travel

M & D Visit Los Angeles

Mom and Dad Ward joined me for a weekend in Los Angeles a few months back.

It was one of those gloriously flawless weekends that remind you how awesome life is and why you should appreciate everything around you.

getty

We spent Saturday afternoon at the Getty, looking at fine impressionist paintings, strolling through gardens, and enjoying the (clear!) views of LA.

mom and me

dad

Dad found particular interest in the imported stone materials used to build the museum itself…Geology majors never quit!

md bw

It was a beautiful day to spend outside, catching up and sharing stories.

mbpost

Our evening was spent dining at the Manhattan Beach Post, a post office turned social house, with long wooden tables and a modern earthy vibe. Dinner started out with bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter, and was followed by several small, family-style dishes that were unique and delicious. MB Post cocktails do not disappoint either, mine consisted of Chopin, grapefruit, basil, raspberry, and pink peppercorns. Definitely check this place out if you’re in the LA area!

cyla_0050

Los Feliz welcomed us for breakfast on Sunday, followed by a short visit to the Griffith Observatory. Though 48 hours isn’t enough time to really experience LA, I was happy to show the rents a few of the places I’ve come to love the most, and I can’t wait for the next visitors that come my way!

L

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Nevada City Today I’m leaving rain-soaked Eugene for five days and heading down to Nevada City, California for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival (and the gorgeous High Sierras). Five films my organization co-produced will be featured at the festival, along with dozens of other amazing works (like this!). I’m stoked to hang with talented individuals, do a little hiking and see what the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festival is all about.

Look for photos next week!

M

(photo from Liz Rusby)

Banff & Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

I wanted one last big jaunt before darkness crept in, before days in the office grew longer, and before that good ol’ Oregon rain inevitably graced us with her presence. Banff National Park in Alberta, B.C. was the perfect end to summer. And although we’re in the throes of winter and the new year is just a couple of days away, I’m still reminiscing about the drive through the Canadian Rockies, the golden Aspens, late night skinny dipping in an emerald glacial lake and the best damn hike I’ve been on all year.

Banff

The 9 miles out and back on the Plain of Six Glaciers trail was stunning every second of the way. From the beginning of the hike along the shores of Banff’s famous Lake Louise, to the glacial streams running along the trail, to the charming teahouse we stopped at to gobble up soup and sandwiches before making our way up the last mile of the trail, every bit of it was overwhelmingly beautiful and the experience is one I’ll look back fondly upon for years to come.

Being amongst mountains is where I often find myself most contemplative. Whether it’s pushing myself further up the trail, further into the unknown or stopping to quietly examine the ground I’m walking on, or the trees I pass, I always come away with a greater sense of self-awareness and a renewed appreciation for wild places.

Looking forward to backpacking, camping and more day hikes in 2013. Stay tuned for adventures to come.

M