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Category: Camping & Hiking

Vulcans and Volcanoes

Vulcans and Volcanoes

Admittedly we had some post eclipse blues after watching the sun become blotted out by the moon. I mean how do you follow-up day becoming night at 10:30 am? It turns out that hiking up volcanoes is a good next move. After watching the eclipse from the path of totality in Central OR we headed down to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern CA. This is another park that we’ve never really heard anyone talk about. Honestly, our knowledge of…

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Smoke on the Mountain – Mount Rainier National Park

Smoke on the Mountain – Mount Rainier National Park

We had one main goal for our visit to Mount Rainier National Park: See Mount Rainier. We lived 3 hours away from the mountain for over a decade and the most we’d seen was a glimpse of Rainier’s snow covered top from a distance. We’d never been up close and personal with the behemoth. Seeing Mount Rainier sounds pretty easy right? It’s a giant mountain after all—just look up! Well it didn’t turn out to be quite that simple. Wildfires…

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All Around the Olympic Peninsula

All Around the Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula. Home to Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, 24 State Parks, 73 miles of protected primitive Pacific Coastline, amazing beaches, and the most northwestern point in the lower 48. That’s over a million square miles of mountains, coast, and rain forests! Yeah, I sound like an infomercial, but it’s really that awesome. It seems like you could never stop exploring the Olympic Peninsula. We only scratched the surface in the 8 days we were there. Our most…

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Secrets and Surprises in Washington State

Secrets and Surprises in Washington State

We experienced déjà vu driving through eastern Washington on our way to North Cascades National Park. It reminded us a lot of North Dakota. There’s a similar abrupt change from farmland to rocky dry wilderness. We were initially worried that the free campsite we’d selected was in the middle of a giant wheat field. I’m talking wheat in all directions as far as you can see. Suddenly the wheat fields turned into rocky craggy formations. We found our camp in…

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Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part II

Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part II

Glacier National Park. The park that we were most excited to explore. Amazing lake hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and the most spectacular white peak mountain views. Glacier is also the park that kicked our asses. We cracked the radiator getting here. Our computer broke. Stan popped a tire on the bumpy roads and needed new brakes from all the mountain driving. And I suffered a mild case of Bell’s Palsy. Part I of our adventure had its ups and downs. Determined…

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Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part I

Things Go Wrong on the Road – Glacier National Park Part I

We made it! Glacier National Park may be the place we were most excited to go as we traveled the country. 1 million acres. 130 lakes. 200 waterfalls. The Rocky Mountains. How can we go wrong? We decided on a primitive campground on the southeastern edge of Glacier National Park called Cut Bank Campground. It was down a 5 mile dirt road. We didn’t realize it was a super rough dirt road. While Stan makes for a cozy rolling home,…

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On and Off the Beaten Path at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On and Off the Beaten Path at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must stop when in Tennessee or North Carolina. Hey, could 11 million people be wrong? That’s right in 2016 the Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited national park with over 11 million visitors. This was more than double the number of visitors at the Grand Canyon—the number 2 visited park. Our stay in the Smoky Mountains was full of wildlife, history, and some of the most amazing views we’ve encountered. There is…

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Mystery and History at Shenandoah National Park

Mystery and History at Shenandoah National Park

Arriving at Shenandoah National Park felt like being transporting into an eerie, moody mystery novel. The park was socked in by thick damp fog. The kind that’s more cloud than fog. Leaving all surfaces glistening with a cold wet sheen and reducing visibility to minimal amounts. As we wound our way further up the mountains, the tree-lined road slowly appeared out of the dense white background. From the overlooks we could see only hazy outlines of tree tops below, with…

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5 Ways to Save Money Camping

5 Ways to Save Money Camping

Camping is our primary lodging on this adventure for a few reasons: be in nature, we love to camp, and save money. Once you’ve made the initial investment for gear (or a van/RV), camping can be an inexpensive way to travel or get away for the weekend. However, there are a lot of expenses you may not think of that can add up quick. We’ve camped at just about every type of site through the years. We’ve found that these…

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The Bright Lights of Congaree National Park

The Bright Lights of Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is a swamp, and it is awesome! Well, not exactly, technically it is a floodplain forest. But it really is awesome! The second National Park on the southern circuit of When You Wander may not be a swamp, but has some swamp-like qualities. When you think of a swamp you may think of mud, frogs, snakes, mosquitoes, and other nasty things. And you’d be right! Congaree National Park has all these. However, within its 26,276 acres Congaree…

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