Walking in a Fall Fantasyland
Our Columbus Day weekend had bright Fall weather, so we went for a drive and a hike in the local area to take some photos of all the beautiful colors. Then Wednesday, since it appeared that it might be the last good weather day before some rain arrived and the Fall leaves really started to drop off the trees, we got out and spent a few hours hiking to some of the more out of the way places near us.
As if the Fall leaf colors weren’t enough, we even saw a group of turkeys out for a stroll. It's always funny. We see the turkeys in October and early November - but the week before Thanksgiving they all seem to disappear; I think that they have that week marked on their calendar and go hide out.
“Leaf Peepers” travel from all over the world to see New England’s amazing colors in the Fall - all we have to do is hike in our town and the surrounding areas.......
Here are a few photos that attempt to capture the breathtaking beauty of nature. (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Kalashnikov Tactical Training
Last Saturday and Sunday we attended Kalashtober 2022 “the oldest, original and longest continuously run annual AK training, competition and community event in the country”, led by Ken Allen, the head of Ken Allen Training (https://kenallentraining.us/), along with 30 other shooters, 10 vendors and lots of support staff. The fall New Hampshire weather was almost perfect – with just a little rain on Sunday.
The event was a hands-on, live fire course for shooters that know a considerable amount about shooting and want to improve their tactical skills. Although Kalashtober is primarily an AK event, it was open to AK, AR, Galil, SCAR, KP9, and RPK participants. In fact I would estimate that 60% of the shooters had AKs and the other 40% had AR’s. The focus was really on the shooting techniques and not the specific firearms; which was a good thing since no two weapons on the range were the same due to their types and customizations (e.g. grips, optics, slings, Cerakote patterns, flashlights, magazines, etc.,) that everyone had made.
The two-day event ran from 8:30 AM until after 9:00 PM each day – with time built in to talk to the vendors and visit with other participants in the community during the lunch breaks and even at dinner on Saturday night.
Although I’m not solely an “AK-guy”, since I like to learn new shooting techniques, improve my skills and challenge myself - I try to take various classes throughout the year. This was a good one since it really focused on higher-level skills utilized in activities that require significant range setup and attention to range safety procedures. I primarily used my Kalashnikov KR-9S during the training – with my Norinco MAK-90 as a secondary weapon.
The range training focused on moving, thinking and shooting from a wide variety of distances (from 5 yards to 50 yards), utilizing various shooting positions (prone, kneeling, sitting, standing), shooting different target types (paper silhouettes, steel plates, 3-D torsos, deer silhouettes) in a variety of real world situations to include:
Although the majority of the time was spent on shooting, on Sunday morning the participants were broken into three 10-person groups and each group spent an hour on the following:
The vendors that attended the event included:
Here are a few photos of what Kalashtober 2022 looked like on the range (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Here’s a short video showing what running the Kalashtober 2022 “Gauntlet” looked like:
If you have a chance to take any of Ken’s courses at his home base in New Hampshire I would highly recommend that you sign up since his classes will definitely help you improve your shooting techniques and tactics.
You can find out more about Ken Allen Training, and the classes that they offer, on their website:
28 Days in Greece, Turkey and Venice
Well, we’ve been back from our European trip for a few days, so we’ve caught up on our sleep, unpacked, sorted everything out and taken some time to review our adventures. During the 28 days we hiked 198.75 miles (419,757 steps – an average of 7+ miles each day) – seeing marvelous sights every step of the way.
We visited 5 of the 13 Greek peripheries (e.g. provinces/states) - which included 7 different islands:
We visited 9 cities in Turkey where we saw a wide variety of “Classical” Greek, Roman and Ottoman sites:
And we got to end our trip by spending three action packed days in Venice where we visited all sorts of fabulous sights to include:
Needless to say every day was filled new wonders. To me some of the most amazing were:
There was so much to see that it was almost overwhelming.......
Here are a few photos from our trip. As always, I'll post more photos on the “Adventures/Europe” page when I have a chance to review and edit the 4,700 photos that I took.
Athens, Greece (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Syros - Agios Nikolaos - Patmos, Greece (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Corinth - Mycenae - Nafplion - Knossos - Heraklion, Greece (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Delos - Mykonos - Santorini - Rhodes, Greece (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Pylos - Corfu, Greece (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Turkey (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
Venice, Italy (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
The Beauty of the Desert in Winter
As mentioned in the previous blog post, on our 11-day road trip to the Southwestern part of the US we visited New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. Here are a few photos from the 1,600 mile trip aggregated by State (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
You can see all the photos of our trip to the Southwestern US on the Adventures/North America page.
