Enjoying Joshua Tree NP Despite the Shutdown

Our visit to Joshua Tree National Park coincided with both the park’s traditional busy season around the winter holidays and the ongoing government shutdown. While this made for more stress in our planning, including finding a new place to camp outside the park when all the campgrounds were closed, we were still able to enjoy … Read moreEnjoying Joshua Tree NP Despite the Shutdown

Celebrating Christmas at Death Valley

Our drive in from the Mojave area really set the stage for the world of extremes that we would experience in Death Valley National Park, the largest national park outside of Alaska. One of the few towns we passed through was Trona, which basically brought my vision of an industrial hellscape to life. The town … Read moreCelebrating Christmas at Death Valley

Merry Christmas from Death Valley!

Well, the grinches in Washington have given us a stinker of a Christmas present. We were evicted from our scenic public campground in Death Valley National Park – on Christmas Eve, no less – when the National Park Service closed. Even though one party controls both houses of Congress and the presidency, that brain trust … Read moreMerry Christmas from Death Valley!

Ventura Highway in the Sunshine

We had two goals in visiting Ventura: seeing Channel Islands National Park, and getting a hearty dose of the ocean to carry us through the months ahead, which will be spent in the desert southwest. We succeeded spectacularly on both counts. Channel Islands National Park Channel Islands National Park is probably the closest U.S. analogue … Read moreVentura Highway in the Sunshine

Buzzed by Condors at Pinnacles NP

Pinnacles National Park is not one of the more famous parks in California. Completely overshadowed by famous destinations like Yosemite, Death Valley, and the Redwoods, Pinnacles barely registered with us when we started thinking about our route through the state. Judging from the blank looks we received from family members at Thanksgiving when we mentioned … Read moreBuzzed by Condors at Pinnacles NP