Grand Canyon Cover Photo (Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Day 2: Visiting the Grand Canyon || 16 States in 16 Days

TRAVEL. CAPTURE. CREATE. THEREGOESSARAROSE.COM

Join the chaos of my trip to the Grand Canyon during, “16 States in 16 Days” at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

See more of my trip at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Day 2 of my road trip, “16 States in 16 Days,” was an incredibly eventful start to the adventure and could not be shared all at once! However, I could go no further without sharing a particularly interesting moment from this day first. Welcome to, literally, my hot mess of a story with “There Goes Sara Rose”!

Listen to a podcast of this travel blog here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-13-Day-2-Visiting-the-Grand-Canyon–16-States-in-16-Days-e15dp3j

Grand Canyon Entrance

The South entrance holds a Visitor’s Center and a SIX-STORY IMAX Movie Theater presenting, Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets. Be sure to check with staff for the most up to date information on events, hotels, restaurants, maps of the area and more! Stay up to date on the Grand Canyon from the Nation Park Service here or current park operations here!

The Grand Canyon was not our only stop of the day, but it should have been. As the sun moves across the sky, the colors around you change. Never in my life have I seen so many shades of greens, reds and the orange-brown layers of earth, forged through eons of time.

Wild, Wild West: Horses and…Disaster?

No one ever described to me how populated the Grand Canyon area is. Yet, there is wildlife grazing comfortable nearby all the same. Right after the entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park, you continue driving before getting to the Canyon and I was so surprised to see wild horses! See my photos above or my video on Tiktok, here! We continue on the road, find our parking spot and get ready to finally see the Grand Canyon! Returning to the car, after deciding to walk to park with the GoPro, we are off!

Wild Horses TikTok from car at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon (South Rim), Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Words cannot describe the immensity of the Grand Canyon, a National Park encompassing 277 miles (446 km), said to be as wide as is it deep. As busy as it was (National Parks are getting a lot of attention post-lockdown!), there is a peace among travelers. Everyone is polite, even talkative, something I am not as used to in California. Is it the travels, a new state, a conglomeration of so many people and languages from around the world? I don’t know but I loved it here. I could have stayed at the park all day and plan on returning!

Grand Canyon vs Rock Layers Image from Visitor’s Center at Grand Canyon, AZ (Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

GoPro Footage Coming Soon!

I traipsed around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon with a GoPro strapped to my chest and a camera in each hand. There are several centers for visitors to learn more about the Grand Canyon on site, but not all were open at the time of my visit. At the same time, not everything can be shared here! Check back soon for the GoPro walkthrough or on my YouTube, here! I’ve left another piece of my heart in a National Park, but I think this one was from a heart attack! What drama unfolds next? Well, let me tell you…

But, Did I Lock The Car?!

Weeks of planning had come to fruition; in no way was the trip, or attendees, under-prepared for the adventure. As a helpful feature, new vehicles can connect to mobile devices and alert you if you have left the car unlocked and perfect for road trips. The Grand Canyon does not have the best cell reception, so although we just received an alert, “The passenger door has just been opened”, the option to lock the car isn’t connecting. Regardless, the alert was clear as day. Why was this important? As I was moving family heirlooms across the country, almost everything important to me is in that car, and it was about half-a-mile away from me, in the middle of a parking lot, as busy as any theme park in the summer.

Last photo taken of the Grand Canyon, right before car alert was recieved (Photo Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

It is well over 100°F / 38°C, and I am running full speed. The heat isn’t bothering me, or the crowd of people I am running through, or that I am running in hiking boots. What is bothering, why I am running in sheer terror is, I may have already made a major mistake at the very beginning of this trip. As my side begins to ache, and with leg-muscles screaming, I round the corner and the parking lot comes into view. Just a few more rows and I know I will be at the car. The question is, did I make it in time?

Not Close Enough

At this point, I am one row away from where the car is parked. I search desperately for people at a passenger door, hoping I have caught them in the act. It is so hot, and I am so exhausted, I cannot tell which car I should be looking for. I just realize, there is no one rummage through a vehicle anywhere near me. Relieved and confused, I find the car, which was unlocked. I opened the CLOSED passenger door, frantically look through the car expecting to not find my prized electronics, but everything is as it should be. I find a water bottle, and begin to recover. “What happened?” you may wonder? As my friend and co-pilot return to the car, cell reception and alerts resume to normalcy. The bad cell reception, mixed with the fact I returned to the car to get the GoPro, ensured I was alerted of the open passenger door, 20 minutes after I opened it.

