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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 […]

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, […]

Hiking to Sentinel Dome & Taft Point | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Sentinel Dome & 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 to get out and explore our new surroundings. Often, this means extensive time in the car as we travel to different outdoor destinations where we can stretch our legs with a good hike. With summer just around the corner, Julie and I have started to ramp up our training regime in preparation for making the leap from day-hikes to backpacking. On Friday evening, we started to throw around the idea of going to Yosemite as a day-trip for the opening day of the road to Glacier Point. After a few minutes of discussion, we made the plan official, and began prepping for an early morning trip to Yosemite.

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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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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 […]

Exploring the Cunningham Cabin | Grand Teton National Park

Exploring the Cunningham Cabin | Grand Teton National Park

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography By Julie Boyd The Cunningham Cabin Historic Site is located just off HWY 191 in Grand Teton National Park. The location features a short, interpretative guide, which tells about the history of the John and Margaret Cunningham who settled in the […]

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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Ethics and Getting the Shot

Ethics and Getting the Shot

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd The trail from the top of Snoqualmie Falls to the viewing platform below was a short, steep, climb through moss covered trees. Maples were still turning gold, even though November was ending, and the cool mist […]

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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My Travel and Landscape Photography Gear

My Travel and Landscape Photography Gear

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd My first camera was an old Canon SLR that shot 35 mm film. Well, it was actually my dad’s old Canon that he let me use when I took a black and white photography class in […]

Christmas Light Magic in London

Christmas Light Magic in London

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd London sparkles at Christmas. I was enthralled with how many light displays lined the streets and markets of England’s capital when Brian and I visited last December. Unique glittering facades were at the turn of every […]

Seven Road Trip Hacks

Seven Road Trip Hacks

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Behind the wheel and out on the open road, it’s a place where you have the freedom to go wherever your sense of adventure will take you. From the very beginning of our relationship, Julie and I have cherished our road trips as way to escape from our work lives and seek out and explore new destinations. After just six months of dating, we planned our first big getaway, a California coastal road trip that took us along the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Sonoma. In that sense, you could say that road trips are in our relationship DNA, and we have made a point to take them every year since. This year alone, we’ve driven to Crater Lake National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and the always magical Eastern Sierra route up the 395. Along the way, we have learned a lot about what to bring in order to make the time in the car more enjoyable. Here are seven of our road trip hacks!

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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, […]

4 Places to Photograph Sunrise in Grand Teton National Park

4 Places to Photograph Sunrise in Grand Teton National Park

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Alpine scenery doesn’t get much better than that in Grand Teton National Park. The craggy peaks of the Tetons rise above a green valley, giving visitors unobstructed views of the mountain range. Below, the Snake River […]

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 view, and it’s hard to look away. From the places I have visited, perhaps the most comparable sight is your first look at Yosemite from Tunnel View. It’s simply breathtaking looking at the jagged peaks of the Tetons, and the drive along Teton Park Road keeps their majesty squarely in your sightline.

Without question, as we made our way into the park, our thoughts focused on getting out on the trails and exploring. There are no shortage of great hiking options in Grand Teton National Park, which means you’re going to be rewarded with beautiful scenery no matter what you pick. To start our trip off, we opted for a relatively easy hike to Bradley and Taggart Lakes in order to get acclimated.  (more…)

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 […]

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 guilty of forgetting to pack sunscreen, or running out of water. Although we often find ourselves on longer, higher elevation hikes, many of these tips also apply to shorter hikes as well, and following them will help make a hike of any length a great one.

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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 […]

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 few. It can be quite overwhelming trying to decide which ones to see, especially if you are in town on a shorter trip! However, the wonderful thing about most of the museums is that they are publicly funded, and therefore have free admission! This makes visiting any of them a good choice, especially if you are on a budget, or need somewhere to pop into if it starts to rain.

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