Site was Last modified: August 30 2018.

Whale flying at Kenai Fjord National Park
Whale in Kenai Fjord National Park Alaska

Welcome to Travels with Nessie.

Sand Dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park

I have always wanted to visit Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, but never had the chance until August 2018 when we took a road trip west. This is one of the lesser visited nationa parks.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is not as well known as many of the other national parks in California. It is small and has a single short road inside the park. Plus when we were there in June 2016 some places were still closed due to damage from the 2015 fire. Even so we really enjoyed or visit.

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Bear Paw Battlefield

The Bear Paw Battlefield is not as well known as the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the Bear Paw Battlefield is just as significant. This is the site of the last battle in the 1877 Nez Perce War. This was a 5 day battle and siege between the Nez Perce led by Looking Glass and other chiefs and the US Army. Continue Reading

Quiet Water Paddling in Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina is best known for waterfall, mountains, and white water paddling. We've found numerous wonderful places for quiet water paddling with our kayaks Nessie and Clem. These paddles are peaceful alternatives to white water paddling and the hikes to waterfalls. Read More

Beartooth Parkway

Beartooth Parkway
Beartooth Parkway

As part of our 2013 journey from Durham, NC to Jasper Alberta Canada and back to Durham, we decided to drive from Great Falls, MT to the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park via the Beartooth Parkway. The Beartooth Parkway is not the quickest way to get from Great Falls to Yellowstone, but it is the most beautiful and scenic.

Beartooth Parkway Continued.

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is one of the less visited National Parks. The park is rather isolated and overshadowed by Badland National Park and Mount Rushmore National Monument. However, it is well worth visiting for two major attractions--then Wind Cave and the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

Wind Cave Continued

Frozen Currituck Sound January 2014

Because of much colder than normal temperatures in early January 2014 much of Currituck Sound was covered with a layer of ice. The whole sound did not freeze just the areas near the shore. Currituck Sound Continued

Sunset somewhere along the road
Sunset along the road

Driving Across the US

We've made several 6,000 plus mile driving trips exploring the US. Although these trips often involved long hours driving to where we eventually wanted to be, they also provide a unique opportunity to appreciate how big, varied, and beauty of the US. Driving across the country also allowed us to visit a few places that we would miss otherwise. We didn't stop and smell the roses as often as we would have liked, but we did stop occasionally.

driving across US Continued.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park contains the Mammoth Cave which is said to be the largest cave system in the world. The beauty of this national park is the shear size of the cave.Mammoth Cave Continued

Blue Ridge Parkway

When I first visited the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1972, I figured that my wife and I could drive the entire 469 miles from Cherokee, NC to the Skyline Drive in Virginia in two days (45 MPH speed limit means roughly 10 hours total drive leaving plenty of time for sightseeing). Well I was mistaken. It took us several years of trips to the Parkway before we had driven all of it.

Blue Ridge Parkway.Continued.

Quiet Water Paddling

Our paddling interest is limited to quiet water--lakes, ponds, slow moving rivers, and coastal water. We seek out pretty and interesting quiet water and provide photos and descriptions of these paddles. We don't do whitewater. Lakes on windy days are rough enough for So if you're interested in quiet water paddling, check the Quiet Water

Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park

National Parks

If you're interested in the wonderful National Parks in the US, check out the National Parks Pages. Or just pick a page at random from the menus. The most recent additions to the National Parks pages are Mammoth Cave National Park, Cumberland National Seashore and Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Non-Paddling trips

We've been on many trips where we've had to leave the kayaks home. Many of these trips have been in North Carolina and you'll find information on them in the Exploring NC section.

Our trips have not been limited to North Carolina, and you'll find information on these trips in the Exploring US and Exploring Canada sections.

Major Trips

We've also undertaken several major trips to visit national parks and other sights in the US. Descriptions of these trips can be found at Trip West for our trip west in 2008 and Southwest trip for our 2010 trip to the Southwest US. Both trips were over 6,000 miles long and took us to National Parks and many other interesting places. The trip pages provide photos and descriptions of some of the sights we encountered along, such as the Corn Palace in Michel SD, along the way as well as the national parks and other major attractions.


We have several pages of photographs to help us remember the beauty of the places we've visited and to share with others. We have photos on all the trip pages and we have photo galleries with more photos. You can find a list of galleries at Photo Galleries.


There are several books and web sites that we have discovered over the years that have been very useful to us.

Favorite Paddles Merchant's Mill Pond and Bear Creek Lake

If we had to choose our favorite paddling spots in North Carolina, we'd pick Merchant's Mill Pond in Eastern North Carolina and Bear Creek Lake in Western North Carolina.

We've paddled Merchant's Millpond twice, in 2003 and in 2010. Merchant's Millpond is in Gates County and is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

We haven't paddled Bear Creek Lake for quite awhile.

Sea gull flying past glacier in Glacier Bay National Park
Sea Gull and Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Waterfalls from melting Glacier and Snow College Fjord Alaska
Waterfalls from melting glacier College Fjord, Alaska
Linville Falls, North Carolina
Linville Falls, North Carolina
Green River Overlook Canyonlands National Park
Green River Overlook Canyonlands National Park
Tree Reflected in Lower Yellowstone Prong
Reflection at Lower Yellowstone Prong Falls, Graveyard Fields Blue Ridge Parkway

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