Sour Huckleberry Beer & Pizza

The excitement of the afternoon left me exhausted! We were on our way to the Geology Museum when the chaos-inducing-alert occurred and interrupted the plans. Rehydrated and all belongings safe-and-sound, it was decided to grab some pizza and drinks at the Grand Canyon for an experience. And may I say, the locally-crafted, Sour Huckleberry beer was delicious!

Many times on the road trip something did not go as planned, as you saw here today. Enjoying life is all about perspective, and the Grand Canyon was AWESOME! Thank you for joining the journey and see more of my adventure, “16 Days in 16 States,” soon at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Three Rivers - A Quaint Getaway Cover (Photo Credit: Sara Rose 2018)

Three Rivers – A Quaint Town for Getting Away || 1k Celebration Post!

1k ALL TIME views?! Just last week, the TGSR Adventurer Community reached 1,000 views on ThereGoesSaraRose.com! May I say, OMGOODNESS and THANK YOU! Taking a pause to celebrate this incredibly special moment, I come to you humbled, appreciative and with something in return. It clear, you enjoy what we do and I couldn’t be more proud of how far we have come. In celebration of this and to continue sharing top tier adventures, I bring you #TravelTuesdays and There Goes Sara Rose (TGSR) Discord! #TravelTuesdays will bring a new Travel Blog Post to There ThereGoesSaraRose.com EVERY Tuesday at 11 AM PST! Get ready to Join the Adventure! The TGSR Discord was released just this week and YOUR feedback and suggestions matter the most! The community deserves a place to connect with each other in a fun and safe environment and we are excited to meet you as well!

Listen to a podcast of this travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-11-Three-Rivers—A-Quaint-Town-for-Getting-Away-e15849c

Regardless of how fun and hectic life can get, when it is time to recenter, I visit a favorite spot in nature! Let us celebrate together and join me as I share with you this SPECIAL Blog Post, A Quaint Place to Getaway, Three Rivers!

What to Expect

A recent trip of mine was to Three Rivers, California. As a small, tucked-away town, many locals don’t know it exists. It sits right at the entrance to the Sequoia National Park and a place I had to visit before seeing more of California on the production, “16 States in 16 Days,” (more on that on my next #TravelTuesdays Post!). I had such a blast visiting this hidden treasure of a town. Here are my favorite parts of the area, some directions, and a guide to local history!

A Utopian History

Three Rivers, a small town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, has been charming guests since 1886. This is when a group of settlers founded a commune in the area based on the principles of social equality and economic fairness. Every individual participated in creating and sharing public goods; this cooperation helped the community thrive! However, when Congress founded the Sequoia National Park in 1890, the utopian settlement was absorbed by the community surrounding it to join into one town — Three Rivers. This history of acceptance and equality is a source of pride for its modern day residents, and the hard work of the original community is still highlighted by the stunning memorials displayed across town.

Getting to Three Rivers

California Highway 198 will take you straight into Three Rivers. Several major cities have direct access to 198. As you get closer to Three Rivers, you’ll pass some other small mountain towns, each with hidden gems of their own. If you stop at any on your way, be sure to share your finds in the comments!

Hiking Trails Galore

Between the national parks and mountain ranges, Three Rivers has some of the most breathtaking nature I’ve seen. Luckily, there are dozens of hiking trails to explore in the area. I had such a great time venturing outdoors and hiking — I even got a firsthand look at one of the rivers! Make sure to strap on some appropriate hiking boots and go hit the trails. 

The trails inside the Sequoia National Park were friendly for beginning hikers and take you through the stunning sequoia forests. A few paths will also take you along the shorelines of the local rivers. The park is a testament to the beauty and diversity of nature. It’s definitely worth stopping in to hike here. 

Another option is the Skyline Loop. This is a popular trail with locals, and it’s easy to see why. Salt Creek Falls, a waterfall system, is right along the path! It’s a serene scene, and something I would encourage every visitor to go check out. If you want to stay away from the parks while still taking in California nature, this trail is perfect.

Must-See Local Stops

One of the best parts of visiting Three Rivers was getting to see the shops and museums in town. These three visits are essential stops when you’re in the area. 

