Category: Parks In America

nat’l park photos – because you asked ;)

I’ve gotten numerous requests for photos of the trip, the rest are scattered through out my posts, but here are the best photos from Utah parks!

Grand Canyon:
(Two pictures… because it’s all one view…)

Zion National Park:
(Most from the West Rim trail, because that was my favorite of the whole trip)

Bryce Canyon National Park:
Check out those colors. #NoFilter

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showering on the road, and in life.

Ask anyone who’s lived with me – I take really fast showers.

Back when I was a preteen my dad challenged me to take a four minute shower. Today that’s my norm. My showers are anywhere from three to six minutes. Depending, of course, on whether I’m late for something or it’s a winter night so cold that I require time to thaw.

I just don’t see any reason why a shower should take longer. Sure, it feels great… it feels great while I’m washing, but then it’s time to get out. I don’t believe in wasting water. Four minutes is all I need to shampoo, condition, and wash my entire body – including my ears and my feet (I shave outside the shower, it’s easier to anyways). I lived in a sustainability house in college that allowed an average of two minute showers a day. Now that is a struggle. So, I showered every other day because hey, long hair takes a little time.

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bandelier: make-believe come true.

When I was a kid I had an obsession with Native Americans. I loved Pocahontas and learning about different tribes in school. Josefina was my first (and therefore most loved) American Girl Doll. When my mom found out that my babysitter’s father was 50% native american she set up a meeting so I could meet him.

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I may have gotten the little bro involved…

I played a lot of make-believe. I had an absurd amount of dress-ups and 20 acres of land to imagine on. For two straight years, or maybe more, I imagined life as a native in Maine. I made a teepee and pranced around the woods pretending every living thing had a spirit. Even though these woods provided me the ability to imagine the impossible I was highly bothered by the fact that I didn’t look the part. This was probably impounded by the fact that my best friend did. I wished my blonde hair and fair skin away.

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white sands reflection.

My yoga mat has spent most of this trip in darkness. When we set up the trailer we arranged the bed in layers – first the camping pads, then the extra blankets, mattress cover, sheets, bedding, etc. David, without thinking, added the yoga mat to the camping pad category, and I’ve been too lazy to pull it out. After runs I stretch but we’re usually at crowded campgrounds which aren’t conducive to zen. It wasn’t worth the hassle.

Which is really stupid, considering one of my original goals of this trip was to do yoga as much as possible. Oops.

But then… White Sands. Oh my gosh.

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“make less beautiful” (big bend).

Big Bend.

Big Bend National Park.

There’s something about Big Bend that demands reflection. Maybe it’s the big, soft peaks looming over you, or the way the Basin campground is nestled between the mountains as if in a hug. Maybe it’s the silence, or the endless horizon. Big Bend is the least frequented national park – making it easy to appear, when correctly located, as though you are the only person there. After a month on the road with non-stop driving and visiting, the quiet was rejuvenating. Recognizing that we weren’t meeting our trip goals of (1) running, (2) writing, and (3) figuring out a life plan – the space to reflect was necessary. So we stayed for almost a week.

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austin, TX: the green city.

Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

Finding a place to live is one of the main goals of this trip. Recognizing the importance of place to our personal well-being, David and I determined that we would actively seek out a location in which to live – possibly finding jobs afterward (though we’re still applying to jobs as we go, which ever comes first – job or place – will ultimately determine our landing site). As a result, we’ve spent many driving hours debating the kind of place we’re looking for. City vs. small town is a frequent topic. Many times city doesn’t make the cut because of pavement (bad for running), lack of access to nature, and too many people.

Yet, Austin, TX stole my heart.

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a taste of the everglades.

While staying in Port St. Lucie, FL we took a day to visit the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. It was beautiful! At the northern edge of the everglades it gave us a taste of what we might see if we went further south to the National Park. Enough of a taste that I know I’d love to go back! Beautiful. Here are some pictures we both took:

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fear vs caution – in sumter national forest.

“Oh my god. What about snakes?” I blurted out, breaking the car’s silence.

“Um… what about them?”

“Does South Carolina have poisonous snakes?”

David kindly held back a laugh and said, eyebrows raised, “Most southern states do.”

I tried to pretend like I wasn’t panicking at the thought of slithering things that could kill me hanging out in my running path. I knew I was being ridiculous, but I’ve inherited some of my father’s paralyzing fear of serpents.

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east coast adventures.

Hello! I’m back, finally. David and I left our apartment on April 1st and we’re officially living on the road. It doesn’t exactly feel like it yet though. The day we left we stopped at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia for a night to relive memories and split up our drive. The next day we beelined for Virginia Beach (at a crazy fast speed consistently 7 under the speed limit) to visit with his aunt, uncle, and sister. We spent half a week there celebrating birthdays and passover, as well as relaxing, exercising, and reevaluating how we packed the car.

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