• Browns Gap Hike @ Shenandoah National Park || terragoes.com
    Adventures,  National Parks,  U.S.A.,  Virginia

    Jones Run & Doyles River Waterfalls at Shenandoah National Park

    IT HAPPENED, Y’ALL! After two attempts to scamper along the trails and explore the waterfalls of Shenandoah National Park, I finally made it. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS! Shenandoah is, in a way, my home park. I was born in the mountains that it protects and I grew up driving up and down the Skyline Drive, but I think I took it for granted and, as a kid, I was restricted to whatever the adults wanted to do, which mostly wasn’t hiking. Plus, I’m a very different sort of explorer than I was growing up, and so, I’ve promised myself I’ll be better about visiting Shenandoah this year, that I’ll hike…

  • Saguaro National Park || terragoes.com
    Adventures,  Arizona,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    A Beginner’s Guide to Saguaro National Park

    When three coyotes ran across the road in front of me I knew I was in the right place. I knew I was supposed to be there, that waking up early after a long day of travel was the right answer, that starting my Arizona national park adventure in Tucson, at Saguaro National Park was exactly, perfectly correct. I’d ended up there by chance. The original plan had been to fly roundtrip from Phoenix, spending a night or two there before heading north to Flagstaff for the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest and some of the smaller national monuments in northern Arizona. When rental car prices topped $400, I called foul…

  • Bandelier National Monument || TERRAGOES.COM
    Adventures,  National Parks,  New Mexico,  U.S.A.

    Finding Solitude at Bandelier National Monument & also a Tarantula

    It’s been four months since I went to New Mexico. It was the first solo trip I’d ever taken and I can’t stop thinking about it, especially lately as I put together my next adventure, this time to Arizona for my birthday in March. I keep coming back to the way I felt while I was there, to these specific moments that seem suspended in my memory. They’re glowy, like an old television flashback, with a certain amount of sparkle around the edges. In New Mexico, I visited my two favorite parks on the same day. I started at Valles Caldera, arriving just after the gates opened at 8 a.m.,…

  • Alcatraz Island || TERRAGOES.COM
    Adventures,  California,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    Exploring Alcatraz Island

    Visiting Alcatraz Island is maybe my most favorite thing to do in San Francisco. To me – a true crime lover, a National Park nerd and a history buff – the place is fascinating. I love the access visitors get to the notorious former prison, the views of San Francisco from the island, the self-guided audio tour and the intensely spooky vibe of the place. Alcatraz Island is just one piece of Golden Gate National Recreational Area. In total, the GGNRA includes around 25 National Park Service-administered sites spread across San Francisco and Marin and San Mateo Counties.

  • 2017's National Park Adventures || TERRAGOES.COM
    Adventures,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    2017’s National Park Adventures

    When 2017 started, I was in Kuwait. It was the end of my deployment though and by the middle of January I was back in America. I’d spent most of the National Park Service’s centennial year (2016) in foreign lands and I came home determined to make up for my absence. Two days after being released from the clawed paws of the U.S. Army, I visited my first National Park unit of the year, in New York City, and then spent the rest of the year dreaming of future park visits, driving across Virginia to visit close-to-home parks and generally annoying nearly everyone with my incessant National Park chatter.