What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Importance of Coordinates July 20, 2017

I spent three summers living in Alaska. I love the quirks of that beautiful place, and you sort of get that feeling that it’s preparing you for other adventures in life. Like how you start to feel super cocky about living in a place where an address is really just whatever mile marker you live closest to, and a prayer that your mail actually gets to you. And then we went to Ireland.

The first two days were fine. We were staying in a city. We’d bought the update so our Garmin worked in Ireland, which sort of felt like cheating, but whatever. But then Killarney happened.

Killarney is amazingly beautiful. We got there before dark and wanted to poke around the outside of the national park to see what sorts of things we wanted to do the next day. We found the park, found a way in, found a ruin.


It was simply breathtaking.

I had naively been expecting Killarney National Park to be like an American national park—all rough trails and long forgotten woods. But it was more like an estate placed in national trust. Beautiful lawns, ruins, paddle boat rentals, a castle but we’ll get to that later.

We figured out what we wanted to do on our big park day and decided to head back to the hotel. Put the hotel in the Garmin…nothing. (more…)


Merry Christmas! August 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Merry Christmas! And no, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m in Denali National Park, and today we are celebrating Christmas!

For those of you who aren’t national park junkies, Christmas is celebrated in parks across the country on August 25th.

You see, many years ago there was a terrible snowstorm in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors were stranded in the lodges and to pass the time, they gathered around the fire and told stories and sang songs. It felt so much like Christmas Eve that they all decided to celebrate Christmas the next morning on August 25th.

In my mind, I picture the guests raiding the kitchen to steal tinfoil to make ornaments, but I’m not sure how realistic that is, considering  either they were in a small lodge and probably didn’t have tinfoil or they were in a big commercial lodge and health regulations wouldn’t allow guests to set foot in the kitchen.

But tinfoil aside, that snowstorm created a beautiful tradition that continues to this day. It’s a time to celebrate the love and magic of the holidays with our park family. So, on this Christmas Day, take a moment to appreciate whatever natural beauty you can find. Even if it’s only a tree growing on a city sidewalk. Today, we celebrate life in nature. Merry Christmas!


*For an update on how pre-orders for The Tethering are going, please follow this link to the pre-order site.