Author: Brian

Hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls in Winter | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls in Winter | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Yosemite is a magical place to visit anytime of year, but there’s something extra special about seeing the famous granite covered in a fresh layer of snow. Perhaps that lends some explanation to the fact that […]

A Chilly Winter Morning at Burney Falls | Shasta County California

A Chilly Winter Morning at Burney Falls | Shasta County California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd I have mentioned more times that I can count, we love waterfalls. So much so that we often go out of our way to visit them on vacations. On our visit to Shasta County, Julie and […]

Hiking to Castle Dome | Castle Crags State Park

Hiking to Castle Dome | Castle Crags State Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

One of the very best aspects about living somewhere new is the opportunity to explore your surroundings and uncover new adventures. Northern California has reinvigorated the love we have for our home state as we get to know the upper half of the state after spending our entire lives in the South. While we live near some local hikes, namely in the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west, the larger peaks and alpine hikes we crave require a bit more of a road trip. We had previously driven through the Mount Shasta region of Northern California (aka the far north) when we visited Crater Lake last summer and knew we wanted to return to this area when the weather was more temperate. Eager to start off 2018 with our feet on the trail, we made plans to check out Castle Crags State Park, and its namesake hike to Castle Dome.

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Hiking the Bear Gulch-High Peaks Loop | Pinnacles National Park

Hiking the Bear Gulch-High Peaks Loop | Pinnacles National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t excited about visiting Pinnacles National Park. Before meeting Julie, I hadn’t heard much about the park, which had previously been a National Monument before receiving National Park […]

24 Hours in Bryce Canyon National Park

24 Hours in Bryce Canyon National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Closing out a busy 2017, Julie and I were excited to visit our tenth and final National Park of the year. Having spent the previous three days in Zion, crossing off a couple of bucket list […]

Hiking Angel’s Landing | Zion National Park

Hiking Angel’s Landing | Zion National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

What are you afraid of? For me, that answer has always been heights. Sure, there are probably some other things that can be thrown in there, but heights is my go-to answer. I remember one visit to the fair when I was younger, and signing up to do a rock climbing wall. Not entirely certain why, I knew I was afraid of heights, but I was young and it looked fun. Two steps off the ground, I remember turning around and realizing I wanted to be back on the ground. As the years have gone by, I have gotten progressively better with my fear; taking small steps along the way. Snowboarding was one of the gateways that helped me overcome my fear. When I was in my late teens, I tried going with friends, but found myself in a similar situation to the rock climbing incident. Trying again in my mid-twenties, I kept my eyes focused above and across the mountain, while avoiding looking down, and it helped. From that point forward, I have steadily gotten better at heights by imploring the same strategy of keeping my head up. While I have certainly improved a great deal over the years, you still won’t find me looking over the edge of a cliff, or for that matter, getting all that close. Narrow ledges are the most difficult, but as long as there is some room to move around, I feel pretty good. Hiking has always been relatively worry free, despite making it to the top of some tall mountains, I have always felt comfortable. When we decided to hike Angel’s Landing at the end of 2017, I didn’t give the hike a second thought. Naturally, I had heard that the hike was steep and narrow in spots, but wasn’t all that concerned. Imagine my surprise then, standing less than a mile from the top and seriously considering giving up and heading back down.

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Hiking the Narrows | Zion National Park

Hiking the Narrows | Zion National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd In the summer of 2013, Julie and I went to Las Vegas for a wedding that Julie was shooting for a friend’s sister. With an extra day to spare, we decided to take advantage of the […]

A Late Fall Weekend Road Trip Through Washington

A Late Fall Weekend Road Trip Through Washington

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Traveling while working full-time jobs means you take advantage of every opportunity to get out and explore. We love the long, multi-week vacations as much as anyone, but without question our sweet spots are weekend getaways. These […]

2017 In Review: The Year of National Parks

2017 In Review: The Year of National Parks

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Coming out of an incredible 2016, we knew 2017 would have a tough time competing. After all, we had two international trips in 2016 and none planned for 2017. Well, even without leaving the country, we had an awesome year with so many memorable moments. Without question, the theme of 2017, was the year of national parks. Having been gifted a National Park Annual Pass at Christmas in 2016, we sought to put it to good use. With ten parks visited, we certainly accomplished that goal. The cherry on top, getting married in Grand Teton National Park over the summer, 2017 has been one heck of a ride. Here’s a look back at our year.

