Author: Brian

Hiking to Wapta Falls | Yoho National Park

Hiking to Wapta Falls | Yoho National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd It’s our second to last full day in Canada, and Julie and I are trying to decide what we want to spend it doing. Much of the trip has been a bit different than we had […]

Hiking to the Shore of Peyto Lake | Banff National Park

Hiking to the Shore of Peyto Lake | Banff National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The first time Julie and I laid eyes on Peyto Lake in person, we were blown away. Like so many of the lakes in Western Canada, the striking blue water is captivating. Is the water really […]

Hiking to Lake Agnes & the Big Beehive | Banff National Park

Hiking to Lake Agnes & the Big Beehive | Banff National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

When we originally made plans to return to Canada for a second time in two years, we had a lengthy list of hikes that we intended to accomplish. While we had perfect weather in August of 2016, our earlier season visit for June of 2018 meant we had to modify some of our itinerary with winter still in effect.

Having previously hiked to the Plain of Six Glaciers from Lake Louise, we were excited to hike to one of the other main attractions in the area, Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive. Depending on the conditions when we reached the Big Beehive, we gave ourselves the option to extend our hike to a place called, the Devil’s Thumb which provides scenic views of Lake Agnes and Lake Louise. The forecast told us that Wednesday would be our best bet for avoiding inclement weather, so we packed up our gear and hit the road for an early start.

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Hiking to Moraine & Consolation Lakes | Banff National Park

Hiking to Moraine & Consolation Lakes | Banff National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Have you ever visited a place so magical that it captures your heart and makes you want return over and over again? For Julie and I, one such place is Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. […]

Hiking Joffre Lakes | British Columbia

Hiking Joffre Lakes | British Columbia

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd One of the central appeals to staying in Vancouver, when planning our trip, was its close proximity to outdoor activities. As much as we enjoy visiting a new city, we find ourselves eager to get outside […]

Planning A Road Trip from Vancouver to Banff

Planning A Road Trip from Vancouver to Banff

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

In 2016, Julie and I took our first trip to Canada, spending a week exploring Banff and Jasper National Parks. After seeing a seemingly endless stream of photos of Alberta on social media, we were inspired to visit and explore this land of lakes and mountains for ourselves.

Our takeaway from that trip centered around how absolutely beautiful Western Canada is, and an immense desire to return as soon as possible. Coming home from that trip, we proceeded to build a list of places we would visit on our next trip, whenever that day arrived.

Fast forward to earlier this year when I started to piece together a trip back to Canada. This time starting in Vancouver, then making our way  East to Yoho and Banff National Parks. Once again, Julie and I were excited to be heading back to one of our favorite places, and we were excited to see a few new ones.

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A Weekend Road Trip to Redwood National and State Parks

A Weekend Road Trip to Redwood National and State Parks

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd One of our favorite things about living in a different part of the state is the abundance of new opportunities for adventure. For the past year, Julie and I have done our very best to take […]

Glacier Point Hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point | Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point Hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender Working full-time jobs means we live for the weekend, and more importantly, our weekend adventures. In the little over one year that we have lived in Northern California, we have made every effort […]

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 three of our four visits there have been in winter. It’s also a good opportunity to avoid the summer crowds that overflow throughout the valley during the park’s peak season.

For our last winter trip to Yosemite in 2016, we snowshoed to Dewey Point and got engaged at Swinging Bridge. Easily one of the most memorable experiences of our lives, Yosemite continues to hold a special place in our hearts and beckons us to return. Two years later, we were excited to be headed back to Yosemite as newlyweds and in search of our next adventure, hiking Upper Yosemite Falls.

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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 […]

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 status in 2013. And what I had seen in the research we had done as we planned for our trip: rock formations, hills, a reservoir, caves, didn’t pique my interest in the same way as some of the other National Parks do. For the record, I love visiting the parks and have a goal to visit all fifty-nine, but I am more inclined to high peaks and alpine lakes than desert landscapes. Perhaps then, one of the best things about being outdoors is the ability for nature, and our parks, to completely flip those preconceptions upside down. After visiting Pinnacles, I can safely say that the park is an underrated gem, and that is definitely saying something when you consider we have nine National Parks in California!

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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 […]

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 opportunity to explore, and we made the drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, about 2.5 hours. After a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a place Julie had been dying to visit once the decision had been made to visit Utah, we arrived at Zion in the early afternoon.

During the summer, the park implements a shuttle system to cut down on the number of cars that are allowed to drive through the park. We parked our car, hopped on the shuttle, and rode to the end of the line, The Temple of Sinawava. From the shuttle stop, it’s a mile walk down a paved walkway to reach the Virgin River and the starting point for hiking the Narrows. (more…)

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 […]

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 spirit and captivates us as we watch the crashing water. Having already spent a good deal of time on the road in Yellowstone, we welcomed an opportunity to get out and stretch our legs with a hike. Albeit, a shorter one that wouldn’t take over our entire day. After some consideration, we decided on Mystic Falls, which is located a short drive from Old Faithful in the Biscuit Basin region.

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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 […]

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, but that plan is already in place, so the seven of us are working to decide what hike we will be doing on Sunday. While it might seem a bit ambitious to get married one day and then subsequently get up the next and hit the trail, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the big day. In a destination with so many choices for hikes, there were many differing opinions. After much deliberation, we decided on a tough alpine hike with epic views along the way: Amphitheater Lake.

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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 […]

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 getaway and explore something new. In the weeks leading up to the holiday, Julie and I had gone back and forth about whether we wanted to take a long road trip or a shorter excursion closer to home. One of the nice advantages with our recent move to the Bay Area is being just four hours from Yosemite, a place that is near and dear to us. This time however, we felt the urge to visit a new destination and the idea of Crater Lake kept bouncing into our conversations. After much deliberation and just a few days to plan, we pulled the trigger and decided to head north to Oregon.

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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, […]

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 the soil and vegetation different from that on the other side of the Tomales Bay. The landscape is characterized by rolling green hills, rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and pine forests. There are numerous things to see and explore within the preserve, and one could easily spend several days hiking and talking them all in. For travelers who only have one day, or maybe even an afternoon, here are a few must-see gems! (more…)

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 […]

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 was elated that the story had come to a resolution, but wistful that Harry’s journey was over. The realization that there would be no more movies to look forward to watching became reality. This was the end. (more…)