For me, one of the main appeals about taking a road trip was that I could be on my own schedule. No hours spent in the airport making sure you don’t miss your flight or chasing down trains on an every changing schedule. We could go where we wanted, decide the route we wanted to take and go when we were ready to go.
I met a man in the Grand Canyon who was telling me how many times he had flown over the National Park. Dozens. So finally, he had a conference in Las Vegas, rented a car and made his way to check hiking the Bright Angel Trail off his bucket list.
This made me think, how many other places do we all just fly over without ever getting to really understand what that place is about?
Before leaving Mancos, CO and heading off to Santa Fe, NM we stopped in a tiny breakfast joint called, Absolute Bakery & Cafe. As I was paying for my apple and ginger strudel I noticed a sign behind the cashier.
Posted in a place that would usually display the WiFi password read,
The faces we saw and the people we met are what made the memories of our ten day road trip come to life. Of course there were beautiful national parks and sunsets that made you melt. But when you are not completely focused on getting from point A to point B, it is amazing what happens to the soul when you just are.
Here are some photos of time spent just being where we were.
SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK, AZ
We decided to take the Bright Angel Trail both down and up. After camping at the top of the canyon on the first night, we hiked down, dropped off our camping gear at Indian Gardens then hiked about 5 more miles to the very bottom to spend the day at the Colorado River.
We spent the next few hours resting in some hard to find shade, coming in and out of naps, and chasing away aggressive squirrels. The highlight though, I would have to say, is when my boyfriend and a huge part of team RATIO , Jim (pictured below), asked me to take adventures like these with him for the rest of our lives.
SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK, TUCSON, AZ
This was the type of trip that I still feel like I am on a high from. The inspiration that comes from doing things like visiting the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe to seeing skateboarders sail though El Paso at 2 AM to the challenges of hiking the South Rim (and the sore body that seems to get worse for days after) are the types of moments that reconnect, ignite curiosity and awaken perspectives.
I am grateful for it all.