Reimer’s Candies & Gifts shop was such a fun visit. After selling homemade chocolates and sweets for 50 years, trust me, they have perfected the craft. Reimer’s offers over 80 different kinds of chocolates, and every treat I tried was to die for. They also have super creative and delicious fudge flavors. Their creations come in all different assortments and sizes. I absolutely loved getting to try these local sweets!

My absolute favorite stop was Three Rivers Village Antiques. This quaint shop was full to the brim with local antiques and goods. Western Americana is on display throughout the store, with collections of artifacts from Western settlers, cowboys, and Native American tribes. I had an awesome time looking through all of the old jewelry, photographs, and goods they’ve collected. It’s definitely a must-see when you’re in town!

Another cute place in town was the Three Rivers Historical Museum. They had exhibits showing off the tale of the town’s founding all the way to modern times. Several renovations are planned to add even more interactive galleries for guests to see. I encourage everyone to see what it has in store. There are also several local restaurants to refresh yourself in between hikes or before heading home, each with amazing views of the river! See below for one such view from one of my top spots, River View Bar & Grill.

Get out today to go see Three Rivers! Please share your favorite parts of your trip, including other small towns you find, in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to this website to get early access to my blog, as well as extra pictures and videos of my travels from social media. Until our next journey, happy trails Adventurers!

Road Trip Safety Cover (Photo Credit: Sara Rose 2021)

Road Trip Safety-Dealing with Natural Disasters in the USA || 16 States in 16 Days

When I drove my first road trip away from the West Coast, I decided to go big! However, so did the weather in several areas. To be honest, at a certain point, I was scared. Why? I was unsure of the safest thing to do. Disaster movies came to mind with visual recollections of characters tying themselves to metal posts in tornados or being swept away in a tropical cyclone. What of these, previously entertaining moments, were factual, if any?

Listen to a podcast of this travel blog here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-10-Road-Trip-Safety-Dealing-with-Natural-Disasters-in-the-USA–16-States-in-16-Days-e158251

My summer 2021 road trip, “16 States in 16 Days,” totaled about 6,000 miles, and I bumped into everything! In Louisiana, the trip found itself caught on the edge of Tropical Storm Claudette on June 18th just as the drive headed toward Tennessee (the storm lasted in Louisiana for a few days). Just a day later, my phone alerted me I was in a, “dangerous +2 lightning storm,” while headed to St. Louis, Missouri. Both of these drives had rain so hard, it was difficult to see the road, cars, or anything but water. During the evening stay in St. Louis, there was minimal rain. However, the lightning shot across the sky from all around and sometimes struck the same spot several times within a few seconds of each other.

Windy, of course, and drizzling most of the next day in Chicago, that evening turned for the worse. I spent 2 hours in a hotel stairway that night, accompanied by rain, sirens, a lovely couple who had just gotten married, and an F3 tornado raging about 15 miles south of our location. This was easily one of the most scared moments I have had in my life, fascinated by the science, hopeful for others caught in the path of the “finger of God”. As much as I loved Chicago, (trust me, there was PLENTY of time to see things in the city!) I nope’d right out of there the next morning. If that wasn’t enough, several fires raged across the USA with the worst in Colorado, and, well, it even rained in Las Vegas. Yes, it does rain in Vegas. Seeing events like these firsthand humbles you and makes you really appreciate first responders and the helpfulness of a fellow being.

Every time you go on a road trip you run the risk of hitting some kind of weather event or natural disaster, whether it’s a major storm, wildfires, landslides, earthquakes…so, what do you do when it happens? I was of more extreme weather changes in the mid-West but did not realize the intensity until being present for them and checking online weather reports. Let’s look at things that can happen in all three major regions of the U.S. to keep YOU and I safer on our adventures!

West Coast

Yes, we do have earthquakes. Thankfully, our infrastructure is built for them and it’s relatively rare for one to do real damage. But we have some other issues, too. Here’s what to do in each of them.

