Globetrotter KT Photography: Blog en-us Globetrotter KT Photography (Globetrotter KT Photography) Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:23:00 GMT Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:23:00 GMT Globetrotter KT Photography: Blog 120 90 24 hours in Greater Portland Welcome to Portland, the largest city in Maine, known for being one of the “foodiest” places in America. The iconic L.L. Bean boots are a way of life here and are made only a few towns away. The economy here relies heavily on commercial fishing so if lobster and fish is what you desire you have come to the right place. If you enjoy breweries, the arts, shopping, outdoor activities, lighthouses, and beautiful scenic vistas then pack you bags for an exciting twenty-four hours (or more) in the greater Portland area!


So much to see and do and so little time. Start your day right with sunrise at the iconic Portland Headlight. This is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and possibly the most photographed lighthouse in America. After the final rays of light rise over the horizon take a short walk around the rest of Fort Williams Park for an up close look at late 1800’s military structures. Ram Island Ledge Light can be seen from the park as well.


On the way out of Cape Elizabeth stop in South Portland to see two more lighthouses. Southern Maine Community College campus is home to Spring Point Ledge Light, known for it’s 900 foot breakwater. This is one of the only lighthouses that you can take a tour of throughout the summer but you should check the schedule for details. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes; navigating the giant granite boulders that make up the breakwater could be treacherous if not wearing appropriate footwear.


About 5 minutes down the road is Bug Light. This lighthouse is much more accessible and has a spectacular view of Portland Harbor. This is a great spot to sit and watch ships come in and out of the harbor, from sailboats to giant cruise ships.


If you are looking to cool your heels on a southern Maine beach, you have a few options:

  • Willard Beach in South Portland is great but be aware that many people bring their dogs

  • Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth is very family friendly

  • Higgins Beach in Scarborough has some of the best surfing waves in the State

  • Scarborough Beach in Scarborough is generally not as populated as other beaches

  • Old Orchard Beach in Old Orchard Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Maine with the pier being it’s predominate feature

If you are driving or renting a car remember that most places in the greater Portland area require you to pay for parking. If you are able to use a smaller vehicle that may make it easier to parallel park or get in and out of parking lots in downtown Portland.


When you head back into Portland you will find an abundance of food stands, restaurants, and breweries located in the Old Port. The Old Port is a historic district with cobblestone streets and brick buildings. There are clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, art galleries, and of course restaurants and other gourmet food stores. This area is the nightlife capital of the state as there are multiple pubs, breweries, cocktail bars, and nightclubs.


With so many food options I am going to share some of my favorites:


  • Becky’s Dinner It may look like a hole in the wall, but it is an iconic local favorite. They serve breakfast from 4 AM until 4 PM and you cannot go wrong with any of their daily specials.

  • Duckfat – if you’re looking for a quick snack, I would highly recommend stopping by and ordering a plate of poutine here. Make sure to add pulled duck meat and an egg to your order...delicious.

  • Bingas StadiumThis is a sports bar with forty beers on tap and is known for their wing sauces. There are over thirty sauces to choose from and if you like wings you have to give this place a try! The original Bingas burned down 2008 but that didn’t stop them. They rebuilt the restaurant and created a new super hot sauce as a tribute (’08 Fire) which “makes women scream and grown men cry”.

  • Benkayfor all you sushi lovers out there you should definitely stop here. They have some of the best and most fresh sushi around.

  • Sebago Brewing Company – My favorite brewpub in the state... ‘nuff said.

  • Nosh Kitchen Bar – If you are looking to try something completely outside of the box check out this place. They pride themselves on having all natural meat and produce and “badass french fries.”

  • DiMillo’s – If you are going to get seafood it might as well be from one of the best and historical restaurants in the city. Seafood doesn’t get any more fresh than this as the restaurant is a large floating boat located right on the wharf. This restaurant is a little more pricey than standard fare, but your stomach will thank you. I would recommend making a reservation during peak tourism season.

  • The Grill Room – If you are more of a steak and potato kind of person then look no further. The menu is on the expensive side but is completely worth it. It was good enough for me in fact that I said yes after my husband proposed to me here. Reservations are recommended.

  • Or you could always take a craft beer tour

Make sure to take a stroll up and down those cobblestone streets to the different shops and galleries that span the entire downtown area. You are bound to find something that piques your interest to take home to your family.


If you really want to experience a view of the city, you should take a trip up the Portland Observatory. The eighty-six foot observatory was constructed as a communications station for the Portland Harbor in 1807. The observatory is the only remaining historic maritime signal station in the United States.


There are multiple civic centers in the area that are worth checking the schedules for including:

  • Cross Insurance Arena

  • The State Theater

  • Thompson’s Point

  • Merrill Auditorium

  • Portland Stage Company

  • Hadlock Field (home of the Portland Sea Dogs minor league baseball team)

Book a sunset sail on the Eleanor Hawkes with Captain Ian Glass and ‘Sail Portland Maine’. I did this sail a few weeks ago and it was a great experience. I have lived on the Casco Bay for over seven years but have never experienced it like this. Captain Ian is professional and gives you an intimate tour of the bay. He only takes six people out at a time, so it is bound to be a personal experience that you are not going to forget. Not only are the views incredible but he prepares fresh oysters and wine on for the sunset excursions. If it happens to get a little chilly out on the water wool blankets are provided for you. If you’re lucky, he might even let you take the wheel. Keep a watchful eye on the bay or you might miss the playing seals!

Sit back, relax, eat, drink, and feel the wind on your face as you take in the beautiful sights. There’s no better way to watch the sun go down.


After returning from the sunset tour you could check out one of the many night clubs in town including Oasis, Aura, or Pearl and dance the night away.


There is so much to do here, but this should be plenty to get you through your first twenty four hours. If you go to bed exhausted and wanting more, I have done my job. If you have any questions or want more information, don’t hesitate to ask! Enjoy your stay in Portland Maine!


Safe Travels and Happy Adventuring!

-KT (globetrotter_kt)

[email protected]

(Globetrotter KT Photography) Sun, 30 Jun 2019 02:32:01 GMT
Guide to Havasupai Havasu Falls is one of those places that you need to see to believe. I had been trying to get there since I first heard of it back in 2011. That’s right, eight years ago! For one reason or another I never made it there until this year. I finally got to experience the turquoise water for myself. When you look at photos of this place and think “that's not real”, you are not alone. I thought the same thing prior to going there. In this guide I will lay out my recommendations so it will not take you eight years to get there, and hopefully you wont be as confused as I was once you arrive. I will discuss the following:

  • Havasupai Background

  • Scoring Permits

  • Pricing

  • Rules

  • Getting There

  • Weather and When to Visit

  • The Night Before Your Hike

  • The Hike In

  • Campground Information

  • Itinerary

  • Mooney and Beaver Falls

  • Confluence Trail

  • Pack Animals and Helicopters

  • Packing list

Havasupai Background

The remote village of Supai, Arizona, located eight miles hike below the rim of the Grand Canyon, is home to the Havasupai Tribe, the “People of the Blue Green Waters”. The reservation is at the end of Route 18 off historic Route 66. It abuts the western edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and consists of just under 190,000 acres of canyon land and broken plateaus.

There are five waterfalls that are mapped out on this journey: Navajo Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls. Havasu Falls is the most famous waterfall in this desert oasis. It is known for the stark contrast between the arid desert landscape of Havasu Canyon and the lush vegetation near the water, not to mention that turquoise water that must be seen to be believed.

Scoring Permits

In order to maintain the pristine beauty of this isolated desert paradise, the Havasupai tribe limits the amount of visitors allowed to visit the reservation per day. There is no day hiking permitted, reservations and entrance fees must be paid in advance, and you will have to show your permits at multiple checkpoints throughout your visit.

Permits are obtained online. OPENING DAY is FEBRUARY 1st at 8:00 AM Arizona time.

Permits are usually sold out completely within the first few hours of opening day. As of today there are a few cancellations for this month (June), but the rest of the year is completely booked.

For your best chances to get a permit I have a few recommendations:

  • Make an account and enter payment information on the website prior to February 1st

  • Be logged in and ready to go a few minutes before the opening

  • Be flexible with your dates; have several back up options if your first choices are already booked

  • Have everyone in your group logged on using different devices. If you are not all together be in communication so the first person to get the permits can tell everyone else to stop trying. (Permits are non refundable. They are transferable only through their website, for a fee). When I bought my tickets my friends and I were on a group conference call and were updating each other constantly on our progress.

  • The website will crash over and over again; keep refreshing the page. You will eventually get in over time as reservations are made and other less determined people give up.

  • The larger your group size the harder it will probably be to get a permit. Although they allow up to twenty people per group, I would suggest having no more than four people total in your group or else many of the dates on the calendar will be unselectable.

  • Every time you click a button on the website there is a chance that the site will crash and you will have to start over. In order to scroll through the calendar you have to keep clicking the next button. By this logic, the sooner in the year you can go, the better your chances may be to get a date that you want (February through November).

Pricing 2019

Due to the increasing popularity, prices have increased each year. This year permits were:

  • $100 a person per weekday night

  • $125 per person per weekend night (Friday/Saturday/Sunday)

  • You are required to pay for three nights and four days. No more and no less. You can try to get multiple back to back permits allowing yourself a six night stay.

  • The person who is listed on the reservation must be present on the hike or the permit will not be valid. You must bring the permit and a photo ID with you! I suggest a printed copy because you are not likely to have service anywhere in or near the canyon.

  • You will pay for your reservation in full at the time of checkout (again, non refundable).

