Arizona 2024: Petrified Forest National Park

A conundrum, expressed in chart form: There are 63 American national parks. Elizabeth and I want to visit each of them. After a slow ramp up, we really got going in the post-graduation pandemic times when the outdoors was the only escape. And then in August 2021, we made a huge mistake: we got engaged. …

Pinnacles National Park: High Peaks Trail

Dawn light filtered into the cabin Elizabeth, Stephen and I shared. After a surprisingly decent sleep given how much I’d shivered, this morning felt like one to jump out of bed and greet the day with enthusiasm. I checked my phone and realized it was only 6:00 am. Now, you have two choices when it’s …

Pinnacles National Park: Flying to the Bay Area

If I asked 100 people to name a national park in California, I imagine a few responses would dominate. There would be a huge group of “Yosemites”, quite a few people mentioning “Death Valley”, and maybe a smattering of others would mention Sequoia, the Redwoods, or Joshua Tree. I’m pretty confident none of those 100 …

Spring Break 2022: Emerald Lake

I’ve previously blogged about the beginning of spring break 2022 in Breckenridge, Colorado. Following that weekend with Elizabeth’s family, the two of us headed up to Estes Park to spend some time at our wedding venue for next year and to work through some of the many possible vendors. I’ll write about that part of …

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Day Four

My phone hadn’t charged at all overnight. Cool. Looks like I was going to have like a 25% battery until we got the car rolling later on. At least I had enough charge to check the forecast and see if my car was going to be safe – Oh. That was foreboding. The HRRR kept …

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Day Three

At some point overnight, the wind died down. The wind, that pervasive uninvited guest in our first day in Great Sand Dunes, which had shifted the tent all around when I laid down to sleep. It wasn’t gone, but it was quiet. I felt the lack of it when I awoke in the quiet dawn. …

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Day 2

My night of bleh at the worst hotel in existence was finally over. Punctuated by any number of trains going “WOO WOO” right outside our room, Scipio and I had drifted in and out of sleep while Elizabeth slept like a blissful rock alongside us. The dog finally decided he was done resting and insisted …

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Day One

The big national park trip that I’ve already been writing about for the past few months was a huge, planned ordeal. We worked things out for months to make that trip happen. There were reservations, flights, cancellations, and all sorts of bureaucratic maneuvering we had to accomplish to get to where we wanted to. It …

National Park Trip Homepage

In August 2021, Elizabeth and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime. Over the course of a week from August 13 to 20, we explored the iconic national park tandem in northwestern Wyoming – Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Every piece of advice we read said we would need this long to see …

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