  1. Earthquakes. If the road starts to shake, you should carefully pull over. Do not stop under or on a bridge or overpass, or under trees, light posts, signs…anything which might fall on your car. The safest place to be is in your car. When you resume driving, keep it slow and watch for breaks, cracks, potholes, fallen rocks, and damaged bridges. If you’re at the waterfront and the sea starts to leave, get inland and onto high ground quickly. Receding sea can be the first sign of a tsunami.
  2. Wildfires. Unfortunately, fire season has been particularly bad over the last few years. If you are in an area with smoke, keep your windows rolled up. Stay in your car. Close your air vents. Continue driving, but avoid heavy smoke if possible, keeping your headlights on. Obey road closures and detours and always let firefighters past. Be flexible with your plans.
  3. Storms. Hailstorms are pretty common in the mountains, and can sometimes trigger rock falls and landslides that block passes. Try to avoid a schedule that will cause issues if a pass is blocked for several hours.
  4. Excessive heat. Southern California gets pretty hot, and this is also a note for the southwest desert states. If driving through the desert, make sure to have plenty of water in your trunk and also take salty snacks. Park your car in shady areas if possible.

Central

We’re not going to talk about those Midwestern winters because that’s not when you’re going to be taking your road trip. Leave that to the people who live there.

But there are some things to worry about even in the summer.

  1. Tornadoes. A tornado warning means that conditions are possibly suitable for a tornado. A tornado watch means that the storm is producing potential tornado conditions and/or a tornado has been sighted. In towns where tornadoes are common, you may hear sirens…if you do, go into the nearest open building and go to an interior room or basement. Find out if your hotel has a tornado shelter or a basement area. If not, the safest place to be is the bathroom. Do not go anywhere until the tornado warning has passed. If you are on the road and the tornado is distant, turn at right angles to its path and drive until you find a sturdy building. If you’re actually caught in high winds, pull over, park, and tuck yourself in the bottom of the car….or leave and put yourself in a ditch. Don’t shelter under a bridge.
  2. Lightning. If you are driving during a lightning storm, stay in your car. Even if your vehicle is hit, you are likely safe as the metal frame conducts lightning past you. Make sure any sunroof is thoroughly closed. Pull over if visibility is too bad to safely drive.
  3. Excessive heat. In the central south, you have the same heat issues as in the desert. However, the further east you go, the higher the humidity. Check not just the temperature but the heat index and avoid physical activity during the hottest part of the day.

East Coast

In general, the East Coast has less severe weather than other areas, but the biggest concern is hurricanes. Unfortunately, hurricane season overlaps with the summer vacation season. You might, though, consider scheduling your trip earlier in the summer. While hurricane season starts on June 1, it’s rare for there to be severe storms before August.

  1. Hurricanes. The nice thing about hurricanes is that you can see them coming. The bad thing about them is they last for days. If you are planning a trip during hurricane season, be ready to change your plans. If you’re booking stuff in advance, consider travel insurance. Don’t stick around…make sure you have a full tank of gas and get out. Every year, some idiots get hurt trying to watch a hurricane.
  2. Lightning and thunder. East coast storms tend to be shorter and less intense than those in the Midwest, but dangerous summer storms are not unknown.
  3. Excessive heat. High heat and humidity are an issue everywhere from Maryland south. Avoid scheduling heavy activities for the hottest part of the day and keep plenty of water in your car.

The most important thing is to be flexible. You never know what might happen and you need to be willing to accept a bit of a detour. Sometimes it can be more exciting than your original plans! To find out more, contact There Goes Sara Rose today.

Route 66 Sign in Santa Monica (Rose, S., 2021)

History, Art and the Free Spirit on Route 66 || 16 States in 16 Days

You know about US Highway 66, not because you are deeply invested in highway systems, but because of the yearning for freedom. Though it wouldn’t be completely paved until 1938, US Highway 66, commonly known as Route 66, entered the US Highway System in 1926. Its significance takes many forms. It was the first all-weather highway between Chicago and Los Angeles, two massive economic focal points of the American West. Its development from dirt-road-to-superhighway epitomizes economic development and the remarkable geographical links brought about by a robust national public highway system. Its birth and development came at a time of immense turmoil and economic upheaval, yet it persisted.

Listen to a podcast of this travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-9-History–Art-and-the-Free-Spirit-of-Route-66–16-States-in-16-Days-e1570m1

As a result, it became the romanticized highway we know today, coming to symbolize the optimism that fell over the American people after WWII. Bridging the Rocky Mountain divide and stretching to the Pacific Ocean, Route 66 represents the free-spirited ideation of a country already firmly built on free-spirited ideation. Pulling on the history of the USA with its free-spirited energy, and embracing what it means for my own adventures, is why I’m going.

