Kīlauea Iki Trail (Hawaii Volcanoes NP)

November 28, 2021

Kīlauea Erupting

The United States has no shortage of amazing, beautiful volcanoes. And some of them, while dormant, are very much not extinct. Some have erupted within the past century.

All that said, you shouldn’t visit most of these places expecting to see a molten lake of lava. Unless of course, you are visiting Kīlauea! Kīlauea has been erupting, nearly continuously, for the past 40 years. As luck would have it, I found myself on the Big Island of Hawaii at an opportune moment to witness its fresh, spewing lava first-hand. (The name Kīlauea in fact means “spewing”).

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Hanakapi’ai Falls via the Kalalau Trail

November 24, 2021

The Nā Pali Coast of Kauai

You may not know it, but you’re probably quite familiar with Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast. Jurassic Park ostensibly takes place on an island near Costa Rica. But the original film sourced its lush, tropical landscapes from Kauai. And the iconic helicopter shots bookending the movie’s main events prominently feature this stunning, rugged coastline.

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Cupid Peak (and almost Grizzly) from Loveland Pass

October 10, 2021

Sunrise on Loveland Pass

With temperatures dropping and snowguns firing, my 2021 hiking season would soon draw to a close. Unfortunately, I did not have the luxury of letting my legs and lungs atrophy into ‘winter mode’. On the horizon was a family trip to Hawaii where I hoped to summit Mauna Kea. And so, on an ephemeral October Sunday, I found myself driving up to Loveland Pass.

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Long House (Mesa Verde NP)

August 27, 2021

Wetherill Mesa

Mesa Verde National Park features elaborate cliff dwellings and myriad archeological sites. The structures, excavations, and artifacts span over a thousand years of ancestral Puebloan history. The park divides into two large sub-mesas. Chapin Mesa hosts crowd favorites like Cliff Palace and Square Tower House. But the quieter Wetherill Mesa features its own set of large cliff dwellings, like Mug House, Step House, and Long House.

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Square Tower House (Mesa Verde NP)

August 27, 2021

Seven Centuries Later

During my recent visit to Mesa Verde National Park, I took a ranger-guided tour of Square Tower House. The “house” consists of a set of stone dwellings built into a cliffside by the ancestral Puebloans. The park contains roughly half a dozen major dwelling sites periodically open to the public in some fashion. Square Tower in particular features the tallest ancient structure in the park.

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