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Category: Adventure

Hobbiton: A Review

Hobbiton: A Review

One of the highlights of our trip to Middle Earth (I mean New Zealand) was definitely our tour of Hobbiton. If you’re reading this, then it’s pretty likely that you already know that when Peter Jackson rebuilt the the Shire for The Hobbit films, it was done in a way that was intended to be permanent. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings – even if you only read the books – this is really a…

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Finding Edoras (AKA Mount Sunday In New Zealand)

Finding Edoras (AKA Mount Sunday In New Zealand)

As the days go down in the West, behind the hills and into shadow, I’m going to be reflecting (i.e. catching up) on some of Ariel and mine favorite travel memories from our adventures. I figured I’d start with what is probably our favorite hike together of all time, finding the filming location for Edoras from the Two Towers. Right off the bat, know that you do NOT need to be a Lord of the Rings nerd to appreciate this…

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A Bear In Ketichikan, The Inside Passage And Vancouver

A Bear In Ketichikan, The Inside Passage And Vancouver

Well, this is almost it. We are now at our final stop before making the long journey home to New Jersey. Looking back on this trip, the definite highlights were Denali and the humpback whale watching trip in Icy Strait Point. But the last few days have had their moments. First we stopped in Ketchikan, Alaska which is apparently the salmon capital of the world. It was pretty clear why this is – every year thousands (or maybe tens of…

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Reflecting On A Final (Solo) Ride

Reflecting On A Final (Solo) Ride

As I sit here on night seven of my Alaska adventure with Ariel, my thoughts turn to last week’s solo adventure and really the last 12 years of solo travel. This little getaway had a lot in common with my past solo trips: Waking up not knowing where I’d sleep every night. Major last-minute diversions from the itinerary. Staying at the cheapest, crappiest place I could rest my head. Eating most meals in the car or motel rooms. Dicey moment…

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Denali National Park And The Aurora FREAKING Borealis!

Denali National Park And The Aurora FREAKING Borealis!

So we’ve been in Alaska for a few days now and it is really something. Like it’s huge state, but it’s also just a HUGE state. “Everything’s bigger in Texas” except when compared to Alaska. EVERYTHING is massive here. The mountains. The glaciers. The distances. The temperature differences. It is really incredible. And it is just an incredible contrast from where I was last week in Iowa and Minnesota, with their gentle rolling hills and Mid-western charm. That is not…

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Day 3: An Anti-Climactic Conclusion, A Detainment, And An Amazing Sunset

Day 3: An Anti-Climactic Conclusion, A Detainment, And An Amazing Sunset

Keeping with the Paul Bunyan theme of the last post, the morning of Day 3 started with a trip to his….grave? I don’t know. This was pretty amusing considering there’s about a 99.9999999% chance this guy never existed. But it was somehow a little moving. Paul Bunyan is awesome. Is this really where he’s buried? No. It isn’t. But still. Anyway. So I finally made it to the northernmost point of the contiguous United States – Northwest Angle, Minnesota. This…

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Re-adjusting to normalcy: Finding adventure in the everyday

Re-adjusting to normalcy: Finding adventure in the everyday

As I sit here at the Delta Lounge in Atlanta (which is AWESOME by the way), it dawns on me that it’s been four months almost to the day since we returned from our epic New Zealand/Middle Earth adventure. While our trip was only two weeks long, being away from home and seeing new things (not to mention the intense breaks from reality that were our travel days there and back again), where every day’s goal was to simply live…

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On being home…

On being home…

So we got home late last night after an extraordinarily exhausting 53 hours of travel, including some borderline time travel that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Consider this, our flight left Auckland, NZ on Saturday at about 11:30 pm New Zealand time, crossing the international dateline shortly afterwards. We landed in California (after a 12 hour flight of nonstop turbulence) at 2:30 pm. On SATURDAY. That’s about nine hours BEFORE we departed. We went to sleep in…

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They’re taking the Kapoanos to Isengard… AKA back home to New Jersey

They’re taking the Kapoanos to Isengard… AKA back home to New Jersey

Well, I’m sitting here now at the lovely Emperor Club at the Auckland Airport. We had a three hour drive today followed by a 90 minute flight from Queenstown to here. Now we begin the real journey home, via California. Since our last update, we’ve continued having some really wild experiences. As I alluded to in the last post, on Wednesday morning we had our tour of “Rohan” AKA the Poolburn Reservoir area in the Otago region. This place was…

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One does NOT simply walk into Mordor… Or traverse the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

One does NOT simply walk into Mordor… Or traverse the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

On Wednesday, Ariel and I traversed the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Or in other words, we attempted to simply walk into Mordor. We had known this day was coming for months and even made some half-hearted attempts to “train” for it by doing a few hour-long hikes around New Jersey. We were unprepared. Our bus picked us up from the Park Hotel where we were staying at 7:30 am and dropped us off at the start of the trail around 8…

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