Balabanova All Over


[Hana, Haleakala National Park & Kihei, HI, Nov 23, 2022] I originally planned to go back to central Maui the way I came, through the Road to Hana. I just assumed that the road dead-ended past Hana and it didn’t complete a full loop around east Maui, which would not be all that unusual for Hawaii. But I needed to go past Hana to visit the Kipahulu unit of Haleakala National Park,… Read More

[Haleakala National Park / Makawao, HI, Nov 21, 2022] Unfortunately, not only did the bad weather at the Haleakala summit hold, it got worse. At dinner last night, as I was refreshing the web cam yet again, I noticed a wind advisory for the summit pop up. 30 to 40 mile-per-hour winds with wind gusts up to 50 mph! Yikes! It didn’t look good, but I decided to rely on the live… Read More

[Haleakala National Park / Kula, HI / Paia, HI, Nov 20, 2022] My first full day on Maui began with one of the most quintessential experiences on the island – watching sunrise at Haleakala National Park. I had made my reservation for the park 2 months in advance, as is required for anyone entering the park between 3 am and 7 am every day of the year. Sunrise was supposed to happen… Read More

Often overshadowed by Washington‘s fantastic national parks, Mt Baker is a bit less known and visited. It sits only 10 miles south of the Canadian border at the end of Highway 542. It takes about 3 hours to get there from Seattle but only 1.5 hours from Burlinton, WA. This means you can easily add Mt Baker to this awesome 10-day WA national park itinerary, between North Cascades and Olympic national parks… Read More

[Mt Baker, Sep 4, 2022] Chain Lakes Loop trail has it all – gorgeous views of Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan as well as a few beautiful alpine lakes along the way. The biggest challenge with it was picking a starting point and direction. Many people start this hike at Artist Point, which was where I started both Huntoon Point and Ptarmigan Ridge from. After reading a ton of Alltrails reviews, I… Read More