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

Santa Fe, NM

I rolled into Santa Fe ready for art, culture and food, but then got derailed a bit by weather and altitude. Luckily, I understand the number one rule for positive experiences while traveling is to be flexible, so I was still able to enjoy my time there, just not in the way I was initially expecting. The altitude issue was the biggest surprise.  I wasn’t … Continue reading Santa Fe, NM

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

I am a fan of hoodoos, a geologic formation also known as a tent rock.  The reason I like them is because they look weird. That’s it. There’s a whole bunch of interesting science behind how they form that I sometimes find interesting, but on the day I went to visit these hoodoos, I just wanted to hike someplace cool.  Off to Tent Rocks it … Continue reading Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

White Sands National Park

White Sands is the largest gypsum dunefield in the world, covering over 275 square miles of the Chihuahuan Desert with brilliant white, soft dunes. They’re located on the west side of the Tularosa Basin, between the San Andres and the Sacramento mountains. The White Sands Missile Range surrounds the park, so the road in (US 70) is sometimes closed during missile range tests. Those closures … Continue reading White Sands National Park

Carlesbad Caverns National Park

This place blew my mind.  It’s huge, it’s beautiful, and I was happy and surprised to discover that it’s so accessible that even those in wheel chairs can tour a large portion of this national treasure. I’ll start with the huge part.  There are larger caves in the world, but there aren’t any with more space available to visit if you aren’t a scientist with … Continue reading Carlesbad Caverns National Park

Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas

This cave is the largest one in Texas and very, very cool.  I love exploring caves (on guided tours, not crawling around on my own) and I’ve been to many of them here in the U.S., as well as in Mexico and Switzerland.  This one is the most interesting one I’ve seen, ever. A natural limestone slab bridge with a span of about 60 feet … Continue reading Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas

Dry Tortugas National Park

I have one of those Passport books issued by the National Park Service.  You know, the kind where you stamp the passport at each park you are lucky enough to see?  It’s a fun way to document your travels, and it’s even more fun when you get a stamp from one of the parks that is less visited.  Dry Tortugas is definitely one of those … Continue reading Dry Tortugas National Park