Why is this trip so pivotal? This is the first time I have left the West Coast, the first time I have traveled on such a road trip, and the first time I have gone so far with the specific goal of collecting and sharing what I can with all of you (translation: Taking more tech supplies than clothes!). This is the moment I set out on my professional path, one I carve out for myself, and I welcome you to come along as, “There Goes Sara Rose”!

How to Road Trip on Route 66

“Historic” vs Interstate

In 1985, Route 66 was removed from the United States Highway System, as its utility had become unnecessary in the wake of the successful Interstate Highway System. After it was decommissioned, numerous organizations worked to preserve significant structures, features, and artifacts of the road. Their work has resulted in the “Historic Route 66” that we know today. This is not to be confused with Interstate 66 (I-66), which is not connected whatsoever to the original Route 66. 

VW Bus Tourist Stop next to The Copper Cart in Seligman, Arizona. Photo: Rose, S. (2021)

The modern version of Route 66 we know today isn’t entirely drivable, as it no longer needs to serve as a functional highway. Instead, the drivable portions serve as monuments to American history. Some of these spots have been turned into historic locations with informational posts, signs, and more! You will see many on my socials and here at ThereGoesSaraRose.com.

Navajo & Hopi Indian Arts and Crafts Center in Winslow, AZ Photo: Rose, S. (2021)

Packing Your Clothes

Compression travel bags, such as the Hefty Shrink Pak Travel Bags I used, are an excellent way to pack for a road trip when organized correctly. A packing tip section may sound simple, but these bags and this method saved me hours of frustration:

  1. Keep your clothes CLEAN! You may try to keep dust and dirt out of the car but the windy air will not allow it!
  2. Keep your clothes EASY TO ACCESS! With one bag per day for clothes, you can skip taking the suitcase into your lodgings except when it is time to wash. Traveling with friends? Still consolidate outfits into one bag per day.
  3. Keep your clothes ORGANIZED! Folding and keeping bags flat as possible before compression leaves room for important extras such as swimsuits, extra socks, a windbreaker etc. to help with various weather plans.

You will want to map out a plan regarding when you will clean your clothes and take change and laundry soap; do not assume you will have clothes cleaning services nearby! Having a windbreaker, rain poncho, and/or warm weather gear when traveling in winter is a key part of being prepared for anything.

Route 66 Highlights-Subscribe for More!

The love for nostalgia is evident in the care that has been taken with preserving these pieces of history, a moment in time saved to share a story. Many of the stops have several signs touting a landmark of some type, beaming with pride at passing drivers, enticing them to “taking the next right!”. The unplanned stops became my favorite; the finding-of-the-unexpected just as appealing as a curated museum. A friend and I spent almost an entire 16 days photographing, recording, and taking notes of various parts of the United States, from the Mojave Desert to New Orleans, from Chicago to Las Vegas. Makes sure to subscribe and follow this blog to be the FIRST to get these stories, photos, and more!

Here are a few excellent attractions along Route 66 I missed I planned to return back to, such as:

Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In

Located in Seligman, Arizona is a historic eatery that was built in 1953 by Juan Delgadillo. It stands out from the crowd quite literally as it was built mostly from scrap lumber. Flamboyant and humorous, featuring menu items like “Dead Chicken” and “Cheeseburger With Cheese”, Delgadillo’s is a delightful stop on Route 66. 

Cadillac Ranch

A public art installation in Amarillo, Texas, Cadillac Ranch is one of the many quirks of Route 66. Buried in the desert sand are ten graffiti-covered Cadillacs. Visitors to the installation are welcome to contribute to the artistic display with their designs spray-painted onto the Ranch’s vehicles.

The Wigwam Motel

A curious motel in Holbrook, Arizona furnishes guests with the chance to sleep in wigwams for the night instead of traditional motel rooms. While the rooms are shaped like tipis as opposed to the more hut-like wigwam, this kitsch motel is still a great place to lay your head.

Join The Adventure!

The dream of travel, seeing places never seen, and turning that into art, is the whole reason why I write this blog. If that’s something you’re dreaming of too, I hope these posts help inspire you towards taking your own journey. Want to get your kicks on Route 66? Come along with me for the first major leg of my travels in “16 States in 16 Days”! Follow me on social media for updates as they happen and subscribe to my blog for stories on my adventures. Thank you for coming on this journey with me.

