Tag archives for national parks trip

In summer, the Golden-winged Warbler flits among the thorny blackberry bushes and spiky yellow goldenrod up here, on top of the highest points in the Appalachians. These rounded, stone-strewn humps are the “Highlands of Roan” and as their name suggests, they very much resemble the misty highlands of Scotland—mostly bald compared to the surrounding hillsides…

Charles Rennie Mackintosh observed that, “Art is the flower, Life is the Green Leaf,”  but I would very humbly add that after the green leaf dies, all those red, orange, and yellow leaves become nature’s most magnificent work of art. For the past two weeks I’ve enjoyed autumn’s splendor, from the yellow aspens of Grand…

While the government shutdown turned the South Rim into a bit of a ghost town, I still managed to see the Grand Canyon by flying over it, twice. Luckily, the airplane and helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon continued to run, allowing me the chance to really take in the full breadth of America’s inspiring…

I’ve been deported before— There was that Chili’s in college where the manager asked my friends and I to leave immediately . . . and then there was that small middle-eastern nation with its humorless dictator, whose border agents informed me that I had been blacklisted—should I attempt to return, I would be barred entry.…

Good travel surprises us. It teaches us new things, it changes our opinions, and helps us see the world in a new way. Until now, I’ve always associated fall with the northeast and the foliage brilliance of New England, but traveling through Utah in early October showed me the other side of autumn–one with red…

With 5 iconic National Parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), Utah ranks third among states with National Parks (California has 9, Alaska, 8). In addition, Utah has 7 National Monuments (Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogos Cave, and Hovenweep), as well as 6 National Forests (and 43 state…

Every second of travel comes down to a decision—to stop and get out of the car, or to carry on, foot pressed hard on the pedal, to the destination we first had in mind. I was doing fifty when I saw the small cabin at the edge of the road, prim and square, with windows…

It snowed on the night I arrived in Grand Teton. The next morning, on the last day of September, the wall of mountains simply disappeared into whiteness, and as I hiked through the sagebrush, my face tingling with falling drops of ice, I sent this tweet: big snowstorm overhead/ mountains melt into heaven/ the sky…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—the freedom to travel is the greatest freedom of all. Most of us take it for granted—we walk, drive, fly and ride wherever we please. Sometimes a road gets blocked for construction, or a flight gets cancelled—perhaps we get annoyed and frustrated, but in the end, we…

Preserve the Parks

My very first travels, ever, were family vacations. Every summer, my parents would pile all of my brothers and sisters into our van and then head west for weeks on end. I learned quickly that “travel” meant three things—enduring Nebraska, visiting national parks, and surviving on Nature Valley granola bars. I remember so well how…