March 19, 2023
I left my hotel around sunrise for a quick hike up Ventana Canyon. Conveniently enough, the trailhead to the Maiden Pools was in the employee parking lot of the hotel. The trailhead still hosts a good number of spots reserved for hikers. But this awkward setup provides one reason why this trail does not see heavy foot traffic.
Continue reading “Ventana Canyon and the Maiden Pools”
March 18, 2023
The morning sun poked its head above the hills as I zipped along the winding roadway over Gates Pass. The desert grew brighter, revealing an undulating, dusty landscape of endless saguaros. I was definitely in Tucson.
Continue reading “Wasson Peak via King Canyon Trail (Saguaro NP)”
August 27, 2021
Thousands of years of history
Mesa Verde National Park features a unique blend of stunning scenery and over a thousand years of archeological treasures. Ancestral Puebloan people built elaborate cliff dwellings on this high cuesta just beyond the Rocky Mountains.
Continue reading “Petroglyph Point Trail (Mesa Verde NP)”
May 2, 2021
Arrival at Pollock Bench
I found myself back in Grand Junction on a Sunday in May for round two of my COVID-19 vaccination. The next morning I’d receive a jab at a local pharmacy before driving back to Denver and the Front Range. Four weeks prior, vaccine appointments were impossible to book in the Front Range and high country, but Mesa County had plenty of free slots. Sadly, as of this writing (August 2021), Mesa County remains largely unvaccinated, with rapidly rising case counts.
But on this Sunday my goals involved something entirely different: a long hike through desert canyons to see the remote and beautiful Rattlesnake Arches.
Continue reading “Rattlesnake Arches (McInnis Canyons)”
June 30, 2020, Pinnacles National Park
The day began long before sunrise, with a 2-hour drive to Pinnacles National Park. This outing would mark my second national park visit in California in only a few weeks. I aimed to arrive at Pinnacles around sunrise, so I could enjoy a multi-hour hike before the temperatures in central California inevitably climbed into the high 90s.
Continue reading “High peaks trail (Pinnacles National Park)”
May 6, 2020, Grand Junction
I spent a day at Colorado National Monument while moving across the country in May, 2020. There are three basic ways to get from New York to San Francisco, with I-80 being the fastest. But I chose I-70 because crossing through the heart of the Rockies and Southern Utah seemed like a way cooler experience.
No surprise: the continental divide and Utah’s red rock vistas did not disappoint! But Western Colorado was the real sleeper hit of this road trip. Glenwood Canyon was perhaps the coolest part of the entire drive coast-to-coast. Grand Junction was a surprisingly cute town with some great eats. And Colorado National Monument was just plain stunning.
Continue reading “Rim Rock Drive and the Coke Ovens (Colorado Nat’l Monument)”