A World Underground – Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns is a depiction of two very different worlds: the one above the ground, and the one down below. Up above, the sun is hot, the air is dry, and every plant and animal has to be very resilient and adaptable to survive in this niche where the Guadalupe Mountains meet the Chihuahuan Desert. And yet, plenty do. Cacti, succulents, and even a few flowers. Deer, birds, reptiles, and rodents. These species and many more call Carlsbad Caverns National Park their home. Continue reading


Left Foot New Mexico – Four Corners Monument

If you’ve been following me for a while, you may remember our failed attempt to visit Four Corners Monument (and if not, you can read about it here). Well as it happened, we found ourselves in the area once again the very next summer, on our way from Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. And so this time – after calling ahead to confirm that they would be open – we set off once again for Four Corners.

And lo and behold, when we arrived this time the gates were open!

Four Corners Monument is probably exactly what you’d expect. There’s a geographic marker, flags of all the states (as well as flags of the Native American Reservations between which the monument is located), and informative signs. And, of course, there’s the place where you put one limb in each state so you’re in all four at once. Or, in my case, put each hand in two states simultaneously and do a handstand in four states at the same time. It’s not my most extreme handstand ever but it might qualify as the most unique. Continue reading

Bridge Over No Water – Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

After my wonderful escapades in the Canadian Rockies, I was back home in Montana for about 2 weeks – long enough to catch up on real life and attend the wedding of two friends – before I was off again. It was time for Family Roadtrip 2011!

This year was a little different, though. My sister was heading off to college in Dallas, so our trip was a combined camping and driving her to Texas type of adventure. As it happens, it’s a very long drive from Montana to Texas. I think the entire trip ended up being about 3500 miles. So we broke it up into smaller segments, stopping to visit some national parks – and whatever other scenery we might happen upon – along the way.

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Liebster Award II

As per usual, I’m super delayed in getting around to this. But here goes. About a month ago, I was nominated a second time for the Liebster Award, this time by AdventureDawgs! Head on over to their blog for a plethora of dog photos…and some non-dog adventure photos as well. And lots of travel tales.

The Liebster Award was created in 2011 to encourage bloggers to discover and promote new and emerging blogs. Thank you so much to AdventureDawgs for following along with my adventures and for the nomination! I really appreciate it. Continue reading

West Coast Best Coast – Vancouver, British Columbia

Never in my life have I been so excited for the indoors as I was at this point in our roadtrip. We were so sick of everything being wet. Thankfully, we’d be spending the next 2 nights in a hotel. It wasn’t the best place to dry everything out – after spreading out all of our gear, there wasn’t a lot of room left for us. But we were clean and warm and dry, and that was what mattered.

We arrived in Vancouver, BC in mid-afternoon, leaving us just enough time to go out to dinner after we got settled in. We walked to a nearby restaurant – I can’t remember what it was called – for dinner and enjoyed the sunshine and the feeling of being back in civilization after more than two weeks in the mountains. Don’t get me wrong, I love camping and hiking and exploring – but it was nice to now be surrounded by the bustling energy of Vancouver. Continue reading