A TALE OF TWO

SPRING HIKES


On the 25th of April, 2003, I took a little hike.

On the 27th of April, 2003, I took a little hike.



Each hike was an investment of about 4 hours, plus about an hour each way getting there. Each hike involved ~800 to ~1,000 feet of elevation gain. But there the similarities pretty well stop.

The first hike . . .

involved scrambling up a very steep slope in the Spring Range of Southern Nevada. Getting there meant driving to the hike from home. Vegetation was sparse and deciduous trees had not yet put out buds. It was still winter. Snow kept me from going where I wanted to go, which was up a trail in the bottom of a canyon, not up this steep, south-facing, sunny hillside. I hiked without benefit of a trail once I started up the hillside. My elevation gain involved walking from a parking lot at 7,800 feet to just above 8,800 feet. A cliff, the steepness of unstable scree slopes, and snow caused me to turn back when I did.

The second hike . . .

took place after more than 12 hours of flying on the day after the previous hike. This hike involved several hills overlooking Baden, about 25 miles south of Vienna, in Austria. I took a train from Vienna to Baden, and walked through the town itself to get to the gorgeous flower gardens of the Kurpark, on the slopes of bright-green hills forested with deciduous trees, and some stands of tall pines.

Differences! What I enjoyed most about these two hikes was to again appreciate the dramatic differences in natural settings due to location and elevation. The first hike was in a relatively dry location in the rain shadow of a very high north-south trending mountain range, the Sierra Nevada of California. The second hike was in a wetter location to the northeast of a generally east-west trending very high mountain range, the French-Swiss-Italian-Austrian Alps. The Southern Nevada hike was farther south than the Austrian one, in terms of latitude, but much higher in elevation above sea level. Neither locale is a stranger to winter snow, but the Austrian site sees more of that white stuff and also gets much more spring and summer rain. It is green in Austria.

So, why a trip to Vienna? Business, at one of the United Nations' branch's offices there, with some minor opportunity for tourism, such as this little hike on arrival day. Some evenings, and an afternoon on the last day, also allowed the tourist to come out in me. I got my assigned work done too, of course.

Let's get the rest of the pictures!


Go To First Hike: The Spring Range


Go To Second Hike: Der Wienerwald


Go To Austria 2003 Pages to see more Lower Austria


Go Back to The Journey In 2003


Go Home