Two Guys, One 18. 2 Mile Hike Through Reddish Knob

Two Guys, One 18. 2 Mile Hike Through Reddish Knob

18.2 Miles on the Virginia/West Virginia border.
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With finals over and graduation looming, I have one thing on my mind: hiking. I really want to get all of the best hikes in Virginia out of the way before I have to leave this great state. Last Wednesday, after hiking Reddish Knob with my friend Luc, I came one step closer to that goal. However, it was no cake walk.

Please enjoy this play-by-play of our most recent hiking adventure.

Mile 0.7: Luc and I, neglecting to read the directions before starting, come across a stream that, apparently, needs to be crossed in order to continue the hike. However, there is no bridge, and more importantly, no conceivable way to cross said stream without walking right through it. With the gracefulness of a couple of ballerinas, we hop across very dramatically, only to realize that the water is about three inches deep and our boots are waterproof. We continue, albeit with egg on our faces.

Mile 2.0: After 30 minutes of hiking, I am sure that we must be at least four miles in. However, we are not, and I start to believe that we have bitten off more than we can chew. My feet also start to hurt.

Mile 3.7: I come across a purple rock that I think is very cool. I stop to tell Luc, pointing the rock out. He scoffs at it and keeps walking. I hang my head and kick the rock into the bushes, forced to deal with the harsh truth that I have terrible taste in rocks.

Mile 5.2: Tragedy strikes. The approximately 30 pounds of sun screen I have put on have made my hands slippery, and as I go to open my Cliff Bar I (very athletically, I might add) drop it on the ground, leaving it covered in dirt and rocks. However, seeing as it is a Cliff Bar, it is hard to discern which bits are rocks and dirt and which are parts of the bar itself, and after attempting to wipe it off, I take a chance and scarf the whole thing down.

Mile 8.0: I finally finish chewing the last bit of pebble from the aforementioned Cliff Bar. Luc and I see a large mountain in the distance and assume that it is only about 0.2 miles to the summit.

Mile 9.1: Luc and I realize that we have no sense of distance and finally make it to the top of the mountain. Rather than seeing a grassy oasis, we see a parking lot. There are three elderly people at the top with their car because, unbeknownst to us, we could have driven to Reddish Knob in my air-conditioned car.

Intermission: I eat all of the raisins out of Luc's trail mix and get an instantaneous stomach ache. But who cares! At 4,397 feet, we take solace in the fact that we are at the highest point on Shenandoah Mountain. We turn around and head back the way we came.

Mile 13.0: Luc and I get back to the spot where I dropped my Cliff Bar and I am overcome with emotion. Why do bad things happen to good people?

Mile 14.0: Luc sees a snake.

Mile 14.5: Luc and I see a rock formation and come to the conclusion that we only have 2.2 miles left to go.

Mile 15.0: We realize that last rock formation was the wrong rock formation. Now we know that we only have 2.2 miles to go.

Mile 15.3: Scratch that, it's this rock formation.

Mile 15.5: Luc and I realize that all rock formations look the same.

Mile 16.0: Luc and I find the rock formation we've been looking for.

Mile 17.5: Luc and I get back to that damned stream, but this time we walk right through it because, after 17.5 miles, nature is officially our bitch.

Mile 18.2: After six and a half hours, Luc and I finally get back to my car. I change into shorts and a new t-shirt, go to open my car door. I'm so tired that the door barely moves when I pull on it. I contemplate just staying in the parking lot forever. However, I'm hungry, so I get in my car, chug a five-hour energy, and drive home.

Cover Image Credit: Will Fahy

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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5 Places To Hike Near Syracuse This Fall

A short list of some of the prettiest places to hike in Upstate New York to get all the fall, Instagramable views.

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One of the best things of Upstate New York is undoubtedly the fall foliage and totally Instagram worthy views. If you're looking to get away from campus for a little and enjoy all that the beautiful state of New York has to offer, look no further for a brief list of some of the most photogenic hikes and views.

1. Watkins Glen State Park

Located just a little over an hour and a half from Syracuse, Watkins Glen has picturesque waterfalls and moderate hiking trails that allow you to relish in all the beauty fall has to offer.

2. Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls, located in the cute town of Ithaca, is one of the many beautiful waterfalls in the Ithaca region. A relatively easy hike, you could complete this in a day and go check out Ithaca or some of the other waterfalls nearby!

3. Bald Mountain

Located in the Adirondacks, Bald Mountain is an easy and popular hike. It gets pretty crowded during this time of year, so make sure to get there earlier if you want a peaceful hike away from lots of people.

4. Letchworth State Park

Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," Letchworth State Park follows the Genesee River. Although the park itself is around 17 miles, there are shorter trails throughout and the views are gorgeous.

5. Fillmore Glen State Park

Within the Finger Lakes region, Fillmore Glen State Park is like a slightly smaller Watkins Glen. The waterfall is the first sight, and then you have choices of multiple different hiking trails.

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