Katherine Rodeghier

The Willis Tower, Chicago's tallest building, looms over its neighbors.

On Top of Chicago: Taking in Breathtaking View from Willis Tower Skydeck

My stomach attempts a back flip, a visceral reaction to stepping onto a clear glass floor with 1,353 feet of nothingness between me and the street below. Another step and I begin to get my bearings, feeling brave enough to peer down between my Read More

Bronc riding and other rodeo events are the centerpiece of Cheyenne Frontier Days. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Roping in Cowboy Culture at Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming

The aroma wafts toward my nose from a block away. The familiar sweet smell mixed with a yeasty scent makes my mouth water, and by the time I walk to Depot Square my mind is on only one thing: pancakes. But the crowd gathered in front of the Read More

Graceland was built four years after Elvis was born. He bought it when he was 22. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Touring Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee

My first impression, taking the circular driveway to the home of Elvis Presley, is how small it is. For someone larger than life, I expected something grander for the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. But if you go by square footage (17,552), the home is Read More

The working grist mill at Dollywood was built by hand to resemble mills in the 19th century. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Immersing in Smoky Mountain Culture at Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

I admit it, I was wrong. I thought Dollywood, the theme park in the Tennessee foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, would be a cheesy tribute to the buxom, big-haired blond country singer and movie star. I imagined over-the-top caricatures and Read More

The cast iron and masonry work on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales are more than 200 years old. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northeast Wales

From my vantage point in the field below, the structure rising from the riverbed looks like a bridge—a magnificent one, certainly, with graceful 200-year-old stone and iron arches. But wait a minute and an incongruous sight appears: A boat slowly Read More

A sea lion sleeps while sally lightfoot crabs scamper on the Galapagos Islands. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2012)

Viewing Some of Earth’s Rarest Creatures in the Galapagos Islands

I don’t need a sign warning me to “Yield to Sea Lions.” When a big fellow lumbers across my path you can bet I stop to give him the right of way. Sea lions, like most animals on the Galapagos Islands, are nonchalant toward humans because they are Read More

The shadow of a hot air balloon falls on a forest's autumn colors. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Autumn Hot Air Ballooning Along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The pilot guides our hot air balloon toward a forest ablaze in autumn colors. She gently lowers the basket until it brushes the treetops, a maneuver she tells me is called contouring. I’ve gone leaf peeping by car on scenic drives and on foot Read More

Enjoying the view from atop Stony Man in Shenandoah National Park. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Autumn Leaf Peeping in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park

We’re nearing the end of an enjoyable family outing motoring along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park when my husband decides it’s time for a break. He pulls into Skyland Resort, orders a beer in the Mountain Taproom and positions himself in Read More

The Potala Palace is the former residence of the Dalai Lamas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Touring the Potala Palace, Former Home of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, Tibet

As I wait my turn to ascend a ladder inside the Potala Palace, I watch an elderly Tibetan woman ahead of me. Dressed in a long traditional dress, with a loyal son at each elbow helping her rise, she slowly makes her way up, pausing at each rung. Her Read More

Sea lions love to play with snorkelers. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins in South Australia

As I squeeze into a wetsuit, one thought keeps pushing to the front of my mind: sharks. This is Australia after all, the state of South Australia to be more precise and it’s known for those nasty Great Whites of “Jaws” movie fame. From the Read More