Tag Archives: travel

Dinosaur NM and Steamboat Lake SP

We took a weekend camping trip to northwestern Colorado and a little bit of Utah. We made our first trip to Dinosaur National Monument and saw the Dinosaur Quarry and hiked the Fossil Discovery Trail in 97 degree heat. We also visited the Natural History Museum in Vernal, UT.

The following day we went to Steamboat Lake (a favorite place of ours in CO) to do some canoeing.
We camped at the KOA in Steamboat Springs which was ok, but more crowded and not as scenic as the Steamboat Lake campground. We camped there last year and loved it.

We saw a bald eagle, golden eagle and a beaver but couldn’t get photos because we were on the road and couldn’t pull over in time. The golden eagle was especially cool. I had never seen one and it was huge.

Pre-Departure Covid Testing Finally Ending

The Biden administration finally announced that the pre-departure testing for international flights will end June 12, 2022. This is good news but it came well past the timeframe of when it made sense to lift it and they still insisted on a review in 90 days to consider reimplementing it.

I’m still annoyed that we had to complete this pointless covid testing to fly home even though we did it in as easy a manner as we could and it didn’t really affect our trip. It was obvious that no one took it seriously and it was another act of covid theater just meant for appearances without any real value to public health.

The fact that the testing has been lifted so late means that anyone that held off on making reservations to fly internationally must now do so at a time when flight prices are much higher and also still face the uncertainty of what happens after 90 days. In the end, it’s better to just make your reservations when the price is right and hope this administration goes away in 2024.

It’s time to fully and completely end every covid rule/restriction/policy and never reimplement them. Life must go on.

End the Pre-departure Covid Testing for Flights

Contact your senators and representatives and let them know you want an immediate end to the unnecessary restrictions that have been placed on international travel to the US. Contact members of both parties regardless of your political views.

  • US land and sea borders remain wide open without testing requirements
  • Vaccines have been readily available to all who have wanted them for 1.5 years
  • Hospitalizations are very low nationwide and most of the population has acquired immunity either through natural infection by Omicron and its BA2 sub-variant or vaccines
  • The tests are an expensive hassle for travelers and could result in being stranded overseas
  • The airlines, which were already severely harmed by the pandemic, are now facing rising fuel prices while still losing business because of the unnecessary tests. They may end up being bankrupted and requiring taxpayer bailouts while this unnecessary policy acts as a drag on their businesses.
  • There are no restrictions on gathering in crowds all throughout the US and the air quality of airplanes is actually better than that of any other indoor environment
  • The existing tests have failed to stop the spread of covid into the US or any other country
  • Almost all other 1st-world countries including nearly the entirety of Europe, Canada, Latin America, etc have ceased testing and dropped most or all covid restrictions

Jeff’s Top-10 Unique and Cool Bridges

Bridges aren’t always just a passageway over water. Sometimes they’re remarkable in their own right and worth the time necessary to see them. Here are ten remarkably unique and cool bridges from around the world.

All photographs copyright Jeff Aguilar

10. Old North Bridge

Ok, so it’s not the original bridge. But it was built to the matching historical design and it’s surrounded by all the original structures and markers of the Lexington to Concord route that initiated the War of Independence.

9. Hickman Natural Bridge

Hickman Natural Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park is a beautiful natural bridge surrounded by the multi-colored scenery of the park. It’s a relatively short hike to the bridge.

8. Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge connects Key West to the rest of the Florida Keys and the mainland of Florida. With nothing but ocean surrounding you on all sides this is certainly a memorable drive.

7. Petrified Tree Bridge

It’s takes a lot to make a petrified tree bridge. First, you need a really tall tree. Then you need hundreds of millions of years of petrification to turn the tree into solid rock. Then you need the underlying layers of earth to erode away. With that magic combination, you have yourself a petrified tree bridge. You can find this bridge in Petrified Forest National Park.

6. Royal Gorge Bridge

If you are unafraid of heights, the Royal Gorge suspension bridge outside Cañon City, CO is for you. The bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the US at nearly 1,000 ft. The canyon views from the bridge are outstanding.

5. Swift River Bridge

The Swift River Bridge in Conway, NH was built in the mid-1800s. Of the covered bridges I found in New England this was my favorite. We walked across and around it to enjoy it and the surrounding fall scenery.

4. Bixby Bridge

This is one of those bridges that just begs to be photographed right off Highway 1 in California. I once lived about 50 miles south of this bridge and drove across it more than a few times on weekend getaways.

3. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge in London, England is what you get when you build two castles across from each other and link them with not one but two bridges. You really can’t get cooler than that.

2. Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy not only has a historic span across the Arno River but there are literally houses built onto the side of it.

1. Golden Gate Bridge

I walked the two mile span of this bridge a couple times and it’s darn right miserably cold and windy. But you have to admit it’s position at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay and it’s majestic form defines the very idea of a beautiful bridge.

Jeff’s Top 10 Most Overrated Places


There are places all over the world that guidebooks and travelers gush about that leave you wondering why you even bothered. Some places are over-crowded tourist traps, others are overly expensive for the experience, and some are just a complete waste of time. Here are my Top-10 Most Overrated Places. Read on…