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Hiking to Mystic Falls | Yellowstone National Park

Hiking to Mystic Falls | Yellowstone National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Julie and I have a well documented affinity for waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. It is perhaps one of our favorite finds on any outdoor trip or vacation. There is just something that soothes the […]

A Taste of Christmas in France

A Taste of Christmas in France

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender The old adage that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year certainly rings true in our hearts. Maybe it’s the cooler weather that comes with the winter season, or the festive […]

An Epic Day Driving the Yellowstone Loop | Yellowstone National Park

An Epic Day Driving the Yellowstone Loop | Yellowstone National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Yellowstone National Park, a diverse and expansive landscape, is America’s oldest designated National Park and collectively considered to be the first in the world. Established by President Grant in March of 1872, the park stretches across three states: Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It is the second largest National Park in the continental United States, behind only Death Valley National Park, and it is one of the ten most frequently visited. For an opportunity to see many of the highlights that Yellowstone has to offer, consider driving the Yellowstone loop, as we did during our summer visit to the park. This is an adventure not to be missed!

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Hiking to Amphitheater Lake | Grand Teton National Park

Hiking to Amphitheater Lake | Grand Teton National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd It’s Friday night, and our group is sitting in the living room of the Bentwood Inn, discussing the upcoming events of the weekend. Julie and I are getting married Saturday afternoon in Grand Teton National Park, […]

Hiking to Bradley & Taggart Lakes | Grand Teton National Park

Hiking to Bradley & Taggart Lakes | Grand Teton National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Few destinations have the immediate impact of awe quite like Grand Teton National Park. Almost from the moment you leave the town of Jackson and round the corner, the grandeur of the Tetons comes into full […]

Introduction: Summer Road Trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Introduction: Summer Road Trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

For Julie and I, 2017 can best be described as the year of road trips and National Parks. With the beginning of fall finally here, and summer slowly moving out of sight, we have visited five National Parks to date. With the year not quite over with yet, we hope to squeeze in one or two more trips before the calendar flips to 2018. It’s hard to say that we have anticipated visiting one park more than others, because each is special and unique, but there are certainly those that are higher on our list. Anticipation for this trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks had been in the works dating back to 2012 when Julie and I first met, and we started planning it over a year ago, so it was safe to say we were excited for August to finally be here. Plus, we were ready to get on the road and back into the mountains!

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A Summer Escape to Crater Lake National Park

A Summer Escape to Crater Lake National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd With full time jobs, it’s no secret that we do our best to fill every available weekend with an adventure. This year, with the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday, we saw another opportunity to […]

Five Essential Tips for a Successful Day Hike

Five Essential Tips for a Successful Day Hike

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Over the past few years Brian and I have learned some tips and tricks for making sure we are prepared for our hikes. Some things may seem obvious, but sometimes even the most experienced hikers are […]

Beginner Tips for Taking Great Travel Photos

Beginner Tips for Taking Great Travel Photos

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Photography is a huge passion of mine, so taking great photos when traveling comes naturally to me. However, just because you are not a photographer, doesn’t mean you can’t take great images as well! After all, some of these trips are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, so having a good photographic record of them is important. Remember, that taking a great photo is not about having the best camera. Understanding light and composition is the key to taking great pictures, and if you understand how they work together, you can create powerful images even with your iPhone. Here are some tips to get you started on taking great travel photos.

