Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde. What can I say? That we have the opportunity to stand in a home built by Ancestral Pueblo people built in the mid-1100’s and look down the same canyon is…I don’t have the words. What’s the world that encompasses wonder, curiosity, admiration, humility, reflection, joy, stillness, connection, respect and energy? What word do…

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison is impressive. There is just something about canyons. By this point in my trip – about 3 months in – I had seen a few. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a straight up stunner. “…no other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness and somber countenance of…

Rocky Mountain National Park

I entered Rocky Mountain National Park at the Grand Lake Entrance Station on the west side. My campsite was aaaall the way across the park at the Moraine Park campground on the east side. That meant that I had to cover nearly the whole length of the 48 mile Trail Ridge Road, cross Milner Pass at 10,758…

Cisco, UT – The Creepy Ghost Town Everyone Talks About

I was driving through eastern Utah on the way to Carbondale, CO when I saw the sign for Cisco pop up. I was in the mood to stop and walk. This was the perfect opportunity. I read about Cisco in my recent past; probably while doing route research for the road trip. Everyone who had…

Canyonlands National Park

For my first foray into Canyonlands I landed on the area aptly named Island in the Sky; a mesa surrounded by canyons on the northeast side of the park, near Arches and Moab. It was gusty the day I arrived. Blustery. Having had this landscape on my mind since the beginning of the trip, I immediately sought…

Great Basin National Park

In one loooooong haul,I drove from Tahoe to Great Basin, all the way across northern Nevada. I was looking forward to setting up camp, cooking some dinner, drinking a beer and readying a book. Little did I know that all 5 campgrounds were full. The Great Basin Astronomy Festival was in full effect. Awesome for the…

Craters of the Moon National Monument

As it turns out, being in Idaho and being on the moon have something in common. That’s the whole joke…now on to the story! When I rolled into Craters of the Moon National Monument is was blowing up a gale and raining sideways. The thought of setting up my tent in that was…unpleasant. A chat with…

Oregon – from east to west

I drove into Eastern Oregon thinking that I could tackle the 7 Wonders of Oregon quickly. Not so. But I did get to see, albeit brief or obscured by smoke from the deadly 2015 wildfires, 5 of those 7 Wonders. The Wallowas: Visiting this was Wonder way too brief and marred by a 5am wake…

Grand Tetons National Park and the 19 Mile Hike

I was half way through my book, hunkered down in the tent to get out of the rain. Lightening and an immediate boom of thunder made me glad I chose to postpone my hike until the next day. It was a 19 mile hike. 19 miles in the rain sounded like…the opposite of fun and more like…

Glacier National Park

The fire on the east side of Glacier, east of Logan pass and both north and south of the Going to the Sun Road, had restricted access to much of the park. All those folks were pushed into the western half of Glacier. I was lucky and got a campsite by showing up to claim…

Waterton Lakes National Park

Last stop in Canada for this trip: Waterton Lakes National Park. As I was checking into the Crandell Campground for 4 nights, the ranger warned me that a bear had just been seen walking down the main road into the camp. I was to keep a bare campsite. I had no problem with that. I…

Canada killed the tent

After all the rain in Yoho and Jasper, I decided that a little sunshine was in order. I booked 4 nights at Dinosaur Provincial Park to dry out, soak up some desert heat and explore the badlands. The first night was picture perfect: clear and starry skies, cool desert temperatures and a spectacular sunset. The…