Pandemic hiking rules can have unintended consequences. For example, when the one-way trails at Big Basin Redwoods added 4.5 miles, a degree of difficulty and four waterfalls to our day hike. Continue reading “Magical Falls & Pandemic Protocols on the Trail at Big Basin Redwoods”
There’s more to the Santa Cruz Mountains than redwoods, fence lizards and banana slugs. We hiked the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve for views that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay. Continue reading “Astride the Crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains at Russian Ridge”
The Santa Cruz Mountains are awash in microclimates. Too warm? Too damp? Too cloudy? An alternative is nearby. If hiking a sun-baked hillside and a shady live oak woodland sounds nice, visit Monte Bello Preserve. But beware of angry squirrels! Continue reading “Crispy Grass, Live Oaks and Chuntering Squirrels at Monte Bello Preserve”
Shut down for months by the pandemic, we thrilled at stepping back onto the trail last week deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ticks lurked. Covid-19 loomed. Poison oak loitered in the underbrush. It was glorious! Continue reading “A Walk in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Pescadero Creek Park Eases COVID-19 Blues”
Chill air, an icy trail and high wind beneath blue skies greeted us at 10,400 feet as we stepped off to take on the Lookout Lakes Trail in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. No problem. But an earworm of the classic “Smokey Bear” song nearly drove us nuts. Continue reading “A Rather Blustery Lakeside Hike High in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow Mountains”
Last in a series: “It’s just a hike. It’s just a hike,” our guide Rob insisted as he prepped us for our trek up the Ascencio Valley to the namesake towers of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. Then why did he have to say it twice?
Context can make a hike. While the trek to Scott Lookout Tower in the Nebraska National Forest is rather ordinary, the concept of walking through a 20,000-acre forest engineered in the middle of the Great Plains makes it special. Continue reading “Hiking the Sandhills of Nebraska in America’s Largest ‘Man-Made’ Forest”
Prairie Creek Redwoods doesn’t need a gimmick. But if the idea of Bigfoot prowling a towering old-growth forest or of tiny flesh-eating dinosaurs scrambling through a fern-laden canyon stimulates your imagination, then head to California’s Humboldt County. Continue reading “Hiking ‘Jurassic Park’ in Bigfoot Country at Prairie Creek Redwoods”
Neither of us are poets. Yet our hike on a blustery fall day through trembling Aspen groves in the Gunnison National Forest at Crested Butte, CO, inspired us to give poetry a try. And so, with a nod to junior high English teachers everywhere, we present: “Ode to Autumn at Crested Butte.”
The sheer walls and stone towers of the narrow, half-mile deep gorge at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado are breath-taking. But once you catch your breath, then what?
Considered one of the best hikes at Arches National Park, the Devil’s Garden trail draws a crowd. Be patient. The pack will thin when the scramble begins.
Trek in. Walk out. Drive by. We found no shortage of opportunities to enjoy magnificent vistas at Canyonlands National Park. So, we mixed in a scramble to the park’s only meteor crater.
Part 3 in a series: If you want a selfie with the Patagonian peaks that make up Argentina’s iconic Fitz Roy massif, you have to earn it. Expect wind, rain and steep ascents. Watch out for stinging caterpillars and feral cows. Photo bombs by meandering cloud banks may drive you mad. Continue reading “Playing Hide & Seek with Fitz Roy in Patagonia; Beware of Stinging Caterpillars”
Part 2 in a series: Looking for a penguin colony with a view? Try “the end of the world” at the southern tip of Patagonia.
Part 3 and last in a series: No one visits North Carolina’s Outer Banks to go hiking. The narrow string of sandy barrier islands runs for 200 miles but never measures more than 3 miles between sound and sea. At 91 feet, Kill Devil Hill is the highest peak. Most nature trails stretch for less than a mile. We gave hiking a shot anyway. Continue reading “Meandering the Outer Banks with Ghost Crabs, Forest Spiders and Dread Pirate Diane”
Part 2 in a series: The iconic lighthouses standing watch along North Carolina’s Outer Banks protect a coastline known grimly as The Graveyard of the Atlantic. They are as beautiful as the coastal waters are deadly. We climbed three!
The innovators at the Djerassi research compound in the mountains above Palo Alto have little need for lab coats or goggles. You won’t find them crafting code in a bean bag chair or doing deals on napkins at Buck’s of Woodside. Djerassi is about innovation in art.
There’s nothing quite like perambulating the Crissy Field Promenade at The Presidio to lift your spirits, especially when San Francisco’s Wave Organ lets you down.
Continue reading “Crissy Field Promenade Rescues a Grand Day Out in San Francisco after Wave Organ Falls Flat”
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was escape-proof back in the day. Now ceded to tourists, it’s impossible to get into the maximum security relic without a reservation. May we recommend nearby Angel Island instead? Continue reading “Alcatraz booked? Try San Francisco Bay’s Angel Island Alternative”