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Hiking Visuals: Cloud Inversions!

On of the most amazing things to see while hiking are cloud inversions. There's a specific type of location and weather that lends itself to these cloud creations, but they're so cool to look at, that I thought I could make a card explaining what they are, and how they happen, so that those who are interested in them can make sure to go to a location where they are more likely to occur! These videos show cloud inversions occurring at the Grand Canyon. These two 1-minute video shows what actually took 10 minutes of time. But how did it happen? The fog is formed by a total cloud inversion, which occurs when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air. If the moisture in the cold pool is sufficient, condensation will occur and fog will form. Various forms of inversion clouds moving, forming and dissolving can happen, and are caused by the interaction of warm and cold air masses and currents. A total inversion, as seen in the first video above, are rare, usually happening at the canyon only once every few years. It has happened twice in the past six months! Semi-inversions happen fairly frequently, but are still incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to predict!

Graffiti Left in Joshua Tree

If you know anything about me, you know that I hate people that destroy anything that's in a reserved park, or just a beautiful natural setting. Leave No Trace principles need to be followed to keep our natural environment, well, natural! So this story pretty much pissed me off as much as you imagine it would. I'll give you a TL;DR, but if you want to read the full story as it was uncovered by Modern Hiker, check here--it's pretty funny to read the updates as they added. Basically, a well known tagger "Mr. Andre" posted a photo that looked like it was from Joshua Tree of some graffiti on a rock, and after he kept saying it was from private property, not from the national park, someone drove over to the part to check and it was discovered that the graffiti was, in fact, in the park. Not only that, but his social media trail online shows he was all over the park. And all I have to say is this: WTF?! Not only did you leave pretty serious destruction at the trailhead of a really nice trail, but you also lied about it when you knew you were caught. And then tried to erase all evidence of it. Ha. Ha. Ha. Good try. National Park Rangers and the cops have already been alerted, Mr. Andre, and there is no escaping this. 100% in agreement, that this is a problem. Graffiti in our open spaces is reaching epidemic levels. Mr. Andre’s behavior is part of the problem. We don't want to encourage this behavior by other street artists.

Wilderness as Therapy for Army Vets

When Doug Peacock served in Vietnam in his 20s, he dreamed of spending time in the Rockies. When he came back, he launched himself back into the wild and worked for many years studying grizzly bears and fighting for their federal protection. Now, he says, the way to help vets overcome the trauma of the time they serve in the military is to get them outside. “What they need to do is go out and immerse (themselves) in the wild,” he said recently. “Let it wrap around you. See what it does to you.” And that, my friends, is just another thing I can agree with. There isn't anyone I think can't be benefited by time outdoors! You can read in this article about the stats of how many vets there are that aren't being given the treatment they seek, and how the military hasn't really got behind the idea of wilderness treatment. But I don't think that's very important. What's important is that we go and help! Search your area for a wilderness program that does work with veterans. If there isn't one, check for one that does programs for youth, and work with them to start one! Even if its just once or twice a year, these kinds of wilderness encounters can encourage people to get out and learn to love life in a new way after their hardships!!