Why You Should Visit U.S. National Parks

It seemed like a miracle, but finally I had reached the top.  Looking out around me, I was in complete awe of the towering cliffs and the canyon open before me.  My feet were tired, but it didn’t seem to matter as I stared at the beautiful red rocks surrounding me.  I had just finished climbing and hiking Angel’s Landing, a trip I agreed to when my roommates from the Utah Shakespeare Festival asked to join them and a few friends in Zion National Park.  At first I was eager and up for any adventure, but little did I realize how out of shape I was and the difficulty of Angel’s Landing.  Holding onto chains and climbing the rough rocks after hiking numerous switchbacks, I wondered if there would ever be an end.  Luckily, I didn’t give up and even after I lost my toenail, I still continued to visit U.S. National Parks.  But my journey to visit U.S. National Parks didn’t begin at Angels Landing.  For years I had been visiting National Parks including Grand Canyon, Colorado National Monument, and dozens of historic sites on the east coast.  Although some of this enthusiasm came from desire to see all of the sites in my Passport book, it has become even more of a priority because of the recent 100 year celebration of the National Park Service.  In honor of this centennial, I’m sharing a few insights and reasons about why you should visit National Parks: Continue Reading ›

Plenty In Portland

Rocks (L)It’s often a commonly accepted fact that friends move, relationships change, and people are on to new pursuits. Although this may be the case, visiting my friend, Caitlin, in her new residence of Portland, Oregon, I find we still have similarities that made us friends. Caitlin was often my partner-in-crime while living in Denver, Colorado, and while staying with her in Portland, I find we’re still a duo with a mission. This particular mission came about after visiting the Denver Aquarium for Otter Week. Around every corner, we expected to find countless otters swimming and jumping into the water. Unfortunately, we left with only two otter sightings. An aquarium employee later informed us Otter Week was about awareness and conservation, not about what Caitlin and I refer to as “a plethora of otters.” Since the employee could only offer coloring books, Caitlin and I left, disappointed, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. With a new destination to explore, Caitlin and I are determined to find a plethora in Portland. Would Portland disappoint us? Here’s exactly what we discovered: Continue Reading ›

Searching in Snow Canyon State Park

It’s hard to believe it’s May and it’s almost been a month since my visit to San Jose del Cabo in Mexico. As you can imagine, I’m ready for my next adventure, but have accumulated many different ideas and possibilities on my plate. Even though I haven’t planned to go anywhere recently, that doesn’t mean I can’t be a tourist in my own town. My mom gets the inclination to be adventurous and senses my restless spirit by suggesting we head to Snow Canyon State Park near St. George, Utah for a hike. It seems we’re both eager for adventure and ready to embark on an afternoon with the outdoors. Continue Reading ›

Our Incredible Planet

“The earth is what we all have in common.”
-Wendell Berry

I’ve traveled many places and seen many cultures around the world, and the one thing that always inspires and at times perplexes me is how we are all connected by the earth we live on.  Growing up in the southwestern United States, I was used to open spaces with a unique mix of orange desert sand and hillsides of mountains covered with pine trees.  I was always eager to venture to the city and feel its bustling energy and variety of culture and people.  Eventually, I was able to experience what I wanted by traveling to cities like London, Shanghai, Milan, and Paris.  Although I still love visiting a city, I began to wish for a moment in the wide open spaces I had grown up in.  Encompassed by the clouds of pollution while visiting China and recalling the skyscrapers and flashing billboards of Times Square in New York City, I often wondered if the planet would soon become one giant city of smog with advertisements of franchises and corporations.  Cities can give us great opportunity, but I find my creativity and inspiration can flourish just as much in the natural beauty of the outdoors.  If you don’t understand what I mean, take a look at these photos from my travels around the world to inspire you to enjoy and preserve nature for future generations: Continue Reading ›


“I wish it wasn’t so depressing to get mail.  It would be so much more exciting to get something other than bills or credit card statements,” one of my co-workers at the Denver Center Theatre Company jokes.  I remember the days when my mom would send a letter or cards with coupons or other care items during my years in college.  I went to class, did my homework, worked part-time at a retail job, or spent my evenings altering or building costumes on the sewing machines of my college’s costume shop in anticipation for our next production.  As my junior and senior years came around it didn’t get any easier.  Graduation allowed some freedom, but along with it came a great deal of responsibilities.  I found that growing up is hard to do, and it isn’t for the weak.  I wish it was as easy as heading to the fourth star on the right, straight until morning.  I also wish these directions would be useful for determining which trail to take on a hike starting from Hessie Trailhead near Nederland, Colorado.

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