Star Spangled Banner

Stalking The Star-Spangled Banner in Baltimore

Francis Scott Key wasn't kidding when he used the words "broad stripes” to describe the flag he spotted one morning in Baltimore Harbor. Standing before that same flag in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, I stared at stripes that are two Read More

Angels Landing Trail

Hiking the Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, Utah

My problem was hubris. I had just hiked 500 miles from southern Arizona to the Utah border, in the process crossing the  high desert of central Arizona and the Grand Canyon. I felt fit, acclimated to 100-degree temperatures -- a hard-bitten hiker who Read More

central park

Sightseeing in New York City by Bicycle

Out-of-towners often are aghast when I say I ride a bicycle for transportation and fun in Manhattan. They hear “bicycles” and think “EEEEK! Traffic! Potholes! Trucks!” I used to laugh and reply, “it’s a death-defying experience.” Now, I see it as a Read More

View from Artists Point

Hiking Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park

I am not thinking about gesyers or fumaroles as I am walking; I am thinking about animals, specifically, about the grizzly bear the ranger told me might be inhabiting this slice of Yellowtone's backcountry, in the southern section of the park near Read More

Sequoia

Hiking Among the Redwoods in California’s Muir Woods

I am standing in front of a redwood tree California's Muir Woods, swaying from side to side. If there was anyone else on the trail, they might think I was performing some arcane New Age ritual. Either that, or being charmed by a hypnotic snake. What Read More

Victory Chimes under full sail (photo c. Fred LeBlanc)

Sailing on the Victory Chimes, a Maine Windjammer

Here's what I noticed when I stepped aboard the Victory Chimes for a week-long cruise on the Maine coast. Almost all the cabins are belowdecks, and they are teeny -- mostly bunkbeds, so we're not really talking romantic cruise here. There's just Read More

The Grand Canyon and the Colorado River

Hiking Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim

The Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim. 21-ish  miles, 5000 feet down from the South Rim then another 6,000 up the North; that's more than a vertical mile. If you're like most people, you'll only realize what that means when you're at the bottom looking back Read More