occasional fits of fickle weather. Read my report to plan your walk, view my pictures, download a comprehensive set of GPS waypoints.

England's Cotswold Way

Saint Michael
& All Angels Church

A 100 mile walk of England's Cotswold Way from Chipping Campden to Bath. A fine walk with wonderful history and monuments, many golf courses, and an outrageous scarecrow festival. Read my report to plan your walk, view my pictures, download a comprehensive set of GPS waypoints.

England's South Downs Way

Fruited Plain

Thatched Roof Cottage

A 100 mile walk of England's South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne. With a rhythm of morning rambles, the afternoons morphed into sightseeing dazzles to such places as Brighton, Lewes, Arundale, Chichester, and the like before dining and slumbering at fine hovels. Read my report to plan your own walk, view my pictures, download a comprehensive set of GPS waypoints for the route.

England's Coast to Coast Path

Richmond Castle

Waypost Medallion

North Sea Cliffs

A wonderful walk, 190 miles across the north of England from St. Bees by the Irish Sea to Robin Hood's Bay by the North Sea. Along the way I delighted in the grand scenery of 3 national parks: Lake District NP, Yorkshire Dales NP, and North York Moors NP. I experienced millenniums of history, lovely inns, stupendous beer, great food, lots of local colour, and the making of new friends. In 2010 I walked the entire route, while in 2016 I returned to walk 110+ miles from Grasmere to high atop the North York Moors. Read my reports from 2016 and 2010 to plan your own walk, view my photos from 2016 and 2010, download a comprehensive set of GPS waypoints of the route.

England's Cleveland Way

Robin Hoods Bay

A 110 mile walk circling the North York Moors NP. The best was the day's walk to Clay Bank Top and the many days walking along the North Sea coast especially Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Robin Hoods Bay. View my photos.

Tanzania Safari


Crowned Crane

A trip of a lifetime. In February of 2010 I was in Tanzania viewing nature's absolute best of unrivaled wildlife on a safari with Footloose Forays. We observed the great migration, witnessed births of wildebeest and zebra, viewed big cats of lions, cheetahs, and leopards, saw giraffes, rhinoceros, gazelles, baboons, monkeys, elephants, numerous and often exotic birds, and much more. Enjoy the photos and story.

Grand Canyon Spring Blooms

Colorado River

Apache Plume

It started in 2008 rafting with AzRA through the Grand Canyon, I had to return to view the Spring bloom. So in April 2009 I tramped 4 days in the Canyon and got hooked. The following year in May 2010 I returned for 6 more days to explore the Canyon paradise, a year when kind Winter rains brought the Canyon alive with lush desert blooms. Enjoy my 2010 Photo Report and/or my 2010 Photo Album and/or my 2009 Photo Album.

Grand Canyon Float

ColoradoRiver2 Colorado River

LittleColorado Little Colorado

GrandCanyonDory Dory

September 2008 was my first 14-day, 226 mile, raft trip through the Grand Canyon. Then I never thought I'd float the Colorado River again, but the thrill remained. So after hiking the canyon by foot in 2009 and 2010 I joined AzRA for two more adventures on the water in May 2016 and May 2019. All 3 river trips were exciting, had fabulous food, great river companions, the best guides, and the never to be forgotten rapids of Lava Falls. During my third raft adventure I explored more side canyons than in the previous two, and was graced with guitar music from the guides. View my 2019 and 2016 and 2008 photo albums.

Iceland Holiday


Bárður Snæfellsás

Dynjandi Waterfall

Made from fire and ice, Iceland is a place to enjoy nature's diverse rhythms. Birds from around the world fly here for summer breeding: Sea birds for abundant fish, land birds for rich meadows and wild rivers, and water birds for a myriad of lakes and fjords. Although 10th century Vikings were birds of a different feather, nonetheless they followed this lead for its summer abundance.

In July 2008 I traveled to Iceland to take in the long summer days, a 3 week holiday. The first half I joined REI to hike and tour the south coast. The second half, with solo travel via West Tours, to play photographer and view birds in the Westfjords.

While in Iceland I enjoyed the stellar panoramic views atop Kristinartindar, striking multi-colored landscape at Landmannalaugar, a plethora of waterfalls, the dichotomies of lava and glaciers, hot spring soaking, wonderful bird sightings especially at the Látrabjarg Cliffs, and maybe best of all was the superb food particularly if you appreciate fish and lamb as I do.

Share my fun, read & view my adventure and search the links of activities I found best.

