National Parks

National Parks

Yosemite National Park Part 1: In the footsteps of Ansel Adams


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Reviewers frequently characterize [Ansel] Adams as a photographer of an idealized wilderness that no longer exists. On the contrary, the places that Adams photographed are, with few exceptions, precisely those wilderness and park areas that have been preserved for all time. There is a vast amount of true and truly protected wilderness in America, much of it saved because of the efforts of Adams and his colleagues. – Ansel Adams Biography by William Turnage, Oxford University Press

A few years ago Ryan and I went to an Ansel Adams exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum.  At the time, Ryan didn’t even know who Ansel Adams was, and was not familiar with his photography.  I had taken photography in high school so I remembered learning about Adams and knew he was well known for his black and white portraits.  Walking around the museum admiring the photographs, it never occurred to me that I could actually travel to and see the locations that Adams immortalized. (more…)

National Parks

Kings Canyon National Park


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Another short visit, similar to Sequoia, makes me want to come back…

That was how Ryan’s journal entry about our time in Kings Canyon started. He went on to recall the sites we saw and what we did while we were there, but ended the short entry with the same sentiment.

Most of the park is wilderness so I hope to come back and do some backpacking to really enjoy what this park has to offer.

(more…)

National Parks

Sequoia National Park


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Shortly after visiting Petrified Forest NP and camping in our Element for the first time Ryan and I set out on a week long road trip from Scottsdale to California.  We had learned a few things from our first camping trip in the Element and were prepared with new gear and a better strategy for packing and sleeping.  On this trip we were hoping to see Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite and potentially Pinncales.  Ryan was participating in the Flag2GC mountain bike race on Saturday so I was going to meet him at the Grand Canyon campsite where the race finished and then we would leave on Sunday morning. (more…)

National Parks

Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon Trip Summary


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After our trip to Petrified Forest in August 2013, Ryan and I headed to California for a week of camping and exploring.  We were able to visit Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite.  Two years later, these parks are still some of our favorites, you can see our rankings here.   I’m working on a few posts about the trip, but it’s taking me a while to go through all the pictures, journal entries and GPS files.  In the meantime, I put together this fun infographic to share some of the highlights!  More to come! (more…)

National Parks

Mammoth Cave National Park


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When we travel the first things I look for near our destination are bike rentals and National Parks, while the first thing Danielle looks for is a pool.  On our recent trip to Nashville, I was successful in one of the two and realized Mammoth Caves National Park (MCNP) was a short one and half hour drive away.  PERFECT!   (more…)

National Parks

Mammoth Cave – Thoughts from 300 feet Under.


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Something just doesn’t feel right about sitting on stadium bleachers with 100 other people when you’re 300 feet underground.

My Mom always tells people that I am her child that saw everything as either black or white and my brother tended to see things a little more grey.  When you look at things as only right or wrong, it makes life easy, you don’t have to think, you just do the right thing.  Recently though, I’ve been finding myself in a world that’s turning more and more grey, and to be honest it’s kind of uncomfortable.  It feels as if I’m in a constant state of searching for answers, but there isn’t always a right answer. (more…)