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Summer of Travel - Back in the High Life Again

Oh, Colorado! I have such a love/hate relationship with this state. About half an hour after I drove across the border from Utah, I started to regret my choice to come back, almost entirely because of the traffic. Trailers, RVs, and scared tourists consistently go 10-15 mph under the speed limit on winding mountain roads and feel no need to pull over and let the people who know how to drive pass. And there are rarely any passing lanes or opportunities. After about 50 miles of this aggravation in the Telluride/Ridgeway area, I was seriously regretting my decision to come back here this summer. By the time I got to Salida, I was already over being here. But then I settled into Salida and trail runs and unexplored mountain passes and 14ers and aspen trees and all the beauty that this state has that just doesn't exist in any other state I've been to. Seriously. Other states have their own beauty, but nothing is Colorado. When living in Boulder and having to battle the god awful tra

Summer of Travel - Landing on Mars

Time in Utah was in my plans for this summer since last summer. Southern Utah has so much unusual hiking and fun desert and canyon exploration that it's impossible to go there often enough. I been to all the hit list places several times - Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, Grand Staircase Escalante - and I could go to them all again and again, but what I really wanted to do was hop off I-70 and venture out into the great nothingness of the San Rafael Swell , and that's what I did. But not without saving a dog from getting hit on a 65 mph road, getting befriended by a stray cat at the AirBnB, and celebrating Mormon Invasion Day . Yes, that's a thing. Okay, maybe it's called Pioneer Day, but tomato, tomahto. And it's a much bigger celebration in Utah than July 4th. San Rafael Swell Day 1: Wedge and Buckhorn Recreation Areas My friend and I spent the first day north of I-70 in the recreation areas that are accessed from the town of Castle Dale. In the Wedge Recreation

Summer of Travel - Idaho Sandwich

After driving over 2,000 miles and exploring beautiful Banff , I took a little downtime, first in northern Idaho and then in southwest Idaho. But of course, I had to squeeze some adventuring (and more driving!) in between. Sandpoint, Idaho If you know me at all, you know that I'm a planner. I have no trouble plunking down a large chunk of change to commit to an awesome adventure, even if it's more than a year away like I did with Patagonia . And since I work from home, I want to get the best AirBnB possible that fits my criteria and is in my budget. Sometimes I book those seven months in advance.  But once in a while, plans change and I find something completely off the cuff. For example, back in November 2020, I had booked a second floor place in Asheville, NC, but I realized my poor dog was too old to handle those stairs. So, at the last minute, I opened AirBnB, added all my filters, and looked to see what was available somewhere midway-ish between Enfield, Maine and Pass Chr

Summer of Travel - Banff!

For a mountain lover, few vacation destinations are as dreamy as Banff. I started thinking about visiting several years ago, but we all know what happened then. Canada held out for a quite a while with strict entry regulations too, but when I finally got the chance, I jumped at it without further delay. My friend Alex and I spent three nights camping because how can you not camp in a national park? Instead of the packed campsites in town we took our chances on a walk-in site, with the first night being the end of Canada Day weekend, and there were plenty of sites available. We found a nice spot in Mosquito Creek, which is about a half hour from Lake Louise. Everything else was much further up the Icefields Parkway and would have added a lot of driving each day. It rained a little each day, actually a lot our second day, but not consistently. We got some sun and when it rained, we were able to rig up a nice little tarp shelter and the trees provided enough protection that we were still