The End of Six Months in South America

We have been on the road in Central and South America for six months.  As we are wrapping up this phase, we wanted to reflect upon what the trip has held for us so far.  South America has been a grand adventure – trekking, rafting, snorkeling, zip-lining, hiking, surfing, etc.  We have experienced a range of situations that have tested our limits.  We have navigated our way through an entire continent in a different language, not always smoothly, but we’veRead more

Why We Love Patagonia

We love mountains, we really do, and like the desert an awful lot as well.  This is why we like our hometown of Reno so much – technically we live in the desert yet are 15 minutes from some of the most beautiful mountains in the United States.  We have the benefit of a dry, sunny climate and can drive to “the snow” in a matter of minutes for our outdoor fix.  This might be why we have fallen inRead more

Extreme Bar-hopping with Kids

So, are you a bad parent if you take your 8 & 10 year old kids to a sub-zero bar?  See what you think… The story behind this is that we went to visit the Glaciarium, a museum all about glaciers. After touring the glaciers Perito Moreno, Spagezzini, and Upsala the other day, we were interested in learning a little more about how glaciers are formed, how they change the landscape, etc. so went to the local glacier museum. TheRead more

Trekking in Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine, Chile.  This was one of those places that had been on our short-list for years.  Since we met, Colburn has talked wistfully of trekking in Patagonia.  We always ogled over pictures of the terrain from our friends who had traveled there.  As we were planning our entire trip, trekking in Torres became a pillar around which we planned the other South American experiences. We had researched possible routes, terrain, and logistics until we couldn’t possibly absorb anyRead more

Vicuñitas con Mochilitas (Little Vicuñas on the Inca Trail)

By Deb The Inca Trail is one of those traveler destinations that you have to see to believe. A four day walk to the ruins of Machu Pichu, it is the stuff of travel legends (both good and bad) and was something that we approached with a bit of trepidation – would it be too difficult for us and the kids, would it be over-run with tourists and porters, would it be worth both the time and effort? And, forRead more

Peru – the Rest of the Story

Colca Canyon may rank up there with one of the best lifetime experiences as a family.  As Colburn wrote, it was a confluence of events that left us elated, euphoric, and exhausted.  After leaving Colca, we headed off on a tourist bus to Lake Titicaca.   Lake Titicaca is one of those places that I have always dreamed about visiting – it seemed so exotic, one of those places you have to go just to say that you’ve been there (Timbuktu,Read more

Colca Canyon

Having written this prior to yesterday’s school shooting in our hometown of Reno, we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to be spending so much time with our children. Between Deb and I, hundreds of children have experienced the outdoors during our many years as outdoor educators.  We designed, planned and executed outdoor experiences for other parents’ children.  We have done plenty of trips with our kids – day hikes, rock climbing excursions, sea-kayaking day trips, etc.  But in the Colca Canyon,Read more

Galapagos – The Second Half

By Deb Our time on the Galapagos Archipelago was fantastic, yet words will probably do little to explain the magic of being there. The setting is stark and unforgiving, yet the life that survives there is placid and phenomenally beautiful.  It was surreal to be able to watch the wildlife from such proximity that we would have to move away from them to maintain the required 6 foot distance.  They do not run away from humans, but rather seemed intriguedRead more

No Need for Binoculars

By Colburn I am a total amateur naturalist hack, my children are clearer on some concepts than I am. Therefore, I do not claim anything I write can be thought of as fact, true or believable.  I couldn’t begin to compete with Mr. Darwin, the BBC or National Geographic.  However, I am on fire with fascination with the Galapagos – and, yes, most of what I am describing hopefully will make you want to look some of these ideas upRead more