Travel

Zion in Winter

Let’s face it: In summer, Zion National Park is a zoo. Truth be told, it’s jam-packed in late spring and autumn too. But in winter and early spring, one can still find quiet in this majestic jewel of the National Park System. Zion, of course, is located in southwestern Utah among other numerous marquee destinations on the Colorado Plateau like …

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Enjoying -45 in the Yukon

This was my second trip to the Yukon in the dead of winter. The first trip was a grand adventure, but I also froze my lip to a metal key. Ouch. “You’re going BACK?” asked my daughter, Holly. “Yup. I’m trying for another dog sled excursion.” “You spent two hours mushing the last time and about froze your ears off.” …

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An Island in the Sky

Atlin is a former gold mining town located near the Yukon border in the extreme northern part of British Columbia.  From the moment I arrived there, I found myself staring at Teresa Island, which, crowned by Birch Mountain, rises 4,567 feet above Atlin Lake, making it one of the highest inland islands in the world.  The longer I stared at …

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Field Trip: The Wild Atlantic Way

When Americans travel to Europe, many flock to the antiquities, looking to trace the roots of Western Civilization. They tour the crumbling Coliseum baking under the Roman sun or the Acropolis of Athens standing timeless in the glare of Aegean heat. But for this son of the Pacific Northwest, give me the lichen-encrusted ruins, ring forts, and standing stones weathering …

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Mortal Poles

Situated in the southern part of Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), Anthony Island dangles on the very edge of the continent, seemingly poised to be swallowed by the Pacific. Shortly after I set foot on this 395-acre tract of rock and Sitka spruce, I found myself being stared at by a bestiary of faces—eagles, black bears, killer whales, …

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The Tao of Iceland

It was the adventure of a lifetime that got its start from a typo, a fateful slip of the finger. I had been researching a trip to my ancestral homeland of the Emerald Isle, but instead of typing I-R-E-L-A-N-D, I tapped out I-C-E-L-A-N-D, and that one misplaced consonant  opened up the door for a memorable journey to a land I …

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In the Fortress of the Bear: Brown Bears and the Legacy of Stan Price

The dark bear marches towards us, her powerful front legs swinging in a bowlegged walk. A large, lighter colored male follows her. The corners of his mouth curve upward in a sort of permanent smile. But the foam on “Smiley’s” lips and his clacking teeth make the situation less amusing. The large hump between their shoulders leaves no doubt that …

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Notes from the Arctic Circle Trail

The Arctic Circle Trail (ACT) is a hundred-mile overland trek from the airport town of Kangerlussuaq to the fishing village of Sisimiut in west Greenland. It traverses from the edge of the Greenland ice sheet to the outer coast over a rolling landscape of Arctic tundra. We hiked it in August 2018. Here are a few notes from our journal …

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Indian Heaven by Horseback: A Return to the Great Outdoors

Hopefully, better times are coming for outdoors lovers. Washington governor Jay Inslee hinted at the end of April that his stay-at-home order may soon be loosened a little. Presumably, among the edicts to be lifted are those restricting outdoor recreation. The wilderness beckons, offering healing for the soul while honoring the objectives of social distancing. Enthusiastic horseback riders are eagerly …

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August Allen’s Greenland

In August, 2018 Photographer August Allen and hiking partner Abby Sussman hiked the Arctic Circle Trail, a 100-mile trekking route in West Greenland, starting on the edge of the great ice sheet; crossing tundra, passing still, silent lakes and watching muskox, caribou and arctic hares along the way, eventually arriving on the shores of Baffin Bay. Greenland is the most …

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