2018: A Year In Travel

Hi, it's Lauren again! I built this quick little project for logging my 2017 travels, and I kept it up in 2018.

My goal for this year was to try a few new things—go camping, go somewhere far away from the east coast, etc. Scroll down to see how I did.

If you want to keep one of these logs yourself, here's the project on GitHub. Enjoy!


Graffiti Pier

Each year, when it's snowy out and nobody's around, I decide it's the perfect time to make a pilgrimage to these abandoned piers north of Fishtown. Was rewarded this year with a rare red fox sighting.

Jan 1

Peace Valley Park

Likewise, I almost always manage to hit Lake Galena when it's good and frozen. All of my pictures here make the place seem desolate.

Jan 14, Dec 22

Appalachian Trail—Bake Oven Knob

After surviving a very weird Valentine's week, I felt like doing something a little different. Something maybe only I would like? So I decided to watch the sun rise from a special place. I got up at 4:15am to see this one.

Came back again in April to test out my brand new backpacking tent.

Feb 17, Apr 21

Trexler Nature Preserve

On the way home from my sunrise hike I passed the turn-off for this place. I recognized the name, so I went for it. What I didn't know is that Trexler is a preserve...for bison and elk!

Feb 17

Tobyhanna State Park

Stopped by the family vacation house and was rewarded with a BEAR sighting! (This experience can be yours, too! The place is on AirBnB.)

Sep 1

Evansburg State Park

This was actually a four-skull hike.

Sep 1

Bridlewild Trails

On a very warm January day, I explored some largely unmarked bridle trails east of Rolling Hill Park. I liked it enough to come back a LOT.

Jan 27, Mar 3, Mar 17, Jul 7, Sep 8, Oct 20

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

This place also became a regular stop for me this year.

Dec 1, 8, 16

Valley Forge—Schuylkill River

One of the fun projects I did this year was adding a Kayak Map to Philly Day Hiker. In the process, I rediscovered this launch point and vowed to check it out. Unfortunately not all paddles go as planned.

Jul 23

Ridley Creek State Park

Kicked off my new "foraging for edible mushrooms" hobby with a wholly unsuccessful trip here...

May 19

Wawa Preserve

...and ended the foraging season with an unsuccessful trip here! Luckily, I found other stuff in between. 🤫

Oct 28

First State National Historic Park

Highlight of this hike: me, wading through a creek in bare feet to get back to the main trail. Mountain bikers: "...you know that's runoff from the dairy farm, right? Like, cow poop?"

I do now.

Aug 8

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

This place is an old favorite of mine, and one of the reasons I started Philly Day Hiker. I intend to get back here more often in 2019.

Feb 10, Nov 3

Palmyra Cove Nature Park

You won't find more wildlife per square mile than this place.

Dec 23


Ocean City

I planned a quick trip out of town when I found out the Eagles were going to the Super Bowl. I'm not the Number One Super Fan, so why not take the opportunity to visit a beach in the frigid winter! Didn't see a single greased pole.

Feb 4

Assateague State Park

This was the real destination of my Super Bowl weekend trip. I did an 11-mile hike here; highlights included sea turtle bones (!), a whale skeleton (?!?), and tracking down a herd of the island's famous wild horses. (It wasn't hard. They walked right up to the road by the parking lot.)

Feb 4


Cape Henlopen State Park

Hit this on the way back from Assateague. The cape was so windy—and so wind-swept—that is almost felt like being on another planet. Mars?

Feb 5

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

As I posted on Facebook after my hike, "one day I will write the most epic product review of this little day pack." This snapping turtle must have been 15 years old.

Mar 24

New Mexico

Santa Fe & Ghost Ranch

This trip to New Mexico was my biggest of the year, and it was my first time traveling in this part of the country. Standout experiences included the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, and hiking Ghost Ranch: an otherworldly place where she lived and painted for part of each year.

New Mexico is full of stories of fiercely independent women who set off west to live life on their own terms. I've been thinking of them ever since.

Mar 31 - Apr 1


We came to Taos to explore the natural hot springs...but they were full of kids, so we soaked up the town before hitting up the famous Ojo Caliente spa. The man-made hot springs there are infused with all sorts of minerals that promise to lift your mood and ease digestion. Does it work? I don't care. For $38 I'd do it every weekend.

Mar 30


Our trip ended here, with quality time spent wandering the botanical gardens and aquarium, hiking out to see 1500 year-old rock carvings, and surviving a museum devoted to rattlesnakes.

Mar 29, Apr 2-3


San Francisco

My first work trip in quite a while. Mostly saw the inside of the conference venue (not pictured), but also: sea lions!! Also a corgi puppy in the office of a startup.

Oct 9 - 12

New York

The Adirondacks

I told my friend that I wanted to count all of the bears in our cabin, but he stopped me. Life is too short to count bears.

Jul 13-16

New Jersey

Harold N. Peek Preserve

My first trip out the with kayak this year!

Apr 14

Winslow Wildlife Management Area — and Blue Hole

Not pictured: a giant black racer snake that I almost tripped over.

Apr 28

The Jersey Shore

Stops this year included Stone Harbor, Wildwood and Sea Isle. That lobster roll, though. Oh my god.

Jun 22-24, Aug 19, 24

Baldpate Mountain


Oct 6


Rangeley Lake

This year's Maine trip included a trip to the organic grower's fair, a hike up Saddleback Mountain, and close encounter with a semi-friendly porcupine.

Sep 19 - 26

The end

Travel Log designed by Lauren Hallden.

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