outdoors

Under the Desert Sky

Under the Desert Sky

At the center of the fight for public lands, lies the most stark, and arguably the most beautiful landscape in the continental United States - Utah.

Many think of the desert as wasteland - a place of death, nothingness. That is far from the truth - sure, there may be few trees, few lakes, and seemingly little wildlife in the desert. But when we look closer, we find that the desert is teeming with life, diversity, beauty.

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

Wild River Wilderness: Where Beauty is Pain

21 miles is easy. Easy when you are hiking on perfectly compacted, rock-free, root-free trails of Yosemite, Glacier, or Olympic national parks. When it comes to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, 21 miles is a grueling marathon, an improbable, if not impossible ordeal even for seasoned hikers.

I took a bit of a hiatus from backpacking last summer so hiking the Wild River wilderness was my first backpacking trip since Glacier National Park two years ago.

The Wild River Wilderness is located at the northeast corner of the White Mountain National Forest, on the border between Maine and New Hampshire. It is very remote and rugged with but a few trails segmenting the wooded landscape. There are not a lot of campsites in the entire Wild River Basin, and only one on the Carter Range - Imp Campsite. 

Shredding the Gnar

Shredding the Gnar

Colorado doesn't need a ten paragraph blog post to explain the awesomeness of this place. So this time around, I won't bore you with the details. Not to say that there isn't much to talk about when it comes to my trip to Colorado a few weeks ago, but I figured this time, I'll let my photos do the talking. 

Enjoy. 

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Alaska is known for the number of national parks and national forests and their size. For most people visiting the 49th state, Denali and Kenai Fjords national parks are at the forefront of the places to visit and are the most-visited national parks in the the northern part of the state. 

When Larisa and I were originally planning our trip to Alaska, we didn't even consider any other parks due to their remote locations, high cost, and low popularity. I started doing more research and talking with people who have been to Alaska, I've discovered that the true gem of a park is actually located several hundred miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula - Katmai National Park and Preserve. 

Katmai National Park, established only 35 years ago in 1980 to protect the area of extreme geological interest and the prime salmon and costal brown bear habitat is located 235 air miles from Anchorage and getting there isn't easy.

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

With an area larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, Denali offers enough space to cover the distance as far as the eye can see in all directions. Denali is the king of all the National Parks. We were slated to spend three days in the park - a tight schedule considering the sheer geographic area. 

Denali National Park and Preserve is located about four hours north of Anchorage. Having been warned about wildfires along the Parks Highway, we made sure to leave early on Monday morning to make it to Denali at a decent hour. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic, nor wildfires on the way up, and we even got a glimpse of Mt. McKinley from a viewpoint just south of the park. We were hoping that we’d get a much closer view of the mountain from inside the park, but later we’d be grateful for having at least seen it on the way in.

Kenai Fjords National Park: Marine Wildlife at its Finest

Kenai Fjords National Park: Marine Wildlife at its Finest

Located a couple hours south of Anchorage on the mountainous Kenai peninsula is Kenai Fjords National Park. Most of the land area of the park is actually covered by a massive glacier, a remnant of the ice sheet that covered much of North America as recently as 10,000 years ago. While Harding Icefield stretches over 300 square miles and flows out through 40 glaciers of varying types, it is rarely seen by most park visitors. For most people visiting Kenai Fjords Nat’l Park, the experience is all about marine wildlife and tidewater glaciers, seen by boat from the bays and inlets surrounding the park. 

Going Deep on the Final Frontier: Alaska Itinerary

Going Deep on the Final Frontier: Alaska Itinerary

So I’m going to Alaska in July with my girlfriend and a couple of friends. This is a trip I’ve wanted to take for many years. After all, Alaska is that special, magical place everyone talks about, kind of like Iceland. 

We’ll be gone for 10 days from July 3rd to July 13th. In the week and a half that we are there, we will be going to four key areas of the state: Anchorage (think cool galleries and shops), Kenai Fjords National Park (think whales and glaciers), Denali National Park (think sweeping views of tundra and Mt. McKinley), and Katmai National Park (think bears, lots of bears). 

Lake Sebago Kayaking

Lake Sebago Kayaking

This summer is definitely turning into a “Maine Road Trip Series” kind of summer as Larisa and I keep coming up to the pine tree state almost every other week. There’s no denying that Maine’s “worth a visit, worth a lifetime”, so this past weekend, we decided to come up and visit once again. On the agenda - staying at Lake Sebago State Park and kayaking on the lake.