About John Vogel

Author Archive | John Vogel

Hiking through the godforsaken mountain range

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 25 – Wadi Malaga to Ras Al-Feid (8 miles)

If yesterday inflated my spirit, today deflated it. The day was extremely difficult. It started out with rock fields to traverse. All the time I had to climb down into and out of countless small wadis on rocky terrain.  Then I had to climb over a high, rugged mountain. The climb went on for miles […]

Continue Reading Comments { 3 }
Jordanian desert

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 24 – Dana to Wadi Malaga  (14 miles)

Wow! What an invigorating day! I’m sitting here in a beautiful wadi, have camp all set up, I ate, and drank some water.  The sun has just dipped below the horizon and it’s cooling off. I’m way down off the mountains in the low lands. It’s no longer downright cold at night. Today it was […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
wadi ma'tan in morning light

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 23 – Dana (3 miles)

Last night was cold. I went to sleep fully clothed, but when a gust of wind hit the tent it sent shivers throughout my body. The cold wind went right through my old, worn out down sleeping bag. I got up in the middle of the night and put my rain jacket on which helped […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }
Wadi Matan

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 22 – Ais to just before Dana (15 miles)

  It was a moderately hard day because I had to climb down into Wadi Ma’tan an then back out of it. Going down I fell twice because it was so steep and rocky. I passed right through the Ma’tan ruins. They were extensive but I have no idea about the history of them. No […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
zero day

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 21 – Rest day in Ais

It was the perfect day to spend in a hotel and watch the wind blow in the rain fall from the comfort of my room. A nearby restaurant provided me with shawarma and a salad for dinner. You can find all my journal entries from hiking the Jordan Trail here: Jordan Trail

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }
Jordanian countryside

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 20 – Jahra to Ais (18 miles)

“Khaled doesn’t like sleeping with wife,” Khaled mumbled in the middle of the night. “Khaled  cold,” he mumbled again and again. Soon he was snuggled up against me. Things quickly went from bad to worse and I’ll just say he gave a new meaning to Bedouin hospitality. For reasons I won’t get into, at 4 […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 19 – Karak to Jahra (14 miles)

Today was a cold, blustery day hiking through ho hum countryside. It wasn’t a particularly hard day, but the scenery of barren mountains and sweeping vistas is getting very common. I just enjoyed walking alone in the nearly deserted hills meeting a shepherd here and there. Today I kind of changed gears from being stimulated […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Karak Castle

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 18 – Karak to Majdalein (14 miles)

It was a fortunate thing that I took a mini bus into Karak from Majdalein. Last night the wind was so fierce the windows were rattling in my hotel room and I could feel the pressure differential in my ear drums when a particularly large gust of wind hit. There was no way I would […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Wadi Mujib

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 17 – Wadi Mujib to Wadi Majdalein  (9 miles)

If yesterday was a descent of hellacious proportions today was an ascent of the same proportions. After 2400 feet of steep climbing I looked down from the canyon rim of Wadi Mujib at the barren desert mountains. The canyons were so vast and deep it actually made me dizzy. The view was amazing, easily rivaling […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }
Climbing out of Wadi Hidan

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 16 – Wadi Hidan to Wadi Mujib (9 miles)

Today was a physically challenging day. After saying goodbye to shepherds Saif, Ahmed, and Abbod I started the long climb out of Wadi Hidan. It wasn’t bad, but the 2400 foot climb was agonizingly  slow. When I got to the top of the canyon rim it was easy going until I had an insane descent. […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Wadi Ma'in Zara

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 15 – Wadi Ma’in Zara to Wadi Hidan (10 miles)

I finally did it, I slept with some Jordanian shepherds in their tent. They were young, in their twenties, and I got there about an hour before dark. They offered me a place to stay and showed me their tent. They had a pile of old dirty mattresses and several blankets. When I entered the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Jordan Trail

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 14 – Oyoun al-Theeb to Wadi Ma’in Zara (14 miles)

When I arrived at Wadi Ma’in I expected it to be Shepherds Central, with their camps lining the river with sheep and goats everywhere. But when I got there I had the whole place to myself. I found the perfect camping spot on a sandbar – the first time I wasn’t sleeping on a bed […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
The view of Israel from atop Mt. Nebo

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 13 – Mount Nebo to Oyoun al-Theeb (6 miles)

Had a great night in the hotel, slept in, and visited Mount Nebo. “Go up on to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die.” Deuteronomy 32:49-50 Mount Nebo is where […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Jordan shepherd

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 12 – Iraq al-Amir to Mount Nebo  (17 miles)

Wow, what an exhilarating day! I was determined to make it to Mount Nebo and then find some sort of transportation into the city of Madagascar 10 km down the road. It started out great. For the first several miles there was gentle downhill mostly on dirt tracks. I made great time. But then I […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
sheep in Jordan

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 11 – Fuheis to Iraq al-Amir (11 miles)

Even though it was cloudy and sprinkled throughout the day, I had a nice, relaxing walk. It was the same old up and down steep hills following tracks and country roads. Along with the usual olive groves, there were some lemon groves stuck in.  I was amazed at how many lemons grew on one tree. […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }
Amman Jordan

Hiking the Jordan Trail: Day 10 – Rest day in Amman

I spent a relaxing day in Amman. I attended a Jordan Trail Association meeting where I met a lot of people connected to the trail. I think I finally got my phone fixed. I went all the way across town to the service provider so I could talk with someone who spoke very good English. […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }