Author: Brian

Hiking Devil’s Bridge | Sedona, Arizona

Hiking Devil’s Bridge | Sedona, Arizona

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The hike to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona is a popular, short excursion that leads to a heavily photographed natural bridge. An arch formed below the bridge, is the largest naturally occurring one of it’s kind in […]

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 […]

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 hoped due to the rain, and in some cases, snow, that have accompanied our week in the mountains of Western Canada. Instead of being early summer, the June weather has felt a lot more like late winter, and it’s set to be another cloudy day.

Hoping to see something new, I suggest driving through Kootenay National Park, just south of where we have been spending the past several days in Yoho. Unfortunately, the clouds are covering up any chance of seeing the mountains, aside from the occasional glance we catch of snow capped peaks. We know that with so much left that we want to see and do, we’ll need to plan another trip back to Canada, but a bit later in the season next time. We are determined not to let the weather get us down, so we decide to do one of our favorite things when in the mountains, visit a waterfall.

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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 […]

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. We first had the opportunity to explore Moraine Lake in 2016 and were instantly captivated by its striking beauty.

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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 […]

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 full advantage of chance to travel and explore someplace new. After over thirty years of living in Southern California, we had collectively hit a wall. Sure, there were still some hikes on our list, but we weren’t excited about them in the way we have been since the move.

Relocating has reinvigorated our adventurous spirit. Every weekend is a chance to visit another destination, and cross it off our ever-expanding Northern California to-do list.

Taking a road trip to Redwood National and State Parks has been on the top of that list for a while, so we were very excited when we finally had the opportunity to visit the region.

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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 […]

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 I made no exception, as we decided to take over an hour-long detour to incorporate visiting Burney Falls into our itinerary.

Julie had come across Burney Falls while searching for ideas for a future excursion to Lassen Volcanic National Park. So, on this particular trip, we had debated whether or not it would be worth making the extra drive to the falls, as our primary adventure was hiking to Castle Dome in Castle Crags State Park. However, after some deliberation, we decided that it would be a better idea to visit the falls in winter when the chances of high crowds was less, than it would be in the summer when there was bound to be a plethora of people.

After a long day of hiking on Saturday, we woke up Sunday morning and headed for the famous falls.

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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 […]

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 hikes along the way, we were looking forward to exploring a new National Park together. Bryce Canyon National Park is just a short, hour-and-a-half drive northeast of Zion, making it easy to visit on the same trip. Because the Bryce is on the smaller side for National Parks, we felt comfortable spending a shorter amount of time on our visit.

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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 […]

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 help keep us fresh and make the travel bug subside a bit while we await the next big adventure. Perhaps even more so, road trips seem to have become our speciality over the past five years that Julie and I have been together.

In mid-November, we booked a flight to Seattle in order to take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free voucher giveaway that we were awarded at a Giants game in September. One of the great things about Julie’s teaching career is that she gets all of the bank holidays off, so we decided that a four-day weekend adventure was in order over Veteran’s Day.

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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 […]

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 lights strung across homes, or just the feeling and memory that the holiday invokes in us. No matter how you spin it, Julie and I eagerly look forward to the calendar flipping to December.

Last year, we decided to try something a little different and spend our Christmas vacation across two weeks in Europe. We had heard countless stories, and seen endless photos, on social media of the Christmas markets that the continent is famous for, and thought we must experience it for ourselves. For a brief taste of Christmas in France, we visited two distinctly different Christmas markets in Paris and Colmar.

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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, […]

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…)