Find the Best Hiking Trails with AllTrails

Trail along Bierstadt Lake hike in Rocky Mountain National park

Trail along Bierstadt Lake hike in Rocky Mountain National park  – just after sunrise.

You can find the best hiking trails with AllTrails! This app is the hiker’s friend! So –  I stumbled on this great app for hiking that I never knew existed. Then, I found it also has a corresponding website HERE . It came in extremely useful on our recent vacation, so I wanted to share with you! I just used it to find some great trails to hike in Colorado, like the trail above in Rocky Mountain National Park. The photos in this post were just a few of many I got to take along the trails. If you are a fan of hiking and the great outdoors you will love it. It comes in both iPhone and Android versions. Just so you know – I get no benefit for telling you about this. Just want to share a great tip for an app!  [Read more…]

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center – West Yellowstone, Montana

Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center West Yellowstone Montana

Grizzly sow 101 – Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center – West Yellowstone, MT

We discovered the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center this week when we stayed in West Yellowstone, Montana. It was a delightful discovery indeed, because it was an amazing place with a chance to see grizzly bears and wolves close-up! This is a not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility. [Read more…]

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road

Elk herd at dusk - Trail Ridge Road

Elk herd at dusk – Trail Ridge Road

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road is one of the highest paved roads in the U.S.A. Colorado also boasts two of the others on the list-  Pikes Peak and Mount Evans, both over 14,000 feet. At 12,183 feet at its highest point, one of the things that makes this drive so spectacular is the tundra landscape and the wildlife. The sweeping tundra and wide open spaces creates a  view makes it seem like you are on top of the world. It is a completely unforgettable experience! [Read more…]

Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park

Tundra along Trail Ridge Road - Rocky Mountain National Park

Tundra long Trail Ridge Road – Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the crown jewels of the national park system in the United States. Located about an hour northwest of Denver, Colorado, it is an easy day trip from the Denver area or a wonderful place to spend a week or even a month or more. There is just something about this place and its wide, sweeping wilderness. If you love the mountains, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park should be high on your travel list.  It’s 415 square miles of wilderness in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and boasts soaring mountain peaks, windswept tundra, wooded mountain paths, sparkling lakes, waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife.

Nuthatch watching my camera.

Nuthatch watching my camera.

 

I’ve been blessed to have visited this place six times, and it never gets old. It has gotten into my soul. Every time we visit, I think of the many things I wanted to share with friends and family should they happen to come. So….here are some photos along with a few tips that we have learned over the years. [Read more…]

Best Spots to See Wildlife in Yellowstone

best spots to see wildlife in yellowstone - buffalo bull

We just returned from our third trip to Yellowstone National Park. For us the biggest and most exciting moments are always seeing the wildlife. Obviously we are not the only ones, because in the summer seeing the animals generally causes a traffic jam! Getting pictures of the animals is an like an achievement (all of the pictures in this post were taken by me!). One of the main questions that first timers to Yellowstone usually have is “what are the best spots to see wildlife in Yellowstone?”.  It helps to know the answer to that when you have not been there before, because Yellowstone National Park is a VERY big place (as large as some of our smaller states!) and especially if you are driving through and trying to squeeze it on a one day venture. Fortunately, some of the best places are the easiest to get to and are right on the main road. [Read more…]

Road Trip!

Highway 20 - Wyoming -road trip

Highway 20 – Wyoming

Road Trip! Oh Yeah! Freedom! That’s the feeling I have when we set out on a driving vacation, especially one headed northwest. The worries and cares are behind me (physically anyway), and adventure and new scenery is waiting up ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to fly, and get the same enjoyment out of travel that comes with being on a plane and getting somewhere different in a few hours. But a driving vacation has a few perks that a plane trip doesn’t. [Read more…]

The Mountains are Calling

_MG_1044Lake at Glacier National Park -the mountains are calling

Grand Tetons National Park – Montana

The Mountains are Calling…

I wasn’t going to do it this year. I was NOT going to let it get me. Usually by March it is all I can think about – getting away to some exciting adventure somewhere. Hopefully, it would be one with mountains in it. I don’t know if it is the stress and demands of the teaching job during the year that contribute that, so that by the time summer comes I need to get away to somewhere exciting just to survive. [Read more…]

Alaska’s Denali National Park

Tundra Landscape deep in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Tundra Landscape deep in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Alaska! There is no place quite like it in the rest of the United States. In the heart of Alaska lies one of the the largest national parks in the country – Denali National Park. With more than six million square miles of incredible wilderness, Denali is larger than the entire state of Massachusetts.

Visiting Alaska had always been one of those “trip of a lifetime” dreams my husband and I had dreamed about for years.  We could never justify the expense, and it always seemed out of reach. Then, at age 48, my husband had a sudden heart attack and had to have quadruple by-pass surgery. When you realize how quickly life can end, it changes the whole perspective about justifying the expense. [Read more…]

Discount Coupons for Summer Fun with US Family Guide!

I admit to being a coupon addict in my past years. I even had my husband clipping coupons for me. Hey – when you are raising five kids every penny counts! Because I love going on vacations, finding coupons and discounts for that kind of thing is like gold to me. I would also figure if I saved $5 on the admission to a place, that would go toward lunch, souvenirs or even gas to get there. photo_17And when its summer and school is out for the kids, finding things to do for the day or a weekend can stretch the budget. Well, I today I discovered  some opportunities (coupons!) that I want to share with you for some savings through US Family Guide.  I am a member of their network, and they have some great savings for this summer on family attractions, water and theme parks around the USA. For my Texas family and friends, here are links to coupon guides for some major Texas cities this summer: [Read more…]

Niagara Falls – Behind the Rainbow

IMG_6380-Niagara_edited-1Waterfalls!! They are one of my favorite landscape views. The “granddaddy” of waterfalls in the USA in terms of sheer power and volume is Niagara. It is a very popular spot for vacations, and with good reason. Located next to Buffalo, New York, Niagara Falls is on the Niagara river, which divides the U.S. from Canada. It’s also actually three waterfalls in one. The American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls from a horse shoe shape, with most of the falls area within United States territory. On the United States side, the area is a state park (said to be the oldest state park in the US). We visited Niagara Falls in July 2013 and had a great time. All of the photos here are ones I took when we were there. [Read more…]

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