Travel the USA with the Yagers
Introduction to Travel the USA with the Yagers
When we vacation we like to go to places that are outdoors or natural attractions. We prefer nature and the beauty of a location. Most of our time is spent on land hiking trails, some climbing steps or stairs and paths on hills to the tops for awe inspiring views. We love waterfalls, caves and caverns, tall ridges and mountainous rock walls. Oceans, lakes and streams, lots of greenery, sandy beaches or dunes and gorgeous blue skies, sunrises and sunsets are at the top of the list.
We don't go out and buy all kinds of hiking equipment. We just wear regular walking or casual shoes, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses. We carry water bottles, botanical bug spray, sunscreen and a camera. Sometimes if the hike will take a while we bring a small bag of nuts and dried fruit, or a granola mix. In some cases though we found that if we really need a little something to eat on a hike there just might be a crab apple tree or some lamb's quarter to take the edge off hunger.
If You Can Walk-- You Can Hike
Anyone able to walk any length of time is able to hike. You may have to take it slow but you can do it. Most trails are marked easy, moderate, hard. Making it easy to decide how rough a trail you want to take on. Some trails are short and others may take hours. It is a great idea to get a trail map ahead of time. Many places offer them free in the welcome center. A lot of them offer printable maps on their websites as well.
*Please make sure you know what it is before you eat it. There are poisonous plants out there also.
Identifying Wild Edibles
Learning to identify wildflowers and/or wild edibles is a great thing to do as you hike. That way if hunger strikes on a path and you were not prepared, you know what is safe to eat and what not to eat. Mushrooms are a lot more difficult to identify than many other wild edibles, but that doesn't mean you should take risks with anything other than mushrooms. Some poisonous plants look a lot like their edible relatives.
Identifying Birds and Other Wildlife
I like to take my camera along to photograph wildlife. This comes in handy when I don't recognize the creature or plant right away. I have the picture to match up to my field guides later on. I miss out on less when I can snap a picture or two instead of standing there for hours going through my guide trying to find it.
If you don't care about identifying the wildlife that's ok. A few things you should be able to identify though are poison ivy/oak, any poisonous snakes or spiders that may be in the area you are hiking. Another is the touch-me-not or jewelweed, this is nice to know if you do encounter poison ivy because rubbing the leaves of this plant on the affected area will take the itch away.
Hocking Hills in OhioClick thumbnail to view full-size
We do stay in conventional hotels and motels but we look for more relaxed and leisurely settings if we can find them. We prefer the tranquility of a more private and natural wooded area. One such gem is Thunder Ridge Cabins and B & B. It is back off the beaten path and quiet yet not difficult to find.
We like to stay at cabins or lodges in State Parks. West Virginia and Kentucky State Parks are wonderful examples. We wish more States would offer such nice lodging. Staying right in the park can save you the travel from a hotel to the sites you came to see. In some cases the cost of your stay will be less in the State parks as well.
Thunder Ridge Cabins and B&B
West Virginia State Parks and Forest
Some Good Wild Edible Sources
- Common Edible Wild Plants - Part I
Sitting at nature's dinner table, most would be surprised at the goodness and variety of the bounty. By learning about just a few wild edible plants, you'll soon be able to recognize them, and never have to...
Other Travel Adventures
- Things to do: Walkway Over the Hudson - Poughkeepsie Railway Bridge - Info and Directions
If you are in the Mid-Hudson Valley area and looking for a place to take a nice walk, jog or bike ride, you should head to the Walkway Over the Hudson. On Saturday, October 3, 2009 the Walkway Over the...