The World’s Longest Cave System

Let's put it this way: it is 388 miles to drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Imagine being in a cave that whole way, and still not having the exit in sight. That is what makes Mammoth Cave unique. Mammoth Cave National Park protects a bit more than 52,000 acres of central Kentucky, but…

California’s Palms to Pines Highway

Palm Springs is hot in July. Very hot. Wearing my mask, I grab a double-double and a vanilla shake from California's most iconic burger chain, In N Out, and start up a winding road into the mountains. This road, California Highway 74 and turning into California Highway 243, is known as the Palms to Pines…

Petrified Forest and the Best $10 Ever Spent

Editor's note: I, too, have spent time at Petrified Forest National Park, and it's fun for me to follow another writer's story, in this case our resident park expert, Christian. Mine can be found here, for comparison's sake. To read more of Christian's adventures, click here. I’m fortunate to have been to Petrified Forest National…

Why Mojave National Preserve Matters

There's a calming feeling for me, being out in the desert. The sky stretches from horizon to horizon, blue broken up by sparse clouds beckoning the mind and spirit upward. Few other people have crossed my path since exiting Interstate 15 in Baker, California, and the cares of the world seem far beyond my sight.…

Hanford and the Manhattan Project

Editor's note: this is the second article (of hopefully many) on The Royal Tour from Christian Grand. You can read all of his articles here! The Tri-Cities area lies a bit north of the Oregon-Washington border, and about 40 miles north of I-84. Many sections of the interstate overlay what was once the fabled Oregon…

America’s Emerald Isle

The isolation here is palpable. Walking on a narrow path, I hear only the birds, insects, Lake Superior's minor waves, and my own footsteps. Plants block my path occasionally - this is, after all, designated wilderness and I am intruding on their space. I gaze around, amazed at just how many shades of green can…