Hiking in Pinnacles National Park

Our travels have taken us to some beautiful places, both at home and abroad. While I’ve always found those outdoor experiences to be highlights of our trips, it wasn’t until we moved to the Pacific Northwest and really picked up hiking as a hobby that I’ve intentionally planned vacations around spending time in nature. Meaning, …

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A Day at Channel Islands National Park

On January 31, Seattle-area news outlets reported that there had been 28 rainy days in Seattle throughout the month, tying records set in January 1953 and 2006. We’re pretty accustomed to clouds and rain after having lived here almost five years, but even this was a bit much for me! I don’t mind the rain …

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Opt Outside: Exploring the National Parks

Last year I asked for an annual U.S. National Parks Pass for Christmas, and it ended up being one of the most useful things I could have put on my list! I wanted to make the most out of having it. As we were plotting our travel plans for the year, we prioritized destinations where …

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Exploring Elbe, Washington

On our recent weekend getaway to Mt. Rainier National Park we made a loop through the park, entering via the northern entrance and leaving via the western entrance. This route is ideal if you’re heading to the park in the morning because the road follows the sun, meaning Mt. Rainier’s summit is perfectly lit as …

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Washington Hikes: Nisqually Vista Loop and Deadhorse Creek

Despite the overcast skies we decided to squeeze in one more hike to round out our weekend of hiking adventures when we woke up at Mt. Rainier National Park's Paradise Inn on Sunday morning. We headed over to the Nisqually Vista Loop for an easy hike to a series of overlooks that were supposed to offer great …

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Washington Hikes: Narada Falls

During our recent trip to Mt. Rainier we decided at the last minute to check out Narada Falls on the recommendation of my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They had visited Mt. Rainier during their time here and said it was a nice, quick stop on the way out of the park. They were right--the falls is …

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Washington Hikes: Sunrise Rim, Burroughs Mountain and Sourdough Ridge Trails

We celebrated our anniversary weekend at Mt. Rainier National Park, hiking around Sunrise and Paradise and spending the night at the historic Paradise Inn. We stopped at the Black Diamond Bakery for an amazing breakfast on our way down to the park and arrived at Sunrise around 9:30 a.m. to begin our hiking adventures. Although …

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Where to Stay in Banff National Park

As we were planning our trip to Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, we quickly realized how far apart our destinations were and how we were going to need to be somewhat strategic about where we stayed in order to avoid spending the entire trip driving around in the car. Brian was in charge …

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Weekend in Yosemite National Park

Shortly after we moved to Seattle my mom sent me a link to a YouTube video about visiting Yosemite National Park in the off-season in order to experience a phenomenon called frazil ice. Frazil ice occurs when mist freezes--streams end up looking like they are flowing with slush rather than water. Obviously there are other …

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Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

There are countless ways to slice and dice a travel budget. Thanks to Brian’s work travel we are usually able to use his reward points for airfare, hotels and rental cars, which can account for a significant portion of a trip’s expenses. With those items out of the way, the bulk of our expenses tend …

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