We drove for 30 miles, only a short drive from our current home in Amarillo, before patches of farmland started to fade and fall off of the landscape ahead of us. If I hadn’t observed a flash of narrow ravine out the car window, I would have never known that a canyon existed, as the flat farmland around us began to slowly evolve. As we passed the state park entrance, we began to see the various ripples of orange, yellow, and white lining the canyon below. (more…)
Pedernales Falls, Johnson City, TX.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ~ From The Koziols
It has been an exciting year full of new adventures! To start, I was accepted into Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Master of Physician Assistant Program. I had to quickly move to Midland, TX and begin my studies as a PA-S (PA student). This past year has been a real blessing for travel, which included a medical mission to Jinotega, Nicaragua, exploration of the caverns of Carlsbad, New Mexico, a hike to the highest point in Texas in the Guadalupe Mountains, a wine-tour through Texas Hill Country, and the chance to explore the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, California. (more…)
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Over 120 caves make up what is now known as Carlsbad Caverns. Uniquely, these caves were formed not by the running water of streams, but rather limestone decomposition by means of sulfuric acid, leaving behind a world of caverns beneath the Earth’s surface. Limestone rock that encloses Carlsbad Caverns comprises of ocean fossil plants and animals from a reef complex created ages before the dinosaurs. At that time the southeastern corner of New Mexico paralleled that of Key West along the Florida coastline. Jim White is credited as the first explorer of the cave in 1898, utilizing a handmade wire ladder to descend 60-ft into the depths of the cave.
Guadalupe Mountains, Texas
Spanning 86,416 acres, the Guadalupe Mountains rise to it’s highest summit, Guadalupe Peak. Guadalupe Peak Trail is a strenuous hike with a 3,000 ft elevation gain, ultimately rising to 8,749 ft. making it the highest point in Texas. As we approached the mountains from New Mexico, a monolithic wall rose from the desert terrain of West Texas. (more…)
In May we made our move from Houston to Midland (in West Texas) for my Physician Assistant Program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The PA field, while rapidly growing, is also a very competitive field, so I was grateful to be accepted into the TTUHSC Master’s Program. We immediately jumped into a 16-credit Summer semester, and it was a whirlwind of graduate-level pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, and clinical laboratory studies.
I submitted an application to the Office of Global Health to join the medical team in Jinotega, Nicaragua, and I found myself fortunate to have been selected, but also to be the first PA student to attend a Global Health trip with TTUHSC. The following months included numerous meetings, conference calls, modules, and presentations to educate us, build cultural competency, and to provide us with realistic expectations. (more…)
Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, Texas
Enchanted Rock has been on my destination list since I moved to Texas. It took me four years to make my way out to the lovely, quaint German town of Fredericksburg, known for the German cuisine, boutiques, warm B & Bs, and the most famed, Enchanted Rock. (more…)
Maui, HI (‘Elima: ‘Ohe’o Gulch, Pipiwai Trail, Hamoa, Red Sand Beach, Wai’anapanapa State Park)
Our journey along the backside of Mount Haleakala started early Wednesday morning in hopes that we would make it to the ‘Ohe’o Gulch and Pipiwai Trail before the crowds. Traveling up the backside of Mount Haleakala also allowed us to avoid traffic, as a great number of people forego this beautiful drive due to rental restrictions. The backside of Mount Haleakala is known to host particularly sharp, curvy, unpaved roads with high cliffsides overlooking the coast. While it can be considerably dangerous, particularly during heavy rainfall, I cannot imagine traveling to Maui and missing out on the beautiful views of the upcountry fields or the volcanic cliffsides. (more…)
Maui, HI (‘Ekolu: Hana Highway, Hang Gliding)
For our third day in Maui we decided to drive the famed Hana Highway (aka Route 36/306). This winding, 52 mile (84 km) drive proved to be an arduous, but rewarding trip. It runs from Kahului to Hana; the daring travelers can continue on past Hana and explore the backside of Mount Haleakala (as we had). Well known to travelers, the “Road to Hana” made National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime” list and topped Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Most Scenic Roads.” Writer, Jerry Camarilla Dunn Jr. explains, “the drive is a cliff hanger that strains many a driver’s equanimity.” One might ask, what is the reward? “The modern world seems distant,” says Dunn, “everyday cares fade into a papaya-colored sunset, and tensions simply blow away in the trade wind.” I concur with that statement wholeheartedly. In fact, every worrisome or nagging thought became a fleeting moment on the Road to Hana. (more…)
Mount Rainier, WA
My husband and I had a quick, but memorable two-day trip to Washington State, where we celebrated Adam and Deb’s wedding at Mineral Lake Lodge. Unfortunately, the “mountain wasn’t out” that day, which is how the locals refer to cloud cover of the mountain. The day was warm, and the view was beautiful.