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Northern Rocky Mountains

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App Update: Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies

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I'm happy to announce an update to my Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies travel guide app! I've added a few more of my favorite places and if you've already downloaded the app to your Apple devices, you should have an update notification waiting for you.

I've thoroughly enjoyed working with my friends at Everplaces to create FREE travel guide apps for two of my favorite regions in the country: the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern California. 

If you haven't had a chance to download the apps, you can do so here and here. I hope you'll find them useful in your travels! 

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There are so many fun and helpful travel apps out there. What apps do you use most often? Be sure to link up to your favorites in the comment section so I can check them out!  


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Video: Yellowstone + Grand Teton National Park

I found some lost footage ya'll!

Okay, so the footage wasn't really lost, but I had forgotten about it. After Monday's post about our upcoming trip to Glacier National Park and the fantastic cabins we stayed in near Grand Teton National Park, I couldn't wait to dig through my old files to see what I might find. The video quality isn't great, but it brought back so many fond memories of that trip.

That last bit of footage of the sun setting behind the Teton Range is one of my favorite memories. Making our way back to the cabins after our final day of exploring, I captured that short video and promptly asked if we could stop at the next turnout.

We got out of the car and BAM!

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See what I mean? The place is stunning, folks. If you ever have the opportunity to go, seize it. You'll be glad you did.

Making plans, yourself? If you're heading to the U.S. Northern Rockies any time soon, be sure to check out a handy collection of my favorite spots here.

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Trip Planning: In the Works + A Look Back

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Trip Planning: In the Works + A Look Back

Friends, it has been nine months and three weeks (and about two hours, if we're really keeping track) since I last stepped foot in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S.I know I may sound a bit dramatic, but a huge part of me really misses it. I'm blaming Andrew Evans of National Geographic for basically live-tweeting his latest trip to the area and making it impossible for me to resist the lure of the mountains, the iconic parks, the people, the history... sigh...

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{Photo courtesy of Glacier NPS on Flickr

Anyway, we've had a trip to Glacier National Park in Northern Montana on our travel list for a long time and this is the year we'll be making it happen. We've been looking into cabin rentals, researching hikes and sightseeing opportunities and trying to find flight deals.

I'll, of course, keep you all posted on the fun details. Meanwhile, I wanted to take an opportunity to share my favorite find during a road trip we took to Montana and Wyoming back in 2009. It was my first trip to Wyoming and second visit to Montana and I have to say, the experience really solidified my love for the area. I've never blogged about the trip and since it was in my pre-blogging days, it has been passed over for more current adventures. Let's rectify that, shall we?

First up: our lodging near Grand Teton National Park!

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When we started planning, we knew that our lodging would be a mash-up of different things depending on the various stops we needed to make and what would be available in each town. There are so many options available in the area around Grand Teton National Park, so narrowing things down was a bit of a challenge.

We had heard great things about the town of Jackson, Wyoming (they're all true, by the way), but we wanted to stay somewhere that felt more connected to the beautiful landscape and scenery. Staying in either Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Park was cost-prohibitive at the time, so we started looking at vacation rentals and lodging just outside of the parks.

I can't quite remember how I landed on the Moulton Ranch Cabins website after hours of reading reviews and following links, but I'm so glad I did. You know the sound you hear when someone hits the jackpot on a slot machine? Yeah... it was like that.

The small collection of cabins is located just south of the entrance to Grand Teton National Park and about 40 miles south of Yellowstone. It's also a short drive from Jackson, which has great shops, restaurants and more. Just look how cute the cabins are!

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While we stayed in the least expensive cabin and didn't have views of the Teton Range, many of the cabins have stunning, unobstructed views:

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The cabins are located on Mormon Row, which has an incredible history.

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We even woke up to bison in the "back yard" almost every morning!

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A quick walk down the road will take you to what is thought to be the most photographed barn in America. You can see why:

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I couldn't help taking a picture of photographers taking a picture of the most photographed barn in America. :) So meta!

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Needless to say, the area in and around Grand Teton National Park captured a little piece of my heart. I haven't stopped thinking about going back since 2009 and our stay at the Moulton Ranch Cabins is a huge part of that continuous pull. I'm not sure I'd be able to stay anywhere else!

A few things to note about the cabins:

  • They are only open seasonally, May through September.
  • While the prices have increased since our 2009 stay, the Cottage is still a very affordable option in the area.
  • They book up quickly, so be prepared to snag a reservation early (they allow reservations no more than a year in advance).

The cabins are nearly booked up for this summer season, but there are a few pockets of time still available. If we were heading back this year, I know I'd snap up a few days! If you're looking for tips on the Northern Rocky Mountain region, I've collected all of my favorite spots (including the Moulton Ranch Cabins, Mormon Row, The Moulton Barn and more) in a handy app. You can download it from the App Store here!

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Anyone out there have a favorite Rocky Mountain getaway spot they'd like to share? I'm always looking to live vicariously though the travels of others, so feel free to link up in the comment section. Here's hoping we can find a place just as cozy for our trip to Glacier National Park. Wish us luck!

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My 2012 Highlight Reel

In response to this WordPress prompt, I thought I'd take a look back at some highlights from the last 12 months. In all honesty, I feel like this entire blog has become a highlight reel of sorts. Every person, place or thing I've posted about has held a special place in my year, so picking just one photo and post for each month is a tough task! Regardless, I'm always up for a trip down memory lane... so here it goes:

January:

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Last year at this time I was secretly driving from Helena to Missoula, MT to surprise my best gal pal, Jamie, for her 30th birthday. We got to ring in the new year and celebrate her birthday all in one SUPER fun visit. Just looking back makes me grateful to have started 2012 with some of my favorite people on the planet. You can read more about the trip here and here.

February:

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In February, I started looking for recommendations from friends and family for local electrical companies that could help us remove this unsightly beast from our kitchen. More on the lovely results in a bit.

March:

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In mid-March, I happened to read this article reviewing a new app called Everplaces and was so excited about the app that I launched right into my own review. That review led to amazing opportunities on the content creation front (I'll cover that in a bit) and created what I can only hope will be lasting friendships with the crew at Everplaces.

April:

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In April, I posted an interview with the lovely people behind the {now} well-known Gypsy Mobile Boutique. If you were anywhere near Sacramento this past summer, you probably caught a glimpse of Gypsy around town. That truck is everywhere! You can read the full post here to learn more.

May:

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In late April and early May, I wrote a series of posts about a wonderful weekend trip to Pescadero, CA with my mom. The trip was equal parts fun, adventure and relaxation and we can't wait to have many more excursions like this in the future! Read more about it here, here and here.

June:

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Okay, so we actually took our road trip to Montana in May, but I was so busy with all kinds of real life goodness that I didn't get to post about it until late May/early June. Ahhh, the life of a working blogger. The trip was short, but incredibly sweet and we covered a lot of ground. Have I mentioned that after about six hours in the car, my husband and I get a bit loopy? Well, it's true. This trip was full of loopy, good times, which you can read about here and here.

July:

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In July, we finally finished our kitchen lighting project! We found a great company here in town to set us up with beautiful lighting and we've been enjoying our kitchen ever since. You can read more about the project here.

August:

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In August, this here blog was a bit quiet. I was super busy enjoying not sharing every. single. thing. I even posted about not sharing. Ironic, right? :)

September:

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In September, I hopped right back on the over-sharing train. Just in time too... I was able to capture and share what can only make me a huge nerd: the Space Shuttle Endeavour flyover here in Sacramento, CA! Luckily, I was far from being the only nerd in town. You can see more snaps here.

October:

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In October, I was incredibly excited to announce the launch of my first travel guide app in partnership with Everplaces. I've since launched another travel guide app for the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains. I couldn't be more thrilled to have the opportunity to create content, work with such talented developers and designers and share my favorite spots with people all over the world.

November:

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In November, I met up with friends for a fun-filled weekend in San Francisco, CA. The trip started with concert tickets to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and turned into 72 hours of amazing times. Don't you love when things work out that way?

December:

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This month, I've had way too many highlights to truly pick just one. Wrapping up the year surrounded by close family and friends has been perfect in so many ways. If I had to pick one defining post for this month, however (since that is the task at hand), I'd say it's the post about changing things up on the social media front. As a former marketing and PR junky and all-around lover of the internet, I started my involvement in social media loooong before anyone even called it social media. I'm always checking out the newest websites and apps, but I often forget to let go of what's no longer working. That's going to change in 2013. The most notable change for me will be saying goodbye to Facebook. It's been a handy tool over the years, but I'm finding it less and less useful. Even more so, I'm finding it to be less of a positive experience. I'm not alone in this, either. This post from the New York Times is pretty right-on in terms of how I'm feeling about the social media giant. We'll see if I can really give up Instagram, though. I'm sticking with it for now, but I'm guessing the ad-integration that is sure to come will be clumsily executed and rather annoying. As always, I'll keep posting this blog to various platforms and see what sticks!

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Anyone else taking the challenge of summarizing your year in one post? If you are, please feel free to link up in the comment section!

Happy New Year's Eve, all! Be safe!

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Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies: The App!

At times, technology can be such a wonderful thing.Don't get me wrong, there are times when technology seems to turn on me. You know those days when nothing works: your hard drive crashes, your printer jams and instead of everything syncing properly, you end up with annoying iCal redundancies on your phone?

Well, my friends, today is not one of those days. Today, things are looking up.

I was notified this morning that my latest app, Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies is officially available in the App Store!

Here's a little sneak peek:

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Admittedly, this particular guide is a work in progress. I travel to this beautiful section of the continent often, however, there are a few reviews to research and beautiful scenes left to capture. To all of my readers in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, rest assured knowing that I do realize there are a few gems missing from this app. I hope to make additions and updates next summer once the snow lets up and travel is a bit easier (yeah I'm looking at you, Glacier National Park).

What does that mean for you? Well, if you download the app now, you'll get updates as soon as I make them. There's no extra charge, just more information at your fingertips. Not a bad deal, right?

You can download Exploring the U.S. Northern Rockies for $0.99 right here. If you’re searching the App Store on your phone, just type in “U.S., Rockies, Everplaces,” and you’ll get a screen that looks a little like this:

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Speaking of Everplaces, they officially moved out of beta with Everplaces 2.0 yesterday! The new version of the app is beautiful and full of new and improved features. Of course after articles like this, the overwhelming response from users crashed their servers. They're getting things back on track as I write this, so be kind if you head over to check out the changes. The way I see it, having your servers crash due to popularity and heightened interest is not a bad thing!

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So, have a look at my latest travel guide and tell me what you think! I'm also excited to announce that my Northern California for Nature Lovers guide is the Everplaces Free App of the Week. You can download that one free of charge right here. Just don't forget to rate and review the apps once you have a chance to check them out. Feedback is always welcome!

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Happy Tuesday, all!

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