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Summer Hiking Gear: Our Recommendations

Summer Hiking Gear: Our Recommendations

Written By Julie Boyd and Brian Callender Summer Hiking Gear: Backpacks Julie’s Day Pack: Osprey Kestrel 32 Brian’s: Osprey Stratos 36 Julie’s Photography Pack: Mind Shift Rotation 180° Horizion 34L We take packs that might be a little big for most day hikers for a […]

Hiking Little Lakes Valley | Gem Lakes

Hiking Little Lakes Valley | Gem Lakes

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Little Lakes Valley sits just 45 minutes south of Mammoth and 50 minutes north of Bishop in the Eastern Sierra. This day hike quickly became one of our absolute favorites thanks to a collection of pristine […]

Hiking to Heart Lake | Mount Shasta California

Hiking to Heart Lake | Mount Shasta California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

In February, Julie and I set out to hike Castle Dome in Castle Crags State Park, and it quickly became one of our favorite hikes to date.

At the tail end of that day, we made a hurried attempt to reach Heart Lake, near Mount Shasta. With the winter sun quickly setting, our efforts to reach the lake through a snow covered trail fell just short. The views we reached that day were nevertheless incredible, and we were eager to return and make a second attempt to reach Heart Lake when the snow had melted and the trail was easier to follow. By July, we found ourselves back in Redding to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park and knew we had to make some extra time to revisit Heart Lake.

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Hiking Lassen Peak | Lassen Volcanic National Park

Hiking Lassen Peak | Lassen Volcanic National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Lassen Volcanic National Park, and a hike to its namesake peak, has been at the top of our list of places to visit in California for quite some time. Julie and I toyed with the idea […]

A Weekend Road Trip to Redding & the Shasta Cascade Region

A Weekend Road Trip to Redding & the Shasta Cascade Region

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Since moving to Northern California in early 2017, the opportunity for new adventures has remained a constant in our lives. We push ourselves to take advantage of every weekend opportunity to explore our ever-growing list of […]

Hiking to Upper Gaylor Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Upper Gaylor Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Gaylor Lakes, a short hike accessible from the Tioga Road in Yosemite, had been on our to-do list for some time. We had planned to do an overnight backpacking trip to Vogelsang, and found Gaylor Lakes to be a great option for a day hike on the day we picked up our permits. The trail is short, just three miles roundtrip, but starts at an elevation of 9,960 feet, which makes the hike a bit more challenging. Doing this hike the same day as coming from sea-level meant we moved at a slower pace, as we worked to acclimate to the elevation.

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2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After the life-changing year we had in 2017, with getting married and moving away from our childhood homes, 2018 was significantly more laid back. We once again stayed exclusively in North America, marking our second straight […]

Our Anniversary Trip | Visit Mount Rainier National Park

Our Anniversary Trip | Visit Mount Rainier National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd When best laid plans fall through, improvisation is the spice of life. For a couple months leading up to our first wedding anniversary, Julie and I had been working through ideas of where we would be […]

Gift Ideas For Adventure Travelers

Gift Ideas For Adventure Travelers

Written by Julie Boyd

The holiday season is officially upon us, filled with family, friends, and lots of food! Inevitably, we find ourselves in search of the perfect gift, and if you’re like us, that can often be a challenge. This year, we decided to put together a list of some of our favorite items that we love to use for our adventures. We hope you find something useful and if you have any tips, we would be excited to hear about them.

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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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Hiking Mission Peak | Bay Area California

Hiking Mission Peak | Bay Area California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd One of the things I miss the most about living in Southern California is the proximity to high altitude hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. Sure, living in the Bay Area means that Brian and I […]

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 […]

Day Trip to Big Sur | California

Day Trip to Big Sur | California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Earlier this month Brian and I had a free weekend, so we decided to take a day trip to Big Sur since it is so close to our home in San Jose. Even though we have been to Big Sur several times in the past, we still felt like there were a few nooks and crannies left to explore. Plus there are definitely no shortage of beautiful locations that we wouldn’t mind seeing again. On an overcast Saturday morning, we headed out with a plan to drive down to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and then work our way back up the coast.  (more…)

Hiking Mt. Tallac | Lake Tahoe, CA

Hiking Mt. Tallac | Lake Tahoe, CA

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd When we arrived in Lake Tahoe, I gazed at the snowy peaks and knew immediately that our plan to hike Mt. Tallac would have to be saved for another trip. The snow level seemed pretty low, […]

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 […]

A Colorful Trip | Fall Colors in Twin Lakes

A Colorful Trip | Fall Colors in Twin Lakes

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

I first fell in love with Quaking Aspen trees when my family and I visited the Eastern Sierra in October of 2009. The trees burst into vibrant amber hues all around the June Lake Loop. On a hike, we walked through groves of golden leaves that danced and hummed their namesake tune. I felt as if I was in a fairytale.

In 2016, I was able to coax Brian into taking a spontaneous 48-hour trip to see the colors in Bishop, Mammoth, and June Lake, and I think the experience hooked him as well. Even though most of the trees were past peak color, it was still a spellbinding weekend.

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