US National Parks, Western US

Pioneers on the Plains – Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming

Ask anyone who has ever gone on a road trip with me, and they’ll tell you that I planned far more things than we could possibly fit into the time we had. They wouldn’t be lying. I’m not exactly what you’d call a relaxed vacationer. But every once in a while – usually accidentally –… Continue reading Pioneers on the Plains – Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Southwestern US, US National Parks

Colorado National Monument

I was sorting through some old posts on here recently and stumbled across this one from a few years ago about my 2010 trip to Colorado National Monument. I imagine many of you can relate to the cringey feeling you get when you read something you wrote so many years ago. And, of course, the… Continue reading Colorado National Monument

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

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Cub Lake

The Cub Lake trail is one we neglected for nearly four years. It wasn’t intentional. It just never seemed to be at the top of my list. In the summer, I prefer to take advantage of the nice weather and hike in the tundra. In the spring, this trail is a muddy mess. And shortly… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Cub Lake

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

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: winter at Sky Pond… again

Is it possible to hike a trail too many times? In some cases, the answer to that question might be ‘yes.’ When the hike in question is Sky Pond, though, and it’s wintertime, I would argue that the answer is very clearly ‘no.’ Back in December 2020, Pat and I hiked to Sky Pond with… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: winter at Sky Pond… again

Southwestern US, US National Parks

The Waterpocket Fold – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah (part II)

As I mentioned briefly last week, Capitol Reef gets the ‘reef’ part of its name from the fact that, from a distance, the towering line of colorful cliffs appears to be an impenetrable barrier. This 100-mile (160 km) long wrinkle in the Earth’s crust is called the Waterpocket Fold. Sometime between 50-70 million years ago,… Continue reading The Waterpocket Fold – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah (part II)

Southwestern US, US National Parks

Orchards, cliffs, and petroglyphs – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah (part I)

Capitol Reef National Park is the least visited and most underrated of Utah’s "mighty five." And I sort of understand why. It’s not as archey as Arches or as canyoney as Canyonlands. It doesn’t have Bryce’s hoodoos or Zion’s Angel’s Landing. But you know what? Capitol Reef is a really cool place that is absolutely… Continue reading Orchards, cliffs, and petroglyphs – Capitol Reef National Park, Utah (part I)

Southwestern US, US National Parks

“It’s a helluva place to lose a cow” – Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (part I)

Thank you to Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea documentary series for this gem of a quote. If you haven’t watched this series, I highly recommend it. We really enjoyed it! The quote is attributed to Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon pioneer who homesteaded near Bryce Canyon in the 1860s and began taking visitors… Continue reading “It’s a helluva place to lose a cow” – Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (part I)

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

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lumpy Ridge Loop

Calling anything “lumpy” is… well, usually not intended as a compliment. But in this case it’s an apt description of the haphazard rock ridge rising above the northern edge of Estes Park, Colorado. Nestled within a low spot amongst the rocks is Gem Lake, the first hike Pat and I did when we moved to… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Lumpy Ridge Loop

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

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: East Inlet Trail to Lake Verna and Spirit Lake

Back in June 2019, my mom and I were signed up for a summer solstice Women Who Hike group backpacking trip on East Inlet Trail, with Lake Verna and Spirit Lake as our ultimate destination. Unfortunately, the first day of summer was marked by a massive snowstorm that forced a last-minute change of plans. Fast… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: East Inlet Trail to Lake Verna and Spirit Lake

Montana, US National Parks

Montana road trip 2021, part IV: cowboys, old cars, & the prison museum

Next up on our Montana history tour: Deer Lodge, a small town with a surprising amount of history! We arrived mid-morning and our first stop was Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site. This is an old cattle ranch that’s still semi-active. They have horses and cattle on site and park workers give tours, talks, and demonstrations of… Continue reading Montana road trip 2021, part IV: cowboys, old cars, & the prison museum