• Adventures,  Maryland,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    Antietam National Battlefield & the Bloodiest Day in American History

    On the way there, I thought about blood. Blood and how I really should have refreshed my Civil War memory bank before embarking on a long weekend of Civil War battlefield immersion. Blood though, was the thing I remembered about Antietam. It’s what stuck out in my mind, the tiny piece of information I picked up some time in high school and managed to hold onto until now. I couldn’t remember the exact date, couldn’t remember which generals led the Union or Confederate troops, wasn’t even 100 percent sure which year the battle took place, but Antietam, my memory told me, was bloody. The Battle of Antietam was so bloody,…

  • Adventures,  Maine,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    How I Spent 3.5 Days Scampering around Acadia National Park

    Upon receiving my cousin’s wedding invitation, I turned into a cartoon villain. Fingers and brows tented, I smirked. “Excellent,” I said. With that invitation, I had reason to go to Maine, the only state east of the Mississippi River I’d never set foot in and home to Acadia National Park, an almost 50,000-acre wonderland of rugged and rocky Atlantic coastline, woodlands, lakes and ponds. Excellent, indeed. Acadia National Park sits mostly on Mount Desert Island, near Bar Harbor, Maine. It was first designated as Sieur de Monts National Monument by President Wilson in 1916 with around 6,000 acres, and then, in 1919, Congress redesignated it as Lafayette National Park and…

  • Adventures,  U.S.A.,  Virginia

    The Camp, the Creek & the Devil’s Marble Yard

    I had no choice but to move my windshield wiper selector switch to rampage level. The rain was coming down in king-sized sheets and as much as I hate the crazed swish of wiper blades moving at top speed, I was driving on unfamiliar back roads and needed all the help I could get. I was going camping and as my phone pinged with increasingly dramatic weather alerts, I cursed, felt the whisper of anxiety catch in my chest and started laughing. It was going to rain for as long as it was going to rain and no amount of angsty nail-biting was going to change that. Maybe it’ll stop,…

  • Adventures,  Maine,  U.S.A.

    A Five Lighthouse Scamper in & around Portland, Maine

    There’s a lot I find appealing about lighthouses. I like that they exist to guide us through troubled waters, the way they serve as bright beacons of assurance in the midst of a mess. I like their history, the stories of harrowing rescues and narrow escapes from catastrophe, stories of vanished lighthouse-keepers or vivid tales of bravery and independent existences. I like how they all have their own identities, their own stories. They’re all different, all built for some specific sea obstacle in varying sizes, shapes and shades. Gifted with a free morning in Portland, Maine, and a strong desire to do some outdoor scampering, I decided to check out…