Falling into canyons at Black Canyon National Park

Falling into canyons at Black Canyon National Park

I keep having this recurring nightmare: Paul and I are standing on the edge of a canyon. One after the other, we fall in. Paul falls in, then I fall in. I fall in, then Paul falls in. Over and over. Sometimes we fall in …

Hello to an old friend at Colorado National Monument

Hello to an old friend at Colorado National Monument

I’d made my peace with saying goodbye to the desert at Dinosaur National Monument. Then we made a last minute swing through Colorado National Monument and my composure was shaken; my closure was ruined. You know how it is: you’re moving out of town and …

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 …

Ansel Adams Ruined Yosemite

Ansel Adams Ruined Yosemite

Ansel Adams ruined Yosemite. Well …. somebody did. Probably, a bunch of people had a hand in it, collectively ruining the park by popularization. Ansel may have just kicked it off. The cool climbers that flock here just sealed its fate. Honestly, though, why even try …

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 …

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 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 …

Wine Pairing: Sweet Wine with Chips and Salsa

Wine Pairing: Sweet Wine with Chips and Salsa

We’re fans of Champagne and potato chips. They’re great together. Champagne and popcorn is good too, but we really like the chips (“crisps” for our British readers). This duo is just as good. Got a bottle of sweet wine but don’t want to wait until …

Olympic NP’s Trail of Terror

Olympic NP’s Trail of Terror

The Trail of Terror starts with the flat and easy 1.4 mile stroll to Third Beach near La Push, WA along Olympic Park’s Pacific shore area. Walk south down the beach towards the waterfall. Look for the trail sign near where the beach narrows. It’s …

Foggy Memories in Olympic National Park

Foggy Memories in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is made up of many separate, unique areas. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss them. The park covers a large part of the Olympic Peninsula, across the Puget Sound from Seattle, plus a narrow strip of land along the Pacific Ocean. …