Ecuador Rain Forest

Paradise Tanager Paradise Tanager

Slender-footed Tyrannulet Slender-footed Tyrannulet

Birds, birds, birds, birds, also butterflies, monkeys, snakes, piranhas, arachnids, and tolerable bugs. In June of 2011 I returned to Ecuador for my 2nd visit to the Galapagos and my 1st visit to the Rain Forest. Blessed with cooperative Rain Forest weather [it rained only during my down time] I viewed wildlife in the raw. Staying at La Selva Lodge, I was teamed with a stupendous naturalist. View the photo album of my combined Galapagos and Rain Forest holiday.

Galapagos Islands

Nazca Booby Downy Chick Nazca Booby Chick

Galapagos Tortoise Galapagos Tortoise

Red-footed Booby Red-footed Booby

Perfectly located on the equator and 700 miles west of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands achieve their rarity by this remoteness and by being situated in the ocean doldrums that literally feed them. These doldrums are the combination of northerly clockwise and southerly counter-clockwise ocean currents that merge at the equator to allow abundant food to drift through.

For the three centuries since their discovery in 1535 there was little interest in these islands. Then between 1811-1844 a near wholesale taking of giant tortoises occurred. But in general the islands were left alone and its fauna never learned to fear man.

Now the islands are a place of world renown tourism. The only way to view the islands is by yacht. In May of 2007 I spent 15 days aboard the Tip Top IV with Galapagos Travel and in June of 2011 I spent another 11 days plus 5 days to the Ecuador Rain Forest. View the 2007 photo album or 2011 photo album of my holidays.

Marble Mountain Wilderness

W. Lily

One of my favorite places, so in July 2009 I journeyed to the Marble's NE corner to Little Elk Lake for a 3 day outing. View the photos and read the report of the adventure.

Emigrant Wilderness


I finally made it to Karls Lake in Emigrant Wilderness, when last tried I got pleasantly lost. View the photos of my five day tramp, read the report of the adventure.

The Wildtramper


Whether on trail, toting camera gear, at theater, creating tools for software, composing tales of tails, or in Halloween spirits as Carmen or Marge or Marie Antoinette, the Wildtramper is powered by two feet. Traveling to favorite places like New Zealand or Sardinia or the Greek Islands or the Galapagos, or tramping afar to England's Cornwall Coast or local to Yosemite's High Sierra, time has come for web wide sharing. Read my trip reports, view my photos, plan your walking adventures with the aid of my comprehensive GPS Routes.

Murals of Tinnura



Tinnura is not on the map of tourism, but is an incredible place to view murals and has a distinction as the village of murals. Its main and many side streets have a plethora of colourful pictures covering the sides and fronts of houses. During my visit in June of 2018 I counted more than 50 murals with a wide range of subject matter. Tinnura is a hidden gem in Sardinia. View my annotated photo album.

Birding in Cuba

Bee Hummingbird

Yellow-Faced Grassquit

In February of 2019 I joined a stupendous Sierra Club group to view birds in Cuba. We traveled 2000 km along rural backroads stopping for 125 birding opportunities, and we traveled to a time where horse carts and vintage 1950s automobiles are common. Besides Havana, we birded near Viñales, Zapata, Trinidad, and the luxury resort of Cayo Coco. Our small group of 11 birders were supported by 2 extraordinary birding guides. View my photo album.

Greek Islands

Santorini Church
at Oia

1400 BCE

It couldn't get any better. In May of 2017 I island hopped for 3 weeks in Greece from Rhodes to Crete to Santorini to Naxos and to Mykonos, with short visits to Symi, Paros, and Delos. On Crete I walked the Imbros Gorge viewing numerous wildflowers, and then walked the Samariá Gorge with many water crossings. On Santorini I walked the caldera to Oia with stupendous views. Everywhere I savored scrumptious food, especially fresh fish. View my annotated photo album.

Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia

Monastery of Rousanou

St. George's Church

Traveling by land, I joined a small group with OAT to Northern Greece to Albania to Macedonia and to Serbia. As a cultural trip, we experienced art and history from ancient to modern times. We visited monasteries perched high atop rock pillars, viewed numerous churches and mosques and sad memorials, relished beautiful Lake Ohrid, and enjoyed art everywhere most notably the whimsical Naïve art of Serbia. View my annotated photo album.

