Author: Brian

2019 In Review

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd 2019 was a busy year for us and followed closely a pattern we developed in 2018. We spent many weekends during the summer months taking road trips to Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra. Early in the…

Hiking to Cathedral Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Cathedral Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The hike to Cathedral Lakes had been high on our Yosemite list for the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Two alpine lakes, in the high country of Yosemite, far away from the…

Hiking to Stanford Point | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Stanford Point | Yosemite National Park

Stanford Point Yosemite | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Unrelenting. That’s the feeling that was mutually shared between Julie and I on the hike to Stanford Point. In fact, several times, I found myself wondering aloud, when had we hiked a trail that was this steep. Make no mistake, this hike will kick your butt. From the seemingly never ending stair master to the point, to the knee pain inducing decent, you’ll earn every bit of that post-hike meal. 

Continue reading Hiking to Stanford Point | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Colchuck Lake | Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Hiking to Colchuck Lake | Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a hiker’s paradise located in the state of Washington, about 2.5 hours east of Seattle. It is a place that has particularly hit my radar of late as I began to…

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Sequoia National Park, well-known in part for its namesake giant trees, is also home to some fantastic alpine lakes. The Lakes Trail visits four such lakes: Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear, and had been on our…

Hiking Twin Falls | Yoho National Park

Hiking Twin Falls | Yoho National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

During our first visit to Canada in the summer of 2016, Julie and I made a brief stop in Yoho National Park. The highlight of that quick stop was Takkakaw Falls, the stunning 830 foot waterfall in the heart of Yoho Valley. While walking to enjoy the falls, we stopped at a trail sign near the parking lot, and marveled at the many hikes we had to come back to do. Flash forward to 2019 and with our third trip to Canada booked, we were excited to cross one of these hikes of our to-do list: Twin Falls.

Continue reading Hiking Twin Falls | Yoho National Park

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Eiffel Lake is a hidden gem in the Moraine Lake region of Banff National Park. This is a popular trail leads to an alpine lake with…

Backpacking Big Pine Lakes | Temple Crag

Backpacking Big Pine Lakes | Temple Crag

Backpacking  to Big Pine Lakes| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Hiking to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork Trail of Big Pine Creek is a classic trip in the Eastern Sierra. This strenuous trail can be done as a long…

Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls | Yosemite National Park

Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls | Yosemite National Park

Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

One of the premier hikes starting from Yosemite Valley, the hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls is a must-do when visiting the park.

An incredibly popular trail thanks to its access to Half Dome, hiking to the falls is best done in Spring or Summer when the falls are at their peak.

While we consider this to be a difficult hike, you will be rewarded for your efforts with two stunning waterfalls and fantastic views along the way.

Continue reading Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls | Yosemite National Park

Hiking Berry Creek Falls | Big Basin Waterfall Hike

Hiking Berry Creek Falls | Big Basin Waterfall Hike

Big Basin Waterfall Hike| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Berry Creek Falls is a hidden gem nestled within Big Basin Redwood State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Hiking to the falls is the most popular activity in the park, so…

A Scenic Drive Through Monument Valley | Arizona

A Scenic Drive Through Monument Valley | Arizona

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Monument Valley is an iconic destination in the heart of the American Southwest. Chances are if you have seen an old Western film, Forrest Gump, Westworld, or any number of other movies, then you know Monument…

24 Hours in Page | Arizona

24 Hours in Page | Arizona

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

In what has quickly become an annual tradition, Julie and I hit the road at the end of December in search of adventures in the Southwest.

With winter weather making most of our favorite destinations either inaccessible for hiking, or fully functioning ski resorts, we turned to the desert for a second consecutive year.

At the end of 2017, we spent time in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and planned to visit the three additional National Parks in Utah on this trip. Before venturing into Utah, we stopped in Page, Arizona, a small town on the border between the two states.

Continue reading 24 Hours in Page | Arizona

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.

Continue reading Hiking to Heart Lake | Mount Shasta California

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.

Continue reading Hiking to Upper Gaylor Lakes | Yosemite National Park

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.

Continue reading Hiking to Wapta Falls | Yoho National Park

Peyto Lake Hike to the Bottom | Banff National Park

Peyto Lake Hike to the Bottom | 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 the Canadian Rockies, the striking blue water is captivating. Is the water…

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

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

Big Beehive Hike| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The Lake Agnes and Big Beehive hike is one of our favorites in Banff National Park. Alpine vistas, quiet pine forests, and a lakeside tea house make this adventure unforgettable.

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.

Continue reading Hiking to Moraine & Consolation Lakes | 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

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…

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.

Continue reading A Weekend Road Trip to Redwood National and State Parks

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…

Yosemite Falls Hike to the Top in Winter | Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls Hike to the Top in Winter | Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls Hike to the Top| 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…

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.

Continue reading A Chilly Winter Morning at Burney Falls | Shasta County California