  • If you plan on using the mules to carry your gear you will add yourself to the waiting list after checkout (not recommended, more about this later).

  • New this year they are supporting travel insurance options. They are third party and options can be viewed here.


  • No alcohol or drugs ($1000 - $5000 fine and expulsion)

  • No drones ($250 fine and expulsion)

  • No photos in the village or of the pack animals at any time

  • No campfires (backpacking stoves are allowed)

  • No pool flotation devices

  • No vandalism ($500 fine)

  • No removing of Natural Resources ($500 fine)

  • No loud music; quiet hours are between 8PM and 5AM

  • Do not jump or dive! There are submerged rocks and obstacles in the water and pools change depth frequently.

  • Pack animals have the right of way. Yield to all horses or mules on the trail, they will not stop. Move towards the canyon wall side of the trail until the horses pass to avoid being pushed over the edge. Do not spook the horses.

  • The trail is not well marked but it is well traveled. Do not take side canyons that are unfamiliar.

  • Filter all water taken from creek or springs for drinking or cooking.

  • No littering ($1000 fine); pack out all of your trash!

  • Permits are non refundable non transferable (except directly on their site for a fee)

  • Must have permit and a photo ID when checking in

Getting There

The closest airport is Las Vegas with a 3.5 hour drive. Take Rt 93 South to Historic Route 66 towards Peach Springs. It will take about 2.5 hours to reach Peach Springs. About 7 miles after reaching Peach Springs you will come to Route 18 (or Indian Rd 18) on the left. Take this for about an hour until the end of the road when you will reach Havasupai Hilltop. If you are using Google maps or a GPS it will likely add an extra hour. This is to account for the road not being paved a few years ago. It is paved now and any vehicle can take this road. The last major town along your route is Kingman. There are no services along Route 18 so make sure you fill up before leaving Kingman. Route 18 is free range for cattle so make sure to stay alert for animals crossing the road.

Phoenix is the next closest airport at 4.5 hours. From Phoenix follow directions to Seligman. This will be the last major town before reaching your destination so make sure to fill up on gas before leaving. From there follow the directions to Peach Springs. Just before reaching Peach Springs take a right onto Route 18 (or Indian Rd 18). Take this for about an hour until the end of the road when you will reach Havasupai Hilltop. If you are using Google maps or a GPS it will likely add an extra hour. This is to account for the road not being paved a few years ago. It is paved now and any vehicle can take this road. Route 18 is free range for cattle so make sure to stay alert for animals crossing the road.

Route 18 is the only way in and the only way out from Havasupai Hilltop. There will most likely be a checkpoint about a mile before reaching the hilltop. Your vehicle and bags will be subject to search if you wish to make it through the checkpoint. If contraband is found in your vehicle they will turn you around and deny entrance. This is the first place that you will be required to show your permit and ID.

Weather and When to Visit

Quite frankly the best time to visit is whenever you can get a permit. Water temperatures in the canyon are pretty consistently between 60 and 70 degrees F for a majority of the year.

If I could choose an ideal time of year to visit it would be during the spring or fall. Hiking temperatures are not outrageous and the water temperatures aren’t too cold. Flash floods are definitely something to consider when making a reservation. Monsoon season is in July and August and flash floods are a real possibility; one occurred as recently as 2018. If you do end up booking a trip during this time period make sure to check the weather before starting your journey. No hike is worth your life.

The summer months can get very hot, temperatures of 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) or more are possible. Note that they will close the trail if the temperature reaches 115 or higher. There is no guarantee in this circumstance that you will be able to reschedule or get a refund. If you do get a permit for this time period plan on getting a VERY EARLY start on the trail and get to the campground or the hilltop before the day starts heating up.

The Night Before Your Hike

I met a lot of people on the trail that slept in their cars the night before. We were there the first week in May and the nights were still pretty cold. They all expressed that it wasn’t worth it. They all froze their butts off in the cars all night and got very little sleep. If it is the warmer time of the year then maybe it could be worth it for you.

They do not allow camping at the hilltop or anywhere along Route 18. If you are determined to stay at the trail head the night before, it will have to be in your car. Make sure not to park on the side of the road that is directly adjacent to the canyon wall; staff advised us that rocks have been falling and have been causing damage to many vehicles. If it means parking another quarter mile or more away from the trail head it is worth it. Heed any parking signs or your car may be towed. RV parking is very tight.

We opted for a good nights sleep before beginning our hike. We stayed at an AirBnB in Kingman, woke up very early, and drove two hours to the hilltop. There are many inexpensive AirBnB options in Kingman and Seligman. Even though we still had a two hour drive we went to bed early and I can guarantee we got a lot more sleep than those people who “slept” in their cars.

There are also a couple of hotel options located in Peach Springs (only about an hour from the hilltop). They are the Hualapai Lodge and The Grand Canyon Caverns Inn.


The Hike In

Havasupai Hilltop is a total of 10 miles from the campground (elevation 5,200 feet). There is no water along the trail to the campground so make sure to pack enough water for the entire 10 miles. During the hike in you descend 2,500 feet into the canyon. Alternatively, that means that you will hike up 2,500 feet on the way out. The first 1.5 miles of this trail contains of a series of switchbacks as you descend 1,000 feet into the dried creek bed below. From here on the elevation change is very gradual. The trail is very sandy and gravely. Some people suggest not wearing hiking boots due to them filling up with sand. I would disagree, the trail is covered in rocks that are the perfect size for rolling ankles (speaking form experience). I would suggest light hiking boots with ankle support.

A reminder of some trail etiquette:

  • Pack animals always have the right of way. They will not stop so make sure to get off the trail and step to the canyon wall side (opposite the edge) to avoid falling. Remain quiet and still; give them plenty of time to pass. This is one of the reasons that I do not recommend hiking with headphones in as you will not be able to hear the pack animals coming up behind you. During our trip we saw at least ten groups of pack animals using the trails so it is important to be vigilant.

  • Uphill hikers always have the right of way to downhill hikers (some may stop to take a breather but it is up to them)

  • If you are descending slow down and step to the side to make way for uphill hikers

  • Do not expect slow hikers to get out of your way

  • If you would like to pass on a narrow section of trail slow down and politely let them know you would like to pass

  • Remember that not everyone speaks the same language

  • More desert hiking tips


After walking the first 8 miles from the Havasupai Hilltop you will arrive at the Supai Village. Once you reach the village sign and see your first glimpse of water it is just another two miles to the tourism office in the middle of the village. You will have to go to the tourism office here to check in using your permit and ID. You will receive a wrist band for each person in your group and a tag for your tent. There will be staff members along the trails and at the waterfalls checking for wrist bands.

There is a small convenience store and restaurant in the village if you need to get any last minute food or drink items.

From the tourism office it is just another 2 miles (or 45 minutes depending on your hiking speed) to the campground. There are several smaller side trails but these are not for tourists. After leaving the village stay on what looks like an ATV trail. There are a couple of places where the trail looks like it breaks off and you don’t know which way to go but don’t worry because they go to the same place. There is one spot that you will see a boulder on the left side of the trail with a word spray painted that vaguely looks like the word “falls.” If you have the energy this diversion will give you a much better view of Navajo Falls than you would see from the trail. Continue on towards the campground and you will pass the Fifty Foot Falls and just prior to the campground you will reach the beautiful 115 foot tall Havasu Falls.

I recommend getting an early start and completing the hike before the heat of the day begins. Afterwards you will have the rest of the day to set up camp and enjoy Havasu Falls. The tourism office is usually open from 6AM to 6PM from May through October and 9AM to 5PM during the rest of the year. Make sure to arrive within that time frame to get your wristbands and tent tag. The hike in took my husband and I four hours and I would consider us fairly fast hikers. If you consider yourself anything besides fast, adjust that time to your skill level. If you decide to start your hike in the dark make sure that you have extra batteries for headlamps.

Even though it will be quite tempting to stop and play for a while at Havasu, I would suggest continuing on to the campground so you can pick out your site. Set up camp and then head back to the falls. You will have the rest of the day to spend there before letting the sound of the creek lull you to sleep.

Photo tip: Depending on the time of year, the entire falls will be lit up by the sun around 1PM. Perfect time for photos with a filter. If you are looking for long exposure shots without a filter, the sun will be out of the canyon by 4PM. With the sun gone, the people will also begin to disappear.

Campground Information

The campground stretches for a mile on both sides of the Havasu Creek to the start of the Mooney Falls trail. There is one spring coming out of the side of the cliff near the beginning of the campground which you can collect water from. They say you do not need to filter this water but I still would filter it before drinking it and would boil it at a minimum for cooking. The campsites are first come first served which is another reason to get an early start. There are four composting toilet sites throughout the camp and I think the better campsites are near the end of the campground (near the top of Mooney Falls). Most campsites have shade and a picnic table. The campsites on the other side of the creek require crossing some sketchy wooden bridges that may or may not get your feet wet (keep your electronics out of your pockets until you feel comfortable crossing).

Most campsites are fairly level with plenty of trees for hammock options. If you do opt for a hammock to save on weight make sure you have a rain fly and still prepare to get wet. There was a group leaving as we were coming in who experienced a miserable night in their hammocks during a downpour that seemed to come from every angle. Also hammocks will not shelter you from any bugs.

Most campsites will have a bucket with a top. This is where you will want to store any and all food you brought and put a large rock on top which will keep it safe from the squirrels. They have been known to chew through tents and backpacks to get to food. There were some sites that did not have buckets as they had run out. You could take a chance and hope to get a bucket or you could bring a rat sack with you just in case which we did, and it worked very well.


