Death Valley National Park

Oops!  How did I miss publishing this post on Death Valley?  Oh well, I goofed and here it is! “Did you know Death Valley is almost the exact same size as the state of Connecticut?” That was the question posed to me by the Park Ranger as I picked up my park map and newspaper at the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center, and no, I did … Continue reading Death Valley National Park

Northern California

I made it to the West Coast!  It took me two months via a crazy route, but I made it. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting, but I think I had California all wrong in my head.  My experience with the area was limited primarily to business trips through the LA and San Diego area, when I was rushed and driving from one … Continue reading Northern California

Life on the Road (So Far)

Today is the halfway mark on my four month trip around the lower 48 states.  It’s been amazing!  I’ve made it all the way to the southernmost part of the U.S., and to the lowest point in the North America.  I’ve watched dolphins play in the Atlantic, swam with fish in the Gulf of Mexico, descended into the depths of Carlesbad, hiked hundreds of miles, … Continue reading Life on the Road (So Far)

Zion National Park

Zion is basically Disney World for nature geeks.  I’m serious.  The parking lots fill up early in the day, so your best bet is to get in line for the well run shuttle that stops at every major beautiful natural attraction you may want to see in the park.  The trail heads mostly start right in the area of the shuttle stop, and there is … Continue reading Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce really is this colorful.  I’ve wondered about that every time I’ve seen a photograph of the beautiful hoodoos there, and always assumed that photographers were over saturating their photos, but no.  I entered the area through the Dixie National Forest first, and literally had to pull over to just look at the rocks for a moment.  It was late afternoon and they were glowing … Continue reading Bryce Canyon National Park

Arches National Park, UT

Mother Nature’s imagination went a little nuts here, creating a crazy land of shapes and colors in rock that’s still changing quickly enough to measure in a human lifespan. There are more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches in Arches National Park, and since 1970, more than 43 arches have collapsed within the park (so there’s a reason why they tell you not to wander into … Continue reading Arches National Park, UT

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Canyonlands National Park is huuuge, comprising over 337,598 acres of dramatic landscapes.  The park is divided into three areas, and it’s not really an option to do more than one in a single day.  I spent two days exploring The Needles, and Island in the Sky. The Needles This place has it all.  Lavender canyons, giant mushroom rocks, super exclusive high clearance roads, 2,000 year … Continue reading Canyonlands National Park, UT

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde contains over 4,500 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Pueblo people; 600 are cliff dwellings.  I first visited this park about ten years ago when my children were younger, and I’m glad I went back.   I was happy to see there is a new visitor’s center right at the entrance now, so that you can set up your tours and put together a … Continue reading Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Taos, NM

Taos was the first place I’ve visited where I could see myself moving to. It’s a small town, but cultures blend here respectfully as if it were a big city. There’s art, there’s amazing food, there are interesting people, and there is an obvious appreciation of nature everywhere. The days start with the sun coming up from behind the mountains, pushing gorgeous colors along with … Continue reading Taos, NM

Bandelier National Monument, NM

Bandelier surprised me in a good way. It was bigger and more compelling than I expected, and incredibly peaceful in the early spring. The entire area of roughy 33,000 acres is located inside the Jemez Mountain region, where massive volcanic eruptions were very active about 13 million years ago. Bandelier is situated on what is basically the side of an ancient huge volcano, the Valle … Continue reading Bandelier National Monument, NM