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Greta Franklin de Matos's The great outdoors

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After growing up on a farm, I have an inherent drive to get into the wilderness as often as possible. Although work has brought me to the "big city", and much of my work travel takes me to factory cities around the world, I still try to fit in outdoor treks and adventures as often as possible.
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This Ranch Preserve has several miles of trails that run along the edge of the coastline and up sloping hills into pine forests. I've hiked here several times with my husband and we've seen squirrels, red-tail hawks, kites, egrets, deer, whales,...
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San Pablo Bay, California, USA
San Pablo Bay is a great spot to drop your kayak in and paddle around at your leisure. We took a bit of an urban adventure to get there- equipped with our backpacks full of camping gear, our 35lb inflatable kayak folded up and our trusty dog with...
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Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, California, USA
There is nothing quite like snow shoeing through the snowy wilderness bordering the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. As the snow gathers quietly on every available surface, I swear you can hear the snowflakes landing when you take pause to catch your...
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California, USA
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort...
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Olympic Valley, CA 96146, USA
The undisputed king of Tahoe’s big mountain resorts has always been Squaw Valley, even more so since it merged with neighboring Alpine Meadows in 2012. The combined resorts have a whopping 6,000 acres of terrain, with the longest run topping...
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29847 Seward Hwy, Seward, AK 99664, USA
In summer, Kenai Lake and the river by the same name that feeds it is a deluged by fishermen hoping to take trophy salmon from the pristine waters. In winter, the lake is a place of eerie silent stillness... and its surface takes on the blue of...
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Alaska, USA
You can't help but be awed by what a glacier and a few thousand years can do to a landscape. As we hiked closer to Exit Glacier I become aware of the enormity of this sheet of ice that has carved out the valley and the river behind us. Signposts...
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Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. In a single day in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia, we were lucky enough to see herds of guanaco, baby ostriches, and condors gliding through the sky. The clouds parted to give us a...
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Americas
Hikers in Moab should not miss the opportunity to hit this out-of-national-park arch -- one of the best in southern Utah.
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Harding Icefield, Alaska 99664, USA
While in Seward, Alaska one must take the hike along the Exit Glacier up to the Harding Icefield. It is a bit difficult at times, especially if there is snow, which there will be, and there are monster mosquitoes. However, it is amazing; the...
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Diablo Lake, Washington 98283, USA
In the summer, take at least a couple of days to drive the North Cascades Loop — four hundred miles of alpine splendor just to the northeast of Seattle, just south of the Canadian border. At Diablo Lake, pull off the highway and check out the...
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Kayaköy, Kayaköy Mahallesi, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
Turkey's coastline has some dramatic topography and we learned this while voluntouring on the Southwest coast where the Aegean meets the Med. After a week of working for our room and board, we decided to take a hike to the beach and relax. We...
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Mt Spokane, Washington 99021, USA
Mt. Spokane is a great place for a winter stroll. The peak can be summited in a couple of hours, just don't forget your snow shoes.
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Kayaköy, Kayaköy Mahallesi, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
Most people explore the Mediterranean by boat via it's beautiful blue waters, however it is also possible to explore this area by foot via the Lycian Way. This 500km hiking trail in southwestern Turkey connects Fethiye in the west with southwest...
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15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033, USA
Castle Rock state park has some absolutely gorgeous hikes (and climbs), rain or shine. I recently snapped this shot on a rainy hike, the greens vibrantly shone through the fog, each tree seeming to house some new species of moss.
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Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
Just outside of Healdsburg, California, there are numerous great drop in points for the Russian River- perfect for a day of floating, no matter what your adventure preference :) Plus afterward you can pop into Healdsburg for some awesome dinner...
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Greenfield, CA 93927, USA
Needing a little time away from the hustle and bustle of working downtown in the Financial district, one of our favorite wilderness escapes is the Ventana Wilderness. If you've got a four wheel drive and a weekend free (and don't mind having zero...
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Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The coast of California is a lovely place to get lost. There is something magic about exploring the edge of earth where the land meets the water...and for whatever reason massive boulders usually end up calling out to me to be climbed. Perhaps...
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Termino Lekanda, s/n, 01139 Sarria, Lugo, Spain
Located in Parque Natural de Gorbeia, the Itxina massif is full of features to ignite your imagination. With over 500 caves, jagged limestone cliffs and labyrinths, beech forests, and stone huts - it's hard not to create stories of some mysterious...
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Paradise Bay, Antarctica
The Antarctic weather was unpredictable and often inhospitable throughout our 1-week expedition cruise. Dramamine came in really handy the last day as we sailed the Gerlach Straight. I popped them like candy before cautiously eating dinner. Just a...
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Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is a sweet little slice of heaven, and a paradise you'll have all to your own, should you visit outside the high season. The glacial waters running out of the Southern Alps are every bit as mesmerizing as they are refreshing - which is...
