Archive for the ‘Boonie Stomping’ Category

We opted for a private boonie stomp for our finalé since the organized stomp yesterday was rated VERY difficult and didn’t end at a beach. My daughter stayed with her favorite sitter rather than head out to the boonies with us. It was probably just as well since it was a hot, long, and definitely “in the boonies” kind of hike and she had more fun playing with her friends. John and I were rewarded with this:

My favorite thing after a long hike was jumping into the cool, refreshing ocean waters and that’s the first thing I did:

Double Reef is one of the more remote beaches and, by far, the best snorkeling we’ve encountered on Guam. The ocean was very calm and we were able to swim quite a distance out to a “drop off” ~ there were so many fish and a variety of coral. I was mesmerized by all the vibrant colors of coral.

The beach itself is surrounded by a rugged, limestone forest (think “Predator” the movie) and there are giant binalo trees whose branches extend completely over the beach thus shading almost the entire length of the 150 feet long white, soft-sand beach. Absolutely gorgeous!

Much to our dismay, and I’m sure the other couple’s dismay as well, we weren’t the only ones there. We caught up with them on the hike and arrived at the beach at the same time. They went out for an even longer snorkel then we did, so we enjoyed a little time alone on the beach.

Along the trail, we came across wild pigs. I decided to carry a stick to ward off any attacks. Now that I look at it in the photo, my best hope would have been to poke it in the eyes with that lame stick:

I had heard many people tried to make it to Double Reef but couldn’t find it. I can see how that could happen. I highly recommend any one living on Guam, who plans on Boonie Stomping, buy the book “The Best Tracks on Guam” by Dave Lotz. It is very detailed and gives step by step guidelines to all the best hikes. And thankfully, there were markers along the way so we knew we were heading in the right direction. We did get off track a couple times but thankfully I was with John who has a great sense of direction. Not to mention he’s spent a lot more time in the woods. This is John standing next to a major marker ~ if you don’t turn right here, you’re way off course:

For anyone interested in hiking to Double Reef, be sure to park at this sign and start down the dirt road:

As the sign says, be sure to check in with the security desk. They will let you know if the beach is closed due to training ~ heed the warnings, you don’t want to get ‘shot’ accidentally. UPDATE: I’ve been advised, in the comments below, that hikers must sign a “release” prior to hiking to Double Reef beach.

It’s a rough hike but worth the reward at the end! Take lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray and snorkeling gear.  I’m trying to figure out how we can fit one more hike there before we leave.

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Another gorgeous day in Guam and we went on our third straight Boonie Stomp. This will probably be the last for a few weeks as we plan explore other beach spots on our own. Today’s stomp was rated difficult and difficult it was. I tried to turn back about 100 feet into the hike and the guy behind me wouldn’t let me. Glad he didn’t because it is a beautiful cove in which I got to do a little snorkeling and the way back up wasn’t nearly as scary.

Thanks to John for taking my pack which was making me off-balance. Thank goodness for these army guys ~ they sure are tough, aren’t they?! I did carry my pack on the way back up least you think I’m a complete wimp! Here’s a photo of Logan and I on the way down the trail:

Fadian Cove is located on the Northeast section of the island and the trail is very steep. I’m not joking when I say I was “stuck” in a couple of spots for fear of sliding a long way down. Once again, it was all worth the effort when we got to the cove and were able to swim/snorkel.



Here I am happy to be back at the top overlooking Fadian Cove ~ isn’t the water glorious looking?

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With much trepidation, I agreed to try a ‘medium’ rated Boonie Stomp. Whew, this one was just as beautiful but so much easier. Wonder if John carrying all the water helped!? The hike was along the coastline from Gun Beach to Tanguisson Beach along the base of Puntan dos Amantes (Two Lover’s Point):


We passed Nikko Hotel’s Latte park:


At one end of Gun Beach, we saw the Japanese 20 cm coastal defense gun and this photo includes Dave Lotz, the organizer of the stomps, a 30+ year resident of Guam, writer of several Guam guidebooks and let me tell you, the man knows his stuff:

John and Logan with resort row along Tumon Bay in the background:


On the hike, we saw bright BLUE starfish (on my wish-list: underwater camera), a baby coconut crab and beautiful flowers:

It was a another great way to spend a Saturday morning and again, we met some really nice people. In fact, I got to meet the man from the other of the two Guam-based blogs that I enjoy reading. His blog, Tales of Brave Ulysses, is about a lot of different subjects and is fun to read. I don’t agree with everything he writes, but he is very witty, intellectual and will make you think.

Next Saturday’s hike: Rated Difficult ~ wish me luck.

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From the time John told me we were moving to Guam, I started reading the local newspaper, the Pacific Daily News, on-line as well as two Guam blogs. I would check one particular blog, Latitude 13, everyday. Latitude 13 is a smart, funny and very Guam-positive blog. It gave me a local’s perspective regarding life on Guam.

It was on Latitude 13 that I first heard about Boonie Stomps. It’s a public hike every Saturday to a beach, waterfall, cave or WWII monument. The Boonie Stomps are rated easy to very difficult and, when reading the announcements for upcoming stomps, I noticed the easy ones are few and far between. So, when I saw an easy hike listed in the newspaper for the first Saturday we were here, we decided to give it a go.

As we got out of the car at 8:45 am, the thermometer read 94 degrees. Racing through my mind was how do I get out of this since it was my idea in the first place. John and Logan were not about to turn around so I just kept drinking lots of water in the hopes that I wouldn’t succumb to heat exhaustion. Really, what was I thinking?

There were between 30-40 people at registration but I was more concerned with why they were offering gloves for sale. I figured at $1.00 a pair I’d best get all of us a pair.

The hike was a half mile STRAIGHT down a hillside on an unmarked path. There were big spiders perched on the trees and bushes along the way. We actually used these same spiders as landmarks on the way back up the hill so they became less manacing and more of a useful tool. The gloves were used for grabbing onto a tree or bush as I slid down the hillside ~ all I could think was “best three bucks I spent all week.”

Was the hike worth all the effort?! You bet. We ended up at the beautiful Ague Cove with no one else around except us hikers.

We met a couple of really nice people. Most of the hikers had their snorkel equipment with them and spent most of their time at the cove in the water (note to self: buy snorkel gear). The hike was actually on private property but the BoonieStompers had been given special permission.

Personally, I would not have rated this hike as easy. Let’s just say I am a little scared to attempt medium or difficult hikes.

After 10 stomps, you get a free t-shirt! I’ll let you know when I get one LOL

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