Redwood National Park: Northern California is the best California

Redwood National Park has all kinds of stuff

Catch up on the first part of the adventure here.


Drive through windy roads for what feels like forever, stuck behind a houseboat clogging the road. Beautiful views of green valleys and peaks, but taking twisty turns on tiny mountain roads behind  A FRIGGIN HOUSEBOAT is kinda stressful.

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Rocky Mountain National Park Project

Rocky Mountain National Park Project

The Rocky Mountain National Park Project

I know the title makes it sound like some kind of charitable environmental movement. Not so much. If you were looking for that, this isn’t the post for you.

Read on for some highlights from the park this summer, though.

One of my life goals is to hike every trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, before I kick that ‘ol bucket. I’ve been at this Rocky Mountain National Park Project since about 2006, and since that time, I’ve documented every trail hiked on a map of RMNP.

It’s a combination of day hikes, snowshoeing, overnights and multi-day backpacking.

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Alien Landing Signal

Devils Tower, the Alien Landing Signal

Alien Landing Signal or national Monument? You Decide.

On the return trip from North Dakota to Colorado, we made a swing into Wyoming (as one usually does, of course) to see Devil’s Tower National Monument.

From far away, you get a view of the nubbin of this 800-foot rock that was the setting of the alien landing scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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Teddy Roosevelt is Also a National Park

Teddy Roosevelt is Also a National Park

Day 5

Up from the motel and tried to find a place for breakfast in Medora. It’s one of these tiny seasonal towns so everything is shut. We’re told that the only option is at the convenience store, and yep, that’s the place to be. Everyone in town is hanging out there.

One thing that surprises me about North Dakota (and South, too) is the lack of accents. I guess I expected everyone to sound like the movie Fargo, but not so much.

Drive into the park, it’s mostly history lessons about Teddy Roosevelt at the visitor center. I’d heard of the Rough Riders and the story about getting shot, but here’s some awesome facts (from Amazing Ben)

  • He stood outside and gave a two-hour speech in Milwaukee immediately after being shot in the chest in an assassination attempt.  It was only after the speech ended that he went to the hospital to get the bullet removed.
  • While he was out West, some douchebag named Mike Finnegan and his gang stole TR’s boat.  Instead of crying like a baby girl about it, Roosevelt pursued them for two weeks through the Dakota Badlands, kicked their asses, handed them over to the authorities and got his boat back.
  • He returned to New York and was made commissioner of the NYPD.  Instead of being a pussy and hiding in his office all day like the commish on Batman, TR went undercover as a beat cop and walked the streets of New York trying to catch policemen slacking off or taking bribes.  If he busted them in the act, he fired them, punched them in the mouth and then stuffed them into a garbage can.
  • TR won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end to the Russo-Japanese War.  How many people in history can claim that they won both the Nobel Peace Prize for making peaceful and harmonious shit happen as well as the Congressional Medal of Honor for kicking asses and possibly even taking names?

Teddy is my new spirit animal. give me strength, TR

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