National Parks


Photographs and writing from our quest to visit all 59 National Parks.

National Parks

Petrified Forest National Park


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Before we started this blog, Ryan and I would sometimes bring a journal on our trips to the National Parks so we could remember our visit.  On July 27, 2013 we went to Petrified Forest National Park, our first park since we started on our journey to visit all of them.  Here is an excerpt from Ryan’s journal entry. (more…)

National Parks

Glacier National Park Part 3: The Highline Trail


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I read a lot about the Highline Trail when planning our trip to Glacier. Most guide books classify this trail as a “must see” for all park visitors. Every picture I saw of the Highline Trail looked amazing, but sadly I came to the conclusion that I would not get to see it for myself due to my fear of heights. Despite all my research on the trail, the night before our last day in the park, I decided the pros (it doesn’t have a lot of climbing, it’s easily accessible, and makes a nice point to point hike by using the park shuttle) outweighed the cons (sheer drop-offs), and I decided to face my fears and tackle the Highline trail. (more…)

National Parks

Glacier National Park Part 2: Going to the Sun Road, Logan Pass & Many Glacier


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On our second day at GNP the whole family piled into our Tahoe and drove the Going to the Sun Road.  Any book about National Parks highlights the Going to the Sun Road as one of the most scenic drives in North America.  The road is 52 miles long and starts out like many other park roads, winding through trees along the lakes and rivers.  After passing the Avalanche trailhead the road starts to get pretty amazing and quite intense.  You gain a lot of elevation in a short time, which means there is a steep drop off on one side of the car at all times.  The drive is not for the faint of heart or people with vertigo, there are many sharp turns and there is no guardrail to separate your car from the glacier carved valley below. (more…)

National Parks

Glacier National Park Part 1: Lake McDonald and Avalanche Creek


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Our first day at GNP was a quick visit after driving from Coeur D’Alene to Whitefish.  We were staying on Big Mountain in Whitefish, which was beautiful, but unfortunately not very conveniently located for exploring the park.  The running joke the whole trip was that it was close in Montana miles, since everything is expansive and wide open.  The drive to the park from our condo was about 45 minutes, and that was just to the west entrance, driving across the park adds another one to two hours depending on traffic and the destination. (more…)

National Parks

Channel Islands Part 2. Fish goes blub.


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Road trips are known to be the ultimate test of a relationship.  Here’s another idea, spend the day in a tandem kayak, a.k.a, a divorce boat.  On our second day at Channel Islands National Park, Ryan and I did just that and spent the day exploring the coves and sea caves around Santa Cruz island.  I am happy to report that we survived with no injuries to ourselves or our relationship! (more…)

National Parks

Channel Islands National Park Part 1: What does the fox say?


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Summer has officially arrived in the valley, which naturally means all Phoenicians are heading to SoCal to get out of the heat and enjoy some time on the beach. This week I’m sharing a little bit about our trip to Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Ventura, California. Ryan and I visited Channel Islands in December 2013 right after Christmas. Before sharing about our experience, there are a few logistical things to mention about CINP. Getting to Channel Islands is not easy, there are five individual islands and getting to the closest islands, Anacapa or Santa Cruz, requires a one hour boat ride. (more…)