My time at Yosemite National Park was a whirlwind. Four days was not enough time to explore the park, but I imagine that a lifetime would not be enough time. Yosemite is probably one of the most talked about and photographed parks in our national park system, but there is […]

Yosemite National Park: Recap


Four Mile Trail is a misleading name. It sounds easy. Four miles isn’t that far. In reality, it’s a 4 mile hike each way with 3,200 feet in elevation gain. Four Mile Trail connects the valley floor to Glacier Point. Along the way you get full views of both the […]

Yosemite National Park: Four Mile Trail


In the northeast corner of Yosemite Valley lays a natural phenomenon known as Mirror Lake. A grassy, sandy meadow for much of the year becomes a still pool filled with melting snow runoff in the spring and early summer months. Mirror Lake gets its name from the near perfect reflections that can […]

Yosemite National Park: Mirror Lake



If you’re looking for a flat, easy hike with breathtaking views of Yosemite Falls, walk the Lower Yosemite Falls Loop. This 1 mile paved path is the opposite of it’s Upper Yosemite Falls Trail sister. But still with remarkable views. When the sun and spray work in your favor, you’ll […]

Yosemite National Park: Lower Yosemite Falls


I didn’t have too much prior knowledge about Yosemite National Park, but as I was preparing to go a friend said “Be sure to hike the Mist Trail. You’ll be surrounded by rainbows.” I did a little more research and I wasn’t looking forward to the 600+ granite steps that […]

Yosemite National Park: Mist Trail


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When I was in fourth grade my family took a trip to South Carolina to visit friends who had moved there from our small town in Pennsylvania. The 10 hour journey was a BIG DEAL to me. At this point our family vacations typically consisted of quick trips to amusement […]

A Travel Writer’s Origin Story



I thought vacations were for sleeping in. When you’re in a crowded National Park with a couple other adventurers, they’re not. Sunrise has become my favorite part of the day in parks. It’s beautiful. Quiet. Deserted. Calm. Chilly. It’s when you’ll see more animals than people. It’s when you’ll find […]

Yosemite National Park: Upper Yosemite Falls Hike


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Name a US National Park. If you are like most Americans you probably named Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite – at least those are the Big 3 that have always come to mind for me. I couldn’t complete my #100by100 quest of seeing 100 National Parks before the Park Service […]

Yosemite National Park


The Cascade Mountain Range is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. Stretching from Canada through Oregon, the Cascades parallel the coast and are responsible for the wet weather this area is known for. The Cascades are also known for creating beautiful vistas of snow capped peaks. While I was familiar […]

North Cascades National Park



As part of the National Park Service Centennial Celebration, the National Mall and Memorial Parks organized a scavenger hunt to lesser visited sites throughout the National Mall area. I love games and parks and learning (#nerd) so I was excited for this. But I was also thinking it was probably […]

National Mall and Memorial Parks Scavenger Hunt


Since starting my #100by100 quest over 2 years ago, I often thought about where I would celebrate the Centennial. Yosemite is iconic. Maybe I should hike Half Dome? Most people don’t get out to American Samoa enough. Maybe I should book a flight? If it’s too expensive, how about Hawaii? […]

Party Like It’s 1916: NPS Centennial Celebration


On the eve of my birthday in March 2014 I was contemplating a visit to Antietam National Battlefield. But laying on the couch sounded pretty good too. Did I need to go on a hike? Antietam isn’t going anywhere. Can’t I just go another time? As I lay in bed […]

#100by100: Challenge Accepted. Challenge Completed.