I'm often taken aback by how wrong my preconceived notions of what destinations will be like compared to the real thing. However with Joshua Tree, I found that my expectations were exactly what met me upon my arrival. It's a big desert full of Joshua trees. Although I might add that I was slightly disheartened when, after arriving in a large grove, I yelled out, "Hey Joshua". Not a single tree responded. Though in hindsight, maybe that was for the best because I'm not sur
I was recently reading a travel magazine that listed reader's "Favorite Places in the World". Along with destinations like Machu Picchu, Galapagos, and Mt. Kilimanjaro was Prairie Creek, submitted by a woman from (of all places) Stagecoach, Nevada. She gushed with proclamations, such as "enthralling", "majestic", and able to "inspire spiritual ardor". After consulting my dictionary, I'd have to say I agree, but with the simple modification of adding ALL of Humboldt county
Before heading down the coast of Oregon, I had heard many tales of its beauty. Having grown up on the coast and seen my fair share of beaches around the world, it's fair to say that I met these tales of beauty with a healthy dose of skepticism. Well, in fact, the rumors were true. I found it tough to stick to any semblance of a schedule simply due to the fact that every beach I passed showed some unique or enthralling quality that I hadn't expected and felt a compulsive ur
The decidedly unabridged title of "UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve", doesn't do justice to the incredible diversity to be found in this small pocket of land in the most northwestern region of the contiguous United States. It's a microcosm of weather and terrain, encompassing everything from pristine beaches, to rolling mountains, and even a temperate rainforest. My first stop along the way was up into the sprawling Hurricane Ridge with a breatht
Sprinting through the forest trail covered in thick mud, mumbling curses under my breathe, and casting quick glances to the west, checking to see that the light hadn't disappeared. Time was running out.
Finally, when the orange beam of sunset penetrated the thick trees and I was able to see the beach, I stopped and defeatedly whined, "You've gotta be kidding me..." It was an exquisitely beautiful sunset framed by a picturesque beach and otherworldly rock formations, but t
Seattle already has a motto: "The City of Good Will". How very lame. I like mine better. With sharply sloped hills that roll across the city, it quickly reminded me of San Francisco (the lack of parking did as well). It's hard to put an overall mood to the city. It's surprisingly large, with each district having unique qualities. Although I didn't get to explore it as much as I would have liked, I liked what I did get to explore. Even native Seattle folks might not know
It seems like every country has their own version of the Alps.
While living in Gangneung, the Korean Alps (Seoraksan) was only a short drive away. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough see Japan's Alps (Kamikochi) on its opening day And now I've been to the American Alps (Cascade Pass in Washington). Although I STILL haven't seen the original Alps, I can definitely say that of the 3 I have seen, this was by far my favorite (American Bias Alert!)
I don't think I was th
OK, the title on this one may be a bit much, but it makes some sense in the context of the forthcoming adventure story (well sorta). While the hike into and up the Cutthroat basin wasn't especially difficult on paper, it somehow turned into a trek of the eternal "just a little bit farther..."
You never know what will be around the bend when you're hiking in new territory. Sometimes the payoff at the top is breathtaking. Other times all you can say is, "Well, at least I go
Every state has its stereotypes and its secrets. When people think of California they usually think of tan surfers in LA or tech startups in the Bay, but not of the desert in the south, the lush redwoods of the north, or the central mountain ranges. Similarly, when I passed over the Bridge of the Gods (by the way, my favorite bridge name of all time) from Oregon to Washington, I had no idea what was in store for me. My preconception of Washington was of a chilly and overca
Oregon's most populous city is well known for having the most breweries per capita of any city in the world (84 in the Portland Metro Area). It also has the more dubious distinction of running the most strip clubs per capita as well. In true Portland fashion, one notable establishment "serves only vegan food and allows its strippers to shed only non-animal-based clothing". You'll have to choke your chicken elsewhere. In addition to the breweries and strip clubs, we should