Canada's National Parks: Alberta and British Columbia
RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
ALASKA AND THE YUKON
This awe-inspiring, spectacularly wild state had been in the center of my vision board for years. I wasn’t sure how I’d ever be able to get out there, but I trusted that somehow the doors would open when the time was right. The opportunity presented itself when I was forced to re-route or lose a plane ticket I had bought out to Telluride, CO. What happened in the coming months eventually led to the birth of my Kickstarter project, which I realized was just as important to the dream as was visiting Alaska. The Universe never ceases to surprise.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
My most recent visit to spectacular National Park was with friends during the peak of the Perseid Meteor shower. Abundant with hiking, swimming, art-making, and laughter, our weekend retreat culminated with us waking up at 3:33 in the morning to catch the meteor shower from the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Cadillac is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.
NORTH CASCADES AND SAN JUAN ISLANDS
My second big adventure; this time with a lot more independence. I danced and explored my heart out in Portland, OR for a few days and then drank in the coastal views on the Amtrak up to Seattle. From here, I rented a mini cooper and drove through miles of empty, winding roads, hugged by towering mountain peaks and pine trees, to North Cascade National Park, where I explored astonishing vistas along the knife of the Pacific Crest trail. When my home base of Winthrop, WA got evacuated due to wildfires, I found myself in a little Bavarian town a few hours south in Leavenworth. From there, I ended up going on the most magnificent and strenuous hike of my life through The Enchantments. After bidding goodbye to my new hiking friends the next morning, I took my sore legs back to the coast for a multi-day exploration of the San Juan Islands via sea kayak camping. I was lucky enough to see a few pods of Orca whales from my boat, and it was here where I found myself tuning in deeper with my connection to the ocean, and to the Pacific Northwest in particular.
MY FIRST ADVENTURE: NATIONAL PARKS SOLO ROAD TRIP
The trip that kindled the flame of wanderlust: starting in San Francisco, I travelled on a little green bus full of 35 people from all over the world to see how it might help heal a broken heart. For 3.5 weeks, we crawled up the Pacific Crest, headed east through the Rockies, and then down to the desert lands of the Southwest. Having never so much as pitched a tent before the trip, I backpacked through seven national parks, got my hair wet in over a dozen bodies of water, galloped horseback through the desert, and befriended my claustrophobia exploring underground lava tubes. This transformative exploration culminated with a solo hike to the basin of the Grand Canyon and back in 110+ degree heat. My first taste of true solitude. About a month after I returned, the Phoenix painting was born, and I've been returning to nature ever since as my source for wisdom and inspiration.