Grand Canyon - RIM TO RIM TO RIM

Looking into the Grand Canyon from Bright Angel Trail

Looking into the Grand Canyon from Bright Angel Trail


The Grand Canyon may just be one of the most iconic examples of grandeur in nature. For the more daring adventurers, perhaps one of the best ways to see just how big it is would be to try hiking the Canyon from Rim to Rim to Rim. Of course this hike could be modified in any way, shape, or form. A more popular version of this is simply hiking Rim to Rim (South to North) and placing a car at both ends for pick up. Yet another option is hiking a loop of the South Rim from Bright Angel to South Kaibab, with a park shuttle able to take hikers from the end of the trail to their car.


Okay, so you've decided to do the BIG hike. Here's what to expect: 50 miles over rock, dirt, steep cliffs, and winding canyons. While some hikers attempt this hike in one day, I do strongly recommend to do this over two or three days. The route can vary on which Rim and which trail you decide to begin your hike. I will suggest here a route and agenda that worked well for me.  

Day One: Camp at Mather Campground on the South Rim. Tent and car camping is $18 a site. At Mather Campground you are just a few minutes drive to Bright Angel Trailhead.

Day Two: Park car at Bright Angel trailhead and begin the epic journey. Take Bright Angel to North Kaibab. You will pass the Colorado River and then Phantom Ranch (and also many other campgrounds including Cottonwood). Camp at the North Rim. No backcountry permits are needed if camping is done on top of the Rims, but is needed if camping in the Canyon.

Day Three: Hike North Kaibab to South Kaibab. Take the park shuttle from South Kaibab trailhead to the trailhead of Bright Angel to pick up your car.

*Note: You can approximately count on 25 miles of hiking a day from Rim to Rim. It should take an average hiker of good shape and a decent pace from 10-14 hours of hiking to go Rim to Rim.


Weather is going to be a determining factor in planning your hike. Spring and fall months are gonna be your best bet when temperatures are much cooler. DO NOT ATTEMPT this hike in summer months, or if you do, use extreme caution.

There are water stations along the trail to fill up, however, there is NO WATER available along the South Kaibab trail (please plan accordingly). I carried 4 liters of water on me at all times and I was able to refill at each water station. I had no issues, but remember that everyone is different when it comes to water intake. Having a source of electrolytes is also very important. I suggest Gatorade or Propel packets to mix in water. Coconut water is also a great source of energy. 


Sunrise at Bright Angel Trailhead

Sunrise at Bright Angel Trailhead

The mighty Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon

The mighty Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon

Views of the North Rim from South Rim

Views of the North Rim from South Rim


  • Tennis shoes or a comfortable pair of hiking boots
  • Extra pairs of socks and appropriate clothing.
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • 4 liters of water (plus water filter)
  • Meals, snacks (GU Gels)
  • Jet Boil and matches if cooking meals
  • Headlight
  • Sunscreen
  • The list continues...remember that you are hiking around 50 miles so the lighter your pack the better.

* There is food and drink sold at the Lodges at both the South and North Rim. Food and drink is also sold at Phantom Ranch, a set of cottages at the bottom of the Canyon almost directly in between South and North Rim. I would check ahead to see if these locations are open before heading into the Canyon.


As usual with these kind of hikes make sure that you take the time to prepare yourself. Tell someone else about your travel plans. Pack and prepare adequately, hydrate, and bring enough nutrition to power you through. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them. Happy hiking!







  • The nicest weather
  • Longer days
  • The most crowds
  • Most expensive


  • The coldest weather (snow)
  • Shorter days
  • The least crowds
  • Northern Lights
  • Least expensive



Iceland Air: 

  • Provides a stopover for up to seven days in Iceland on your way to a European city. (I did this from Tucson, AZ to Brussels with six day stopover in Iceland). 
  • Pros: Make it a longer vacation with a trip to Europe.
  • Cons: You only get up to seven days in Iceland. Enough to scratch the surface but not enough to see everything.

WOW Airlines: 

  • Flies from major US cities into Iceland.
  • Pros: It's cheaper than Iceland Air
  • Cons: It's cheaper than Iceland Air. No stopover to Europe.




  • If you're traveling on a budget DON'T EAT OUT! Restaurant eating can be pricey. Look to spend $15-25 dollars per person/per meal if you do.
  • DO go grocery shopping and meal plan. This is gonna save $$$. I recommend BONUS.


  • Iceland during the summer is busy so hostels/hotels could be pricey and/or unavailable.
  • Airbnb is a nice option. I spent around $100/night for a cozy place just outside Reykjavik on the Golden Circle.




  • Rent a car.
  • I used Sad Cars. Older cars but less expensive. (See picture on right)
  • Also, gas is expensive. Like $7/gallon expensive. So an economic vehicle will do you well.

