Podcast Episode #21: Flexibility in the Parks, ft. Canyonlands & Congaree

In travel and in life, flexibility is usually the key. We had planned and mapped and reserved as much as possible before taking off on our year-long trip around the country, but of course we experienced many times where we had to switch gears on the fly. Today, we’re sharing experiences from two amazing national… Read more »

Podcast Episode #20: Battling Travel Fatigue, ft. Kings Canyon & Theodore Roosevelt

It’s no exaggeration that our trip to all 59 national parks was a dream. But it’s also no exaggeration that the trip was hard at times. Amazing, yes, but also hard. With any kind of travel, extended or short-term, travel fatigue can set in when you least expect it. Since we were traveling almost non-stop… Read more »

Mixing business with adventure in Eastern Uganda

** This post is a bit different from our usual content, but I wanted to share this amazing visit I just had to Uganda. Now that we’re not traveling 24/7 and returned to “normal life” in St. Louis, it’s more important than ever for us to realize adventure (and the lessons it offers) comes in… Read more »

St. Louis Getaway Weekend in Shawnee National Forest

We are now fully settled back into real life here in St. Louis. Even though our lives were very different — dirtier, more exposed to the elements, more awe-inspiring — six months ago, we snapped back into reality in almost no time. Cole and I love living in St. Louis, primarily because almost all of… Read more »

Podcast #19: Recap & Preview

Good morning, lovely readers! Hope your view today is as gorgeous as mine was yesterday morning when I recorded this podcast: snowy & still.  This morning, as you read this, we are probably already on our way to BELIZE! So excited to break away from the wintery midwest weather to the beach for some snorkeling,… Read more »

Podcast Episode #18: Weather Woes, ft. Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Teton

Despite what our Instagram may look like, our trip was not all sunshine & rainbows. We traveled for a full year, so we saw all of the extremes: pouring rain, snow, desert heat, tent-destroying winds, and, yes, lots of sunshine & rainbows. Today on the podcast, we’re sharing two of our park experiences that were very… Read more »

17 Experiences to Have in 2017

For awhile now, Cole and I have been dabbling in the experientialist lifestyle. I read a book during our trip that completely shifted my thinking about the stuff in our lives, and ever since have been singing to the tune of simplify, minimize, and focus on experiences.  We’re not doing a perfect job, by any means…. Read more »

Podcast Episode #17: Our Top Ten National Park Animal Encounters

You GUYS! This is probably the most fun podcast episode Cole and I have created. It was so hard to narrow down our top animal experiences during our year in the parks, but we managed to break it down to just 10… plus some honorable mentions… plus some “still on our list” candidates. Does this… Read more »

You Are Now Free to Move About the Midwest: Flying with Air Choice One

*This post is in no way sponsored by Air Choice One. We wish it was :)* Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized when you discover a new travel hack or an amazing deal that no one ever told you about before. Hello! Today (well, two weeks ago by now) I am sitting in… Read more »

Switchbacks Ep. 16: Interview w/ gap year cowboys on a shoestring budget

In the 59 national parks we visited last year, we met a lot of fellow visitors. (Except in North Cascades, where we literally ran into Z.E.R.O people on any hiking trail.) Among all the unique people with interesting stories we met during our trip, 59 of those people made it onto our “People of the… Read more »

  • BRYCE CANYON WATER WORLD: Hoodoos, tropical storms, E. coli and flash floods

    As we near the end of the first leg of our journey to all 59 National Parks, we’ve realized that all the parks in Utah and Arizona have one thing in common – water. It’s what turns the layers of rock dumped into this area into incredible unique formations. Nowhere have we found this more… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Bryce Canyon National Park

    Though our time at Bryce Canyon began with a bout of cold rain, things quickly turned around and we wrapped things up in typical Switchback Kids style. During our four-day tour of Bryce Canyon, we: Attended four ranger programs Drove to popular overlooks Hiked short trails through the hoodoos Explored 32 miles of backcountry trails… Read more »

  • CAMPLIFE: One Month on the Road

    *Some of the following items have been given to us by sponsors and companies we partner with. Opinions stated are fully our own.* As I am writing this, we have been on this adventure for a total of 32 nights. Seems crazy, but it’s flying by! I thought it’d be fun to give you guys a… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Great Basin National Park

    The magazine BACKPACKER, which I subscribe to, once called Great Basin the quietest National Park in America. No doubt its recent creation (1992) and extreme remoteness  in eastern Nevada (the closest town with over 5k people is 142 miles away) make it an overlooked destination for many. That’s a real shame for those “many” because we… Read more »

  • BEAUTY IN THE UNDERSOLD: Great Basin National Park

    *We are changing things around here a bit on our site. Instead of writing up lengthy, detail-heavy descriptions of our time at the parks, we are going to give ourselves time to be a bit more reflective and thoughtful. We will now feature posts like this (along with videos still), which give you a look… Read more »


    We’ll tell you straight out… we had very high expectations for Zion. Out of the 11 parks we had scheduled for our first leg Zion was the one we were both looking forward to most. Crazy slot canyons, one-of-a-kind hikes and spectacular rock formations all make Zion a crown jewel of the NPS. We found… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Zion National Park

    Let’s be honest. Zion National Park is popular for a reason. Although we shared the park with hundreds of tourists, we also were able to step out of the crowds and into the parts of Zion that are a little more wild. In doing so, we experienced four busy days of: Observation Point Trail –… Read more »

  • GRAND CANYON RIM TO RIM TO RIM: 4 days, 55 miles and 1 hitchhike

    Backcountry permit applications for the Grand Canyon open up on the first of the month 3 months before. You have to print out the application, fill it out with all possible itineraries, fax it to the backcountry office and wait to get your permit or denial letter in the mail. Getting the permit (to camp… Read more »


    Even though it’s not the deepest, widest, or longest canyon in the world, the canyon in northwest Arizona is the one Grand Canyon. And for good reason. Seeing the Grand Canyon in the way we did during the first leg of our trip is a bit indescribable. But, as you might have guessed, we’re going… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Grand Canyon National Park

    There are several giant cliches I could say about Grand Canyon National Park, and one of those is that pictures and videos hardly do it justice. But we have a video for you all anyway. There is so much to do at the Grand Canyon, and so many people doing it. Wanting to find a… Read more »