Travels

Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks

Founded in 1967, Teton Science Schools is a non-profit educational organization whose goal is to educate folks from around the globe about nature and, in particular, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This ecosystem includes both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In September 2018, I traveled to the TSS main campus in Jackson Hole, WY to spend a week exploring and hiking both of…

Pacific Surfliner to San Diego

From an Amtrak brochure… The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner route meanders along the majestic California coastline from San Luis Obispo through prime destinations such as Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Juan Capistrano and San Diego. Along with business and vacation travelers, cyclists and surfers are welcome on board with bikes and boards. Lose yourself and the stress of Southern California traffic while…

Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

I was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. First settled in 1625, my hometown is known as the “City of Presidents” as both Presidents John and John Quincy Adams were born there as well as John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. The Adamses have no libraries you can visit. As a matter of fact, neither do any of those men memorialized…

Ocean/Desert: Two State Parks

Only 125 miles separates Crystal Cove State Park and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. But, on a visit with friends in April 2018, I found the two parks to be worlds apart. OCEAN: Crystal Cove  Crystal Cove State Park is located along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. It consists of over 3 miles of beach…

Channel Islands National Park

You’ve probably heard of the Channel Islands in the English Channel off the Normandy coast of France – a chain of eight inhabited islands including the major islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Perhaps not so familiar, are the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. Also a chain of eight islands, five of which (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa…

A Day At Mt. Rainier National Park

When in Washington state last year there wasn’t time to visit Mt. Rainier National Park. However, after finishing up a visit to Montana in September 2017, a quick flight from Kalispell to Seattle had me in Rainier’s backyard! Mt. Rainier is approximately 50 miles (as the crow flies) from Seattle. Standing at 14,410 feet, this snow-capped mountain provides a spectacular…

Glacier National Park

In the years following the Korean War, to prevent a surprise communist attack, the US established a network of radar stations to protect our airspace. These stations were built in some of the most isolated places in the country. In the early part of my Air Force career, I was a radar operator. Generally, this meant assignments to those remote,…

A Pacific Northwest Adventure

Looking for a new experience, this description of a six-day getaway sounded appealing: “Paddle the tidal marshes, boreal forests and pristine estuaries of the lower Columbia River with experts as you improve your kayak technique and learn the story of this ancient region.” I’d never sat in a kayak, so I had no technique to improve! Upon further reading about…

Yosemite!

John Muir, one of the earliest advocates of the national park idea and its most eloquent spokesman, said of Yosemite: “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature I was ever permitted to enter.” I found James Kaiser’s Yosemite, The Complete Guide very helpful in learning about this National Park. In the months leading up to my trip, I…

Death Valley: The (Not So) Barren Beauty

Several years ago, we lived for a time in Arizona. Going there we thought it was going to be this arid, unforgiving place. But, we found it to be alive and vibrant – especially when in bloom! Recently, when I told people I was going on a hiking trip to Death Valley National Park they looked at me as if I was…