Blogs

Black Canyon

Sep
19

The Hoover Dam. It's big. It's pretty. And it blocks a river. On one side of the dam is Lake Meade. On the other, the Black Canyon Water Trail.

A spontaneous decision to go canoeing along with a bit of luck and an early morning drive got us a permit to launch a canoe just below the Hoover Dam. The cold, crystal clear water welcomed us to this otherwise sweltering desert. We had 12 miles to go and a pickup scheduled the next afternoon--plenty of time to explore.

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James Canyon

Sep
07

I live in a beautiful place and, despite knowing this, I'm still surprised by what I run into near home. James Canyon starts just off I-17 near Flagstaff and works its way into Pumphouse Wash, which lets out at the bottom of the switchbacks of 89A in Oak Creek Canyon. It's about 5.5 miles (8.8 km) of canyon between two major highways that feel as isolated and beautiful as any place I've been. It's also deceptively slow.

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Ecuadorian Amazon Day 5

Jun
19

January 16, 2014

We started today with a hike out to a beautiful waterfall that doubled as one of the more powerful showers I've ever used. That said, with the waterfall cascading ~25 meters down a cliff, the hike to and from said waterfall was fairly strenuous, involving quite a bit of climbing up and down hills. Still worth it.

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Ecuadorian Amazon Day 4

Jun
19

January 15, 2014

Today was another beginning of another ending. We began our journey out of the Amazon.

As we were preparing to leave the Huaorani Lodge, we ran into one of the herpetologists from Tropical Herping. They had arrived yesterday evening and spent much of the night searching for snakes, frogs, lizards, and similar to photograph for their website. They were happy to let us photograph and hold some of their more interesting finds, including some friendly and beautiful snakes. They still have a few more days in the jungle and I hope they find many more.

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Ecuadorian Amazon Day 3

Jun
19

January 14, 2014

Waking up before sunrise, we piled into the canoe for some bird watching. Slowly drifting downriver, we watched and listened as half the forest went to sleep while the other half woke up. Bats flitting around the boat became birds while shadows solidified into beautiful plumage. We stopped for a bit in a clearing on the bank of the river watching flocks of parrots and other birds float between trees before continuing to drift down the river. A while later, we fired up the engine to zoom back up the river for a delicious breakfast.

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Ecuadorian Amazon Day 2

Jun
19

January 13, 2014

Today we mostly spent hiking through the rainforest. This was broken up into two main hikes: the first from the river to a Huaorani village near the airport we flew into and the second, a circuit near our lodge. Over the day we saw all sorts of amazing things including massive trees, tiny fungi, bats, birds, butterflies, frogs, insects, spiders, scorpions, and more. We even returned from our first hike to find a grasshopper the size of my fist had managed to sneak into our room.

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Ecuadorian Amazon Day 1

Jun
19

January 12, 2014

Waking up at the crack of dawn, we started today with some breakfast. At 0600, Cristina (our rainforest guide), Jose (our driver), and Anhel (one of the managers of the rainforest lodge we'll be staying at) arrived to pick us up. We jumped in the van and began our journey down the avenue of volcanoes to Shell to catch our flight into the rainforest.

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Havasu Canyon

Feb
23

Havasu Canyon, named for the beautiful blue-green water, is home to the Havasupai tribe. Part of the Grand Canyon, it is full of red canyon walls contrasting with turquoise rivers and waterfalls. It's beauty attracts people from all over.

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Ecuadorian Transition

Dec
17

January 11, 2014

Our last day in the Galapagos was mostly spent traveling. Waking up before sunrise to catch our boat back to Santa Cruz, we didn't get to see much more than a beautiful sunrise. The boat ride was again uneventful and we went straight from there to a car to the ferry to the airport. Still got some great views, especially of the clouds, but not quite as exciting as the last few days.

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Crabs Suck

Dec
17

January 9, 2014

I know what you're thinking. It's not that.

We started today by renting some bikes. We were to ride down along the ocean and take the path to the Wall of Tears, a large stone wall built by hand by prisoners formerly kept on this island.

Then they happened: crabs. Big blue ones.

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