If you don’t do your research and show up in search of the solitary Monterey Cypress standing sentinel on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, what sticks with you after your visit may not be the warm memories of a leisurely drive along a spectacular stretch of coastal California. Instead, you may be left reeling from sticker shock.
Rocky cliffs with long, luscious views of the Pacific Ocean, magnificent mountains cloaked in fog and covered in evergreens, and nature in perfect harmony with itself. I sincerely can’t think of a more visually captivating place than this stunning stretch of the California coast between San Simeon and Carmel.
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.
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...]
It was almost two years ago that I threw caution to the wind and drove four hours—alone—to southern Vermont to camp for four wonderful days and three glorious nights at Emerald Lake State Park in East Dorset. After having run a 5-mile race earlier in the day, I was pooped—and it was dark—when I arrived well after 9 p.m. I… [Keep reading...]
I’d grown tired of waiting for life to start, so I went out to meet it. How? I signed up online for an introductory group backpacking trip in California. The minute I clicked the “Submit” button and the deposit was paid, I knew there was no turning back. Several months later, at the end of July, I was sleeping in a coffin-sized solo backpacker’s tent overlooking Lower Lola Montez Lake in Tahoe National Forest in northern California.
Visiting all fifty-eight of the major national parks is on my bucket list. So far I’ve only been to four but going to the Bay Area gives me the opportunity to add what many believe to be the crown jewel of all the National Parks: Yosemite. Could it—should it—be attempted?