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[Congaree National Park, June 2, 2018] As the week of Memorial Day drew to a close and my conference wound down, it was time to head to Augusta, GA for the post-conference adventures I had planned. Augusta is the second-largest metropolitan area in Georgia, but it is overshadowed by Savannah, GA in popularity. You only hear about Augusta once a year in April when it hosts the Masters golf tournament. Therefore, I… Read More

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[May 25, 2018] The Kilauea eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii is in its third week. The majority of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed, and many people are worried about safety if they go. In this blog post, I will share why I think it’s still safe to go, provide resources for those who need to research on their own, and share my favorite activities on the island. Should You… Read More

[Channels Islands National Park – Anacapa Island, March 29, 2018]  The five islands that make up Channel Islands national park sit just off the coast of Ventura, CA. They had been on my list for a long time, but their proximity meant that I prioritized other national parks before them. With a four-day weekend for Easter looming with no solid travel plans, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to explore my… Read More

[Biscayne National Park, FL, Dec 29, 2017] Although the Everglades get all the glory, Florida actually has two other national parks – Dry Tortugas, which I wrote about earlier, and Biscayne National Park. Visiting Biscayne can be a little difficult because 95% of the park is on water. This means that the best way to experience it is on a boat. Map courtesy of the National Park Service Biscayne National Park is just… Read More

[Dry Tortugas National Park, Dec 27, 2017] Finally, the Dry Tortugas post! B and I worked really hard to not get excited about it lest some last-minute cancellation due to weather or whatever else foiled our plans again, but we actually made it! Dry Tortugas National Park is located 70 miles West off the coast of Key West, making it one of the most remote national parks and the endpoint of the… Read More

One thing I’ll try to do more of with my blog is to synthesize my experiences into tips for other travelers to use when they are planning their own trips to the places I’ve been to. Since my recent trip to Phantom Ranch at the Grand Canyon is fresh on my mind, here are my top tips for making your Grand Canyon/Phantom Ranch experience a good one as well as hard-to find… Read More

[Grand Canyon National Park, Sun, Nov 26, 2017] I think I speak for all three of us when I say that we did not want to leave Phantom Ranch. I could have easily spent a week here hiking around and relaxing. Alas, we had an 11 mile trek back up to the top, so we had an early breakfast (5:30 am!!!), then packed our bags and headed out at dawn. We took… Read More

[Grand Canyon National Park, Sat, Nov 25, 2017] We booked two nights down here at Phantom Ranch, so that means we had a full day on Saturday to do whatever we pleased. We decided to do a little hike, then check out the beach we saw on our way down yesterday. There were several hike options at the bottom of the canyon. One option was to go up the North Kaibab trail… Read More

[Grand Canyon National Park, Fri, Nov 24, 2017] After a restful night’s sleep in our park lodge, we woke up on Friday ready to conquer the descent into the canyon. Our packs were ready from the night before. We all ended up reducing what we took with us in order to keep the weight down. It’s amazing how little you need if you actually think about it! Olivia strapped all kinds of… Read More

[Grand Canyon National Park, Nov 23, 2017] Laura and I arrived at Olivia’s house bright and early today, Thanksgiving day. We briefly compared pack sizes. Olivia is using the smallest pack  (18-liter) and Laura and I are both wondering how she managed to get everything she needs in there. Laura is bringing her 28-liter Gregory pack weighing about 13 lbs before water, and I’m bringing my 34-liter Osprey pack weighing in at… Read More

[Los Angeles, CA, Nov 9, 2017] In exactly two weeks, I am heading to the Grand Canyon with my friends Olivia and Laura. It will be my first time there, which is a shame considering I’ve been living so close to it for the past eight years. One of the best – and therefore, most popular – ways to experience the Grand Canyon is to go all the way to the bottom… Read More

[Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, Oct 17, 2016] This was our last day on the Big Island – well, for the majority of us! Most of us were leaving with a red-eye in the evening, while a few lucky ones were staying one more night here before continuing on to the island of Kauai. We got an early start to the day so that we can drive a couple of hours to… Read More