Day One: Hike the 10 miles from Havasupai Hilltop to Havasupai Campground. Set up camp and spend the rest of the day at Havasu Falls.

Day Two: Wake up early and explore Mooney and Beaver Falls. From the beginning of the Campground it is 1 mile to Mooney Falls. Depending on how far down your campsite is in the campground will dictate how far it will be to get to Mooney Falls. Our campsite was near the end of the Campground so it only took us about 3 minutes to walk to the overlook. From the base of Mooney falls it is another 2 miles to Beaver falls.

Day Three: Rest day. Or for the more ambitious hikers you could take the Confluence Trail to the Colorado River. This trail extends about four miles past Beaver Falls.

Note* day two and day three are interchangeable

Day Four: wake up at an ungodly hour, pack up camp, and hike the ten miles back to the hilltop. Remember that the last 1.5 miles will be the most difficult and strenuous so you want to be at or near the top before it gets super hot out.

Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls

If you are at all afraid of heights the Mooney overlook may be the end of the road for you. I had read multiple things about these “ladders” leading down to the base of the falls before our trip. I figured that I had climbed Angel’s landing and other trails which have a bad reputation but they turned out not to be so bad in actuality. This was not the case here. There are some gloves with grips lying around but if you really think you want a pair of gloves with a good grip it’s worth bringing you own. We took it slow and tested the chains and foot holds on each step prior to moving on. If you have any doubts or want to prepare yourself for what is to come check out some videos online like this one.

After passing a sign that says “descend at your own risk” it is approximately 200 feet down a series of caves, chains and ladders to the waterfall below. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, the bottom half of the climb is slick as it is constantly in the mist from the waterfall. Wear sturdy shoes to help grip the wet rocks and ladders. Make sure to face uphill for better balance and grip even when climbing down. Don’t let anyone rush you; slow and steady wins the race. The climb can become quite congested at certain times throughout the day. We didn’t have any problems with anyone during the climb as the general consensus was that everyone just wanted to get to the bottom in one piece.

When we climbed down, at approximately 8AM, Mooney Falls was completely in the shade. We continued the next two miles and arrived at Beaver Falls. There isn’t one real clear path to get there. We came across several different trails and didn’t know what one to take. We later found out that they all go to the same place. As long as you are following the creek, you will get there eventually. The path we ended up on had about four river crossings. If you have brought water shoes, the first crossing would be the perfect spot to change into them and then leave them on for the duration of the hike. Although the trail is confusing, there is no real elevation change, just a couple of ladders near the end which are much drier and less scary than the ones at Mooney Falls.

We arrived at Beaver Falls just before 10AM (after some backtracking and thinking that we were on the wrong trail). There was no one else there. I didn’t have to wait long for the falls to be bathed in warm sunlight. By 11AM the falls were completely in the light but it was gone by 2PM. The time and duration of sunlight will depend on the time of year you are able to visit (we were there during the first week of May).

Photo tip: The best spot for photos is on the plateau with the picnic table at the edge before you descend down the last two ladders to the base of the falls. If you get there early enough there will be no one in the photos and you will not need a filter for long exposure shots. After the sun comes up you will need a filter and should anticipate on removing people from the photos. The people start clearing out after the sun goes down again.

If you get to Beaver Falls early enough then you should try to get back to Mooney Falls before the light leaves this part of the canyon. The canyon will be in the sunlight between 12PM and 3PM (time of year dependent).

Regardless of where you spend your time, you will want to head back up the ladders at Mooney Falls before it starts to get dark and or cold. You will be climbing in the cold mist of the falls for the bottom half of the climb.

Confluence Trail

Depending on what you read, the hike to the Colorado River confluence is an additional 6-8 miles from Mooney Falls (from everything I have read I think it is closer to 6 one way). The confluence is where the clear blue water of the Havasu Creek meets the brown water of the Colorado River and mixes together. We only stayed at the campground for 2 nights (although we had to pay for the three) due to a scheduling conflict so we were unable to hike this trail. From what we heard it is a difficult trail to follow and has over 15 river crossings in each direction. Some new friends who we met at the campground made the hike and said it was absolutely amazing. Few people travel this far, so expect to have the trail mostly to yourself. We often overheard from other campers that if you do not arrive at the Confluence by 1PM then you need to turn around because you will not make it back before it gets to be too late in the day. There were rangers stationed near Beaver Falls who were turning people around if they did not get an early enough start.

Pack Animals and Helicopters

If you are not capable of carrying your gear on the 10 mile hike in or out from the campground there is an option to hire pack animals to carry it for you. You have the option of hiring them for one direction (just out) or both (in and out). If you can avoid doing this, I would recommend that you do. These animals are not cared for the way they should be and we as tourists should try and reduce some of their burden. If you do choose to use them remember to add your name to the waiting list after securing your reservation. Prices are subject to change but right now one direction is $95 and round-trip is $187.

Airwest Helicopters provide transportation from the Havasupai Hilltop to Supai Village and vice versa. They only run certain times during the week and certain times during the year. You can check the schedule here. They start running at 10AM and run until everyone is accommodated or when it becomes dark out, whichever comes first. They run on a first come first serve basis giving the locals priority. It is important to get in line early if you plan to use this service. Prices are subject to change but are currently $85 per person per direction. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover for an additional $15 fee; cash is preferred.

*Note* It is still a two mile hike from the Havasu Falls campground to the helipad (which is near the tourism office) or vice versa.

I spoke with someone at the hilltop who was just beginning their hike down as I was waiting for the bathroom after hiking out. She told me that she does this hike every year and always hikes in and takes the helicopter out. She told me that last year she was in line for the helicopter by 5AM and did not make it to the top until 5PM. 12 HOURS! We hiked from our campsite near the top of Mooney Falls completely out of the canyon and a short distance to our car in approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes, which was way better than waiting 12 hours for a helicopter in my opinion!

Packing List

  • Permit with a photo ID

  • Backpacking bag – 50L or more

  • Hydration pack – 3L. You will want at least 3L (2 gallons) for each directions of your hike. You can refill your water bottles from the spring at the campground. Have extra water and sports drinks in your car for when you return, you will thank me later.

  • Water filter

  • Camp stove, canister, lighter (sometimes self igniters fail), cooking pot, spork

  • Food – enough for the entire time you are there (backpacking meals are helpful to save on weight)

  • Trash bag to pack out all of your trash (leave no trace!)

  • Rat sack

  • Twine and carabiners to hang the rat sack from a tree and also to dry wet clothes on

  • Day packs and dry bags for the hikes to Beaver Falls and the Colorado River confluence

  • Headlamp with spare batteries / lantern for camp

  • Tent / hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, small pillow

  • Swimsuit

  • Small towel

  • Hiking boots

  • Water shoes

  • Hiking poles

  • Clothing – extra socks and remember nights still get cold (I still packed and used a light down jacket)

  • Camera with spare batteries / rechargeable USB battery pack

  • Cash – there are some seasonal local food tents near the village which take cash only

  • Sunscreen / lip balm

  • First Aid Kit with moleskin

  • Toiletries – cleansing wipes (do not get soap or shampoo anywhere near the creek)

  • Collapsible plastic water container – this was helpful so we did not need to walk to the spring each time for cooking

I wish you all luck through the permit process. Hopefully soon you’ll be able to make the trip and see for yourself what people on social media have been raving about! Go make your own memories!

Safe Travels and Happy Adventuring

-KT (globetrotter_kt)

[email protected]





(Globetrotter KT Photography) Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:23:49 GMT
Rafting - The Grand Experience  

I have been to the Grand Canyon a few times before, but I have never experienced it like this!

On Friday night, May 3rd my husband and I arrived at the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, a 2.5 hour drive from Las Vegas. We were warmly greeted by staff waiting to check us in for our two day rafting trip with the Hualapai River Runners. We were pointed towards the pool and the lodge restaurant which we could visit at our convenience and provided with a dry bag for the rafting trip which was so big I could fit inside! We opted to grab a bite to eat at the restaurant and headed to bed early as we had an early morning and long couple of days ahead of us.


The restaurant opened at 4AM so we made sure to start our day off right with some breakfast sandwiches. At 6AM the staff was waiting in the lobby to accept our dry bags and make sure that our gear and equipment got to the river safely.


At 7AM we hopped in the shuttle with our new rafting friends and started the hour drive to Diamond Creek. As we bumped along on the way to the river our driver told us of stories about the tribal lands and shared some the history of the Hualapai people. The drive into the canyon was stunning and the further we descended into the canyon the more surreal the entire experience felt. About halfway to the river the driver stopped at a view point and let us hop out, stretch our legs and snap some photos.


When we arrived at Diamond Creek we got the first look at our rafts and the river. We all gazed up at the towering walls of the canyon in awe. You couldn’t help but be reminded of how big the world is (and how small we really are). Some of the buttes of the Grand Canyon that extend up from the Colorado River are over a mile high!



Soon after arriving at the beach we met our energetic and fun loving guide, Jamie. His energy was contagious and it was easy to see how much he loved being a guide. After being outfitted with a PFD (personal flotation device) and helmet Jamie gave us a safety briefing which covered the basic principles of rafting. He welcomed eight of us into his raft and after listening to his engaging and fun instructions we were paddling as a team in no time at all.


