Southwestern US, Travels, 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, Travels, 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, 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

Southwestern US, Travels, US National Parks

Staying Cool in the Fiery Furnace – Arches National Park, Utah

When my family and I visited Arches National Park many years back, we didn’t know that you have to reserve tickets for the Fiery Furnace ranger led hike ahead of time. Like… way ahead of time. This hike generally sells out months in advance. So when we decided to visit Arches last July as destination… Continue reading Staying Cool in the Fiery Furnace – Arches National Park, Utah

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