Posts in National Parks
From Snow to Sun: Jasper, Icefields, and Banff

Nothing could have prepared for what lie ahead as we were cruising along highway BC 16 from Prince George towards Mt Robson, Jasper, and Icefields Parkway. In the moment, however, our minds were elsewhere. Our goal was to beat the rain that was projected to cover the whole area for several days. I was attempting to remain positive but my mind continued to weigh me down with negative thoughts. Was I going to see everything I wanted through the rain and cloud? Would we be stuck in the van all day miserable? My heart was conflicted and I wondered if we should skip the whole area and come back another year for fear of major disappointment. But, let me tell you, what was in store for us was so much better than I anticipated, even if we did have to suffer through a little rain (and other seasons!) along the way.

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Getting Our Fill In Idaho

We made it! Well, almost. We are just days away from busting back into Durango, Colorado with sandal tans on our feet, smiles as wide as a crocodile, dirt under our fingernails, and countless stories and sights in the memory bank. Don’t get me wrong, while there were plenty of moments that tested our patience along the way, I think our family would agree that our ten weeks together and on the road was a huge success, especially since we all came back intact and in one piece (except for Chip's toe). With that, I've decided to mix it up on the blog and work my way counter clockwise. Our final region on our loop around the US and Canada happened to be one we had never been to but were thrilled to explore. Idaho!

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Big Bend Nat'l Park: Birthdays, Canyons, & River Crossings To A Foreign Land

I'll be honest with you. Big Bend National Park in Texas was never on our radar. In fact, I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even recall that it was a national park or know what the place had to offer in terms of things to do for families. It feels crazy saying that now after having been there and loving the diverse experiences this park allowed us to discover. Perhaps we never went because of its remote location, or maybe because it was a lesser known national park. All I know is I have a long-lost hometown friend to thank for urging us to go (you know who you are, girl!). We are so glad you shared your stories, photos, and tips with us because Big Bend has so much to offer people of all ages. Hopefully this post will give you a little glimpse into the fun things to do in this huge national park. Here, we'll explore a free natural hot springs on the US/Mexico border, walk across the Rio for an epic day in Mexico, and take in the wonders of the Santa Elena Canyon. Also, the boys turn FOUR!

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Road Tripping: Central Sierra Nevada

This section of California is hands down the best part of inland California. Perhaps the WHOLE state (of what we've seen, anyway). That's a tall order, I know. But since Oregon already won best coastline, we were seeking some new scenery that might win us over in the heartland of CA. And this area did just that!

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Washington Was...

To our faithful readers (eh um, that's you friends & family!!)  :-) ,

For those of you that know me, then you know how much I enjoy blogging about life, adventures, people, and places. I pour my heart and time into a blog post. And anyone who has done something similar knows the time and energy it takes to keep up with it. I'm afraid with Washington though, I am unable to devote much time (for now). You see, the sun, sand, and sea have been calling my name ever since we hit the beautiful West coast last month. I'm finding it harder and harder to pull myself away from time with family and am doing my best to soak it all up, so to speak.

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O Canada! Part I: Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again. This place is it! It has everything I love. Everything I love to look at and do and hike and see. Canada, you have outdone yourself. You've taken ahold of my eyes and heart and I won't be the same now that I've gotten another taste of you. Gosh, I love being corny - but it's true!

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7 Family-Friendly adventures in Glacier National Park

Oh Glacier. Our diminishing Glacier National Park. Filled with so much beauty, yet my heart aches as the years pass and the glaciers continue to disappear. Do you know there are only 25 left? With global warming continuing to have a huge impact on these survivors, it is estimated there will be none remaining after 2030. You heard me right. None. Geez, what will they do...change the name?! I

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A Grand Time in the Tetons

As I sit on uncomfortable, patterned carpet that is lining the hallway of our hotel I can't help but reflect on our busy but enjoyable time in Grand Teton National Park. Chip and I are plopped outside our room not because we want to socialize with other hotel guests, but because we are seeking the complete opposite. Silence. Time Alone. Time to decompress. Take in the sights and sounds from this past week (and maybe do a little laundry too). To take a dip in the pool and hot tub (umm, sure we showered beforehand.... a week ago). We learned early on that we need this down time alone and often. Sometimes to escape the kids. Sometimes to catch up on sleep. Sometimes to blog, to work, or to have reliable internet service. And sometimes to simply recharge our bodies' batteries. Joke if you must about taking a "vacation from your vacation", but there it is.

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