Just like that, we were off! As the current began to sweep us out into the river I could feel the excitement rising in our raft. We didn’t have to wait long until we were in out first rapid. Everyone in our raft was cheering in anticipation as we saw it drawing near. We got the command from Jamie to “PADDLE” and we all began paddling like our lives depended on it. Our raft bounced and soared through the rapids and at times we couldn’t even reach our paddles into the water because we were so high up. After making it through to a calmer part of the river we all triumphantly threw our paddles up in the air in celebration, it was such a wonderful feeling. I was in the front of the raft and for those of you who have not been rafting before, this is the wettest spot in the boat! The water was a balmy 45°F or 7° C, but that was a welcome relief from the Arizona sun. If you want to stay a bit dryer, (you won’t) pick a spot towards the rear of the boat, but no guarantees.


Good luck staying dry at all if your team decides they want to try surfing! This is easily my favorite part of the whitewater section. This involves a lot of skill on the part of your guide. The best way I can describe this experience is being stuck in a section of the water where the raft is balanced on top of rapidly circulating water while facing upstream. You feel like you are flying down the river even though you are staying in the same spot! It’s up to the guide to locate spots in the river where this can be attempted.


Jamie explained that rapids in the Colorado River are rated differently than in most rivers. Most rapids are rated on a category one through five scale, but the Colorado River’s rankings go from one through ten. The rapids we ran ranged from a two all the way up to a seven! With a name like “Killer Fang Falls” you know it’s going to be a wild ride!


One question that seems to be pretty common with new rafters is, “will I fall out of the raft?” I think Jamie said it best during our safety brief, “there are two different kind of rafters, the ones that have fallen out of the boat, and the ones that will fall out of the boat.” On this trip we did not have any swimmers from our raft, but we laughed as we watched the boat in front of us loose four people on one rapid (don’t worry, they were all fine and laughing when they got back in their raft). Prior to entering the tough rapids Jamie was very professional and made sure we knew which way to swim if we did end up having an “out of raft experience”.



We made multiple pit stops in various canyon areas during the trip including a stop at the Travertine Falls trail which we hiked up and into the waterfall. We ran over ten rapids before the halfway point of the day. My fellow paddlers were all smiles after making it through the last few rapids and one of the guys even exclaimed that his face hurt from smiling so much!


We stopped on a sandy beach and the guides set up lunch for us. It consisted of make your own sandwiches, chips, fruit and cookies; just what we needed to refuel and get back on the water. When our stomachs were satisfied we all hopped on the power boat and got to enjoy the spectacular scenery for the next 10 miles on the way to Spencer Canyon. Spencer Canyon is where the origin of the Hualapai story begins which was later explained to us by our knowledgeable guides.


We offloaded the boats and set up camp in this amazing canyon while staff prepared dinner. As the sun sank lower in the sky and started to disappear behind the canyon walls the sky turned from blue to orange. The sky was not the only thing that changed as the varied lighting brought out the vibrant colors of the canyon including the oranges, reds and purples of the geologic formations.


We all gathered around the center area of camp with the provided camping chairs and indulged on a steak dinner (cooked to order), mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and a salad. As if that wasn’t enough food the guides prepared a freshly baked chocolate cake with frosting! It was definitely the best meal I have ever had while camping. During dinner the guides told us stories of the canyon and of the Hualapai people who are the “People of the Tall Pines.”


After the sun had set the stars started to come out, you would be hard pressed to find a better place to see the stars in the United States. I was astonished as I watched the night sky light up. Even though we were exhausted from our long day in the sun, none of us wanted to go to bed.


Though we eventually fell asleep, we were later awoken to the immediately recognizable smell of bacon in the morning. That’s right, BACON! We were served breakfast burritos filled with as much eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese and potatoes as you could fit in your pre-warmed wrap with a side of freshly brewed COFFEE.


Once we had our fill, it was time to break down camp and hop back on the power boat. After a short trip down part of the river we arrived at another canyon where we could get out and walk around. This canyon stretched for about thirty miles. One of its predominate features was the “bath tub ring.” You could see the water level from years past in comparison to where it is now. The difference was astounding; it is crazy to think how much the canyon has changed over millions of years. After walking around for a bit we hopped back on the boat and soon arrived at an area that our guides affectionately refereed to as “jump rock.” It is exactly what it sounds like; we were allowed to walk up part of the canyon wall and jump about thirty feet into the river below. Most of the rafters opted to take the plunge (including my husband) and I got to witness an acrobatics display as they jumped and flipped into the rushing river. It was a great experience and the perfect opportunity to cool off before the rest of the thirty mile scenic ride down the river towards Quartermaster Canyon. This was where the helicopters were waiting to fly us out of the canyon to our next destination.


After the jumpers had built up an appetite, we stopped at another sandy beach where our guides prepared our lunch which consisted of deli sandwiches, fruit, chips and cookies. They also provided us with juice, soda and water. Afterwards it was time to soak up the rest of the scenery on the way to the helipad area.


Later in the afternoon we arrived at Quartermaster Canyon and said our goodbyes to our wonderful guides. We took our gear and made our way up a short bridge to the helipad area and checked in for our flight. I had never been in a helicopter before, but this was a ride I will certainly not soon forget. The pilot welcomed us inside and within moments we were gliding over the canyon. I thought I had seen it all, but this view was indescribable. The sheer magnitude of the canyon was awe inspiring.


We landed at the airport where a bus was waiting to drive us a couple miles to the Eagle Point area which was the final leg of our adventure. After arriving at Eagle Point we were escorted to the Skywalk, a glass bottomed walkway that extends out over the Grand Canyon. You truly feel like you are walking on air and can see straight down into the canyon. This is by far the best lookout point I have seen at the Grand Canyon and I have been to the area multiple times. The view is completely open with no obstructions. To say it was breathtaking would be an understatement.


After catching our breath, it was time to hop on the bus for the two hour ride back to the lodge. This was the perfect opportunity to exchange contact information with all of our new friends and say goodbye before going our separate ways. I am so grateful to have had this experience with Grand Canyon West and really enjoyed my time there. I made a bunch of new friends and created memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to have fun (and get wet) and am very thankful for the wonderful guides who made the experience so personable, as if we were a part of their family. We hope to get back some day soon, thank you Grand Canyon West!


Recommended Pack List:



-Rash guard or quick dry clothing with UV protection

-Hat (you won’t wear your helmet for the entire trip and will want something to block the sun)

-Sunglasses with croakies

-Water shoes

-Dry shoes or flip flops

-Change of clothes for camp

-Sunscreen / lip balm

-Reusable water bottle


-Tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag (if you do not have your own, they can be rented for a small fee)

-GoPro style waterproof camera and/or waterproof case for your phone (electronics can be packed in your dry bag but you will not have access to them until you reach camp so if you want to use your phone to take pictures a small dry bag is the best option)

-Most importantly - A sense of Adventure!


For more information about this trip and how you can experience the thrill of the Colorado River for yourself check out their website. Or Check them out on Instagram @grandcanyonwest



Safe Travels and Happy Adventuring

-KT (globetrotter_kt)

[email protected]





(Globetrotter KT Photography) Mon, 13 May 2019 17:07:32 GMT
Pack it 'Out' Pack it In, Let me Begin (Hiking 101) Please forgive my House of Pain reference. If you're too young to get it, look it up. :) 

In the grand scheme of things I haven’t been hiking for that long. I only started doing ‘real’ hikes when I went to college. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and outdoor activities but were I grew up there were no mountains or good hiking trails, only cows. There was definitely no shortage of cows… While being constantly outdoors I learned some very important things that kept me safe. That knowledge has only grown over the years and I wish to pass on a bit of it to all of you.


Since Instagram started I have begun to see an influx of people that are ill prepared for hiking excursions and backcountry terrain. As an outdoors person there is nothing more infuriating than seeing people get hurt unnecessarily due to lack of knowledge. I have listed out some tips on how to help keep yourself safe in the desert, but most of these tips can be applied to hiking anywhere in the world.

Desert hiking tips -


Water – You should pack a liter for each hour you spend hiking in the desert, although make sure you are well hydrated before starting any hike. Don’t spend the night before a long hike ‘drinking the night away’. Buzz kill, I know.


Replenish electrolytes – When you sweat you lose sodium and other important minerals. Pack some sports drinks, electrolyte shots, or electrolyte powder/tables to add to your water. I personally like ‘Nuun’ tablets. They aren’t chalky like some other brands I have tried.


Take advantage of the shade – If you do find yourself running out of water or become overheated find a rock or anything casting a shadow and sit in it for an hour or two. This will help to lower your core temperature.


Do not eat the cacti – Its a myth that breaking open a cacti will do anything for your thirst. They do contain water but are quite salty and not good for drinking. The only cacti that are worth eating are cacti fries in Sedona. If you find yourself there, make sure to give them a try.


Bring a map – Trails in the desert can be primitive and it’s easy to get lost. Don’t rely on electronics to guide your way. It is likely that they will fail or you will not have service (unless you make it to the top of a mountain).


Bring moleskin and extra socks – Wet socks can make for a miserable hike and cause blisters. A change of socks and moleskin to put on the blisters can make all the difference. I highly recommend packing a small first aid kit.


Pack snacks – They will keep your energy high and salty snacks are great to help retain the water you can lose quickly. Plus, who doesn’t like snacks??

Always pack a headlamp or flashlight – It’s easy to miscalculate how long your hike is going to take and the sun goes down quickly. You do not want to be hiking in the dark. It’s a lot less stressful knowing that you can take your time instead of having to rush and risk tripping on something.


Pack a multi tool – You never know when this will come in handy, especially if you need to remove a cacti barb. Or fight off another hiker trying to steal your snacks…


Wear a hat and loose clothing – The last thing you need on the trail is sunburn.


Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day – This is typically between 11AM and 3PM. Wake up with the sun (or before) and start hikes early.


