highlands national park

Stakkholtsgjá is a well known gorge in the Thórsmörk area in the Icelandic highlands. But just next to it and most of the time overlooked by visitors is a beautiful ravine that´s much worth the visit. Surrounded by steep cliffs with a small freshwater stream at the bottom

The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. The plaque near the viewpoint reads as follows:

“At the beginning of the eighteenth century, to the inconvenience of both travellers and local people, there was no point at which the River Dulnain could be crossed when it was in spate, and burials at the Church of Duthil were often delayed.

Brigadier-General Alexander Grant of Grant, Clan Chief, commissioned John Niccelsone, a mason from Ballindaloch, to build a bridge at Lynne of Dalrachney. Built between May and November 1717, the bridge was paid for out of stipends of the Parish of Duthill.

Its parapets and side walls were badly damaged in the 18th century and again in the famous flood of August 1829, giving the appearance it still has today.”

Sources: Instagram and scotlandinfo.eu

The Fjallabak Nature Reserve is one of my favorite places in Iceland. It is over 500 meters above see level and the land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lake. The area is mostly undisturbed and because of the cold climate in the Nature Reserve the vegetation’s growing period is only about two moths every year and the formation of soil very slow so parts of the area my look just like the moon. But I love the desolate wilderness and tranquillity and the wide open spaces

Canada 150 is big business for Cape Breton campsites, with reservations almost doubling

Canada 150 celebrations and free park passes appear to be prompting a big jump in camping reservations for the summer season in Cape Breton.

Parks Canada says their online camping reservations are up 85 per cent over last year — a year that saw about 300,000 visitors make their way to Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

This year, a Discovery Pass marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation grants free access to all Parks Canada-managed parks in the country.

The agency has seen orders for more than eight million so far, and they’re still available online or upon arrival at Parks Canada sites.

The free pass does not cover other costs, including camping. 

Increases everywhere

Maria O'Hearn, manager of external relations with Parks Canada, said they’re seeing reservations spike across the board at the island’s six camping sites.

For example, Parks Canada’s specialized camping sites have seen an even bigger increase in interest.

Equipped campsites, which provide everything including a tent, sleeping pads and cooking gear, have been reserved 380 per cent more than last year.

oTENTik, which is a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, has seen a 125 per cent increase in reservations.

O'Hearn said the excitement is palpable among staff and Parks Canada’s decision to hire 100 summer students will only make things better.

“They give a certain energy, enthusiasm, new ideas to the table,” she said.

Book early

O'Hearn said half the students have been hired already, and final interviews for the rest will be held in the next two weeks.

“We have jobs in interpretation, resource conservation, we have jobs in photography, videography, social media, promotions and communications,” she said. 

O'Hearn said given the strong bookings now they’re advising people to book online early to ensure a camping spot. The season opens on the Victoria Day weekend.

The Canada 150 hype is also impacting provincial camping, though the Discovery Passes don’t apply. Provincial numbers are up 33 per cent from 2016 and 84 per cent over the previous year.  
“Everyone loves a birthday celebration, just outstanding numbers early, some of the busier parks including the Mira [River Provincial Park], we’ve extended the season on them to accommodate that demand,” said Lloyd Hines, provincial natural resources minister.

The camping season at Mira River will run until Oct. 15. The season at Blomidon in Kings County and Ellenwood Lake in Yarmouth county will run until Oct. 9. Others will close on Sept. 12. 


Good Morning from Scotland

Via Flickr:
The Cairngorms as seen at dawn from the summit of Morrone. A stitch of four portrait shots.


Cairngorms National Park
Day 1

The Cairngorms National Park is so magnificently representative of the rugged beauty the Scottish Highlands is famous for. Even with grey skies it’s one of the most impressive places I have had the pleasure of photographing.
Photos taken with a Canon 600D and a 18-55mm lens on the wildcat trail, Newtonmore, Scotland.

On Roan Mountain 11 Panorama Detail A – Roan Mountain Highlands, Cherokee National Park at Carver’s Gap, TN, June 15, 2014

The Greek Poet Homer, who knew something about enduring hardship, had Odysseus say, in the Odyssey, “I will stay with it and endure suffering hardship/and once the heaving sea has shaken my raft to pieces, then I will swim.”

That’s what it takes.

We can’t be floundering, giving up, surrendering to helplessness and hopelessness, sinking beneath the waves.

We can’t be looking about, and, seeing no good happening anywhere, find no reason to go on with it, and give up.

“Oh, the wars, the cruelty, the stupidity, the insensibility and insensitivity of those in power… It’s all so bleak, so barren, why try? Why go on? Why perpetuate the madness?”

“Oh, the waves, the waves… They never end. Why try? Why swim? Who are we kidding?”

We aren’t kidding anybody. We know what the deal is. The heaving sea has shaken our raft to pieces. And now we are swimming.

So, shut up about how wet you are, and how dark the night is and how endless the waves are.



Because it is yours to do.

Don’t be asking for some work that makes sense.

That has a big payoff attached.

That is the kind of work you would pick if you got to pick your work.

Do what is yours to do in the time and place of your living,

And don’t be saying, “Nobody could live this old life, here in the wine dark sea with nothing but heaving waves forever! Give me a better life. I’ll live that one.”

This is your life.

Live it.

The way it needs to be lived.

Swim as long as the waves last.

Then walk through the desert until the sand runs out.