Montana

Montana road trip, part VI: acoustic geology at Ringing Rocks

The final stop on our six-day Montana road trip was quite possibly the most bizarre place I’ve ever been in my life: Ringing Rocks. Which is – as the name suggests – a collection of rocks that ring… when hit with a hammer, that is. It’s not entirely clear why this happens. Geologists think it has something to do with the composition of the boulders and the way they are all piled up together. If you remove a rock from the pile, it will no longer ring.

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

Colorado, US National Parks

The Land of Prehistoric History – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

(Gold star to anyone who can figure out the random inspiration for the title of this post. Hint: it came from the TV show I was bingeing at the time I sat down to write this.) If you’ve ever heard of Dinosaur National Monument, you probably specifically heard about the dinosaur quarry… a building that… Continue reading The Land of Prehistoric History – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

Midwestern US, US National Parks

Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Back in May, Chelsea and I headed to the Dakotas for a long weekend to do some highpointing. Since we were driving all the way up there, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to detour through Nebraska along the way and visit some national monuments in the western part of the state. Our… Continue reading Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Colorado, Colorado Hikes

Colorado Day Hikes: Chair Rocks

Have you ever walked along a trail mere minutes before a car went flying off the road and landed on said trail, right where you’d just walked? No? Me neither…  until December 2020. My friend Savannah and I set out early one Saturday morning, the landscape beautifully dusted with snow from an overnight storm. The… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Chair Rocks

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 Destinations, Colorado Hikes

Colorado Destinations: Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Our early October visit to the Paint Mines on the plains of Colorado was a last-minute change of plans after our weekend camping reservations got rained out. Scattered showers and thunderstorms, I can handle. An inch and a half (4 cm) of rain while tent camping, I cannot. It would’ve been a miserable weekend. So… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Paint Mines Interpretive Park