Botanizing Turkey


Bee Orchid

A perfect week in May 2015 playing wildflower photographer in the mountains near Antalya. Wildflower heaven! It was only me and my fantastic guide Yasemin of Runner Tourism. We traveled by 4x4 to remote places tourists never visit. I saw elegant crocus popping their heads through the snow, exotic orchids, stunning iris, beautiful tulips, numerous poppies, gladiolus, and much more. View my photos, plan your own trip with Runner.

Western Turkey

Zemi (Love) Valley


Viewing exotic landscape, visiting ancient archaeological sites, sailing a gulet along the Turquoise Coast, flying above Cappadocia in a hot air balloon, waking through history, and savoring Turkish cuisine were but a few highlights of my May 2015 Turkish holiday. Led by a most excellent Turkish guide from Runner Tourism, I joined a small group with Footloose Forays for this land and sea adventure. Read the story in my photo album.

Eastern Turkey

Zeugma Mosaic Museum

Red Poppies

A walk through time. In May of 2013 I joined a small group with Footloose Forays and Turkish guide Runner Tourism to explore eastern Turkey where I viewed mankind's history. At the site of Ani, once the capital of the old Armenian Kingdom, I walked the ancient city, a place of then 100,000 inhabitants and 1,000 churches. Everywhere I enjoyed a stunning array of flowers, scrumptious local food, and the friendly and gracious Turkish people. Read the story in my photo album.

Czech Republic

Iron Curtain & Guard Tower


It was much more than I expected. My June 2015 trip with the Sierra Club to the Czech Republic was an often sad, but an always rich, revelation of its Nazi WWII occupation and then later of its iron curtain confinement. That history awakened the wonderful Czech people to now savor their freedom, something people from other countries often take for granted. We visited village towns including Mikulov with its heartbreaking Jewish history, Telč (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Český Krumlov, and many others. Along the way we explored castles and museums, walked the countryside, and savored great Czech beer. After the group trip ended, I visited Terezín, a Nazi era concentration camp and transit hub to death camps, and while there viewed emotion filled WWII art and history. Read the story in my photo album.


Lotus Flower


A cultural holiday traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Đà Lat to Nha Trang Bay to Đà Nẵng to Hội An to Huế to Hanoi and to Hạ Long Bay in March 2014 on a Sierra Club Outing. I enjoyed local culture, viewed museums, feasted on traditional food, took a cooking class, treasured infectious smiles from children as they uttered allo, and survived wildly frenzied motorbikes while walking across dangerously congested streets. Read the story in my annotated photo album.

Italy & Bulgaria Holiday



A diverse September 2012 holiday. Starting along the Black Sea in Bulgaria, I joined a group to kayak, enjoy culture, and dine on exotic food. In Italy I visited wonderful Florence, quaint Lucca, "leaning" Pisa, vast Rome, seedy Naples but with grand visits to Pompeii and Sorrento. In Sicily I joined another group to kayak, and to enjoy the culture and scrumptious food. And did I mention the yummy gelato! Enjoy my photos.

Netherlands & More

Jetta (Umiker) Escher

Rat Catcher

In September of 2014, before and after my walk of England's Cotswold Way, I played tourist enjoying local architecture, fabulous museums, and wonderful street-side dining. From my arrival in Amsterdam, Netherlands, my travels by train took me to Haarlem, Ultrech, Rotterdam, and The Hague; to Belgium's Antwerp (especially enjoying the stupendous Middelheim Open-Air Museum), and after my walk to London. View my photo album.

Portugal & Switzerland

Monument to the Discoveries

Above Interlaken

Before my May 2013 holiday to Turkey I explored warm, sunny, and affordable Portugal, then afterwards to wet, cold, and pricey Switzerland. While in Portugal I day tripped from Lisbon to Porto, Sintra, and elsewhere enjoying historic palaces, artwork, and lots of fresh seafood. While in Switzerland I visited Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, and Interlaken, places where I was often weather bound but otherwise enjoyed wonderful museums and thankfully a bit of hiking. View my photos.

New Zealand Adventures

Nikau Palm Sunset

Waipapa Point Lighthouse


Maori Symbol of New Life

Coromandel Coastal Walk

At the south-side-up top of the world, New Zealand is a grand place for a holiday. With summer coinciding with winter elsewhere, it's a place to exchange cold and wet with warm and dry, well mostly. In January 2012 I completed my 3rd summer holiday here, the other holidays were 11 weeks in 2008 and 6 weeks in 2006.

