Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake

Obtaining a backcountry permit for Rocky requires similar levels of intensity as many Colorado hiking feats, including summiting a 14er or finding parking at a trailhead or snagging a front country campsite anywhere during the summer. Permits become available each year on March 1 at 8:00am. So on March 1, 2019 at 7:59am, I was… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Thunder Lake

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Touring the Gunnison River by Boat – Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado

Curecanti National Recreation Area is largely a boating destination and remains, it seems, relatively unknown outside of boating circles. We don’t own a boat, but if you're anything like us then you might be excited to learn that Curecanti just so happens to have one that you can ride. For a fee, of course. The… Continue reading Touring the Gunnison River by Boat – Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Holy Schist! – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

After a stunningly beautiful 24 hours at the Maroon Bells, we packed up camp and headed south to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I’m not sure what I was expecting Black Canyon to be, but it was wildly different from my expectations... in a good way. In my mind, I guess it was a mini… Continue reading Holy Schist! – Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Colorado, Southwestern US, Travels, US National Parks

Life on the Edge of a Cliff – Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado (part II)

(Read part I of this post here) Most people don’t know this, but one of my majors in college was anthropology. Granted, it was anthropology with a biological focus. But I still took all the introductory classes, including archaeology. In fact, I initially signed up for an anthropology course because I wanted to be an… Continue reading Life on the Edge of a Cliff – Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado (part II)

Colorado, Southwestern US, Travels, US National Parks

Into the Past – Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado (part I)

A couple years ago, I wrote all about Mesa Verde based on my visit to this fascinating park back in 2010. But Pat had never been there and it’s a place I was happy to return to, so in early July of last year we headed out for a week long exploration of southwestern Colorado,… Continue reading Into the Past – Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado (part I)

Southwestern US, Travels, US National Parks

In the crater of a volcano – Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico

Pat has been wanting to visit New Mexico since the day we arrived in Colorado. He didn’t really know anything about the state and, as a result, I think there was an aura of mystery surrounding it. I have to admit, I see his point; New Mexico rarely seems to be the topic of any… Continue reading In the crater of a volcano – Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico

Montana, Travels, US National Parks

Wild Mustangs and Montana Skies – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Memorial weekend 2019 in Colorado was a snowy mess, so it was fortunate that I’d already made plans to fly home to Montana and visit Bighorn Canyon with my mom. Despite the fact that it’s only 4 hours from my hometown, I’d never been there before and was eager to explore a new place. We… Continue reading Wild Mustangs and Montana Skies – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Welcome, once again, to my Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes series! If you’re only in Rocky Mountain for a day or two, or you’re visiting from lower elevation, this is my #1 hiking recommendation for you! It’s not terribly long, not too steep, and at a lower elevation than most of the other park destinations.… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead

Welcome to hike #2 in my Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes series! Rocky Mountain operates a free shuttle system from May to October that allows you to leave your car in Estes Park or at the Park-n-Ride inside the park boundary and take the bus to the trailheads, eliminating the stress of arriving at 6:00am… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Bear Lake to Fern Lake Trailhead

Colorado, Travels, US National Parks

Shadows of the Past – Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado

When I mention giant redwood trees, Sequoia National Park and California are probably two of the first places that come to mind. But if I’d mentioned giant redwood trees about 34 million years ago, you’d most likely be thinking of Colorado instead! Thirty-four million years ago, what is now the Florissant (pronounced FLOR-ī-sent) Valley in… Continue reading Shadows of the Past – Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado