February 25, 2014

Cover Your Head

Whether winter, summer, spring or fall, most hikers wear some type of head protection.  From baseball caps to toboggans, there are many options which are functional and fun.  It's important to protect your face and neck from the sun and wind as well as protect your head and scalp from those harmful UV rays.  Let's look at some typical headgear along the hiking trail:

Warm Weather Options: 

Baseball caps and straw hats are always great choices in the summer heat.

According to Tilley, it's the hat that overshadows the rest.  The Tilley LTM2 AIRFLO has the broadest brim and is designed with a 3/4-inch mesh in the crown for coolness and comfort during hot days.  One day I hope to own a Tilley.   You can order this hat here

Tilley makes  the world's best hat according to their website. It is guaranteed for life and insured against loss.  Here is the anatomy of a Tilley hat. 

A bandana and straw hat will keep you cool and comfortable along the trail, and also looking quite fashionable.

Columbia also makes a good hat .  Its Silver Ridge Booney Hat is made with quick-drying Omni-Shade fabric and provides performance protection from the elements.  It is water repellent.  A chin strap combines with an adjustable drawcord and toggle at back for the perfect secure fit which is important when hikers become river rats.  Here is more information on the Silver Ridge Booney Hat from Columbia.  

 Cold Weather Options:
Most rain gear has a hood to protect your head whether hiking in the snow or rain. 

Matching headband and gloves purchased at Wal Mart will do the trick. Even if you lose one of the items along the trail, it's no big loss because you didn't pay an arm and a leg for them. 

Spiky works as long as it is functional and ears are covered for warmth. 

A matching toboggan and scarf is functional and stylish.

The hiker in the middle is wearing a Buff.  Go here if you want to learn more about a Buff.   There are many ways to wear them and here are a few examples.  (Photograph courtesy of Art Dees.)

I hope this post will remind you how important it is to protect yourself from the elements by covering your head so you can "Keep On Hiking."

February 12, 2014

Flowers Along the Trail

Tulips at the House O' Dreams, Lavender Mountain, Berry College near Rome, Georgia.  

My gift to you this Valentines Day is flowers. Not just any flowers, but beautiful flowers along the hiking trail. From the gardens at Berry College's House O' Dreams to the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina, here is a glimpse of what I enjoy along the hiking trail.    

No. 1 Lavender Mountain  (Photograph courtesy of Patricia McAlpin)

No. 2 Lavender Mountain (Photograph courtesy of Patricia McAlpin.)

No. 3 Daffodils at the House O' Dreams. (Photograph courtesy of Hike Georgia Meetup.)

No. 4 (All tulip photographs courtesy of Hike Georgia Meetup.) 

No. 5 side porch of the House O' Dreams.  

No. 6 French Riviera flowers along the Sentier du Littoral, Cap d' Antibes, France

No. 7 Snapdragons in the formal gardens at the House O' Dreams. (Photograph courtesy of Leigh Callan.)

No. 8 Mountain Laurel on the Snow Falls Trail near Dayton, Tennessee. 

No. 9 on the trail to Benton Falls, Chilhowee Trail System, Cherokee National Forest near Benton, Tennessee.

No. 10 my personal favorite; daisies at the Visitor's Center of Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville, Georgia.

No. 11 Flame Azalea on the Bear Creek Trail in Cloudland Canyon State Park near Rising Fawn, Georgia.

No. 12 Golden St. John's Wort in Cloudland Canyon State Park.  Here is more information. 

No. 13 Rhododendron Gardens at Roan Mountain, Tennessee.  Here is more information. 

No. 15 yes, there are hiking trails in the gardens. (Rhododendron photos courtesy of Patricia McAlpin.) 

No. 16 House O' Dreams, Lavender Mountain.

No. 17 Water lilies at the goldfish pond, House O' Dreams. 

No. 18 Ferns along the Hickory Creek Trail in the Cohutta Wilderness near Chatsworth, Georgia. 

No. 19 Appalachian Trail, Roan Highlands, Tennessee. (Photograph courtesy of Beth Hemann.) 

No. 20 Coneflowers on the Appalachian Trail, Roan Highlands, Tennessee. (Photograph courtesy of Beth Hemann.) 

No. 21 Coneflower on the Guild Hardy Trail near Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

No. 22 Big Hump Mountain looming in the background on the Appalachain Trail, Roan Highlands.  (Photograph courtesy of Beth Hemann.) 

No. 23 more coneflowers on the Guild Hardy Trail near Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

If you know the name of any of the unidentified flowers, please use the contact form on the sidebar to email the name along with the corresponding number, and I will be happy to update the post.

In the meantime, be sure to tiptoe through the tulips while you "Keep On Hiking."