Road Trip to the Southwestern US
We just returned from an 11-day road trip to the Southwestern part of the US; specifically New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. During our trip we drove almost 1,600 miles, hiked lots of great locations and saw all sorts of interesting sights to include:
- Petroglyph National Monument
- Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Garden
- Museum of Nuclear Science & History
- Painted Desert
- Petrified National Forest
- Lowell Observatory
- Sedona Rock Formations
- Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Grand Canyon
- Hoover Dam
- Las Vegas Strip
- Titanic Artifact Exhibition
- The Neon Boneyard
- The Mob Museum
- Fremont Street Experience
- Mojave Desert National Preserve
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Santa Monica Pier
- Palisades Park
- Venice Beach
- San Luis Rey Mission
- Balboa Park
- San Diego Museum of Us
As always I took far too many photos - so I'll start posting them in the next day or two.
If you can't wait to see some of the photos the we took each day of our trip, you can always check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/HikingCampingandShooting
There’s Lots to See on the Plains of Middle America
As mentioned in the previous blog post, on our 11-day road trip from Chicago to Colorado and back we visited Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa. Here are a few photos from the 2,750 mile trip aggregated by State (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
You can see all the photos of our trip to the Plains States on the Adventures/North America page.
Seeing the Sights Along I-70 and I-80
We just returned from an 11-day road trip from Chicago to Colorado and back - driving 2,750 miles - on I-70 going out and on I-80 coming back.
As always we hiked lots of great locations and saw all sorts of interesting sights to include:
- Mid America Motor Works
- Cross at the Crossroads: America’s Largest Cross
- Kaskaskia Dragon
- Combat Air Museum
- Kansas Cosmosphere
- Monument Rocks
- World's Largest Easel
- Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Areas
- Garden of the Gods
- United States Air Force Academy
- Wings of Change Statue
- Statue of Liberty Replica
- Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles
- Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum
- Iowa 80 – World’s Largest Truck Stop
- Retro Rocket Ship
- Moai Dude
- Rock Island Arsenal Atomic Cannon, National Cemetery and Confederate Cemetery
As always I took far too many photos - so I'll start posting them in the next day or two.
If you can't wait to see some of the photos the we took during our trip, you can always check out our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/HikingCampingandShooting
The Sights Along the Danube Are Stunning
As mentioned in the previous blog post, on our 14-day trip from Budapest to Prague we visited Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Here are a few photos from the 560 mile trip aggregated by Country (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
You can see all the photos of our trip up the Danube on the Adventures/Europe page.
Cruising the Danube
We Just returned from a 14-Day trip to Central Europe. We started the trip by spending 3 days in Budapest and ended the trip with 3 days in Prague. In between we spent 7 days cruising up the Danube River. What a spectacular trip (even allowing for the additional Covid paperwork and restrictions). During our trip we visited:
- Budpest, Hungary
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Vienna, Austria
- Krems, Austria
- Durnstein, Austria
- Spitz, Austria
- Melk, Austria
- Linz, Austria
- Mondsee, Austria
- Salzburg, Austria
- Passau, Germany
- Vilshofen, Germany
- Regensburg, Germany
- Prague, Czech Republic
Because there were so many magnificent sights I took almost 3,000 photos - so it will take me a little time to process and upload them. But I will........
Moonlight - How Bright You Shine Tonight
This Monday, 26 April, was another Pink Super Moon. The Pink Moon occurred 12 hours before the Moon reached perigee (the moon’s closest position to Earth due to the fact that the moon's orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical) so that made this Pink Moon also a Super Moon – the term used when the moon is full while closest to the Earth. Here are some photos showing what we saw of the Pink Super Moon here in New England: (click on any photo to start the slideshow):
The moon actually reached perigee at 11:22 AM EDT on 27 April; when it was just 222,064 miles (357,377 kilometers) away from the Earth. During a super moon, the full moon can appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its farthest from Earth. Monday’s Pink Super Moon was ~8% closer than the distance of an average full moon (240,000 miles or 384,400 km) and was the first, and one of only two, super moons of 2021.
So why the term “Pink Moon”? In the 1930s the Maine Farmer's Almanac began publishing American Indian Moon names for the months of the year. Accordingly, the April full moon was called a Pink Moon, named after creeping phlox; a plant native to the eastern United States that is one of the earliest flowers of spring. Other names for this moon include the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
Last year, on 7 April, we also had a Pink Super Moon. Here’s our blog and photos from that night: "April’s Pink Super Moon - How Beautiful Are These Night Sky Photos?"
If you want to learn more about Pink Moons, or other phases of the moon, you might want to check out the Full Moon Phases website. Here’s the link to their Pink Moon information:
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