Category Archives: North America

Trips in North America

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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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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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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January, North America

A Lazy Weekend on Oahu

In January 2018, we spent a long weekend on Oahu to seek some sun and warmth as a break from Seattle’s winter. In contrast to our past Hawaii trips to Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui, this was a relaxed vacation, with just a few short hikes and a good amount of time reading on beaches and in other beautiful places. Oh, and a chance of missiles.

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Ask us, June, North America, Roundups

Ask us: Good bases for late June day hikes near Seattle?

Friends are visiting Seattle from late June to early July. They recently asked:

I was wondering if there were a few places that you could recommend for some epic hiking. Your flickr account is filled with gorgeous photos of spots that are easy to get to from Seattle, so deciding based on photos seems daunting. We’re thinking of doing three days of hiking (and we’d stay in a cabin overnight) in one or two locations. We’ll have a rental car also. We’re just looking for gorgeous scenery, and up to a moderate level of hiking difficulty. Are there 4 or 5 favorite hikes that fit this that you’d recommend?

This is a challenging time for planning a hiking trip. Some years, the northwest will have warmed up months earlier and the snow will be gone. Other years, many of our favorite trails may still be covered in snow. So, unless you are prepared to deal with snow, you need a base with some different options. There are a few that should fit that bill. Read on for some suggestions of where to stay and corresponding hikes, in both the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.

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