Learn to recognize signs of heat related emergencies – Spending time in the desert temperatures while being highly active can be a recipe for heat related emergencies like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is imperative that you know how to recognize signs of these conditions and how to provide first aid. The American Hiking Society provides an online resource you can use for reference.

Know your limits – Know your physical limits and stay within them. Rest often and take advantage of the shade. This can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and a heat related emergency.


Never hike alone and leave your itinerary with a friend – Let someone know where you are going, the route you are taking, and when you expect to be back. If you get lost or injured you want someone to know to look for you and where to start.


Check the weather – Monsoons and flash floods are a real danger in the desert. Avoid open areas, low lying areas, and slot canyons during thunderstorms even if the storm is not directly overhead.


Watch for wildlife and keep your distance – Animals and other critters, like rattlesnakes, are fighting for their survival. The last thing you want is to appear like a threat to them.


Stock your car with extra supplies – Leave extra food, water, electrolyte boosters, and medical supplies in your vehicle in case you’re feeling a little rough when you return from your hike. If your car breaks down in the desert you will be glad you did. Desert heat is no joke and you never want to run out of something you really need.


Also please, please, please practice leave no trace principals. We only get one planet and we need to take care of it and do our very best to preserve it for future generations. There are tons of areas that are closing their gates to visitors due to vandalism and other issues.

LEAVE NO TRACE – There are seven principals of Leave no trace.


  • Plan ahead and prepare.

  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces. In the desert you can protect fragile biological soil crust by only hiking only on established trails, bare rock, or in sandy washes (where water flows when it rains). Also no climbing or walking on the arches.

  • Dispose of waste properly.

  • Leave what you find.

  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).

  • Respect wildlife.

  • Be considerate of other visitors.

If you are not familiar with these principals and would like to know more, you can read all about them here.


Safe Travels and Happy Adventuring!! 

-KT (@globetrotterkt)

[email protected]


(Globetrotter KT Photography) Mon, 01 Apr 2019 00:08:58 GMT
How I Beat the Winter Blues OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This is not something I would typically write about, it’s very personal and affects me directly, but I believe it is a very important topic and worthy of being talked about. Recently I posted a poll on Instagram in regards to tips and tricks to beat the winter funk. The results were overwhelming, I am not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression is a very real problem for me and many others like me. SAD is a type of depression related to changes in the seasons. Generally it begins in the fall as the days get shorter and continues throughout the winter months. In some cases it becomes more severe as the winter months drag on.


Every year I know it’s coming, and I feel helpless to stop it. It can effect people differently, but some of the major symptoms are losing interest in activities you would normally enjoy, low energy, no motivation, trouble sleeping, sleeping too much, changes in appetite, feeling agitated or moody, difficulty concentrating, the feeling of hopelessness, and in the worst cases thoughts of death or suicide.


Thankfully for me I have a great support system and several tricks to help drag me back to the light.


1.) Stay active – Aside from having a good support system, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay active. There are going to be plenty of days you feel like you would much rather just stay on the couch, but you need to get up. This could be anything that gets you moving, out of the house, or both.


2.) Work out – Definitely take the time to do this. Even if it’s just 20 minutes, working out creates endorphins and I can guarantee you will feel better afterwards. It doesn’t need to be particularly hard, just something to get the blood pumping.


3.) Eat healthy – A healthy diet will help to give you more energy and boost your mood. It will also reduce the likelihood that you will pack on “winter weight.”


4.) Light – A big factor in SAD is the amount of daylight we get in the winter months. To help with this take advantage of the daylight we do have. My dogs are a huge motivator to get me outside in the cold. If you have dogs, instead of simply letting them outside, take them for a walk. They will appreciate the exercise and time with you too. Medical professionals say we need at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day. If you cannot get outside, consider investing in a happy light, or something similar. They say you get the best results if exposed to the light first thing in the morning (while eating breakfast or something).


Sitting near a bright window, driving when it is bright out, and normal inside lighting do not have the same effect no matter how bright the light is. Your retinas do not get enough light to counteract SAD. You can think about your eyes being like a camera, you have to use different exposure settings depending on whether you are inside or outside due to the amount of light entering the lens. Your eyes operate in a similar way.

5.) Amount of sleep – We have always heard that we should get 8 hours of sleep. It’s a well known fact that any less than that is considered to not be enough, but how many people know that getting too much is just as detrimental? Researchers believe this is due to the effect it has on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin (happy chemical). They also say that too much sleep contributes to morning headaches, memory loss, diabetes, and obesity.


Try and get on a consistent sleep schedule. No sleeping in on weekends (I know, harsh). Get up with the sun. This will help to make sure you get the most possible time in the sunlight, in turn helping with your internal clock. No caffeine later than 6 hours before you plan on going to bed. Avoid bright lights and screens in the late evening and try to get to bed before 11 PM.


6.) Temperature – I don’t know anyone who actually likes being cold, but keeping your home too warm can also be problematic. Studies show that the warm air will dry out your skin and make you more susceptible to winter colds. Try keeping your home between 64F and 70F (18C and 21C). If you absolutely need it to be warmer than this, try getting a humidifier.


7.) Take up a new hobby – Giving you something to look forward to is huge. This could be absolutely anything, joining a club, starting a blog, singing, joining a gym, picking up a good creative!


8.) Socialize – with people, like face to face. Put down the phones and other electronics and actually talk to people like your friends, family, or strangers. It doesn’t matter as long as you do it. Never underestimate the power of human interaction. Have you heard the phrase that “happiness is contagious”? If you surround yourself with happy people and positive energy it is bound to rub off. Also it’s super helpful if those people have a dog. There is nothing more gratifying than being greeted by the wiggling and wagging tail of a dog. They are always happy to see you. We can learn something from them, in their world every day is the best day ever.

9.) Goals – Set goals for yourself and write them down. It’s so much harder to procrastinate when you have goals on a calendar or a check list staring you in the face each day. Additionally you will feel accomplished as you are able to check them off.


10.) Music – It’s hard to feel depressed while listening to upbeat music. Have your own private dance party, or listen to some motivational music to get through your workout. Believe it or not this is an approved method of therapy. Upbeat or motivational music can help to reduce anxiety and depression while improving mood, self esteem, and overall quality of life.


11.) Take a trip – This might be my favorite option! Nothing like a trip to someplace sunny to recharge and change your perspective. It doesn’t even have to be far from home just grab a friend or a partner and go! Changing your scenery will help. Someplace with a hot tub might be nice :)


12.) Talk to someone you trust – It’s important that you have at least one person that you can go to when you are feeling down. Someone that can help to motivate you to get moving. They can be a million miles away, but sometime all you need is someone else telling you to “get your ass up!” If you don’t have a person to do that, send me a message, I’ll be yours.

13.) Seek help – If none of these tips help and you find that SAD is preventing you from having a “normal” life it may be time to talk to your doctor or a counselor. I know there is stigma surrounding this issue, but you need to do you. Do whatever it takes to get back on track and enjoy life again. If doesn’t matter how you get there.


14.) YOU ARE NOT ALONE – This may be something that not many people are talking about but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. This is something that I struggle with every year. When I wrote the original post I was astonished by the number of people who reached out and told me that they are in the same boat.


15.) Suicide is never an option – You never know when the answers you are looking for will appear on your doorstep. No situation is hopeless. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 is available 24 hours everyday.

If you know someone who struggles with SAD, regardless of how you feel, remember it is very real to them. Do your best to be supportive and help motivate them or motivate each other to get up, one foot in front of the other. Like all things in life, getting better all starts with just one step.


If you have your own tips or tricks, leave them in the comments! I would love to hear about them!

If you leave your insta handle, I’ll re-post some of the good ones on my story.


Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” - Vivian Greene


Keep busy and remember, spring is coming.


- KT (@globetrotterkt)

[email protected]


(Globetrotter KT Photography) Tue, 19 Feb 2019 00:32:01 GMT
New Zealand Take Me Back!

Kia Ora! (or hello) Have you ever been to a place that no matter how much time you spend there it is not enough? New Zealand is that place for me. I have wanted to go back ever since I returned to the United States. Who am I kidding, I never wanted to leave!


When planning a trip to NZ the first thing you need to consider is if you are going to need a visa. If you are planning to stay for three months or less and are from the US or another waiver country you do not need a visa.


The next thing to consider is the length of time you have for your trip. If you are from the East coast USA like me, the flight time is an all day affair (literally... 26 hours). You might consider planning a layover somewhere for a couple days while on your way to NZ. I spent a few days island hopping in Fiji to break up the trip. There are definitely worse places to be.


The amount of time that you should spend in NZ depends on if you are planning to see the North island, South island, or both. I would recommend that if you plan on seeing a good portion of what the South island has to offer then you should plan for about two weeks. The South island is not that large (Japan is the same size as the entirety of NZ for comparison’s sake) but once you get there you will never want to leave. Two weeks may not seem like enough time. If you want to travel a large portion of the North island then you will want to plan on adding another week for your trip.


In this blog I will not be talking about the North island. If beaches are your thing you will definitely want to check it out though. If you would rather spend your time in the mountains like I do then stick to the South island.

The cheapest time of year to take a trip to NZ would be in their Autumn months of March through May. Establishments charge non-peak season prices and temperatures during this time of year range from 55 to 75 degrees F (14-20 degrees C). If you plan to see the lupins (flowers) their peak season is in the Spring which is during late November. If Little Blue Penguins are what you’re after the best time to see them is during their breeding season which is from July through February.

If I were to talk about every beautiful place in NZ this blog would turn into a book. To save your eyes and my sanity I am going to talk about my favorite highlights.


