Canadian Rockies – A gorgeous change of plans

Peyto Lake and the Misaya River Valley

Sometimes you don’t get the trip that you planned, but you get one that you need. Our trip to the Canadian Rockies started out a little rocky. Our plan was this: The PD and I would fly to Calgary, drive out to Kootenay National Park and leave our rental car at the Floe Lake Trailhead, […]

Sequoia National Park – Where my love of the outdoors began

My first trip to Sequoia National Park - Age 6 in 1978 at Squatters Cabin

Sequoia National Park. The first time I visited was when I was six. From my parents’ recollection, my memory, and faded photos, it was the quiet alternative to the more popular and iconic Yosemite National Park. Is it where I earned my first patch from picking up trash along the trail, ate my first s’mores, and saw […]

Family Trip Part 2 – Bryce Canyon National Park

Thor's Hammer at Bryce Canyon National Park

After we were done visiting Zion National Park, we headed out to Bryce Canyon National Park. We were basically recreating the trip I took when I was a child. While we were sad to say goodbye to Zion, we were excited what we would find down the road. — We took the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway […]

Family Trip Part 1 – Zion National Park: Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, and Angels Landing

Zion Canyon from Angel's Landing

Continuing our trend for visiting National Parks, we decided to visit two on one trip. Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park are both parks that I visited when I was a child. Seeing it through my daughter’s eyes was an added bonus. A trend I have seen in National Parks since my childhood […]

Point Mugu State Park – Camping with Another Old Friend

Boney Mountain from the Fireline Trail

When my oldest friend and I were working out a good place to camp, Point Mugu State Park came to mind as an ideal spot at the midway point between us. It turned out to be a great weekend. And something that should happen more often than once every 40 years. Update 05/03/2013: Many, if […]

Glacier National Park – A Family Trip

Alpine meadows on the way to Hidden Lake

This was another one of our family trips to a national park. So far, as a family, we’ve been to Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. After watching a document last year about Glacier National Park, we decided to go there, too. We were able to go on several hikes, but I found myself […]

Nojoqui Falls – A Short and Shady Hike to the Waterfall

But, sometimes, a moment of peace

Nojoqui Falls Park 3200 South Alisal Road Solvang, California 93463 805-934-6211 Agency: The County of Santa Barbara Parks Distance to the falls: .6 miles round trip I was looking for a good hike to take my daughter, who, as you may know, is pretty young. I asked around and several people mentioned Nojoqui Falls. […]

Parma Park – Steep Suburban Hiking with an Ocean View

The eastern entrance to the park off Stanwood

Parma Park Stanwood Dr (1 Mile west of Sycamore Canyon Road) Santa Barbara, CA 805-564-5418 Agency: The City of Santa Barbara, Parks and Recreation Owned by the Parma family since the 1890s, this 200 acre parcel was donated to the city in 1973. This permanently undeveloped park features hiking, walking and equestrian trails, vista […]

Yellowstone National Park – A huge park with many personalities

Before arriving at Yellowstone National Park, from what I had seen before, and most recently in the Ken Burns’ documentary America’s Best Idea, I had an impression that Yellowstone was going to be a vast, chalky landscape that smelled like sulfur with steam hissing all over the place. And bison, tons of bison. Well, it was that, but […]

Wildlife Research Institute – Hawkwatch in the Ramona Grasslands


This Saturday, I went to the Hawkwatch at the Wildlife Research Institute in the Ramona Grasslands. It was a great experience and Sophie really enjoyed it. We saw plenty of wildlife, including a lone coyote loping across the next field over to the north. It is held every Saturday in January and February from 9am-12pm. […]