Category travel

sandhill cranes - photo by Julie Dodd

Birdwatching at Sweetwater Wetlands Park

By 7:30 a.m., we were on the trail at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and the birds were there to greet us. We started by checking a location along the boardwalk where we’d seen purple gallinule a few weeks ago. We heard the purple gallinules and caught a few glimpses of them as they slipped through […]

LeConte Lodge cabin - photo by Julie Dodd

Joy of hiking to Mt. Le Conte

Time for one of the special treats of the year – hiking to Mt. Le Conte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After finding a parking space in the Alum Cave trailhead parking lot (which can be a challenge, as Alum Cave is a popular trail), we double-knot our hiking boots, adjust our hiking […]

painted trillium - photo by Julie Dodd

Hiking views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is always uplifting and challenging. I was fortunate recently to spend almost two weeks in the Smokies. A highlight (literally) was hiking to Mt. Le Conte, the third highest peak the Smokies. At times we were hiking inside a cloud. Other times, the sky was clear and […]

Salomon Run Barcelona 2017

Road race: Tips for race day

You’ve signed up for a road race. You’ve been training – for weeks and maybe months. Now race day is approaching. Here are some tips for success on race day. I’m sharing tips from the more than 200 road races I’ve completed, including the San Francisco Half Marathon, the Naples (Florida) Half Marathon, the Kentucky […]

Montserrat from St. Michael's cross

Montserrat offers views, architecture and spiritual boost

The visit to Montserrat certainly was one of the high points (literally) of the vacation in Barcelona. Montserrat is a beautiful location – with wonderful views of the surrounding area and impressive architecture. Montserrat, an hour train ride from Barcelona, is a moutain range that gains its name (serrated mountain) from the jagged mountain peaks. […]

Barcelona street

Walking in Barcelona

One of the many delights of visiting Barcelona was daily walking. In El Born, the old section of Barcelona where I was staying, the streets between the old stone buildings are more like alleyways, just wide enough for a car to pass through. The small streetcleaning truck did drive through the alleyways at night, and […]

Walking in woods

Opt Outside (#OptOutside) as often as you can to improve your health & outlook

Opt Outside (#OptOutside – promoted by REI for the Friday after Thanksgiving) and National Take a Hike Day (held each year on Nov. 17) are reminders to get outside and enjoy nature. Being outside and in nature should not be a slogan or campaign for just a few select days. That’s a worthy goal for […]