My first suggestion would be to fly into Christchurch and take a round trip road excursion from there. New Zealanders drive on the “wrong” side of the car (and road) compared to those of us from the United States. Some of their roads are very narrow and include several single lane bridges so be prepared for this. Renting a car is by far the most efficient way to get around. There are plenty of tour companies that you can book trips with if you are uncomfortable with driving but this can be very expensive in the long run.


It is worth it to spend some time exploring Christchurch as it is a very unique city. The next place you should travel to nearby is Lake Tekapo (weather it is lupin season or not) as it is a beautiful area. Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO dark sky reserve which means it is the perfect spot for stargazing. There are several walking tracks and hot springs nearby.

Continue to enjoy the beautiful coastline and don’t forget to stop at the Moeraki Boulders on your way to the Otogo Peninsula, which is a good spot to look for those penguins if it is the right time of year. Pass through Dunedin (my alma mater) and maybe stop at the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. If you are ahead of schedule take a short side trip to tunnel beach, you won’t regret it.


Did I mention sheep yet??? Look out for them while you are driving! Sheep meander down the middle of the roadways and are often a dangerous road hazard. When I first encountered a sheep one of my friends in the back of the car exclaimed, “was that a billboard?!?” Nope, it was a live herd of sheep waddling down the roadway… My friend may have been a bit delirious during our midnight drive back to college, thankfully he wasn’t driving.


The next stop on your tour should be the Catlins Forest Park. I would recommend staying at least two days in this area. My trip to the Catlins was one of my favorite excursions during my stay in NZ even though I got soaked trying to set up our tent in the rain and sadly it collapsed in the middle of the night.


Speaking of getting wet...did someone mention waterfalls??? Matai Falls, Mclean Falls, and Purakaunui Falls are all spectacular places to visit! Don’t worry, I don’t know how to say that last one either. Nugget Point Lighthouse and Kaka Beach shouldn’t be overlooked. I was able to catch the sunrise on the beach and it was amazing! Surat bay is worth a visit as well because you are pretty much guaranteed to see sea lions but remember to stay a safe distance away from them. I watched a man who got too close and was unsurprisingly chased away by a HUGE ANGRY SEA LION. Luckily the man was a bit faster than the sea lion, or it simply got hungry and gave up, we’ll never know. If I were you I wouldn’t test my luck.


Fiordland National Park is a must see area and specifically you shouldn’t miss Milfrod Sound. The national park has stunning fjords, fantastic waterfalls, mirror lakes, and snow capped peaks (what more could you want). This area is home to some of the best hiking (or tramping as they would say) in the world. Whether you are looking for a day hike or a longer excursion the Fiordlands have something for you. I would highly recommend renting a kayak or getting a ticket for the ferry through Milford Sound.


If you want to live out your adrenaline junkie fantasies then Queenstown is the place to be. Prepare yourself for hiking, canyoning, “bungy” jumping, white water rafting, skydiving, mountain biking, and more. Of course I did all of these things (sorry mom) and skydiving was and still is my favorite. I saw a view of NZ that few ever personally see and had a rush like you wouldn’t believe (unless you’re a skydiver, then you’re getting what I’m laying down). Unfortunately, Queenstown is a huge tourist trap and the less time you spend there the better off your wallet will be.

After coming down from your adrenaline rush the next place you could visit is Wanaka and the nearby lake with the same name. If you have seen the famous Wanaka tree photo this could be your chance to try your hand at recreating it. Wanaka offers some of the same adventure attractions as Queenstown as well as skiing in the winter (June through August) but Mount Aspiring National Park is also nearby. The park contains hundreds of glaciers, lush forests, braided rivers, magnificent mountain peaks, and alpine meadows and is not to be missed (that’s an order).


When it comes to exploring a glacier you should choose between the Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers. I opted to visit Fox Glacier because it was slightly less expensive, however it should be noted that visitors to Franz Josef Glacier get complimentary access to the hot pools which are fed with water from the glacier.

If you still have enough time left on your trip you may want to travel through Arthur’s Pass on your way back to Christchurch. There is hiking there but you can experience a lot of the scenery during the drive itself. Temperatures in this area will probably be significantly colder than in the other places you have traveled during the rest of your trip.

Side trips not included on the map:

Mt. Cook National Park – If you have a chance to fit this into your schedule you should! Yes, you guessed it, more hiking. It contains ABSOLUTELY beautiful scenery. The roads themselves are even beautiful, who knew that was a thing.

Punakaiki or the “pancake rocks” – I have never seen any place like this before. You will have to see it to believe it.

Abel Tasman National Park – Contains the stunning “coastal track” and is home to NZ’s fur seal colonies.

Kaikoura – If you have not seen any whales during your trip thus far you should definitely take a whale watching tour here.

Fish and chips – Make sure you grab a plate of fish and chips from a street-side vendor anywhere, you can’t miss them. It is one of the best meals you will have while traveling abroad.

Accommodation – There are tons of options for lodging now as AirBnBs are becoming more popular in NZ. If you are traveling on a budget I would highly recommend getting a membership with the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) as an overseas member for only $25 a year. Don’t let the name deceive you; any age can apply for this membership. I know that there is a certain stigma about hostels, ever since that terrible movie came out, but trust me this is your best bet. A one night stay is around $30 and you get access to a kitchen and other necessities. Hostels are pretty much everywhere including in the national parks.


I can’t wait to go back to New Zealand myself, it is one of my most favorite places on Earth. If you are planning a trip let me ride in your suitcase please, or at least tell me about what a great time you had when you get back...


P.S. - Watch out for the mischievous Kea… you have been warned…

Mai tere oaoa! (Safe Travels)

-KT (@globetrotterkt)

[email protected]

(Globetrotter KT Photography) Wed, 13 Feb 2019 05:11:52 GMT
Southern Iceland and Beyond

Surely by now you have seen photos of Iceland plastered all over social media. You are probably thinking “wow, so beautiful! I want to go!” I thought the same thing, but there were some things I wish I would have known before going. In this post I will discuss some of those as well as our itinerary including some of the must see locations.


My husband and I flew out of Boston with a direct flight (5 hours) to Keflavik, Iceland. The airport has several rental options with competitive prices. I believe that the best way to experience Iceland is by car. Depending on the time of year you go I would recommend getting a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Some of the roads are very rough and not designed for cars that are low to the ground. Definitely get the insurance. American insurance companies will generally not cover you while in Iceland. The possibility of the vehicle being sandblasted is very high and I would not want to be stuck paying for the damage. Get the insurance while booking online. The price will increase if you wait until you are at the check out counter.


Another transportation option is a campervan. With all the hype surrounding #vanlife a campervan sounds amazing. I looked into it and it ended up being less expensive for us to stay in hotels for our entire trip instead of rent a campervan. It was also nice to have a bathroom and breakfast included with our hotels. There is a certain freedom that comes with staying in a campervan, but due to the recent change in Icelandic law which requires visitors to stay at a campsite it has made camping difficult. Many campgrounds close in September which also complicates this issue further.

Keflavik is about 22 miles from Reykjavik. We stayed our first three nights in Reykjavik. While the possibilities are endless in Reykjavik (from hostels, AIRBNBs/VRBOs, chain hotels and smaller/boutique style accommodations) that fit any budget, they become more scarce the farther away you get from Reykjavik. If you do not have the app I would highly recommend it. This is where I was able to find all of the hotels in our price range with the amenities that we wanted.


Day one:

Our flight got in at 4:30 am and needless to say we were pretty tired. After getting our car and driving to Reykjavik we spent the rest of the day exploring the city. Reykjavik is located on the west coast of Iceland. It is the country's capital and largest city. It's home to the National and Saga museums which trace Iceland’s Viking history. The striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Reykjavik is well known for the late-night clubs and bars in its compact center.


Not far out of the way as you travel towards Reykjavik lies the Blue Lagoon. The Lagoon is located in Grindavík about 45 minutes from Reykjavik and 20 minutes from the airport. You are required to make a reservation and will want to make it at least a week in advance, and maybe more. The lagoon books up very quickly.

My husband and I decided to skip the Lagoon. This is a giant tourist trap. Know that there are several other hot spring options that are not nearly as commercialized or expensive.


Day two:

Woke up early to drive to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for sunrise at Kirkjufellsfoss. We got there early enough that we were already done taking photos before the tour buses arrived. You will want to do the same if you want photos without a million strangers in them.

From there we continued on to the Arch Rock at Arnarstapi, the Búðir Church, and the Lóndrangar Basalt Cliffs near Malarrif to name a few. If you are really feeling adventurous you could take a tour of Vatnshellir Cave.


Day three:

We woke up early again to start our drive on the golden circle. We made it to Öxarárfoss just in time for sunrise. This is another good day trip from Reykjavik that takes you to the three most popular natural attractions in Iceland, Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park.


Day four:

This was our last morning in Reykjavik. We slept in a bit and grabbed breakfast in the city before heading out on what turned into our waterfall day. This was the start of the Ring Road (Route 1) for us. Make sure your car is fueled up and you have plenty of snacks before heading out because amenities are scarce between Reykjavik and Vik. Approximately 2 hours from Reykjavik lies the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. There is a parking fee here but if you continue to the next parking area at the Gljúfrabúi waterfall the parking is free. From that parking lot you can walk to Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is unique because you can walk behind the falls and feel the true force of the water. Gljúfrabúi is located inside a canyon and cannot be seen from the road. Skógafoss is the next major attraction on the ring road. This is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls known for its rainbows on a sunny day.


