March 29, 2017


Reef Bay, St. John

Hiking the Reef Bay Trail in Virgin Islands National Park

A great way to get familiar with the landscape, flora, and fauna of U.S. national parks is to take a guided hike or walk offered through the National Park Service (NPS).

Yosemite National Park in California

Celebrating Small Successes in Yosemite National Park

It’s taken over a year to really sink in: I’ve backpacked Yosemite National Park. Thousands–maybe millions–of people have already accomplished that feat, so what makes the fact that I’ve done it so special?

Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

Highs and Lows of Hiking Half Dome

Hiking Half Dome isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s a trail you’ve got to try when visiting Yosemite National Park.

Climbing Cairn Gorm, where the landscape is beautiful but desolate and the weather can turn on a dime.

Cairn Gorm: The Mountain That (Almost) Ate My Memories

After chickening out of a driving tour of the Scottish Highlands, I’d missed my chance at climbing Ben Nevis, Scotland’s tallest peak. In Inverness on my last day in Scotland, I decided that climbing the nearby Cairn Gorm would have to do. The experience didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.

A view of the northeastern coast of Santa Cruz Island

Channeling My Inner Explorer on Santa Cruz Island

Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Grand Canyon. Yosemite. Yellowstone. Rocky Mountain. Olympic. Zion. Grand Teton. Acadia. These are only a few of the crown jewels of the United States’ National Park Service. They are among the most well-known, well-loved, and well-visited of the parks, their names alone conjuring visions of vast unspoiled natural beauty and their splendor transcending geographical borders…. [Keep reading…]

All smiles at the top of Mount Hollywood

A Magic Moment on Mount Hollywood

“Yesterday, I met the real Los Angeles…” I laugh at myself as I thumb through the pages of my travel journal and find this bit of drivel. Penned after I’d spent all of 48 hours in L.A., I find my hubris hilarious. In a mere two days, what could I have known about the real Los Angeles, a city covering an area of… [Keep reading…]