When Traveling:

  • Make a plan
  • Do research before and plan out your sights.
  • Instagram is a great tool to use to see where others have been. 



  • Make a day of the Golden Circle
  • Make several days or a week of traveling around the Ring Road
  • Visit the DC-3 Plane Crash (picture on right)
  • Visit the Black Sand beaches in Dyrholaey
  • Visit the Glacial Lagoon
  • For something more touristy visit Blue Lagoon
  • Get in a natural hot spring
  • See Waterfalls (below)















Secret Falls

Secret Falls


As usual, don't hesitate to ask for more suggestions!

If you find this helpful or intriguing please share with your friends! 

iphone Photography Tips: What I've Learned


If you've stumbled upon this, I'm glad you're here. But first, a quick disclaimer: I have no formal photography training. I shoot only iPhone. Everything I am about to share here is either self-taught or tips I've picked up from other iPhone photographers I admire. If you're like me, you don't have the funds to buy an expensive camera and editing software. However, my experience has taught me that you don't have to have a professional camera and spend lots of money to take quality photos (no offense to the professionals). 


Let's be honest. The iPhone camera is not a professional camera. But it's not bad either. It shoots at 12 megapixels, light years below what you would get with a professional camera but enough to take a decent shot. Although the iPhone 7 is the best camera yet for the iPhone (I'm writing this May 2017), it still struggles to capture certain types of depth, detail, and lighting.


Lightweight. Easy to carry. Point and click. Easy to navigate photo album. Easy to upload photos.


Let's start from the beginning.

Select a subject matter: I love to travel and go hiking, so a lot of what I'm taking pictures of is landscapes. But do what works for you! If you love portraits, then you'll take lots of photos of people.

My next objective is to capture as many photos as I can (I mean ALOT) and then go back to see what my favorites are. Remember: More is better. I give myself lots of options by taking lots of pictures. As I get better at selecting what photos I'm going for, the less pictures I will take. 


When it comes to detail, depth, and lighting iPhone can be a challenge. But there are ways to make up for this.

Lighting is your best friend and worst enemy. I rely heavily on lighting - time of day and direction I'm shooting my shot - to get a favorable shot. I generally shoot away from the sun. The only exception with this is when I want I silhouette an object. 

I also take lots of time on composition - setting up my shot by what and who is in the photo. By having a subject matter (person or thing) at certain places in the shot I can fill the photo frame and make the photo interesting for the viewer. Sometimes adding a foreground can add a dimension of depth. Capturing certain colors or textures can also add variety in my shot.

Change your perspective. Hold the phones different ways to capture different depths. Play with the settings to adjust the light. The more you familiarize yourself with the settings the more you will find what works for you.

And finally, a good edit can make worlds of difference. Editing will be what makes a good photo a great photo. 


I always recommend using no filter when shooting just because you can always change how the photo looks later. It is much harder to do that in reverse. Get yourself a good editing app. I currently edit within Instagram which gives me all I need to feel comfortable with my shots. It's easy, free, quick (I don't want to spend lots of time editing when I want to upload and share a photo) and I believe the quality is not far off other apps you"ll have to pay for.

If you're looking for something besides Instagram for a quick edit try Snapseed or VSCO. I have used both of these in the past with success but I know far less about them.

Photo editing presets are becoming more popular too. These are available for purchase through different photographers on Instagram.


I know this is a quick run-down. But I wanted to share how simple it can be to take quality shots with an iPhone. And, of course, knowing a good editing software will help take your photos from good to great.

Now I'd love to hear from you. What has/hasn't worked for you? And as always, if you've found this article helpful please share with others.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

"A tulip doesn't strive to impress anyone. It doesn't struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn't have to. It is different." - Marianne Williamson

The fields are adorned with tulips of all variety and color at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.

The fields are adorned with tulips of all variety and color at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.


Tulips. Tulips. And more tulips. Row and rows of them. All shapes and sizes. All colors and varieties. It's all here. Bring friends, bring family and come wander through the fields. Buy some popcorn and take the kids on the giant slide. Come early and catch the sun rise over the snow caps of Mt. Hood. Watch the hot air balloons take off. Buy some tulips for your loved ones. Buy some seeds to plant in your yard. Peruse the local artisan booths. Enjoy wine tasting. And takes lots of pictures! That's what you'll get at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. 


What started as a humble 15 acres in the 1980's has now transformed into a 40 acre field of tulips. Tulips are planted each October by three machines purchased from Holland. Meticulous measures are made to make sure the tulips are free of disease, weeds, insects and erosion. Every year a new variety of tulips are planted and arranged differently for people from all over the world to enjoy.


Woodburn, Oregon. An hour south of Portland on the I-5. 


Generally, the Festival runs from late March to late April/early May.


Admission to get into the Festival is $5/person or $20/car (if there are more than 4 people).