This Is What Poison Oak Looks Like

Poison Oak

Fellow hikers and adventurers behold! This is poison oak! For the longest time I had no idea what poison oak looked like. Is it green or red? How many leaves does it have? If my hiking pants touch it, can I get infected? I’m sure questions like these have crossed the minds of many a hiker. Well I’ve finally taken the time to learn about this plant and mainly how to avoid it while wandering through the great outdoors.

Continue Reading →

How To Avoid Death In The Grand Canyon

Death in Grand Canyon

Most people who visit the Grand Canyon are so excited by the parks breathtaking views they forget just how dangerous this place can be. As they peer over the edge of the cliffs from thousands of feet above they’ll innocently question “I wonder how many people have fallen from up here?” The fact of the matter is too many people have perished in the Grand Canyon unnecessarily. Many of these deaths could have been avoided by simply using common sense. However, some deaths were a result of bad luck or bad timing. The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place where you can enjoy a leisurely family vacation or a tough rugged adventure. In either case, there are certain risks you should be aware of in order to keep everyone on your trip safe from harm and avoid any possibilities of becoming another one of the canyons unfortunate fatalities.

Continue Reading →

Backpacking In Channel Islands National Park

Backpacking on Santa Cruz Island

The Channel Islands have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’m aware it’s a popular destination for kayakers going on sea cave adventures, but that’s really all I knew about this remote National Park. When I had been invited by a coworker to go on an overnight backpacking trip to Santa Cruz Island, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I be able to practice backpacking, something I haven’t done nearly enough of, but I would finally get to explore the islands off the coast of California that have for so long filled me with curiosity and wonder.

Continue Reading →

The Secret Treasures Of Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park

You might not be aware that there exists a pristine stretch of Southern California coastline whose clear offshore waters have been designated as a Marine Conservation area. The mysterious location I’m referring to is Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County, California. Nestled in between the more popular beaches of Laguna and Newport, it’s easy to miss this rugged piece of land and sea. I’m a native of Southern California and even I am guilty of bypassing this beach. It was only recently that I visited this state park which consists of 3.2 miles of beach and 2400 acres of undeveloped woodlands. On my first real trip to Crystal Cove State Park, I realized just what a gem of coastal beauty it is. I was so excited to finally discover the many ways to enjoy both the beach and the backcountry of Crystal Cove.

Continue Reading →

The Geological Wonders Of Death Valley

Death Valley Badwater Basin

When a friend recommended I should take a trip to Death Valley National Park, I was like eh…ok sure. Not really enthused and with low expectations, my crew of adventurers and I traveled to what I thought would be a barren and desolate location for the weekend. Instead I was amazed at how alive and colorful the desert can be. There is so much scenic landscape to explore, so many trails to hike, so much history to learn and an unending amount of photographic opportunities.

Continue Reading →

What To Do If You See A Bear While Hiking

Bear encounter

Let’s face it. The more you hike in the great outdoors, the more likely you are to have an encounter with a bear. Knowing what to do is a crucially important survival skill. Most of the time an encounter with a bear will be brief and harmless if you know what to do, but too often I’ve heard people made bad decisions that have resulted in tragedy. I’ll share with you some of my own experiences and a few unfortunate stories so we can learn together how to handle these situations safely.

Continue Reading →

You Belong Among The Wildflowers

Wildflowers in Gormon, CA

Sometimes nature can put on such and immense display of beauty, you are shaken to the core of your being and awakened to the magnificence that is in our world. Pretty deep thoughts, I know. But this is exactly what I felt as I drove past the hills in Gorman, California one April morning. In fact I was so overcome by the beauty I saw, I had to pull off the freeway and get a closer look at the fields of brilliantly colored spring wildflowers on display.

Continue Reading →