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Brazen Backpacker

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Adventurer. Writer. Dreamer. Backpacker. Traveler. Chaotic Good. The fabulous misadventures of Emily Pennington.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

8 hours 37 minutes ago

Hiked to the top of Texas on a brisk, windy afternoon. Guadalupe Peak (8,751 ft.) reminded me a lot of hiking in the San Gabriels, back home. I love the island in the sky feeling, a sudden burst of forests and wildlife in the middle of an arid desertscape.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

21 hours 6 minutes ago

In case you missed it, my column for Outside Magazine launched today!

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

4 days 9 hours ago

Another highlight of Carlsbad Caverns was the Slaughter Canyon Cave Tour.

Five hours of hiking, hearing about geology, and wandering through a remote cave with a ranger. No electricity. Headlamps only.

Brazen Backpacker

5 days 6 hours ago

After Big Bend, I raced across the frozen west Texas countryside to get to Carlsbad Caverns, an underground cathedral full of rock formations like floating jellyfish and watchful sentinels.

The bats were vacationing in Mexico, and the tourists were waiting for spring break, which meant I got to wander through the cave relatively undisturbed. It was so peaceful. Eerie. Meditative.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

1 week 1 day ago

Hiking the South Rim Trail was absolutely a highlight of visiting Big Bend. Sweeping vistas, rocky cliffs, and huge pinnacles serenaded my senses for the entire 12 miles.

Brazen Backpacker

1 week 3 days ago

Big Bend’s Santa Elena Canyon is famous with good reason. 1,500-foot sheer cliffs form a tunnel of light that adventurous hikers can stroll through for about half a mile. I had hoped to canoe down it while I was in town, but water levels were too low.

One day, I’ll be back.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

1 week 5 days ago

I don’t know if I happened to get perfect weather, or if the clouds are ruled by some benevolent wizard, but the sunsets in Big Bend are out of control.

I’m already dying to go back.

Brazen Backpacker

1 week 6 days ago

The clouds fondle light in outrageous ways here in Big Bend. I have never seen the sun kiss the sky so deeply.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

2 weeks 2 days ago

Braving the cold in the dreamy light of the gloaming, bathed in honey, embracing the big empty.

White Sands, you are gorgeous. Congrats on being the newest national park.

Brazen Backpacker

Brazen Backpacker

3 weeks 9 hours ago

To be honest, it was difficult to capture a good sunset pic of the famous saguaro cacti. There’s just too much density of desert plant life inside the park! Here’s me clowning around, trying to find the perfect shot.


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