About Al Walsh

I'm doing lots of different things at the moment.

Book Review: Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook

A while back we were given a copy of “Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook,” Second Edition, by Dr. Spike Briggs and Dr. Campbell Mackenzie to read and review. Since then I’ve spent a little time with it and in general I’ve been very impressed. This book is very well organized and everything from the layout to the binding and type of paper is designed to be used in the field. I think the biggest advantage to this book is the extensive useof flow charts and it’s step by step construction. This is appropriate given the book's target audience of traveler since…

Don’t lose your Garmin Waypoints or Tracks with BaseCamp

What would you do if you accidentally deleted all the waypoints on your Garmin by tapping the wrong button? Or maybe you are starting to get confused by all the waypoints cluttering your GPS but you don’t want to delete some of those cool places. The same goes for your track files. BaseCamp is a great solution for these problems. And because it’s free you can download it and play around with it with no commitment at all. You don’t even have to create another username and password for a myGarmin account, unless of course that’s what you want. BaseCamp…

What type of hiker are you?

Spending a lot of time on the trail gives a person a lot of time to think. And while I've always known that people approach hiking differently and that people hike for all manner of different reasons, lately I've started to notice some broad groups that account for most hiking styles. There are many exceptions but I've found these seem to capture most hikers I've come across. The first one that comes to mind is the person who is just out for a stroll. More than anything this person wants to be out in nature and is maybe even looking…

Thank you

We get so caught up in keeping this Just Trails thing moving along that we rarely take notice of all the great people we've been able to meet and the things we've been able to do in the last year and a half. Last week we had one of those wonderful opportunities and it made us stop and think about how lucky we are to have so many people visit the website who are excited to explore and to help others explore and who appreciate all the amazing things that are outside just waiting to be found. When I first…

Historic Lodges and Resorts in the Snowy Range

There were many old historic lodges and resorts in the Snowy Range of Medicine Bow National Forest. Some of them are gone, some have become private residences, and some are still available for vacationers. My curiosity though has always been the lodges and resorts that have been abandoned but are still somewhat intact and just sitting in the forest waiting to be explored. I've put together a list of my favorites. Sand Lake Resort: The Sand Lake Resort is the most extensive in terms of buildings left standing. There are over a dozen and once you spot them for the…

Tie Hack Camps in the Medicine Bow National Forest

It is no secret that cutting railroad ties was a major activity in what is now the Medicine Bow National Forest from the last half of the 1800s into the early 1900s. The ties were cut during the winter and floated down the mountain in the spring. This required tie hacks to live in the mountains during the cold harsh winters and get around cutting trees and getting supplies. Of the many tie hack camps that existed, what remains of two of them are very near some established hiking trails. One of them is along Brush Creek and the other…

Places for a Good Family Day in the Mountains near Laramie

So where is a good place to take the family on a stroll in the woods? We've put together a list of our favorites. These aren't necessarily places with the easiest trails but they are places with things to keep most family members entertained. The first one, Mirror Lake, is best if you're trying to minimize the amount of walking but has the fewest places to picnic. The second two, Silver Lake and Vedauwoo don't have hard trails and you don't even have to take the trails. But if you do, everyone should be up for at least two and…

Favorite Alpine Lakes in the Snowy Range

There is something special about alpine lakes. They stand in peaceful contrast to the rugged, rocky mountains which surround them. They create near perfect reflections of those same rugged peaks. They are often unbelievably clear, to the point where you can see straight to the bottom and watch fish swim by. And on a peaceful day, an alpine lake is the best place to sit and let the world go by. The Snowy Range is home to many, but I've but together a list of our favorite alpine lakes. Gap Lakes: I say it all the time but Gap Lakes…

Historic Sites near Medicine Bow Peak

The entire Medicine Bow Peak area is a fun place to spend some time and as far as mountain roads go, it's a pretty easy drive to get up there. So aside from hiking to the summit or lingering by the many alpine lakes, here's a list of historic sites near Medicine Bow Peak to explore. The Billie Class Stamp Mill: This one is very easy to get to and contains the remains of an old stamp mill, an important but often overlooked part of mining history. To be sure, not much of the mill remains but what is there…

Trails for solitude in the Snowy Range

So you want to wander some trails without staring at someone else's backpack the whole time. We put together a list of trails for solitude in the Snowy Range to help you out. Just remember that some of these trails offer solitude because it takes quite a bit of time and effort to get to them. The north and middle sections of Sheep Lake Trail: Sheep Lake Trail can get a lot of traffic during the summer months, especially starting from the Brooklyn Lake Trailhead. However, all of these people usually disappear by the time you get north of Sheep…