• 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.

  • National Parks

    That Time I Climbed a Mountain: Mount LeConte via the Alum Cave Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

    “Ok, look,” I said to the cat. She was mostly asleep in a shoe box next to me, the opposite of riveted by our conversation. I’d been sitting in front of my computer for an hour with a map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park spread between us as she snoozed and offered an occasional tail swish. I was researching trails, trying to figure out which ones I wanted to hike, and, emboldened by the cat’s lack of interest, I felt ready to make a decision. “I think I’m going to hike up a mountain,” I told her. “I’m going to hike to the top of Mount LeConte.”