Day Five:

We had stayed just outside of Vik so a good part of the day was spent exploring the area around Vik. Dyrhólaey Peninsula is a small detour off the Ring Road. It is home to an abundance of birdlife and is most known for the massive rock arch, a result of centuries of erosion. There are two parking areas here, the tour buses only go to the lower parking area due to the steep road. The upper area may be closed during puffin nesting season (late April to mid August). Reynisfjara is a world famous black sand beach just outside of Vik. Reynisfjara is known for its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas. There is some local Icelandic folklore surrounding the basalt columns. Be aware of the sneaker-waves, they can stretch much farther up the beach than one might expect.


Day Six:

We spent the night in Hofn about 15 minutes from Diamond Beach so we could be there for sunrise. Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most popular glacial lagoon. The lake fills with melt water and icebergs that have broken from the Breiðamerkurjökul glacier. Some of the icebergs tower several stories high. Diamond Beach is located just on the other side of the road. This beach is known for the ice that washes up on shore. The ice contrasts with the black sand and looks like diamonds glistening in the sun. This place doesn’t even seem real, it looks like something out of a movie. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes, definitely a must see.


Day Seven:

This was our last day before our flight home. We decided to take a tour through an ice cave. If this is something that interests you, check out this  guide to decide what kind of tour would be right for you based on your skill level. From there we started the long drive back to Reykjavik before our flight home in the morning.


In timing your visit, consider that the number of daylight hours can have unanticipated physical and emotional effects. In early summer there is never complete darkness and the sun stays low to the horizon (midnight sun). Spring and fall daylight hours are roughly the same as in North America or Europe. Days in mid-winter have only 4 or 5 hours of sunlight. These fluctuations are even more extreme in the northern part of the country.

Also note that food is SUPER expensive in Iceland so I would recommend packing as many snacks as possible to help cut down on cost.

If you are planning a trip to Iceland and this blog peaked your interest consider checking out my guide on Wild Bum. Included in the guide are tips on where to eat, where to stay, and hidden gems along the way that are not included in this post. Also included is a packing list, tour suggestions, tips and links on several things including the northern lights. I spent months researching before going and learned several things while being there that I wish I knew ahead of time.


Happy Travels! And Don't Forget to Pet an Icelandic Horse!!!!! 

-KT (@globetrotterkt)

[email protected]













(Globetrotter KT Photography) Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:10:08 GMT
Angels Landing VS Observation Point View from the top of Observation Point - Zion National Park


Are you headed into Zion National Park and looking for that iconic view you see posted all over Instagram?  Are you not sure what trail to take? Everyone always talks about Angels Landing and seems to forget about Observation Point.  So which trail is better? Hopefully at the end of this post you will be able to make that decision for yourself.

Angels Landing is one of the most popular trails in Zion, but is not for the faint of heart. If you are afraid of heights it is not the trail for you. The trail starts at the bridge across the street from the Grotto picnic area. It is five (5) miles round trip and fairly flat at the very beginning. The trail follows a series of switch backs (over 20 in total) leading towards Scouts Lookout. The last half mile is where it gets interesting. The trail follows the steep ridge to the saddle at the end of the trail. There are chain railings that line one side of the trail for the majority of the time, but on either side is a sheer drop off. You will need a backpack to carry any water or other items you may require to keep your hands free to hold on to the chains. At the very beginning of the trail there is a warning sign that lists the number of people who have died on this trail. If you have questionable balance or there are inclement weather conditions forecasted for your hike I would not attempt this trail. When the rocks get wet it becomes very treacherous. I view of the trail to come

If you want to avoid the crowds you should try and attempt this trail early in the morning. I started a bit before sunrise and was back down before it started to get hot. It took me about three (3) hours roundtrip, but they say to plan for 4-5 hours. I went in September and found myself alone at the summit, but by the time I started down there were lines of people following one another at the chain section. Once on the chains you are at the mercy of the people in front of you. You can only go as fast as the slowest person because there isn’t any room to get around them.  

If you are an adrenaline junkie like me, you will love this trail. Just make sure to get an early start so you can avoid all the people on the last half mile up.

If you go to Zion in the summer remember that is their monsoon season.  Flash floods and evening thunderstorms are very common. It also gets very hot in the middle of the day in the canyon (upwards of 100°F or 38°C).  Check the weather and plan accordingly. Pack plenty of water and snacks (you can never go wrong with lots of snacks!)

People often overlook Observation Point and go with the more popular Angles Landing. This is a longer trail, eight (8) miles round trip, but you do not have to worry about the chains or steep cliffs. The trail starts at the weeping rock trailhead and follows the East Rim trail up and out of the canyon. You ascend nearly 2000 feet (610 Meters) above the canyon and are able to look down on just about every attraction in the canyon including Angels Landing.

This trail tends to be less crowed than Angels Landing, but I would still recommend getting an early start to avoid the majority of the people. This trail took me 1.5 hours to summit; I spent about 1 hour at the top, and 45 minutes to get down.  (I may or may not have left the rest of my group in the dust, it took them approximately 4 hours total with time spent at the top). They say to plan for 4-6 hours of hiking time.

March – November private vehicles are not allowed in Zion Canyon. You are at the mercy of the free park shuttles. During the summer months (mid May to the end of September) the first shuttle leaves the visitor center at 6AM and then every 15 minutes.  You can check the shuttle schedule HERE

Entrance fees - $35 per vehicle, (noncommercial up to 15 people) valid for seven (7) consecutive days

If you plan to visit more than one park for the year I would recommend getting an America the Beautiful Pass. The cost is $80 and it’s valid for one year from the month of purchase for entry into any American National Park. Info HERE

No matter what trail you choose, make sure to stop at Bumbleberry Gift Shop and Bakery right after leaving the visitor center and try their Bumbleberry ice cream! It’s DELICIOUS!!!! (This is not a plug, it’s just that good!)

Watchman's tower Zion


Happy Travels! 

- KT (@globetrotter_KT)

[email protected]



Medera Awesomeness - for 40% off use code - Madera40



(Globetrotter KT Photography) Sun, 19 Aug 2018 19:16:08 GMT
Thoughts of a Sheepdog            I usually try and keep my professional life and social media separate, but after having the honor of attending the funeral for fallen Sgt. Sean Gannon I feel like something needs to be said.

As I stood there to pay my respects with the thousands of other Police Officers I thought to myself about why this tragedy happened. Why someone with the rest of his life in front of him had to be taken so soon.  Why another Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) lost his life.  It also made me reflect on my own life, my priorities, and how short life can be.

As the old saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” So why is it that LEOs are judged simply by their profession or their uniform? Yes I am a LEO, Sgt. Gannon was an LEO, but he was so much more than that.  Being a police officer is how he earned a living, but he was also a son, a husband and so much more. I am a daughter, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a dog mom, an athlete, a travel bug, an animal lover, sometimes a stubborn pain in the butt, and so much more. We cannot simply be defined by the job title we hold.

So maybe you had a bad experience with a LEO, does that mean all LEOs are terrible? Did you ever have a teacher in school you did not like? I know I can think of a few. Does that mean all teachers are bad? Of course not. Most of them should be nominated for sainthood for dealing with crazy kids all day.

LEOs are no different. You may have had a bad experience, but the overwhelming majority of us got into this line of work because we wanted to help people. I’m not saying that we are all perfect. I know there are some ‘bad apples’ out there, but we do not condone them. We don’t want them wearing a badge any more than anyone else does. We see the worst in people and sometimes the best. The job can be super rewarding, but it can also be life-threatening.

Just by being a LEO I’m in danger. I’m always conscientious of being recognized out in public. The last thing I want is a confrontation when I am out with my family. When I first became a LEO my brother asked me for a thin blue line sticker to put on his car. I told him no. When he looked at me puzzled, I told him that by putting that on his car he would be making himself a target to anyone who hates LEOs. Whenever we are out and about my mother always finds someone to introduce me to and tell them I am a LEO. She means well, but this always seems to happen in a huge crowd of people within earshot of a bunch of strangers. Every time I have to remind her, “mom, there are a lot of people that don’t like us and I don’t feel like getting shot today.” She always says the same thing, “I am just so proud of you.”  (Cue the eye roll. Moms will be moms).

It shouldn’t have to be like this, we shouldn’t have to constantly be looking over our shoulder for the next threat. What some people fail to remember is that we are human. We are LEOs, but humans first. We are not perfect, but if you need us we will be there.

The very sad truth is that every time that I strap on my vest and put on my uniform, it could be my last time. I’m not trying to be too morbid here but this is why it is so important to live every day like it is your last.  Instead of making excuses as to why you can’t do something, think of all the reasons why you should. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the things that are out of your control, it’s not worth it. Take that extra vacation day to be with your family, go on that trip you’ve always wanted. Whatever your passion, get out there and live your life. At the end of the day, you're not going to remember all the stuff you’ve collected throughout your life but you will remember the people and the time you spent with them. We only get so many trips around the sun, make yours count.

And please, the next time you run into a LEO remember we are only human too.


- KT (@globetrotter_KT)

[email protected]

(Globetrotter KT Photography) Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:38:37 GMT
Ha’ikū Stairs the Ever Muddy and Legal Way  


If you’re like me you travel the world trying to find the most amazing and beautiful hikes around.  Your search may lead you to the Hawaiian island of O’ahu and one of the most dangerous hikes that I have ever been on, the “Stairway to Heaven” (Ha’ikū Stairs).  Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a hell of a hike.

The stairs are actually closed and have been since 1987. The local government has really started cracking down on trespassers. There is now a full time guard posted at the bottom of the stairs and a stiff fine of $1000.00 per person if you get caught (not including your flight back for court). I was told that the locals are pretty fed up with people traipsing through their neighborhood at all hours of the night trying to avoid the guard and they are now calling the police regularly. I can’t say that I blame them, I would get pretty cranky if people kept waking me up at all hours of the night.