The South Island is the place for adventure, a place of Mother Nature's most excellent best. On my most recent holiday I tramped my favorite places including the Banks Peninsula, Stewart Island, Routeburn, Heaphy, and Abel Tasman. On previous holidays I tramped these and others including the Kepler, Milford, and Hollyford. While at magical Mason Bay I spotted 5 kiwis in the bush and walked its iconic half-moon bay. Besides tramping, I kayaked numerous places across the South Island.

I took in culture in Auckland, whale watching in Kaikoura, birding nearly everywhere, and relaxed in popular places like Coromandel and out of way places like Okarito.

Share my fun, plan you own holiday. Read my adventure reports from 2012, 2008, and 2006 OR view the photos of those holidays from 2012, 2008, and 2006.

Baja Mexico

Baja Sunset

Kayak, hike, and snorkel, all under blue skies and with magnificent springtime weather. In March of 2012 I joined a small group with Baja Expeditions for exciting island hopping. View the photos.

Irish Holiday

Dingle Coastline

Wicklow Way

A walking adventure, often with tumultuous skies. I walked the Wicklow Way near Dublin and the fabulous Dingle Way on the Dingle Peninsula. Near Galway I enjoyed Irish music in Doolin, ferried to (my favorite) Inis Mór for amazing antiquities and then toured the stunning landscape of the Connemera. View the photos of my travels. If you are planning your own Irish walk, prepare yourself with GPS routes for the Dingle Way or the Wicklow Way or the Aran Island of Inis Mór.

Yosemite's High Sierra

Cathedral Peak

Mariposa Lily

The landscape is heaven on earth. In 2007 I walked 6 days along Yosemite's High Sierra Camp route starting in Tuolomne Meadows with layovers at Sunrise (2 nights), Merced (2 nights), and Vogelsang (1 night). Then in 2015 I spent 5 days traveling from Tuolomne Meadows to Vogelsang (2 nights) to Merced (2 nights) and walking out 15 miles to the Valley floor. Accommodations of tent & dinner & breakfast made travel light and relaxing. Soaring granite and roaring creeks along with expansive meadows and diverse wildflowers spanned this impressive landscape. Learn by my trips to plan yours. Read my report and how-to guide, view my 2009 and 2015 photo stories of my walks.

Henry Coe Spring

BabyBlueEyes Baby Blue Eyes

PachecoFalls Pacheco Falls

Springtime brings abundant and diverse wildflowers to Henry Coe State Park. In April 2010 I loaded my pack for my third visit to Coit Lake, the other visits, also in April, were in 2005 and 2009 respectively. But the 2010 Winter rains were plentiful so the hills turned blindingly green, and on this outing I visited Pacheco Falls. View my 2010 photo album and/or read my 2010 report (with GPS waypoints) and/or view my 2009 picture book story.

High Sierra

Sierra Columbine Sierra Columbine

A walk from Saddlebag Lake into 20 Lakes Basin (near Yosemite's eastern boundary) is a journey I always enjoy. Afterwards I walked Yosemite's stupendous Panoramic Trail from Glacier Point. View the photos and read the Saddlebag Lake & 20 Lakes Basin report to plan your adventure.

Death Valley

Desert Five-Spot

Less than the usual sparse rain made for a thin Death Valley Spring wildflower display, but there were a few pockets of delight. In March of 2013 I ventured there to enjoy the landscape, view my photos.

Road Trip to Four Corners


To Mesa Verde NP for a week of volunteerism with side trips before in New Mexico and after at Mono Lake and ghost town Bodie. Read of my adventure and view the photos.

Cottonwood Creek

Tiger Lily

To my favorite luxury campsite near Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite along Cottonwood Creek for a few days to enjoy nature and to photograph summer wildflowers. View the photos.

Photo Collages


What's travel without sharing. The Wildtramper has created photo postcard collages of his adventures to share with the armchair traveler. Join in the fun, view the photo collages.

TIFF Tag Information Reader

Need to find out what's inside a TIFF file? Then this TIFF Tag Reader can provide you with a tool to poke around. The reader parses TIFF files for their IFDs & tags, and displays them in an easy to read format. The utility also includes a memory dump for those times you need to dig a bit further.

Custom GPS Waypoint Routes

The software utility MakeGpx.exe, allows you to create a comprehensive set of waypoints for handheld GPS units to demark complex routes. MakeGpx also creates a quick reference guide, called the Take-Along Guide which tabulates in a convenient pocket carrying size the waypoint IDs with their lat/lon position, elevation, distance traveled, percent grade, and a descriptive instruction.