Category environment

View at Cedar Ridge - photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon

When you reach Ooh-Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon, you know why it got that name. What a view! As I looked out over the Grand Canyon, I felt like I was airborne but without a plane. Ooh-Aah Point is a 1.8-mile round-trip on the South Kaibab Trail, and hiking […]

Llamas as LeConte Lodge

LeConte Lodge – cabins, llamas & mountaintop views

My recent hike to Mt. Le Conte marked my 51st hike there. I first hiked to Mt. Le Conte with my church youth group when I was in high school. I’ve been fortunate to able to hike Mt. Le Conte almost yearly – and sometimes several times a year – since that first hike. Most […]

Cable handrail on Alum Cave Trail

Rainy hike to Mt. Le Conte

Clouds, rain and thunderstorms. That wasn’t the weather I would have requested for hiking, but that was the weather we had for hiking Alum Cave Trail to Mt. Le Conte to spend the night at LeConte Lodge. And when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rain always is a possibility, especially in the […]

tree tops

Tree leaves provide different looks for nature trail

What a remarkable day in May for Florida. The weather system that caused the closing of roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to fallen trees and the possibility of snow on mountain tops brought a beautiful day to Florida. Cool temperatures and enough breeze to mean no insects. A great day to check out […]

bike handlebars

Celebrating Earth Day by cycling on Hawthorne Trail

Earth Day was just the day to renew my Florida State Park card and then put it to use by visiting one of the nearby state parks to cycle on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail. The trail is a converted railroad track that goes through woods and prairie and includes a few hills. I saw pileated woodpeckers, […]

Wildfires sweep through GSMNP & Gatlinburg – loss of lives, property and wildlife

2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. National Parks across the country have been celebrating and having record-setting attendance. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the distinction of being the most visited of the 59 national parks, with more than 10 million visitors annually. The second most visited park is the […]

Earth Hour provides case study for media writing class

When I checked Twitter on my iPhone this morning, I found non-stop twittering about today’s Earth Hour, which challenges everyone to turn off the lights for an hour starting at 8:30 p.m. The tweets are filled with individual pledges, reports of people playing board games by candlelight, and photos of lighted and then darkened buildings. […]