The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Archive for 2013

The Art of Exploration archive is where you'll find my past writings and thoughts. You are currently viewing a list of articles that were published in 2013.


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Boxing Day at Rhossili Bay
Boxing Day at Rhossili Bay
We celebrated Christmas in Wales this year. On Boxing Day, we bowed out of the usual festivities to spend the afternoon at Rhossili Bay. It was wonderful to soak up the sunshine and breath in the fresh sea air.
Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park
It’s difficult to not take it personally when you get kicked out of a National Park. Especially when you’re someone who adores National Parks as much as I do. It soon became clear that the debt ceiling crisis was not going to resolve itself any time soon.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Today we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a public aquarium that has been involved in a variety of marine research projects that I’ve read about over the years.
Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
Lower Yosemite Fall Trail
There are so many things to do and so many sights to see in Yosemite, I found it a challenge to know where to start. We flipped through our guide books and studied our maps and decided that the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail seemed like a good opener.
Exploring Yosemite Valley
Exploring Yosemite Valley
One of my favorite things we did during our short stay in Yosemite was to take a long evening walk through Yosemite Valley. Since few people were left in the park by this time, it was like we had traveled back in time to a less hectic era.
Yosemite, From the Land
Yosemite, From the Land
We spent the first night of our California visit in a rather shabby La Quinta in the East Bay town of Dublin. After a night squandered tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress, we were anxious to be on our way.
Low Altitude Flight
Low Altitude Flight
I’ve not blogged for a while so let me quickly summarize the past several months. In June, I put my house on the market, received an offer after a few weeks, and closed at the end of July.
About Time
About Time
For several years, I’ve been contemplating selling my little 1950’s ranch house in the northern Chicago suburbs and moving somewhere more comfortable, nurturing, and livable.
Lily Lake
Lily Lake
Today’s forecast was chock-full of snow flurries and grim temperatures which meant that many hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park were likely to be treacherous.
Mesa Laboratory
Mesa Laboratory
We escaped the cold winds in Estes Park today by descending two thousand feet to Boulder where the sun was strong and temperatures were in the seventies.
Gem Lake
Gem Lake 1
Since today was only our second full day in Estes Park and we were still exhausted from our busy schedules leading up to this vacation, we set low expectations for ourselves.
Sprague Lake
Sprague Lake
A few months ago, I was browsing a vacation rental website and discovered a cozy looking property in downtown Estes Park. On a whim, I clicked a few buttons, made a quick phone call and booked a ten-day holiday in the Rockies.
Ice Hiking in Ryerson Woods
Ice Hiking in Ryerson Woods
A few weeks ago, Nemo dumped about six inches of snow on the Chicago area before it ganged up with a Nor’easter to sucker-punch the East Coast.
Woodcut at the Garden
Woodcut at the Garden
The weather today can only be described as wall-to-wall ICK with an occasional outbreak of YUCK and BLECH. The temperature climbed into the forties but it felt more like the twenties.
Prelude to Nemo
Prelude to Nemo
This year, The Weather Channel started naming winter storms in an attempt to grant blizzards a degree of meteorological grit previously reserved for tropical cyclones.
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle
After weeks of working long hours and weekends, we decided to try and take a short break. I took the day off and we hopped in the car and drove to Warwick Castle.
Snow Day
Snow Day
It snowed last night and most of today and although the total accumulation didn’t top two inches, it made everything look wonderfully white. It also screwed up traffic across the midlands.
South Loughton Valley Park
South Loughton Valley Park
Things have calmed down considerably since last week but I’m still trying to identify ways to better control my daily routine and in doing so protect the quality of my free time. The solution? Regular walks.
Milton Keynes Central
Milton Keynes Central
The first week of 2013 has been a hectic one. I had hoped to ease gently back into my routine after the New Year. But that didn’t happen. Instead I found myself tossed immediately under a landslide of work.
Sunny Loughton
Sunny Loughton
One of the lovely things about Britain in January is that when the sun comes out, you’d never know it was winter. When the sun’s out, it’s like stepping into the May issue of Countryfile Magazine.
A Very Long Year
A Very Long Year
Some thoughts at the end of a very long year, and the decision to make New Year’s resolutions work for me and not to conform to fabricated social obligation that calls for drastic personal change each January.