Driving Big Bend Park • An Epic Texas Road Trip After Sara accepted a job teaching in Odessa, Texas, the first thing we did was determine where the nearest national park was. Less than a three-hour drive south of Midland / Odessa, on the border between Texas and Mexico, lies Big Bend National Park. Big, Read More

Hike South Rim Trail

Hiking Big Bend’s South Rim Trail The South Rim Trail is an extremely popular hike in the Chisos Basin Mountains of Big Bend National Park. It can be hiked over a looong day from the Chisos Basin Visitor Center but, not wanting to rush, we chose to hike the South Rim Trail as part, Read More

Hiking Big Bend’s Highest Mountain: Emory Peak Emory Peak is the highest mountain in Big Bend’s Chisos Mountains at 7825′ (2385M). The peak is named after William Emory, chief surveyor of the 1852 U.S. Boundary Survey team. Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park From the Chisos Mountains Parking lot, it is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6, Read More

Chisos Mountains Big Bend

Backcountry Camping in Big Bend National Park • The Chisos Mountains As soon as Sara took a job in Odessa, Texas, we looked at a map to identify the nearest places to hike and camp. The only National Parks within driving distance of West Texas were Guadalupe, Carlsbad Caverns, and Big Bend. Over the, Read More

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro • The Grand Canyon of Texas Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the US gaining it the nickname as “the Grand Canyon of Texas”. It is believed early Spanish explorers discovered the canyon and named it “Palo Duro” or “Hard Wood” in reference to the large number of juniper trees growing in the, Read More

White Sands New Mexico

White Sand Dunes in New Mexico White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum dunefield making it a unique and beautiful natural wonder. Although I had never heard about White Sands before my girlfriend moved to Odessa, Texas, once I saw photos of the area I knew we had to plan a visit.

Carlsbad Caverns’ Caves Carlsbad Caverns National Park, in the southeast of New Mexico, contains over 119 caves. Three caves are open to public tours run by the National Park Service with Carlsbad Caverns being the most famous and developed with electric lights, paved trails, and elevators. Slaughter Canyon Cave and Spider Cave are undeveloped but accessible on designated paths, Read More

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established as a National Park on September 30, 1972. Guadalupe National Park is the world’s premier example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era and is one of the few protected areas surrounding the huge Permian Basin oilfields of West Texas making it an interesting place, Read More

When I told Australian friends that Sara and I were going to Cairns, many suggested that we check out Port Douglas instead. Although it is possible to do the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas, it seemed much easier and cheaper to arrange from Cairns, so we decided to visit both cities and I’m happy, Read More