View of the Tetons at dusk rom Mount Meek Pass
August, North America

Teton Crest Trail

The centerpiece of our summer 2021 Wyoming trip was five days backpacking the Teton Crest Trail. We started at Granite Canyon and camped at Marion Lake, Death Canyon Shelf, South Fork of Cascade Canyon, and Holly Lake.

As with many summer backpacking trips in the west, storms shaped our experience on the Teton Crest Trail. We were glad to be prepared and fortunate to mostly be in camp when they hit, but the weather also curtailed some of our explorations.

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Grand Prismatic Spring
August, North America

Two Days in Yellowstone National Park

Kyle and I had each visited Yellowstone National Park on our own. I had spent about a week there when I was a kid and passed through several times on cross-country drives. Kyle had visited only briefly on his move to Seattle, and was unable to stray far from parking lots because he was traveling with a dog. We decided to take advantage of our summer 2021 Wyoming trip to spend a couple of days in Yellowstone together, before heading to the Tetons.

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Kyle at Thousand Island Lake
July, North America

A Cascades & Sierra Nevada Road Trip

One summer at Cold River Camp, another guest presented on backpacking the Muir Trail and through the Ansel Adams Wilderness. This presentation inspired our summer 2016 backpacking trip from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. The image that most stayed in my mind, though, was a sunset photo at Thousand Island Lake.

Kyle & I finally visited in July 2021, stopping at Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Crater Lake National Park on the way there, and Lassen Volcanic National Park on the way back. This made for a one-week road trip with three days of backpacking in the middle.

Compared to the photo that inspired our trip, the sunset over Thousand Island Lake sunset was muted, but it was still excellent.

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Cathedral Peak and Lower Cathedral Lake
July, North America

Backpacking Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail

While a graduate student, I was fortunate to tack a couple of days in Yosemite National Park onto the end of a conference. That was enough time to hike up Half Dome (this was in the days before permits) and to explore Yosemite Valley. While stunning, I knew I had just scratched the surface of the Yosemite’s wonders.

I later saw a slide show of a hike along the John Muir Trail, which further motivated me to return. Kyle and I talked with friends–Joe and Jeremy–about a proposed trip. We decided to focus on the section from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. This would take us to Cathedral Lakes, Sunrise Lakes, Clouds Rest, and Half Dome.

We set about applying to permits by fax. On our third try, we secured permits for our desired route for 21-24 July 2016.

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Nā-kālele blowhole and rainbow
May, North America

Maui in May

In May 2021, we spent a week on Maui. Compared to our usual trips, this was a more relaxing vacation. We snorkeled, took short walks and hikes, watched birds, and enjoyed reading. During our trip, we spent four nights in Nāpili and four nights in Kihei.

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