Misadventures

From cactus to clouds in SoCal

One of California's hardest hikes... the hard way.

“You in town?” Little did I know my text would lead to hiking 22 miles within the next 24 hours. Seriously. A marathon minus four miles – but with 10,500 feet of climbing, hurting, bonding, ...

Playa El Espino, El Salvador

Searching for surf, finding adventure on this tiny nation's Pacific coast.

Call me a spoiled Southern Californian, but until I visited Playa El Espino I had never been forced to walk through a herd of milling cattle (left) to get to the ocean. This small fishing ...

Cuc Phuong, Vietnam: a typhoon experience

Category 3 storm on a motorbike.

It was October 27th, 2012, and the sun was shining down on North Vietnam. My friends and I had planned a motorbike trip to the national park of Cuc Phuong, some 120 kilometers south. Due ...

Afton Canyon: Grand Canyon of the Mojave

Check out this desert highlight on the way to Vegas.

Often called the Grand Canyon of The Mojave, Afton Canyon is a little-known gem along the road to Vegas, excellent for a pit stop or a quiet camping trip (never mind the trains; they're part ...

Apocalypse Now, Tico-style

Adventure and misadventure in Costa Rica's Arenal region.

“Never get out of the boat. Unless you were going all the way. Kurtz got off the boat.” ~ Captain Benjamin L. Willard, Apocalypse Now So there we were staring at the glossy brochure deciding ...

A nature lover in Langkawi

Up close and personal with wildlife in the Malaysian rainforest.

Close your eyes. Now imagine a long stretch of dazzling white sand and the sun setting over the Andaman Sea. That's where I'm writing from. It's an island called Langkawi in northwest Malaysia. Currently flying ...

Why Big Bear?

What to do in this four-seasons getaway, a 2.5-hour drive north.

I've got a few days off and not a lot of cash... what can I do? I know – I'll go to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. I've taken my family there ...

Surviving the Swarm in Anza-Borrego

Just 2 hours from S.D., the great outdoors can still have its surprises...

As a young woman on a budget, I've found many ways to travel on the cheap, and one of my favorite destinations is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in east county San Diego. It's close, it's ...

Humorous Humanitarian Dispatches from a Ukrainian Border Town

In the thick of night, you can almost always hear the tree branches rattling in a rhythmic chorus of nighttime symphonies. A tap starts at your window; a breath of air shakes a group of ...

Prague: A Vampire, a Sunset and an Electrocution

It was our second night in Prague, and the Old City shops were closing early and making me angry. Mark, my husband, and I were delayed by my dives into shops whose proprietors had not ...