• 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,  National Parks,  U.S.A.,  Virginia

    Self-Doubt & Caution at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park

    “It’s worth it,” I said when I voluntarily heaved myself out of bed at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday. I’d spent a week deliberating, talking myself in and out of hiking Old Rag and then, finally, in a fit of decisiveness, I stopped making excuses and decided to just fucking do it. Old Rag is one of the most popular hikes in Virginia. It’s 9ish miles, depending on how you hike it, there’s a 1.5 mile rock scramble I’d been repeatedly warned about and it’s listed as hard or very strenuous, depending on your reference. I was, to be completely honest, a little afraid of Old Rag. The National Park…

  • Life,  National Parks

    35.

    Today, I am 35. I feel simultaneously very old and very young, which, depending on who you ask, is exactly right. I feel grown up, but not all grown up. I feel like I’ve done a lot, but I know there’s still a lot left to do.