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Four Places to Visit in Point Reyes National Seashore

Four Places to Visit in Point Reyes National Seashore

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd The Point Reyes National Seashore is a nature preserve located on a peninsula just north of San Fransisco. It is a diverse and special place, as the San Andres Fault divides it from the mainland, making […]

Three Museums to Visit in London

Three Museums to Visit in London

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd London has no shortage of museums to visit; The Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial Warm Museum, Science Museum, National Maritime Museum, to name a […]

25 Photos to Inspire You to Visit London

25 Photos to Inspire You to Visit London

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

London, one of the world’s most popular destinations, and one of our favorites, is a city that offers visitors a magnitude of choices to explore. Interested in history? London has you covered. The city has played an integral role in shaping it for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world (for better or worse!). Foodie? Don’t let rumors of poor English food deter you. London has a diverse array of options to satisfy even the most discerning palate. With no shortage of pubs, museums, parks, shopping, and so much more, you’ll quickly see that braving the crowds and the weather will pay off in the end.

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Finding Harry Potter in the Muggle World

Finding Harry Potter in the Muggle World

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd As I watched the final few minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, a sort of emptiness sunk in, as if I had lost a pice of myself. It was bittersweet, as I […]

Why We Travel and Why You Should Too

Why We Travel and Why You Should Too

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Without question, we live in a pretty incredible time period in human history. Thanks to technological advances, the world is at its most interconnected, making travel accessible to the masses. Much like it has been since […]

A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

With the recent move to Northern California, Julie and I had been craving our next adventure, specifically something outdoors. Our trip to Europe over Christmas break had satisfied our desire to travel abroad, but focused entirely on cities (after all it was winter!). Itching to get back out into nature, we started mapping out some potential excursions from our new home base. Over the course of an extended weekend, we made plans to drive from the Bay Area to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

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New Home, New Adventures: Northern California

New Home, New Adventures: Northern California

Written by Brian Callender and Julie Boyd| Photography by Julie Boyd You may have noticed we have been a bit quieter on the blog than normal, and that is because there have been some changes behind the scenes. Earlier this year, I (Brian) had the opportunity […]

Castle on Tower Hill: Visiting the Tower of London

Castle on Tower Hill: Visiting the Tower of London

Written by Brian Callender & Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Cities, no matter the size, have their hallmarks, their must visit destinations. Chances are, if you find yourself in a big city, there will be no shortage of such places that will make […]

5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

We’re currently in the midst of a Southern California winter, which means short periods of rain mixed with the usual sunshine and cooler nights. While we have seen more rain this year than has come in quite a while, we know that many others are digging out of snow and much chillier temperatures. For us, it’s our favorite time of year, and an opportunity to break out the jackets, sweatshirts, hot chocolate, and snowboards! But if you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and already planning for a summer getaway, look no further than our neighbors to the north. Here are five reasons why you should visit Canada in 2017!

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Following in the Footsteps of the Roman Empire: Exploring the City of Bath, England

Following in the Footsteps of the Roman Empire: Exploring the City of Bath, England

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd On our second visit to England, we decided to explore another of it’s seemingly endless famous cities, Bath. If you’re looking for a great day trip option from London, Bath is an excellent choice. If you […]

2016: Twelve Months of Exploring

2016: Twelve Months of Exploring

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender 2016 has certainly been a memorable year for us, as we shared a number of new adventures that inspired us to get out and explore. We visited four countries, checked a number of […]

Backpacking through the High Sierra Camps | Yosemite National Park, California

Backpacking through the High Sierra Camps | Yosemite National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

The High Sierra Camps are a series of six outposts in the Yosemite wilderness, spaced roughly between 5-10 miles apart. Their proximity was designed so that adventurers could explore the high country of Yosemite, without completely roughing it. Each camp provides travelers with a hot dinner, a bed to sleep in (via a canvas tent and cot), and an enormous breakfast the following morning. It is an ideal trip for those who love the idea of backpacking, but who do not want to sleep on the ground or worry about carrying a giant, heavy pack.

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