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Category: Reviews (page 1 of 2)

Sea Kayaking in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kayaking Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kayaking amongst the glaciers, icebergs and wildlife in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park has been one of my favorites on a trip full of truly magnificent experiences.  It was a long weekend filled with breaching whales, thunderous calving tidewater glaciers, curious seals, fun conversation and (perhaps most thrilling to me) lots of new knowledge about glaciers and Alaska.

Kayaking Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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Road Trip Beauty Routine

Outdoor living, Southern Utah

Realities of living on the road – brushing your teeth outside with no water!  Southern Utah

With 4+ months of living out of a tiny teardrop camper with no bathroom, it’s a fair question – what is your beauty routine on the road?  This is a funny one for me to answer because I’ve never been great at making myself up in the first place.  Despite watching my mom do herself up beautifully each morning before work my entire childhood, I didn’t use a blow dryer or tweezers until well into my high school years and didn’t discover makeup until my besties in college used to make me up for fun.  I just never really had much of an interest in it.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to wear some mascara, blush and eyeliner and make sure my hair looks decent before popping out the door for work or socializing with friends.  I’ve never been a makeup-to-the-gym kind of girl, but aside from working out, I do usually make myself up a little bit before I leave the house.  So – beauty routine on an extended road trip?!

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Olympic Peninsula | Part II

Deer, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Continued [See this post for Part I of the Olympic Peninsula!]  Not at all having satisfied our desire to explore the western side of Olympic National Park, but needing to get moving because we are on a somewhat strict timeline, we headed up and around the Peninsula and parked Gelly in the Hearty of the Hills Campground, just outside of Port Angeles and near the main entrance to Olympic NP.  This was a perfect place to camp for us to see our friends in Port Angeles, do some exploring in Hurricane Ridge, and also make our way out to Cape Flattery.

Heart of the Hills Campground, Olympic National Park, Washington

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The Olympic Peninsula | Part I

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

A few weeks ago we spent some time on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington, and absolutely fell in love with the area.  We adore it in every way, even if it did pour down rain on us.

The peninsula is mostly covered by Olympic National Park, with the very outside of the peninsula all around the Park dotted with farms and cute little towns, and the Coast Guard station, of course!  Olympic NP might just be my favorite national park (in the U.S.) so far, for lots of reasons, including that it covers such a variety of environments.  You’ve got the old growth rainforest, the beautiful Pacific coastline, the majestic mountain ranges in the center, and water – so much water – waterfalls, lakes, coastline, rivers, and lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing.  It’s a playground for just about anyone who cares anything for the outdoors and I am certain that there is something here for everyone.

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TinyHouse | Portland, Oregon

TinyHouse, Portland, Oregon

TinyHouses are all the rage these days, and so we jumped on the bandwagon!  And LOVED IT!  You guys sure loved the Instagram photo of the TinyHouse we rented in Portland, Oregon, too.  It is my most loved, most appreciated photo so far.  And by popular demand, in fact, very demanding demand, here’s a post about our experience staying in the TinyHouse in Portland.

TinyHouse Interior, Portland, Oregon

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Jon Krakauer, Missoula book

When an individual is raped in this country, more than 90 percent of the time the rapist gets away with the crime.  With the current discussion about sexual assault, punishment (or lack thereof), privilege and college campuses, especially in light of the recent appallingly weak sentencing of the Stanford swimmer who raped an unconscious woman on campus, this is a book that should be at the very top of everyone’s reading list.  I hadn’t heard of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town when it was published in 2015, but in following the Stanford rapist case I read a quote by Jon Krakauer, one of my favorite authors, and wondered why they would be interviewing him for this story.  And then I discovered his book and thought I’ve got to read this, it’s so relevant right now and he’s a great investigative author.

Missoula is a non-fiction book that discusses sexual assaults that occurred between 2010 and 2012 at the University of Montana, a huge, public, football-obsessed university (not unlike the University of Florida, where I went to school) located in the small town of Missoula, Montana.  Krakauer investigates these sexual assaults and the responses to them by the police department, the university, the county attorney’s office and the public.  And he paints a disturbing picture that is unfortunately probably not an outlier in the way that sexual assaults are handled in college towns, and one can only imagine in other facets of society as well.

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Canyoneering in Water Canyon, Utah

Canyoneering – what an exhilarating, slightly terrifying way to experience the canyons that make up so much of Utah’s beauty!  When we are given a raving review of a place or activity, we usually take it.  This is what happened when we decided to go canyoneering near Zion National Park in southern Utah.  We’d met a guy on our hike on Hermit Trail at the Grand Canyon (see here for a recap!) and got to chatting with him, and he could not speak more highly of his experience canyoneering in Water Canyon in southern Utah.  So we put it on the list and we are so glad that we did.

Canyoneering in Water Canyon, outside of Zion National Park, Utah

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The Camper!

Subaru Outback and Treeline Teardrop Camper

We have affectionately named her Magellan, or Gelly for short!

So how did we end up choosing this camper over all the other options – tents, RVs, fifth wheels?  Camping and roadtripping continues to grow in popularity, so there are lots of options to choose from, but when we focused on our budget, our must have features, where we would be traveling and what kind of experience we were looking for, the Treeline Teardrop Camper was the perfect option for us.  Here’s why and how we came to the decision.

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Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies is a book that should be on everyone’s shelf.  Sure, it’s a long one, non-fiction and filled with pages and pages of text about a pretty scary thing that we will all encounter: cancer, the Big C. Scary as it may be, we should all understand so big a foe – the whole bit about knowing your enemy certainly applies here.  This book is a wonderful roadmap to understanding the enemy – it is written with knowledge as well as empathy and describes an extremely complex, oftentimes unfathomable disease in about as layman’s terms as possible.  Most importantly, The Emperor of All Maladies is extremely informative, but also humanistic and relatable.  With one in two men and one in three women bound to personally hear a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetimes in the United States, of course we can all relate.  This is something that we will all experience, so pay attention people!

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Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona, at sunset

Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, both just outside of Page, Arizona in the very northern part of the state on the border with Utah, are “must see” spots – touted on top 10 lists and with beautiful photos included in the guide books.  So of course we thought – we have to go see these stunning places!  And stunning they are …  gilded but not gold because of the crowds that taint the experience of gazing on such beautiful places.

Antelope Canyon, Navajo Reservation, Arizona

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