Travels, West Coast US

In which there were pandas – San Diego, California (part I)

Every year in March or April, scientists in biology-related fields converge in one place for five days to attend Experimental Biology. It’s a huge conference; the first time I walked in and saw the giant exhibit hall filled with posters and vendors, I was awestruck. I’d never seen so much science in one place. Anyway,… Continue reading In which there were pandas – San Diego, California (part I)

Travels, US National Parks, West Coast US

That time I willingly jumped into 55°F water – Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (part II)

Day 2 at Crater Lake dawned clear and calm, which was perfect because this was the day we’d been waiting for – boat tour day! We’d hemmed and hawed over this for quite a while because the $42 per person tickets didn’t really fit in with our MO of budget travel. But in the end, […]

Travels, US National Parks, West Coast US

Crystal Clear – Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (part I)

After leaving the Columbia River Gorge, we turned south at Hood River, OR and began the 4.5-hour journey to Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake was formed about 7,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted so violently that it collapsed. The top of the mountain was blown off and what remained formed a caldera that… Continue reading Crystal Clear – Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (part I)

Travels, West Coast US

“Gorge”ous – Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Highway, Oregon

After four fabulous days exploring Mount Rainier National Park, we packed up our car and headed off. It was a bittersweet parting; I was sad to leave when so much of the park remained unexplored but also excited for our next destination: Crater Lake! After much cajoling on my part (and some whining – not… Continue reading “Gorge”ous – Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Highway, Oregon

Travels, US National Parks, West Coast US

A Day in Paradise – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part IV)

I’ve been a lot of cool places. The US map on my bedroom wall is covered in pins; I’m up to 43 states and 57 National Park Service sites, not to mention 7 Canadian provinces and numerous national and provincial parks there as well. So when I say that the Skyline Trail at Mount Rainier… Continue reading A Day in Paradise – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part IV)

Travels, US National Parks, West Coast US

Feeling Small – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part III)

Day three at Mount Rainier was full of lakes and waterfalls. Once again, we were greeted by blue skies as we headed out of Ohanapecosh, traveling west down Steven’s Canyon Road to Cougar Rock campground, which would be our home base for the remainder of our time here. We took the entire day, stopping along… Continue reading Feeling Small – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part III)

Travels, US National Parks, West Coast US

First Glimpse – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part II)

The next morning we woke to blue skies, the fog of the previous afternoon long gone. This was excellent news for us, as we were headed up to the northeast section of the park to catch our first glimpses of the mountain. From Ohanapecosh, we drove north to the White River entrance. Five miles in, the… Continue reading First Glimpse – Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (part II)