Calgary, Alberta

In the spring of my junior year of high school, our school orchestra went on a five-day trip to Calgary and Edmonton, Canada. It was mostly an educational thing – we performed for other schools, they performed for us, etc. But my orchestra teacher also planned in some sight-seeing activities, including going to the top of the Calgary Tower, visiting the 1988 Calgary Olympic Park, and spending a day at the indoor amusement park in the Edmonton Mall. Yes, it really is an indoor amusement park. Sadly I don’t have any pictures from here because I was too preoccupied with riding a roller coaster for the first time.

I’ve ridden a dozen others since and I’m a total adrenaline junkie, but that one is still the scariest. Because right as you’re accelerating downhill around a curve, there’s a mirror. And for a split second, you see your coaster car in the mirror and think you’re going to crash. You don’t (obviously), but whoever designed that had a bit of a diabolical side. Continue reading

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Southern Utah – Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef National Parks

So I went back through my thousands of photos and they date back to 2005, which must be when I got my first digital camera. That was ten years ago now so my memories of these trips are a little fuzzy. Not to mention the fact that vacations with my dad always consisted of sleeping in and napping more so than hiking and exploring. Whatever. To each his own, as they say.

Anyway, in August of 2005, we (mom, dad, sister, and I) set out on our annual family vacation. This summer’s destination: the parks of southern Utah. We stopped for a couple days in Salt Lake City and then spent the remainder of the trip exploring Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef National Parks. Again, this was ten years ago, so I don’t remember all of the specifics. But I do remember lots of red rocks and canyons and heat. Utah is hot in August. It’s definitely an area worth visiting. Just, you know, maybe in May or October instead. Continue reading

Hello!

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a travel blog for a long time now, but I always manage to talk myself out of it. Maybe because I haven’t quit my job to travel the world for a year. I haven’t even really traveled the world, though I have traveled quite extensively within the US and Canada. And maybe someday I’ll be that person who leaves everything behind and goes on the adventure of a lifetime. But for right now, my boyfriend (Pat) and I are broke grad students with an ever-growing list of destinations and neither the time nor the money to actually visit any of them. Nevertheless, we make the most of what little time and money we do have to venture out locally and see as much as we can.

Growing up, my family didn’t have a ton of money, so we never went to Disneyland or Hawaii or Europe for our family vacations. We went camping. Weekends, holidays, and every summer for two weeks or so, we’d pack up the old station wagon and head off to a new (or old favorite) destination. I grew up in southwest Montana, surrounded by mountains and lakes, ninety minutes from Yellowstone National Park and a day’s drive to the national parks of Colorado, Utah, and Washington, so there was never a shortage of places to go. I mean, I lived there for 21 years and I’ve still barely scratched the surface.

Three years ago, I relocated to New England for grad school, and while I spend most of my days in mountain withdrawal (I’m sorry, but Connecticut “mountains” are not mountains), I’ve also visited so many places I never thought I’d go. Prince Edward Island, for example. And so I decided that even though I’m not embarking upon an epic world adventure any time soon, I’m still a traveler. I go places and hike and camp and take pictures, and I want to share those with whoever happens to stumble across this blog. I also want to provide insight and information about the places I’ve visited. And hopefully along the way, I can inspire at least one person to get out there and experience the beauty that nature has to offer.

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What New England lacks in mountains, it makes up for in fall colors