Sara Rose at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. (Photo: Neri, M. 2021)
Sara Rose at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. (Photo: Neri, M. 2021)

P.S. Notes while traveling are key! Purchase Word Vomit: A 90-Day Expression Journal to give yourself space for mindless doodles, inspiring art, and processing unfiltered emotions! This is a great way for you, your friends, or kids to prepare for a blog of your own or just word vomit!

How to Prep for a Day Hike in Yosemite in Spring of 2021

Are you longing to get out of the house? As COVID-19 restrictions start to wind down and more people get vaccinated, thoughts of travel are hitting all of our minds. At the same time, you’re probably looking for a safe option.

If you live near Yosemite or another mountainous region, now is the perfect time to take a day hike. You can get in some exercise, see some new stuff, and stay outside and away from others. Spring is a great time to explore the mountains before summer fire season.

Listen to a podcast of the travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-3-How-to-Prep-for-a-Day-Hike-in-Yosemite-in-Spring-of-2021-e155nve

What is Yosemite Like in April and May?

Weather in the late spring is usually pleasant, but not warm. Highs in the valley tend to be in the 60s and lows in the 30s. Rain and snow are still possible, and you should dress accordingly. Fire conditions are possible but less likely than later in the summer.

Some higher areas in the mountains may still be snowbound and Tioga Road is still closed. Mariposa Grove usually opens by mid-March. Glacier Point Road is also closed (and as a note, it will be closed for the entire of 2022 for rehabilitation). Generally, plan a route that won’t take you above 6,000 feet and check with the rangers to see what is or is not open.

The spring snow melt makes the waterfalls particularly pretty, especially in the Valley. While it’s generally not clear enough for backpacking without snow camping, there are plenty of day hike options.

Check out my video from our day trip to Lower Yosemite Falls!

What Should You Do To Prepare For Your Hike?

Preparing for a spring day hike requires some conditioning. You need to know your limits, especially if you’ve been exercising less and have put on any COVID 19-weight, as it were. Do some walks in your local area and increase the distance, and choose a route that you are comfortable with; don’t go from being sedentary to an 8 mile hike. As it’s still spring, you won’t be at altitude anyway, but you still need to be fit.

You will also need the right gear. Dress in layers; the wide temperature range in the spring may mean you will be taking stuff off, putting it on, taking it off again…so make sure you can do that comfortably. You will also need:

  1. The right footwear. This is the most important piece of gear for hiking. Given the risk of rain or snow in the spring, hiking boots are generally your best option. If you’re staying on easier trails, walking shoes or trail running shoes may work well. Think about what kind of ankle support you need.
  2. A fleece jacket or wool sweater makes a good middle layer for the temperature range you are dealing with.
  3. Rain gear including rain pants. You definitely need rain pants. Bear in mind that wet jeans are the worst thing to be stuck in.
  4. Proper socks, ideally ones designed for hiking.
  5. A backpack. If you plan on hiking all day, get a daypack. Otherwise, an ordinary backpack is fine, but do not carry it slung on one shoulder (you will walk one sided and put strain on yourself).
  6. Some kind of hat. If it’s colder, you will want a wool hat. If warmer, you might want something to keep the sun off.
  7. Insect repellent. Make sure that you have and use a DEET-based insect repellent that also repels ticks. Apply repellent to exposed skin, but also to the cuffs of your pants and your hat.
  8. Sunscreen. Even if it’s not that warm.
  9. A hikers’ first aid kit. For casual hikers, a pre-made kit is more than sufficient.
  10. Gloves. You may want them and if you don’t, they’re light.
  11. A camera & gear. Maybe you will find a good smartphone is enough, but a DSLR will still give you better pictures if you want to make the investment. I take a lot of photos on my hikes and encourage you to do the same.
  12. A flashlight, even if you plan on being back well before dark.
  13. Food and water. If you’re really high in the mountains you can get fresh water, but in the park you want to carry enough for your hike.

If you are older and/or the trail is steep, consider investing in trekking poles. Another thing to consider is downloading an app onto your phone that identifies plants, wildlife,  etc.

It’s time to get back out into the world, and a mountain day hike is a great way to do so without worrying about that pesky virus. Watch my video on how to pick hiking boots and please come back to ThereGoesSaraRose.com for more travel advice (and awesome pictures!)