Category Archives: Nature

Amazing Grasslands

Timm is outstanding in his field, with Shadow and the RV in the distance

We have fallen in love with the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands in South Dakota.  It’s a giant prairie in all directions as far as the eye can see.  Can you spot our dog Shadow and our RV in the background of this photo?

READ MORE >>

Delicate Balance

Theresa looking up at Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is more than just the official icon for the state of Utah, it’s also a symbol for the resilience of nature.  Despite a dangerously narrow left leg, deep vertical crack through its left base, and a bulging head that threatens to topple over, Delicate Arch has withstood the pressures of wind, water and time. 

Cryptobiotic Soil: Don’t Tread on Me

One of our favorite things to do after we setup camp at a new roadside camping spot is to look around, find something neat in the distance, and hike to it.  We’ve enjoyed some wonderful hikes this way, such as climbing to the top of the Providence Mountains in the Mojave National Preserve. 

Theresa getting ready to hike off-trail in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Park

In the photo above, Theresa is surveying Escalante Canyon for possible fun destinations.

READ MORE >>

National Park vs. Monument vs. Preserve

The United States established Yellowstone as the world’s first national park with an Act signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.  This was the first time in human history that a country set aside a large block of land “for public use, resort, and recreation” that “shall be inalienable for all time.” 

Bryce Canyon National Park

READ MORE >>

Blow Me Away

Living in Kentucky, we’re used to hiking in all kinds of weather, from the humid 90s in summer to the snowy 20s in winter.  But hiking is most fun when it’s not too hot and not too cold.  For us, the preferred hiking weather is sunny skies with a few puffy clouds (for the best photographs) and temperatures in the 60s or 70s (so we don’t have to carry too many clothes or too much water).

Timm & Theresa on our 20th anniversary trying not to get blown over the edge in Death Valley

READ MORE >>

Prickly, Sticker and Thorn

Cactus barbs

There’s an old law firm in the desert named “Prickly, Sticker and Thorn,” and it means business.

READ MORE >>

Mojave Sunset

Tonight in the Mojave National Preserve we enjoyed one of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve seen so far on our trip.

READ MORE >>

Desert Winter Storm

Winter storm in Mojave National Preserve

The world is going crazy.  While my relatives in Wisconsin are enjoying summer-like weather this mid-March, we’re getting hit with a winter storm in the California desert.  Parked in the Mojave National Preserve about 100 miles from Death Valley–the hottest place in America–we are experiencing freezing temperatures and light snow.  The RV rocked all night from 50+ mph winds.  But at least it’s not as bad here as in northern Arizona, where I-40 was shut down due to two feet of snow. 

READ MORE >>

Desert Sunset

Sunset above Borrego Palm Canyon RV Park

Another beautiful sunset, this photo from the Borrego Palm Canyon RV Park.  This is a really pretty RV park, full of large desert palm trees.  We took this photo from on top of our RV.  Apparently it’s uncommon for people to climb on top of their RVs, but we do it quite often to check out the view or admire a sunset.  Some of our neighbors spotted us and exclaimed, “Look, they’re up on top!’”

READ MORE >>

Wilderness

The United States established Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872.  This was the first time in human history that a country set aside a large block of land “for public use, resort, and recreation” that “shall be inalienable for all time.”  This single governmental act set off a slow wave across the globe of natural land conservation that continues today.  This act showed humility: that man could place the needs of future generations above his own immediate needs and desires.

The irony is that the national park may never have been established if it weren’t for human greed and desire for profit.  As noted in Wikipedia, “It took the combined effort and interest of conservationists, politicians and especially businesses—namely, the Northern Pacific Railroad, whose route through Montana would greatly benefit by the creation of this new tourist attraction—to ensure the passage of that landmark enabling legislation by the United States Congress to create Yellowstone National Park.  Theodore Roosevelt, already an active campaigner and so influential as good stump speakers were highly necessary in the pre-telecommunications era, was highly influential in convincing fellow Republicans and big business to back the bill.”

All’s well that ends well, right?

The Wilderness Act

READ MORE >>