Trekking poles boost hikers on the trail

Spokane rheumatologist Meredith Heick practices what she preaches about lowering impact to leg joints by packing trekking poles to Europe for her 110-mile hiking vacation around Mont Blanc. Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review

Trekking poles are modern versions of staffs that date back to Moses for easing the way along difficult routes, catching your balance and prodding the occasional sheep along the way.

Eclipse chasers blaze trail to small Oregon town

Joe Krenowicz, executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, gestures toward Mt. Jefferson as the sun rises over Madras, Oregon on June 13, 2017. The first place to experience total darkness as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth will be in Oregon and Madras, in the central part of the state, is expected to be a prime viewing location. Up to 1 million people are expected in Oregon for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years and up to 100,000 could show up in Madras and surrounding Jefferson County. Officials are worried about the ability of the rural area to host so many visitors and are concerned about the danger of wildfire from so many people camping on public lands. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

MADRAS, Ore. — Just before sunrise, there’s typically nothing atop Round Butte but the whistle of the wind and a panoramic view of Oregon’s second-highest peak glowing pink in the faint light.

Eco-group billboard blitz to greet Zinke in Montana

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at the Interior Department in April. Associated Press file

HELENA, Mont. — Environmental groups plan to crash the homecoming in Montana next week of President Donald Trump’s Interior Department secretary with billboards, television ads and speeches to pressure him on issues from national monuments to sage grouse.

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