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Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT 0852, Australia
Most visitors to Australia have heard of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but few realize that neighboring Nitmiluk National Park, four hours south of Darwin, is actually more spectacular. During the wet season, from November to...
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Km. 44, La Libertad, Calle a playa sunzal, El Sunzal, El Salvador
For travellers and surfers seeking a place off the beaten track, El Sal's Sunzal is just the ticket. Beachside, surf-based conversations drift towards lazy ears, as fresh-from-the-water kids discuss their latest session. Consistent wave sets are...
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1199D Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia
If you need a break from lounging on the lovely northern beaches, cruising up to Barrenjoey in Palm Beach will bring you to this absolute gem. The hiking trails are plentiful and the view from the top is incredible. With sweeping views in all...
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Trinity Alps, California 96048, USA
Mount Shasta sets a lovely backdrop from the camp spot at Heart Lake up in the Trinity Alps. The magic of this place is just beyond words, the sunsets are a finale and the sunrises a symphony. About 6 hours north of San Francisco, it's a lovely...
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Tapalpa, Jal., Mexico
Just 90 minutes south of Guadalajara, the colonial town of Tapalpa is an alpine refuge nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. A designated pueblo mágico (magic town), it’s home to a picturesque plaza, where artists often congregate to...
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Hana, HI 96713, USA
At the far eastern end of the island of Maui, along the Hana Highway, there is a path that leads to the famous Red Sand Beach. Along the way, you must cross over a rocky beach where you will find this view of the Pacific Ocean pounding the coast....
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Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
The Robberg Nature Reserve is one of my favorite hiking spots. It takes about 2.5 - 3 hours to walk to the Point and back. Try to go around low tide as this will make some of the areas easier to traverse. There are stunning views on the entire...
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Madagascar
The rugged Andringitra National Park and its surrounding valleys are rich in ways to view its incredible landscapes from above. Through Camp Catta, a locally-run lodge that caters to adventure sports enthusiasts, visitors can try rock climbing on...
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Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador
We spent the night up on Cotopaxi (19,300 ft.) and the next morning went for a short walk up the trail. We were greeted by these llamas who blocked our path back down to the lodge! There were friendly enough, but very curious. I would highly...
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Königssee, 83471 Schönau am Königssee, Germany
No matter the time of year you visit, Lake Königssee will always inspire utter awe. Summer means shimmering water in shades of emerald and sage green, while winter brings a cold, misty atmosphere with otherworldly light. Take a boat ride...
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Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
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Central America
In the middle of the nature reserve of Miraflor you will find Poza la Pila, a waterfall that empties into a swimming hole. Surrounded by trees, and a bit hard to get to you, you might be lucky enough to have it all to yourself. The easiest way to...
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Camino Inca, Peru
The mighty Inca Trail! Everyone talks about doing it one day, and you hopefully you will. It is a four-day trek through the Andes mountains in Peru. You begin from colonial town of Cusco, where it is wise to spend a couple days to acclimate before...
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Golden Ears, Fraser Valley F, BC V0M, Canada
This little trek is an easy jaunt away from Vancouver, British Columbia. Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, a winding trail leads along a forested canyon before climbing steeply to Panorama ridge where this photo was taken. Some friends and I...
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San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama is a beautiful adobe-esque town on the edge of Atacama Desert in Chile, just west of the Bolivian border. I took this photo in near by Valle De Luna, while I was mountain biking through a virtual moonscape of natural...
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Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada should be on everyone's bucket list. It is spectacular in its natural beauty. This picture was taken from atop Mt. Gros Morne, which provides breathtaking views of the...
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Landmannalaugavegur, Iceland
At the beginning of a 4-day, 40-mile trek through the fringes of the Icelandic highlands, we saw these artistic masterpieces. Landmannalaugar. To me, they were the Rainbow Mountains. Majestic. Surreal. Hiking by this beautiful landscape seemed...
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Sierra Buttes, California 96125, USA
One of the most spectacular views in the central high Sierra (about one hour's drive north of Truckee, CA) is surprisingly accessible. This wasn't always the case. The first time I saw these lakes--near to far, Young America, Upper Sardine, Lower...
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3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA

My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you...

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Island Lake, California, USA
Tucked up in the Tahoe National Forest there are strings of lakes settled into the mountains offering a quiet oasis for all who wish to wander. This is Island Lake, one of the larger ones. The trails offer sweeping views of the Sierras and there...
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Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi, Thailand
Perhaps one of the most unique experiences in the world, deep water soloing in Southern Thailand is a crazy adventure. Much of Southern Thailand's coastline contains soaring karst cliffs that jut straight out of the azure water. It's a rock...
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Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Soak up the endless horizon on this 15k tramp alongside Lake Wanaka. Why is this worth your Kiwi time? The rolling and winding track that follows the lake’s edge provides an unobstructed and ridiculous view of the snowcapped mountain tops (head...