Southwestern US, US High Points

On Top of New Mexico: Wheeler Peak

Summer out here in the west has become very unpredictable. Afternoon thunderstorms used to be the main concern, but in the last couple years forest fires and air quality have become the two main factors that influence our travel plans. Colorado was lucky in 2021 to receive adequate rain and avoid a repeat of our… Continue reading On Top of New Mexico: Wheeler Peak

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Riding the rapids in Split Mountain Canyon – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

After spending the other days of our long weekend exploring Dinosaur National Monument from above, a guided whitewater rafting expedition now afforded us the chance to see the Utah side of the monument from below. Our one-day trip took us along 9 miles (14.5 km) of the Green River through Split Mountain Canyon. The geology… Continue reading Riding the rapids in Split Mountain Canyon – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US, US National Parks

Canyon Country – Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

By far, most people who visit Dinosaur go to the Utah half of the monument. It’s the side with the dinosaur bones for which the monument is most famous. It’s also the more accessible part of the monument, with developed campgrounds and easy river access. However… what the Colorado half lacks in dinosaur fossils, it… Continue reading Canyon Country – Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Island in the Sky – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part II)

For our final day in eastern Utah, Pat and I headed into the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands. This is the one you’ve probably all seen pictures of, as it’s the easiest to access and therefore the most popular. It’s only about a 40 minute drive from Moab, down a very scenic stretch… Continue reading Island in the Sky – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part II)

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Exploring the Needles – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part I)

Eleven years ago I set foot in Canyonlands for the first time, a stop on our annual family summer national parks road trip. We spent a full day in the park, seeing as much as we could. But we knew we’d barely scratched the surface. This time around, I was determined to see more of… Continue reading Exploring the Needles – Canyonlands National Park, Utah (part I)

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Iconic Utah – Hiking to Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is inarguably the most iconic sight in all of Utah. It’s on the license plate, the state quarter, signs all over the state, and numerous other things. But none of these can prepare you for the majesty of the arch itself. The first time I saw it 11 years ago, I was completely… Continue reading Iconic Utah – Hiking to Delicate Arch

Colorado, Colorado Bucket List, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US

Colorado Bucket List: Hiking to Ice Lake

Do a google search for “best hikes in Colorado” and you’ll inevitably stumble across Ice Lake within the first 5 minutes of your search. And let me tell you, there’s a reason this hike appears on the majority of such lists. It’s unbelievable! It’s also popular and crowded (let’s be real, most everything in Colorado… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Hiking to Ice Lake

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US

Colorado Day Hikes: Columbine Lake

Alternate post title: Diana’s absolute favorite hike in Colorado! In a world of Instagram and photo filters and photo editing software, it’s common to see a photo of something that looks too amazing to be real. So it’s reasonable to be skeptical. I definitely was the first time I ever saw a photo of Columbine… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Columbine Lake

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US

Colorado Day Hikes: Blue Lakes Basin

The title of this post was supposed to be “Colorado 14ers #2: Mount Sneffels” but, alas, the weather had a different set of plans. In fact, this post and the next two will be a three-part saga of a road trip that didn’t entirely go according to plan. The weather left a lot to be… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Blue Lakes Basin

Colorado, Southwestern US, Travel Lists

A Year in Review: 2020

2020 has been a giant dumpster fire. On that, I think we can all agree. Pretty much everything that's happened this year has been unprecedented. I can only hope that better things are on the horizon for 2021. With all the lockdowns and travel restrictions, I've been more grateful than ever to live in Colorado.… Continue reading A Year in Review: 2020