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 »

  • All Alone in Lake Clark (Video)

    All of the national parks in Alaska are relatively remote, quiet, and free from swarming crowds. But there was one park that redefined those adjectives. Lake Clark National Park was our sixth Alaskan park. At that point, we had traveled by ferry, large airplane, bush plane, shuttle bus, car, tour boat, and of course, by… Read more »

  • 6 reasons to visit Alaska’s most underrated National Park

    Dubbing Lake Clark Alaska’s most underrated National Park is very debatable. Elizabeth argued for Wrangell-St. Elias. But I say for the ratio of awareness to park beauty and opportunities, it’s hard to beat the lesser known, inaccessible 6 million acres of undeveloped 4 million acres of rugged mountain and lake wilderness that is Lake Clark… Read more »

  • Orcas, Calving Glaciers, and Icefields: Kenai Fjords National Park Video

    When we were planning our visit to Alaska, we knew that the wildlife would probably be more abundant than down here in the lower 48. I pictured bears popping out from behind cars in Anchorage, caribou blanketing the meadows, and bald eagles swarming like pigeons. I wasn’t that far off, actually. The eagles ARE like… Read more »

  • Kenai Fjords National Park by Water, by Land

    If you are following us elsewhere (like Instagram or Facebook), you know that we have officially finished our trip and have cozied up in my smallish hometown of Washington, Missouri. (Corncob pipe capitol of the world, thankyouverymuch) We are planning to continue to share pictures, videos, and perspectives on our trip for a long time,… Read more »

  • Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic: my most agonizing park visits

    I agonized for a long time over how to visit both Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic National Parks. They are above the Arctic Circle in Northern Alaska and are arguably the two most remote National Parks in the NPS. They don’t have roads leading to them, trails running through them or any kind… Read more »

  • Kobuk Valley & Gates of the Arctic: Logistics & a Video

    As you might have read when we wrote an overview of the eight Alaska parks, we struggled a bit with how to visit Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic, two of the most remote and inaccessible parks with the least amount of facilities. Because of the nature and speed of our visit to Alaska,… Read more »

  • Three Perfect Days in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

    As the largest park in the country, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is automatically intimidating. Funnily enough, since it’s one of the few driveable parks in Alaska, it was also the park that we put the least amount of planning into. We figured we’d show up and wing it, which has worked out for us pretty… Read more »

  • Happy Anniversary to my forever travel partner!

    Elizabeth, I hope you’re not too embarrassed when you see this post 😉   Today is our anniversary! Elizabeth and I have been married three wonderful and interesting years. But after this last year of constant travel, it feels more like we’ve been married for thirty!   We’ve swapped countless driving shifts to cover over… Read more »

  • WRANGELL-St. ELIAS VIDEO: Huge park, tiny roads, nonstop beauty

    If people know know anything at all about Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, it’s probably that the park is the largest unit in the NPS at 13.2 million acres- bigger than 6 Yellowstones! That’s the first thing we learned. It wasn’t until we started planning for our visit that we learned this massive park has only… Read more »


    It’s in the name. Glacier Bay is known for its wealth of pristine glaciers that crash into the ocean in a magnificent show that ends in dozens of ice chunks floating peacefully in the frigid upper bay. The countless cruise ships that enter the park beeline straight to the back where all this glacial action… Read more »