A Tale of Two Deserts

[Written Match 20]   Last night, it rained steadily at our dispersed campsite at 2700 feet elevation, with the temperature dropping into the thirties. This morning, when we woke up with the first rays of sunlight, we were treated to the splendid sight of the mountains ringing our valley, being covered with fresh snow, to within […]

2019 Wander Wrap-up

From Great Basin National Park, in eastern Nevada, a long drive south took us to southwest Utah, during which we lost nearly all our elevation and the geology changed dramatically, with the appearance of spectacular red sandstones, colored by hematite (ferric iron oxide). Just outside St. George, we visited The Nature Conservancy’s fascinating White Dome […]

Ten Thousand Taxa

After leaving the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, we spent another long day driving east and south to and through Alberta. It was sobering to return to extensive civilization after about three months with only occasional glimpses thereof, in Whitehorse, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. We no longer had to pull off the road whenever we detected […]

The Dempster Highway (Part 1)

We crossed from Alaska back into the Yukon Territory on July 27, via the very scenic Top of the World Highway, which provides good access to high, dry tundra. Just before reaching the Yukon River, we visited Orchid Acres, a phenomenal protected area containing thousands of Spotted Lady’s-Slippers, Cypripedium guttatum. Like the plants we had […]