The stairs were built in the 1940s by the Navy for access to the radio tower on the peak of Pu’u Keahi Kahoe. The radio tower was in place to transmit radio signals to the Navy ships that were then operating throughout the Pacific. In the 1950's the tower was decommissioned. The Coast Guard replaced the wooden stairs with almost four thousand stairs and platforms that sill stand today. In 1987 the stairs were closed due to liability and maintenance costs. Don't fret though; there is another way up.  

The alternative route to the stairs is not for the faint of heart.  If you are afraid of heights you should not take this trail. If you are afraid of getting a little dirty you should not take this trail. If you have never hiked a day in your life I would not recommend this trail to you.  Please leave the children (furry or otherwise) at home as this trail is not for them.



When arriving at the trail you will park at Moanalua Valley Park. There is a bathroom here and an outdoor faucet to clean off some of the mud from your shoes after your journey (you WILL get muddy). The trail starts with a walk on the Kamananui Valley Rd for just under 3 miles. This is a very easy walk on a wide path. It took my husband and I approximately 50 minutes to get to the start of the Middle Ridge Trail, but we have long legs and walk fast, your results may differ. While on this walk there are several “forks in the road” but they are only a few feet long and take you back to the same trail. I suggest that you take which ever trail looks less muddy. Unless you like mud baths, then by all means…

When you reach a sign for the Kulana'ahane trail, (do not take this trail) keep going about fifteen feet. There will be another trail on the left. There is no sign, but it is an obvious trail and marked with a white arrow spray painted on a rock. After making the turn and crossing a river bed there is a branch that hangs over the trail that someone has carved “Middle Ridge” into. The branch is hard to miss; I had to duck to get under it.

If you have spikes (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) this is where you will want to put them on and keep them on until you get back. During the next mile of the trek you gain around 900 feet going through the bamboo forest. 



Once you exit the forest the view is incredible, but I don’t suggest looking down. From this point on the trail is rather treacherous. There are points where the muddy path is no wider than a foot and there is a sharp angled drop off on either side. If it’s super windy I hope you brought your paragliding equipment.

I consider myself an experienced hiker, but there were times standing on this narrow ridge that I got a bit nervous. I couldn’t help but look down when the wind picked up and my jacket became a sail. There were also people coming down the trail while we were going up. I had to laugh to myself as I tried to get off the narrow trail for a man crawling on all fours. I have to admit, he may have had the right idea. I give him a lot of credit, he was obviously scared out of his mind, but he was out there anyway. He was smart about it and took his time.  



During the next mile of the trek you will gain another 1100 feet. You will come across multiple sections of ropes to assist you getting up some of the steeper potions on the trail. There is always a lot of “weather” in Hawai’i.  During our hike it rained on us periodically for a few minutes but it was just enough to keep the mud muddy. The ropes were a total life saver. Without them I probably would have returned home as the mud monster after rolling down the hill…

If you go with a group it would be a good idea to only have one person on the ropes at a time. The people below will be saved from getting a rock kicked into their face and it makes it easier for the lead person to climb.



Once at the peak of the Moanalua Middle Ridge trail you should be able to see the radio tower. Unfortunately we were completely in the clouds so we didn’t see it until we were much closer. At the final fork in the trail go left towards the tower (if you are lucky enough to see it). If you can see it, don’t start jumping for joy just yet. You still have the muddiest part of the tail ahead of you. It took us about another twenty-five minutes to get to the tower from this point.  



After a total of 5.2 miles of hiking you are there! (Okay, you can start jumping now, except you're probably too tired). Hopefully you will be luckier than we were and the clouds will cooperate. The small percentage of the view we were able to see was absolutely stunning. When I come back to Hawai’i I just might have to make the journey again for a chance at a better view.

Clear view or not, we were still walking on cloud nine (see what I did there?). That sense of accomplishment is something that cannot be replicated. Any doubts that I had on the way up disappeared as I looked out over the valley.

Although it is super tempting to take the stairs down, it is illegal to be on the stairs regardless of the direction you are walking. The consequences and fines for getting caught are too rich for my blood.



This hike took us about 7 hours round trip and we spent approximately one hour at the top. Based on my research it seems like it takes most people 7-9 hours to complete the hike depending on their ability and the weather (mud) conditions. I would plan on being out there at least 9 hours. This way you don’t have to rush down if you want to spend more time at the top.



Recommended equipment:

Spikes – Even if there isn’t rain in the forecast, it is Hawai’i and most likely it has rained in the mountains recently. The trail will be muddy. These were essential to us. We probably would have had to turn around without them.  (these are pretty close to the ones we used. )

Waterproof shoes that can handle mud – read above

A rain jacket/slicker – it’s the mountains, it might rain anyway.  

Gloves – These are super helpful with the ropes. If the trail is muddy the rope is going to be wet, muddy, and extremely dangerous.

Clothes you don’t care about – you are bound to get mud somewhere. News flash, this crazy Hawaiian mud does NOT come out of your clothes! We learned this the hard way. We just made our own dirt shirts ( …except pants, and socks…

Water – more than just a 16 oz bottle. This hike took us 7 hours.

Snacks – because I can’t go more than two hours without eating

Since we’re already talking about food I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to go and get an Açaí bowl afterwards, you’ll deserve it! (then send me one…please)

And most importantly – A sense of adventure!

Happy Travels! 

- KT (@globetrotter_KT)

[email protected]





(Globetrotter KT Photography) Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:41:15 GMT
Everything you never knew you wanted to do in Yellowstone  


Have you ever been to Yellowstone National Park? Would you like to see a TON of animals in their 

natural habitat? If you do, then you should move Yellowstone to the top of your bucket list! Animals are 

so close you could touch them, even though you definitely shouldn’t, unless you aren’t attached to the 

limbs you have left (see what I did there).  Have you ever wanted to be stuck in a traffic jam due to wild 

bison running down the road in front of you? Lucky for you, you most likely won’t have a choice in the 

matter. You could always eat a bison burger in retribution afterwards though. 



Early September is the perfect time of year to go visit Yellowstone. The crowds have died down, it’s not 

too hot, and the roads haven’t closed due to snowfall yet. Make sure to pack some warm clothes in case 

you do get caught on a mountain in an early blizzard like we did. September is also the beginning of the 

rut for the elk so they are going to be EVERYWHERE! If you have never witnessed an elk bugle this is the 

time to hear it! 


Bison and elk are great and all, but you may be lucky enough to see some other wildlife such as: wolves, 

moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mule deer, whitetail deer, mountain goats, bear, and various big cats. 

We were lucky enough to see all but one of these animals during our stay (which was only three days). 

If animals aren’t your thing, there is always Old Faithful which still erupts just about every hour. The sign 

board in the lodge shows the expected time of eruption give or take about 10 minutes. If you want a 

good seat you will have to get there early as everyone flocks to the area for the eruption. You can always 

find someone tall and beg to sit on their shoulders; I saw that work quite well for some people. 



As much of a showstopper as Old Faithful is, make sure you don’t miss out on the geothermal pools in 

the area. I have never been big on following the rules (and I gently bend them on occasion).  With that 

being said, this area can be very dangerous if you decide to venture off of the designated paths or 

boardwalks. The ground is very unstable and the pools are about 199 °F (93 °C). Falling through the 

fragile crust would be the end of your Yellowstone vacation to stay the least.  The pools are a sight to 

behold; the only downside being the rotten egg smell (sulfur) in the area.  Don’t worry though you’ll get 

used to it or you’ll become a mouth breather (your choice).  



One of the things I love about Yellowstone is the variety of different things to see and do. You can enjoy 

Yellowstone from the comfort of your vehicle but you will enjoy it even more if you get off your butt and 

go for a hike (plus you can get away from a lot of the crowds). Mt. Washburn is one of the most popular 

hikes in the park and is located on the Northeast side of the park. It is 6.4 miles (10.2km) round trip with 

about 1400 feet (426.72 meters) of elevation gain.  It was extremely windy and actually snowing 

sideways on the day that we went. Luckily for us, the storm clouds parted long enough so that we could 

snap a couple pictures at the top. The views from the summit and observation tower were well worth 

freezing our fingers off (please pack gloves). 



If you want to experience some of the back country, but don’t feel like walking, the park offers ATV 

rentals as well as guided horseback riding. If you are excited about seeing wildlife I would not recommend

the ATVs for obvious reasons. 


Alright it’s confession time… I am a waterfall chaser. I cannot travel someplace new and not attempt to 

see every waterfall in the area. Yellowstone did not disappoint in these regards. There are over 45 

named waterfalls that are over 15 feet tall (4.6 m) in the park. The larger falls still had plenty of water 

even in September. If you don’t have time for anything else I would recommend seeing Tower Falls and 

Yellowstone Falls, the views were stunning!  



If you are going to Yellowstone I would plan on being there for approximately a week if you want to make 

sure you have time to see everything the park has to offer as it is enormous. If you plan on entering and 

exiting the park on more than two days during your stay I would recommend getting the “America the 

Beautiful” pass.


The cost of this pass is $80 and allows entry into any U.S. National park for one year.  The entry fee without 

the pass is $15 per person or $30 per vehicle per day.  If you are feeling overwhelmed you can always stop 

at a visitor center and talk to a ranger. They are all super helpful and will point you in the right direction. 

Happy Travels!  

-KT (@globetrotterkt)   

[email protected] 


(Globetrotter KT Photography) Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:14:35 GMT