The outdoors, escapism, and selling hamburgers

Sometimes, this is enough

As I pass the one month mark since Burger Bench has opened, my urge to have an outdoor adventure has increased incredibly. The restaurant has been very successful, beyond what we could have hoped for. Our customers have been friendly and generous in their reviews. As can be expected, my entire days are filled with […]

Granite Springs Trail Camp – Cuyamaca moon

East Mesa highpoint, almost to Granite Springs Trail Camp

Summer had just come to an end, but it sure didn’t feel like it. It was sweltering in the lowlands and in the past I’d headed to the hills to get some relief. Since my daughter had a day off on Monday, we decided to go backpacking. We had already backpacked to Arroyo Seco in […]

Solving a 1904 Mystery – Is Elizabeth Pass misplaced on maps?

1903 Map of Elizabath Pass

You’re going to laugh. I am up to my sleuthing again. Recently I posted a lengthy blog post on recreating my 1987 trip to the Tunemah Trail based on photographs and sketchy evidence. Using Google Earth and other maps, I was able to piece together and solve the mystery of that trip.   In *this* […]

Tunemah Trail Backpacking Trip – A 1987 mystery unfolds

Last day - atop Crown Pass

Warning: Long Blog Post In 1987, I went on a backpacking trip to the Tunemah Trail near the LeConte and White Divides, in the Sierra Nevada. Using photos, maps, and cryptic captions, I performed research in 2015 and slowly found out where we really went. This will probably be the longest blog post I’ll ever […]

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, […]

Not Every Adventure Needs to be Epic

Sunshine Mountain from the trailhead

On TV, YouTube, and social media, we constantly see images of people trekking over hundreds of miles, scaling ice walls, sailing across oceans, living out of their vans, and traversing crevasse-ridden glaciers. Then there’s the rest of us. Leading normal lives, yearning to taste even a little bit of what these sponsored athletes are doing. […]

Have I lost my mountain mojo?

The PD on challenging day on the way to Mount Whitney in 2010

About 9 months ago, I read the following paragraph in a blog about summiting spectacular peaks in the Canadian Rockies. I had been reading this blog for several years and his posts about the peaks he climbs in challenging winter conditions are truly inspirational. Many are climbs the likes of which I will never attempt. […]

Gear Review – Columbia’s Men’s Diamond 890 TurboDown Hooded Down Jacket – My current favorite backpacking jacket – #omniten

Viewing a freezing sunrise at Haleakala, the top of Maui

Disclaimer: I received the Diamond 890 TurboDown Jacket for free while on a trip wholly funded by Columbia Sportswear. They were the best hosts one could imagine. I received a ton of gear and I am giving my honest opinion of this jacket, since I’ve used it so much since I got it. They gave […]

Cemetery Hill – SD Peak #69 – A Short Backpacking Trip Bathed in Sunset Light

Our tent on Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill Elevation: 3,459′ Total Mileage: 3.6 Trailhead Map Agency: Cleveland National Forest I had gotten settled back into San Diego. It had been a couple of months since the Muir Taco trip to the Sierra. I had only gotten out for some short hikes around my house. I’ve been curious about a place in Cleveland […]