Every hike begins with great expectations. And while the redwoods at Russian Gulch State Park proved less grand and the fern canyon less lush than expected, we still found plenty to enjoy. Continue reading “Great Expectations on the Trail at Russian Gulch State Park in Mendocino”
If visiting an uplifted riverbed choked with 150-million-year-old dinosaur bones isn’t enough of a thrill at Dinosaur National Monument, be sure to hike the gouged and twisted landscapes of the Sound of Silence Trail. Continue reading “A ‘Wall of Bones’ and Tortured Landscapes at Dinosaur National Monument”
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”
Scotts Bluff National Monument is named for Hiram Scott, a fur trade clerk who died nearby in 1828 after taking ill on the trail home to Missouri. We visited this fall on the road home to California with considerably less drama. We hiked to the top. Nobody died.
Roadside attractions were plentiful on our drive across the American West this fall. Most were quirky, some historic, a few disappointing. But our favorite was Carhenge in Alliance, NE. We visited at sunrise.
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”
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.
Capitol Reef isn’t very big, as national parks go. But you can view magnificent desert vistas and ancient petroglyphs. You can hike up a narrow wash or beneath a stunning stone arch. You can lose the trail on a ledge 300 feet above a canyon floor. Yikes!
No billboards. No brochure. No web site or Twitter feed. We had to do some sleuthing to track down Pando, the 106-acre aspen grove that ranks among the oldest and biggest living things on Earth.
How far would you travel to commune with some of the oldest trees on Earth? We traveled via “the loneliest road in America” from The Coastside on the San Francisco Peninsula to Nevada’s highest peak to have a look. Continue reading “Strolling among Nevada’s Bristlecone Ancients at Great Basin National Park”
Sometimes less is more. Consider the drive through Nevada on US Route 50, a stretch of highway Life magazine once dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America.”
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 1 in a series: Buenos Aries feels like a European city, but the only “palace” we toured was a 20th century office building inspired by “The Devine Comedy.” You won’t find grand cathedrals holding royal remains. Instead, look for the late political diva Eva Perón in a tiny rented crypt. Street protests, a legacy of 20th-century political upheaval, are a Plaza de Mayo staple. Beef? It’s what’s for dinner.
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!
Part 1 in a series: How would you picture roving harems of wild mustangs on the beach at North Carolina’s Outer Banks? We visualized equine muscle and sinew stampeding across sun-drenched sand, hooves flashing to fend off predators and rivals, fiery eyes, flaring nostrils. We were wrong!
Every mighty river has a humble beginning. The Mississippi runs wide, deep and muddy for most of its 2,300 miles, draining 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Yet it begins as a babbling pour-off suitable for wading at Minnesota’s Lake Itasca. Who knew? Continue reading “Bond of Brothers at the Headwaters of the Mississippi; Mom would be Pleased”