Category: Travel Blog

Hitting The Heights At Harper’s Ferry

On Monday, I went on my traditional birthday hike and decided to tackle Loudoun Heights trail at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. I hiked around other Appalachian Trails and around Harper’s Ferry for a 16 mile trek. It was wonderful, though these old bones were rattling by the end of the day. I wanted to share some of the pictures with the blog.

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Behold The Majesty Of The Arches

I am returning today from speeches in Texas and Utah. As many on the blog know, I tried to use such travel to do some hiking. Utah is one of my favorite places on Earth. You could spend a lifetime hiking this state and only scratch the surface of the natural beauty and wonders. I have hiked all part of this state and expect to do so for many years to come. This trip was tough however because a cold front came in the day I arrived (after 70 degree weather) that dumped more snow on an already heavy snow season. With the rain and snow, most of my selected hikes (and even my backup hikes) were no longer advisable due to slippery rocks and mud. I tried to find a trail on Friday with limited success so I decide to “go big or go home” on Saturday. I decided to drive over three hours to the Moab where snow and rain would not be an issue. While once covered by a prehistoric ocean, this area receives less than 10 inches of rain a year. It proved to be an awesome experience hiking Arches National Park, one of the great gifts of this state to the world. While many of us often hike deciduous forests, these desert hikes hold tremendous beauty and Western parks offer views that can go 100 miles or more.

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The Bon Ton Of New Orleans

On Friday, I came to New Orleans to speak at the American Bar Association’s 33rd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime . That’s right, I waited until Marti Gras was over and came to New Orleans for Lent. As many on the blog know, I used to call this city home when I taught at Tulane Law School. I have never lost my deep affection and connection for the city. As is my custom, I wanted to share some notes and pictures on the trip. I started with one of my favorite spots for lunch: The Bon Ton restaurant.

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As many on the blog know, one of my favorite hikes is the Old Rag trail the Shenandoah National Park.  Depending on your trail, it is roughly 11 miles to the parking area and is one of the most challenging hikes in the area.  Due to my travel schedule, I had hoped to see the fall foliage on Friday but the trees are not ready to their annual show.  Nevertheless, it was spectacular.  I followed my usual practice of starting at dawn as the sun was rising. (That means leaving Northern Virginia at 5 am to make it near the trailhead in Sperryville, Virginia). Continue reading “THE WONDERS OF THE OLD RAG”

Day 11: From Dawn At Shipwreck Cove To Dusk At Polihale Beach

IMG_8785Our last full day in Kauai began for me at 5 am when I quietly left the house to greet the dawn at the nearby Shipwreck Cove.  After I returned, the family got up and we took an overall one hour drive to the Western side of the island where one of the most spectacular beaches can be found at the start of the Na Poli coast in Polihale State Park.  The thing about the Hawaiian islands is that everyone can be Ansel Adams with an iPhone. It is virtually impossible to take a big shot on Kauai. Continue reading “Day 11: From Dawn At Shipwreck Cove To Dusk At Polihale Beach”

Day 10: The Wonder That Is The Nā Pali Coast

IMG_8722Our tenth day in Hawaii was the most memorable with a trip up the awe-inducing Nā Pali coast of Kauai.  Parts of Nā Pali are only accessible by boat though some trails and roads reach this unique area.  You may be familiar with the coast without knowing it since the almost prehistoric look of its cliffs and valleys have been featured in films like King Kong.  It is far more inspiring in person and we signed on with the leading boat tour  outfit for the coast, Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures.  We took one of the company’s custom 65′ Star Class luxury catamarans for the tour of a lifetime.  Nā Pali is one of the true wonders of the Pacific with plentiful sea creatures and wondrous cliffs. Continue reading “Day 10: The Wonder That Is The Nā Pali Coast”

Day 9: Hanalei and the North Side Of Kauai

 On our ninth day, we ventured over to the other side of the Kauai to visit the historic village of Hanalei and its lovely cove beach. The trip across the island offers from stunning scenes but also a vivid illustration of how different the weather is on different parts of this small island.  We are staying on the Southern tip where it has the most sunny days.  The Northern parts including Princeville have almost constant rain, though it passes quickly. The change is quite pronounced between the two parts.  The North tends to have not only more rain but it is notably more muggy and buggy. We also found the water to  be more clear in the South. Continue reading “Day 9: Hanalei and the North Side Of Kauai”

Day 8: The Wonder Of Waimea

It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon on Kauaʻi was one of the highlights of this trip.  It is a 3,000 foot park is one of the most spectacular natural settings on Earth.  We planned an entire day with a guide from Kauai Hiking Adventures. We were incredibly fortunate to have Jeffrey Courson, a Californian who came to Kanai decades ago and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the island’s planting, animals, history, and topography.  Above is my son Jack at the very end of a cliff overlooking the canyon. Continue reading “Day 8: The Wonder Of Waimea”

Day 7: Kauai’s South Shore

IMG_8339We spent our second day on beautiful Kauai was visiting beaches on the South shore.  We started in the morning at the aptly named Shipwreck Cove where the waves were huge but the under current quite dangerous.  We went in briefly before going down the shore to Poipu Beach which was lovely but a bit crowded. At the suggestion of one of the lifeguards, we went further down the road to Salt Pond Beach which had more roasters than people.  The waves were huge and we had a ball.



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Day 5: Behold The Green Turtles of Oahu

IMG_8275Day five on Oahu could be simply called turtles, turtles, and more turtles. One of the reasons that I was interested in staying on the North Shore rather than Waikiki was the abundance of green see turtles.  Today we enjoyed watching these magnificent animals at various beaches, including their daily visit at a beach for sun and a feast of sea grass.  It was a great way to spend the last full day on Oahu. Continue reading “Day 5: Behold The Green Turtles of Oahu”

Day 4: From Diamond Head To Pearl Harbor

IMG_8212Day Four of our trip to Hawaii started early with a trip to the Diamond Head crater.  This was my second hike up the crater, but the first such venture for the family.  We then had a great lunch at Duke’s restaurant in Waikiki and journeyed on to Pearl Harbor. We finished the day with an evening dip back on the North Shore.  It felt wonderfully decadent.   Continue reading “Day 4: From Diamond Head To Pearl Harbor”

Day 3: The Waterfalls, Water Lilies, and Waterdrops Of Oahu

IMG_8161Our third day in Oahu was spectacular.  We started by driving to the magnificent the Waimea Valley and the Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden.  We then walked to the nearby Waimea Beach where kids jump off a high rock into the surf.  It was a great day of hiking and just lying on the beach.

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Day 2: Oahu From Turtle Bay To Shark’s Cove

IMG_8108We arrived at 6 am (ET) in Oahu, Hawaii and were pretty beat but had to rent a van and drive to the North side of the island.  We are staying in Turtle Bay between Protection Point and Kuilima Point on the North Shore of the island of O’ahu.  For those wanting to avoid the congestion and tourism of Waikiki, the North Shore is ideal.  Despite our late arrival, we got up at 6 am to start what was an awesome first full day on the island.  Continue reading “Day 2: Oahu From Turtle Bay To Shark’s Cove”