Dolly Sods – a day (and night) to remember

It's been a while since my last post, and for good reason: I have been in the wilderness for most of the previous week. Saturday night I spent in Shenandoah National Park for a friend's birthday, and the past two nights I have been camping out on my cross country car ride; all with no …

Over the Rockies – crossing Colorado through the Mountains (and dunes)

The only other time I have visited Colorado was when I changed planes in Denver. Does that count? I only spent about 24 hours in Colorado this time around, but that was enough to make me want to come back very soon. From my Kansas campsite, I took Kansas route 25 to Leoti for some …

Arches National Park, Moab, and crossing Utah in a day

I started my day early in an attempt to beat the crowds at Arches National Park. It was still the weekend so I assumed it would be crowded. I drove about 1 1/2 hours from the BLM Westwater campsite to make it to the Arches entry gate around 8:00. I planned on spending only a …

Cliff notes for Great Basin National Park, the loneliest drive, and the busiest lake

After crossing into Nevada, I stopped at the gas station/hotel/restaurant just over the border. I had about a quarter of a tank of gas left, but the distances around these parts are awfully long. I wanted to make sure I wasn't stranded in the desert over the next two days. While I was filling up, …

There’s Gold in them hills – Bodie, CA

I had a couple of days to kill before meeting my buddy Lenny and his west coast friends on the 4th of July for our backpacking trip through Stanislaus National Forest. One place on my list that happened to be nearby, is Bodie, California. Bodie is a California Gold Rush town located on the eastern …

The gifts of nature – Buckeye Hot Springs, CA

After departing from Bodie, I stopped at the nearest active settlement: Bridgeport, CA. Bridgeport is a cool little town. There is not much going on, but Lenny (who I was meeting to backpack with in the Hoover Wilderness a few days later) recommended that I stop for a burger at The Barn. I was so …

True Nature – 5 days in Hoover Wilderness

Gear list This post covers 5 days of backpacking in the Hoover Wilderness, part of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. I divided up the days onto separate pages. This will also allow you to stop reading earlier if you tire of my tale since the pages will be shorter. I still hope you make it through the …

Big trees, mountains, and waterfalls – Central Sierra Nevada

It seems likes everything is bigger in the Sierra Nevadas. The highest mountain in the lower 48 states is in the Sierras. I think the biggest waterfall in the US is in the Sierras. And the biggest trees (by volume) are in the Sierras. While we were wrapping up our hike in the Hoover Wilderness, …

That’s the California I know – Big Sur and the central coast

After driving out of Sequoia National Park and through the Central Valley, I stopped in Paso Robles to get an early dinner at Jack in the Box and inquire about campground availability near the coast. The answer: there wasn't any. I called the San Simeon Creek Campground which would be the first one I passed …

What do you mean I need a permit? Another lesson in preparation

I met a guy (an avid outdoorsman) a few months ago who told me the best place he had ever hiked was the Lost Coast in California. I had not heard of it before, but it's one of the most rugged sections of the west coast located between Eureka and Fort Bragg. The Coastal Highway …

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