Southwestern US, US National Parks

Indigenous inscriptions – Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico

Located on the western edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico, hidden amongst the jumbled landscape, are more than 20,000 (not a typo!) historic rock carvings called petroglyphs. This area is part of the Rio Grande rift, formed over millions of years by the movement of tectonic plates. This rift stretches from central Colorado to central New… Continue reading Indigenous inscriptions – Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Bad country – El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

Day 2 of our New Mexico road trip was somewhat of a failure in planning. I did plan. I planned a lot. Too much, in fact. And had it been July, with 14 hours of daylight and the endless motivation that can only be found during summer break, we might have pulled it off. But… Continue reading Bad country – El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

Southwestern US, US National Parks

A smattering of New Mexico history

Thanksgiving road trip has become a tradition for us. I always have the entire week off from work (well, sort of… I have the week off from classes but not from grading, so my work laptop definitely came with us), and it turns out that November is a pretty good time of year to travel… Continue reading A smattering of New Mexico history

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lake Haiyaha

Up until June 2022, Lake Haiyaha looked like this. Image source On June 28, 2022, there was a rockslide on the mountainside above Lake Haiyaha. On this peaceful, sunny morning, a large section of the landscape broke free and began to tumble down Chaos Canyon. Rocks ranging in size from small pebbles to apartment-sized boulders… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lake Haiyaha

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Upper Glacier Gorge Lakes

You know how sometimes you’ve been wanting to do something for so long and you’ve built it up in your head, and then you finally get to do it and it’s not as amazing as you were hoping, and you end up being really disappointed? This was not that. It was, however, something I’d been… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Upper Glacier Gorge Lakes

Colorado, Colorado 13ers, Colorado Hikes, Colorado Summits, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: CCY Route

The CCY Route – named for the three sequential summits of Mount Chapin, Mount Chiquita, and Ypsilon Mountain – is a pretty but challenging hike in the lesser-traveled Mummy Range of Rocky. Completing this hike means that you’ll bag three summits in one day. However, to do so you have to climb up and over… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: CCY Route

Colorado, Colorado Hikes, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Chasm Lake

Chasm Lake is, hands down, the best hike in Rocky. I’ve hiked a lot of trails in the park over the past four years, and I keep waiting for another hike to come along and dethrone this one, but that has yet to happen. I’m fairly certain it never will. This past August was actually… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Chasm Lake

About me, Colorado, US National Parks

How to get married in a national park

I was never the girl who planned every detail of her dream wedding. Or any detail, for that matter. I didn’t have a dream wedding. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I always envisioned getting married in the mountains. So when Pat and I first started planning our wedding – which was supposed… Continue reading How to get married in a national park

Montana, US National Parks

Montana road trip 2022, part II: a somber visit to Big Hole National Battlefield

(Read part I of this series here) On August 7, 1877, a band of approximately 750 Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) arrived in the Big Hole Valley, known to them as Iskumtselalik Pah or ‘Place of the Buffalo Calf.’ They were fleeing the US Army. For over 20 years, the US government had been stealing their land,… Continue reading Montana road trip 2022, part II: a somber visit to Big Hole National Battlefield

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

Rafting the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument

The final day of our Memorial weekend trip was upon us, which meant one thing: whitewater rafting time! We were signed up for a full-day trip on the Arkansas River with Noah’s Ark Rafting. I booked this trip back in January, at which time I debated between Saturday or Sunday and joked that, no matter… Continue reading Rafting the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument