After we left Yellowstone, we took the park’s west exit and drove about 4 hours to Philipsburg, Montana. The rain was pouring down for the entire drive but we could still appreciate the beauty along the way.
Philipsburg is a town with less than 900 residents. The town center has a candy store that is over a hundred years old. There is a local brewery that makes this delicious craft beer called Razzu. The main street is about 4 blocks but you can spend a whole day there eating and talking to folks if you wanted to.
We stayed at a ranch about 30 minutes outside of town. It was our first time in Montana and we fell in love with the whole place. The food, people, countryside, pace of life. Everything.
The park is incredibly vast and so beautiful. It was our very first trip and we spent 5 days exploring as much as we could. The landscape changes dramatically from epic canyons, to open valleys, to lush forests to open lakes and streams. The hiking trails are wonderful.
I loved the eastern part of the park the best, especially Lamar Valley. There was so much wildlife around each corner and seeing all the bear cubs playing in the meadow was something I will not forget.
A few weeks ago, Lauren and I took some time to celebrate our anniversary.
We started the week in the desert, exploring and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and Coachella Valley Preserve. I visited Joshua Tree on my own a few years back and it was so much better to make the return trip with my wife.
After a few days we drove west and spent the rest of the week relaxing at the beach. The west side of LA has really grown on me.
Twenty three years and counting with my best friend. Luckiest guy ever.
We made our second trip to South America last month with a visit to Peru.
We began with a visit to Lima which is a the capital of the country. Lima is a big city, with a population of 10 million people. It is a beautiful old city and sits on the Pacific ocean. We spent a few days checking out the historic sites, exploring the Magdalena Market, and wandering the streets. We had an amazing lunch at Malabar. If you go to Lima, you must eat at this place and if possible meet Chef Pedro Miguel who is an inspiring chef and a lover of food and Peru. I also recommend exploring the art museums in the Barranco district. The MAC museum is quite small but very interesting with thought provoking work. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn’t make it to the MATE.
We left Lima (sea level) and flew to Cusco which is about 11k feet above sea level. We could feel the heightened altitude immediately after stepping off the plane. We all had altitude medication, and our fair share of coca tea which helped.
We spent the rest of the trip in the Sacred Valley, the city of Cusco and exploring Machu Picchu. Some of my favorite memories: visiting the students at the Sol & Luna school, mountain biking through the little villages outside of Cusco, hiking to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain (2 hours up and 1 hour down), & wandering the San Blas streets in Cusco. We were very fortunate that the weather was so kind. Our trip took place during the rainy season but we only an half of day of rain.
Peru is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The culture, landscape and people are beyond incredible. I hope we can make another trip to Peru in the future.