August 25, 2018

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As fires raged all across the state of California, I had my focus aimed towards one in particular, the Ferguson fire, which was rapidly burning west of Yosemite Valley. I formed a morning and afternoon routine of checking the Yosemite webcams, looking for non-existent visibility through the dense smoke that had ridden California’s westerly winds into the valley.

Not wanting to waste the precious week of vacation that I had requested months earlier, a contingency plan had to be put into motion. I was not going to give up on the flowing, tree-covered peaks and crystal-clear lakes of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Range. All throughout my childhood I had camped out in a remote corner of the mountains called Mono Hot Springs and I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with a return trip. It had been over a decade since my last visit. It would be a slightly different, more remote trip than a weekend in the tourist-filled Yosemite Valley. Also, I really wanted to show Madison the magical views on the hike to Half Dome, so we had to do our best to make up for the missed opportunity and look for a replacement hike.

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July 20, 2018

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For most people, Puerto Escondido is just a dot on a map, a tourist destination overshadowed by flashier resort towns such as Cancun, Cabo, and Acapulco. Hell, most people have probably never heard of it in the first place. There’s not much reason for the average tourist looking for a quick fix of tropics to go there anyway. There are more convenient places to go in Mexico with the open bars and infinity pools that they are looking for. But even for those who may have been there and enjoyed it, they may not fully understand how special this place really is.

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April 17, 2018

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As we dragged our feet in the beating, desert heat, it appeared that we were making no progress at all. I turned back to see our parked truck fade out of sight from the naked eye, visible only through the zoom of my camera, yet our destination, the dunes of Panamint Valley, stood still at what had previously seemed like such an attainable distance.

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