Dinosaur National Monument gives us the perfect desert goodbye

Dinosaur National Monument gives us the perfect desert goodbye

Yes, Dinosaur National Monument has dinosaur bones. The best bones have long been removed and placed in museums, but they’ve left a few in place to illustrate the amazing forces that made these bones find-able in the first place: first, lots of animals and dinosaurs died in …

Great Basin National Park: From Underground to the Top of the World in Two Hours

Great Basin National Park: From Underground to the Top of the World in Two Hours

Like Guadalupe National Park, Great Basin National Park is an island in the middle of the desert. The Great Basin desert, to be exact. Great Basin National Park covers part of the Snake Range, a mountain range running close to the Nevada/Utah border, and the …

Driving the Loneliest Road in America: Hwy 50 across Nevada

Driving the Loneliest Road in America: Hwy 50 across Nevada

The Loneliest Road in America: Highway 50, east from Reno straight across Nevada. At least, as straight across Nevada as is possible. You very quickly get into a rhythm on Highway 50. Cross broad, flat valley, climb mountain range, descend mountain range, cross broad, flat …

The best view in Yosemite: the Sentinel Dome-Taft Point loop trail

The best view in Yosemite: the Sentinel Dome-Taft Point loop trail

The most famous view of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park is the vista from Glacier Point. That’s where everyone heads, and you’ve got to see it, but try this first: stop at the Sentinel Dome trailhead and hike the 4.9 mile Sentinel Dome/Taft Point …

Hiking Etiquette (aka Lisa’s Trail Etiquette for Everyone)

Hiking Etiquette (aka Lisa’s Trail Etiquette for Everyone)

Hiking isn’t like walking in the city. In the city, you’re just trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible while avoiding eye contact at all times. Sometimes people bump into each other, sometimes they step in dog poop, sometimes …

Unboxing the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Unboxing the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

Well, firstly, this was no McGangBang (and also not authentico at all unlike these, these, and these), but it didn’t make me hate myself after eating it, so let’s call that a win. Secondly, let’s translate the name for the non-Spanglish speakers out there, Doritos Locos …

We finally visit Ridge, my favorite winery

We finally visit Ridge, my favorite winery

When our friend, Ben, worked at a wine store in Chicago, he was always discovering interesting bottles and generously sharing them with us. This is how I had my first taste of Zinfandel from Ridge. I’ll always remember the bottle of Geyserville 2003 (or 2004?): the …

Camping in California? Avoid the State Parks.

Camping in California? Avoid the State Parks.

Honestly, they’re just embarrassing. As a state, California should be embarrassed by its parks. They’re shit. They’re just too expensive. Yes, people pay the fee, but they pay grudgingly, because there’s no alternative. They’re not nice-expensive, not cleaner than other parks (they seem dirtier), not …

Hiking to the Punta Gorda Lighthouse on the Lost Coast

Hiking to the Punta Gorda Lighthouse on the Lost Coast

Some people call this California’s Lost Coast. I prefer to think of it as the Saved Coast. Plenty of this section of California’s coast has been tied up by ranching and grazing for generations and is closed to public access, but there are also long, …

The Lost Coast of California

The Lost Coast of California

Between Ferndale (to the north) and Rockport (to the south) along California’s Pacific coast there’s basically nothing. No real towns, no housing developments, no reality TV stars, hardly any roads even. Sure, there are things marked as roads on the map, but they’re just paved …

The Redwoods of California

The Redwoods of California

If you want to see some big trees, aim for the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California, a road created so that through-traffic isn’t stuck behind gawking tourists on the 101 (my theory, since it mostly parallels the 101). The Avenue of the Giants is a …

The Wonderful Oregon Coast

The Wonderful Oregon Coast

The Oregon coast is special. In 1967, Oregon passed a bill making the ENTIRE coast public land. Like any legislation, it’s complicated, but Wikipedia sums it up well: The Oregon Beach Bill allows free beach access to everyone. This Bill allows private beach landowners to retain certain …