A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

With the recent move to Northern California, Julie and I had been craving our next adventure, specifically something outdoors. Our trip to Europe over Christmas break had satisfied our desire to travel abroad, but focused entirely on cities (after all it was winter!). Itching to get back out into nature, we started mapping out some potential excursions from our new home base. Over the course of an extended weekend, we made plans to drive from the Bay Area to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

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New Home, New Adventures: Northern California

Written by Brian Callender and Julie Boyd| Photography by Julie Boyd

You may have noticed we have been a bit quieter on the blog than normal, and that is because there have been some changes behind the scenes. Earlier this year, I (Brian) had the opportunity to take the next step in my full-time job, which required a move to Northern California. As two kids born and raised in Southern California, it’s been a big change for us to move to a new city. Though we are sad to leave our first home, we are so excited to explore the many destinations in our new backyard!

So what have we been up to so far?

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Driving the Icefields Parkway | Part 2: Jasper | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

With Banff squarely in our rearview, we continued our journey along the Icefields Parkway, headed for the town of Jasper.  If you’re a fan of stunning mountains and breathtaking waterfalls, then this is the place to be. Our first stop on the second half of our drive was the Columbia Icefield, a place that is truly spectacular.

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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point | Yosemite National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Winter is a magical time to visit Yosemite National Park. The valley is dusted with snow, the waterfalls are icy, the weather is chilly, and the summer crowds have dispersed. If you are lucky, you’ll get to witness the splendor of seeing the clouds roll back to reveal the valley after a winter storm, or maybe catch the last rays of light on Horsetail Falls as they illuminate the water, and it appears to turn into liquid fire.

However, one of the drawbacks to visiting in the winter is the snow and ice limit the  opportunities for hiking and exploring. Most trails that have any elevation gain are closed, which can be a bit of a bummer if you prefer outdoor adventures over sipping hot cocoa in the lodge. While we love both, on this trip we opted for a snowshoeing adventure!

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Favorite Day Hikes in Southern California

Brian and I are avid hikers, and love exploring trails in our local mountains. While there are a lot of trails near us in Orange County, we prefer to take the 1-2 hour drive up to the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains to experience the scenery of the high altitude trails. People ask us all the time for advice on what hikes to do, so here are some of our favorite trails in Southern California.

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An Afternoon in Yoho National Park | British Columbia, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Fresh off an awesome hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers, we still had several hours of sunlight left to explore the area before sunset. Julie had come across Takakkaw Falls while researching the trip, and suggested a quick visit to fill in the rest of our afternoon. While not an original part of our trip plans, we decided to make our way to nearby Yoho National Park to explore.

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Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

As we planned out our Canadian adventure, Julie and I each had a long list of “must visit” locations. Many of these destinations were shared, and that was especially true of Moraine Lake. If you spend any time on Instagram (including ours) these days, there’s a good chance you’ve seen photos of Moraine Lake pop up, and the images are always stunning. Spending just a few minutes there, it’s not hard to see why this place is an absolute gem!

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An Afternoon in Kananaskis | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

As mentioned in our last post, while visiting Banff, we opted to stay outside the park in Kananaksis Country. We spent most of our first day in Calgary, but after checking into our hotel, we decided there was enough sunlight left to explore our home for the next three nights. Kananaskis, and the area it encompasses, is named after the river which runs through it. If we had more time, this is definitely somewhere we would loved to have explored further. There are supposed to be some great hikes in this area, though several of the places we stopped at were closed and warned of bears in the area. For that reason, and because it was later in the day, we only made a couple of brief stops to check out the scenery.

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Our Canadian Adventure Begins! | Calgary, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Off to Canada!

Julie and I had been attempting to make a plan to visit Canada for what seemed like the past few years. We previously had reserved hotel rooms in Vancouver a couple winters back, but ended up cancelling that trip in favor of a California road trip. After reading a post by one of my favorite travel bloggers about visiting Alberta, we were convinced it was time to put our daydreams into action and plan our next trip. Planned earlier this spring, our journey would take us to two of the big national parks in Alberta, Banff and Jasper, as we immersed ourselves in the Canadian Rockies. Giant mountains, blue lakes, endless scenery, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend our summer vacation, and off to Canada we went.

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Time Travel Tuesday | Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Grand Teton National Park is truly one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes in the United States. The jagged peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Mountain Range are unobstructed by foothills and tower over 7,000 feet above the landscape. Below them, the Snake River carves through a valley of picturesque alpine meadows and sapphire glacial lakes. Continue reading “Time Travel Tuesday | Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming”