Category: Travel Blog

A Visit To The Glenstone

This weekend, my family and I visited the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. I am embarrassed to say that, despite living in Washington for much of my life, I have never been to this extraordinary art museum. Funded by billionaire Mitchell Rales and curated by Emily Wei Rales, the museum is an amazing blending of art, natural landscape, and architecture.  The result is one of the most beautiful and unique spaces in the world.  You can stroll through the exquisite buildings which are as impressive as the art that they contain.  The galleries are surrounded by trails through gorgeous forests on over 200 acres. I strongly encourage anyone in the area to make a reservation and visit the museum (which is about 30 minutes outside of Washington). Continue reading “A Visit To The Glenstone”

Walking Around The Maize and Blue at the University of Michigan

As an academic, I enjoy visiting great universities with the same passion as some have for visiting the great ball parks. Last week, I decided to go to the massive Sanders rally in Ann Arbor and discuss the election with many of his supporters. My son, Aidan, is looking at the University of Michigan for college and tagged along on the trip. The Michigan campus is one of the most beautiful in the country and an excellent addition to our travel blog, including a stellar hotel.

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The Beauty and Brilliance of Monticello

I recently visited the University of Virginia for a speech at the Miller Center, which was always an immense pleasure. It is remains one of the most beautiful and historic campuses in the country and I was able to bring my son, Aidan, who is looking at Virginia for college. As has been my custom for decades, I never go to Charlottesville without taking a pilgrimage to Monticello and the home of Thomas Jefferson. There has been many changes since my last visit due to a wonderful gift of David Rubenstein, who continues to leave a lasting mark on our historical record with his generous and well-placed giving. Monticello is an even greater delight with Rubenstein’s support. No other historic home more perfectly reflects the figure who lived within it. In this case, the home is filled with designs and inventions of Jefferson whose creativity seems to explode in every room with novel architectural points and quirky inventions. Located in one of the most beautiful areas of our country, Monticello is as timeless as the legal contributions of Jefferson from the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom to our Declaration of Independence.

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Sweet to Bittersweet: Hiking Sagehen And Donner Summit Trails

Yesterday hiking in Nevada and California took me from the sweet to the bittersweet. The Sagehen trail can only be described as a “sweet” trail. Trails have personalities. Some played with you and make you earn the summit. Some are just sweetheart, girl-next-door trails. That is the Sagehen trail. A lovely 5 miles there-and-back to a lake with added side trails available. I then did the Donner Summit and Mount Judas trails. That one is not sweet but gorgeous. Think of Mary Ann and Ginger. It was a great combination on a spectacular day.

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The Beauty of Mount Rose

I am in California to speak among the judges and attorneys of the Eastern District in Lake Tahoe on Sunday. As many on this blog know, I am an avid hiker and often take the opportunity of these trips to explore the local trails and forests. Yesterday, I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail and then the Mt. Rose Trail. These trails take you along the Nevada and California border. The latter is quite difficult as you work your way up the summit of the highest point in the area. At roughly 9000 feet, it is the highest peak of the greater Sierra Nevada range. It is a gorgeous though strenuous hike.

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Running The Nenana With Raft Denali

One the greatest highlights of the trip to Alaska was returning to join Nenana Raft Adventures (www.raftdenali.com) on a whitewater adventure in Denali. This is one of my favorite companies, run by Judith White, who is a fixture in Denali with Nenana Raft Adventures and Denali Paddlesports. Judy attracts top raft operators from all over the country and the company is takes every precaution to give amateurs a safe but exciting time on Class Four runs along the Denali National Park. It is a wonderful way to break up days hiking at Denali and we had a ball.

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Day 10: Hiking Crow Creek

On our final full day in Alaska, we selected the Crow Creek trail. This was my first time on the trail but we received excellent advice from Jimmy Stokes, an amazing hotel staff member at the Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood. Jimmy saw us hiking and suggested Crow Creek. He gave us a map and great advice for the challenging hike. Like all things Jimmy, we soon discovered that he was right on the money with distances and other details. Alyeska is a terrific hotel that celebrates everything Alaska to its great food and outdoor adventures. Jimmy is an example of how the staff go the extra mile for every guest. This trail was a highlight of the trip.

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The Wonder of Blackstone Bay

On our eighth day, we went kayaking around the glaciers at Blackstone Bay near Whittier with Alaska Sea Kayakers. This is my second trip with the company and I could not recommend them more highly. The owner, Pete, is a fixture (and Vice Mayor) in Whittier and has been doing this work for decades. They are incredibly professional and excellent environmental stewards. We had two highly experienced guides, Todd and Kevin (who turned out to be a UConn law student), who were a wealth of knowledge about the animal life and glaciers.

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Day 5: Trekking Up Mount Healy

On our second day at Denali National Park, we decided to tackle the challenging Mount Healy Trail. This is my second time on Mount Healy, one of the highest mountains in the park. It is spectacular but high challenging due to the sharp ascent. It is however worth every exhausted muscle and sore knee. After weeks of rain, the skies cleared showing Denali in all of its splendor .

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Day 4: On The Road To Denali

On our fourth day in Alaska, we started with a last great breakfast at the Snow City Cafe. We then drove to Denali National Park where we will finish the day white water rafting with the outstanding people of RaftDenali (more on that later). We made a stop at a ramshackle rural store run by Mike Carpenter. It can easily be mistaken for a pile of discarded odds and ends but there is a genius to the place which sells everything from old washing machines to a severed human hand.

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The Great North: Day 1 & 2 In Alaska

The next couple of weeks, I will be blogging from Alaska — one of my favorite places on Earth. As a lifelong hiker and outdoor enthusiast, Alaska is simply unequaled anywhere in the world for its immense and wild beauty. We arrived late Sunday night and experienced the gorgeous wilderness from the air. Flying into Alaska is always awe-inspiring as the seemingly limitless wilderness unfolds before your eyes. We spent much of the first full day biking and enjoying the city.

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