An Alpine Hike in Mt. San Jacinto State Park

Shedding layers that kept me warm through the night, I scrolled through my curated list of hikes on All Trails until the Willow Creek Trail to Hidden Lake and the Round Valley Loop at Mt. San Jacinto State Park caught my eye. It was mountainous. It was alpine-y. There was snow… I think we have a winner!

There was only one problem…

Joshua Tree National Park: North Canyon Loop Trail

After we emptied our bladders and filled up our water bottles, we crossed into Joshua Tree National Park to hike the North Canyon Loop, a trail I found on the All Trails app. It wasn’t advertised on the National Park Service’s app or on any of the paper maps. This turned out to be a happy accident, because other than a couple of people bouldering, we didn’t encounter anyone all morning. Absolute peace on what is typically the busiest days of the year in Joshua Tree.

Backpacking the Ozark Trail: Upper Current River Section

In my excitement, I failed to realize that I was in effect agreeing to cover TWENTY TWO miles of trail with him in TWO DAYS. I mean… I’m no math genius, but that’s ELEVEN MILES A DAY – on very hilly terrain – with PACKS ON OUR BACKS. And, since we’re newbies, our packs are heavy. I would realize this about halfway through our first day of hiking…

Paddling the Big Niangua River Trail

The Big Niangua River Trail is a tour of points beginning near the spring at Ha Ha Tonka State Park and ending along the larger portion of the Niangua River. It’s slightly confusing, because even though the flow of water moves toward Ha Ha Tonka, and theoretically, one would end there, the points start at the park with letter A, and go all the way to T at Whistle Bridge, just over 13 miles away.