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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Backpacking through the High Sierra Camps | Yosemite National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

The High Sierra Camps are a series of six outposts in the Yosemite wilderness, spaced roughly between 5-10 miles apart. Their proximity was designed so that adventurers could explore the high country of Yosemite, without completely roughing it. Each camp provides travelers with a hot dinner, a bed to sleep in (via a canvas tent and cot), and an enormous breakfast the following morning. It is an ideal trip for those who love the idea of backpacking, but who do not want to sleep on the ground or worry about carrying a giant, heavy pack.

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The Mountains are Calling| Chasing the Last Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir

I was exhausted. I had just finished teaching a workshop on essay writing, shot my last wedding of the year, and I made it through mourning the loss of my grandfather. I finally had a chance to breathe, but I still felt suffocated. More than ever, I needed to get away. I needed to recharge. More than ever John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling, and I must go,” rang true for me.

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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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Time Travel Tuesday | Joshua Tree National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Joshua Tree National Park lies in California’s Mojave Desert. While Brian and I prefer mountain landscapes, there’s no denying that Joshua Tree has a unique beauty that makes it worth visiting. Ranging from broken up rock hills and boulders, to stretches of rugged terrain covered in wildflowers, cacti, and Joshua trees, the landscape of Joshua Tree is the main star of the park.

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Finding Time to Travel with a Full Time Job

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Julie and I love to travel which should come as no surprise,  after all, it’s why we started this travel blog. We love sharing our experiences, and hope that we can encourage more people to get out there and explore the world!

One of the most common issues we’ve come across when planning our trips, is how to schedule around our work commitments. We both have full time jobs which are our primary focus (bills have to get paid!), so we often need to get creative and plan our vacations well in advance. Life is all about finding balance, right? In particular, Julie’s teaching schedule is such that we have two open periods for longer trips. Summer, the peak and busiest of travel seasons. And winter, where depending on the destination, there’s a chance you may encounter some rough weather. The key for us, is making the most of every available opportunity to travel, no matter the size of the trip. Here’s how we do that.

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Time Travel Tuesday | Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

While Brian and I not-so-patiently wait for our trip to the Canadian Rockies later this month, we thought it would be fun to revisit some of our past trips in a new series called Time Travel Tuesday. As I was scouring my old files for  inspiration, I came across one of my favorite trips to see the fall colors in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, circa 2009. This was my first trip to the East side of range, having visited Yosemite several times, and the splendor of the craggy, snow-capped peaks and brilliant display of golden leaves has left me aching to go back ever since.

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Exploring The Huntington Library | San Marino, California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Growing up, I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Pasadena. My mother grew up there and my grandparents lived in the same house until I was early into my teenage years. Despite this, I had never visited The Huntington Library, which is located in nearby San Marino (and only about 2.5 miles from where my grandparents lived!). So I was excited to have a free weekend with Julie to head up to explore the library and Pasadena.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Hollywood, California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good.

It’s no surprise that Julie and I are big Harry Potter fans. When we moved in together last year, there was no argument, we were both bringing our collection of the books. Before I met Julie, she visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, which I remain jealous of to this day. Together, we had an amazing adventure last year at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour Making of Harry Potter experience. So, as Southern California residents, we have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Hollywood’s version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With only a short time remaining before the busy summer season, we decided to make our visit this past Memorial Day.

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Idyllwild & Winter Hiking in the San Jacinto Wilderness | California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

It’s a rare occasion for Julie and I to have a weekday off together, so we always try to make the most of them when we do. With the school Julie teaches at on Spring Break this week, I opted to take a four day weekend to enjoy some time off with her. One of our favorite activities is hiking, so we decided to pack up the car and head off to explore somewhere new! After much deliberation, we settled on visiting the small town of Idyllwild and hiking to nearby Tahquitz Peak.

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