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Woah.

After a briefly long hiatus, I’m back and what an adventure its been. Woah became my new word of the trip. There was also something impressive looming in the distance.

After 14 days, 8 cities, and more than 4,000 miles I arrived to my new home in the Bay area. The trip was amazing. America is such a beautiful place with every changing scenery. One moment you’re in the desert, next you’re in a green valley. In the blink of an eye stone monuments are front and center. It was definitely an unforgettable journey, although, I think I would like to forget the desert. After resisting the urge to drink lotion and applying chap stick every other minute, I realized that I need more than 4% humidity in my life.

A brief synopsis of the journey:

1) Home in Arkansas: Always good to see the fam. Mom made one of my favorite dishes from childhood her lasagna and homemade french bread. She also sent us on our way with a jar of spicy crackers.

2) Houston, TX: A stop in to see some of Ace’s long time friends. A visit to the Alabama Ice House was also in order. Once an actual ice house, now converted into the host of a perpetual block party complete with Mexican fare.

3) Austin, TX: A spur of the moment decision that was all about finding bbq. Which we did, in the most unassuming store fronts for a bbq joint. Blue Ribbon BBQ in downtown has some of the best lip smackin’ bbq even if it looks like a “city slicker” kinda place. Ace also discovered and acquaintance from ages ago behind the counter, who was kind to show us around. Also upon recommendation was a stop at the South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery. A community of mobile food vendors selling innovative food.

4) Carlsbad, NM: A visit to see stalactites and stalagmites. Impressive, but with so much of the cave destroyed, large paved walking paths, and with what once used to be a restaurant on the cave floor, it feels like an overdone tourist amusement park ride. Still glad that I went though.

5) Page, AZ: A stop of necessity. Loosing daylight and not wanting to continue our trip in the dark, we stumbled into this dusty little town that boasted no fewer than 10 different churches all within a 3 blocks or so. After setting up camp for night, we were off to do a little bit wondering about and discovered a forgotten fact that Page is home of the controversial Glen Canyon Dam.

6) Durango, Co: A trip down memory lane for Ace. An old mining town of the west that now plays host to those seeking recreation in her hills.

7) Mesa Verde: On the outskirts of Durango, is the former home of the Cliff Dwellers. Its mind-boggling that people would choose to live in what seems to be a completely inconvenient location. If you want to visit, I would recommend early spring before the summer masses begin to arrive.

8 ) Zion National Park: Probably the most impressive stop of the entire journey. Jaw dropping views. It didn’t take long for my neck to start hurting from looking up so much. The peaks that rise above to tower over everything in the valley are nothing short of stunning. This is also the part of the journey where I definitely had to push myself the hardest. We decided to do an overnight hiking trip into the back country and we chose Cable Mountain. I’m not how much of my stress was caused mentally and how much was physical. All I know is that at a certain point, I could no longer breathe. I had been hiking up at a moderate pace, taking time to catch my breath frequently, but then I almost collapsed. My lungs rattled and felt hollow and I struggled to take even a shallow breath. It took me some time to calm myself down and regain control of breathing. It’s what I imagine an asthma attack to feel like. It’s a terrible feeling. But I made it. Huzah!

9) Las Vegas: Another unplanned stop, but with our trip coinciding with National Parks week we were unable to stay in Zion another night due to the crowds. And since we were passing through, why not? We basically just strolled down the strip stopping when we needed another tasty beverage. In the morning all hilarity ensued. After traveling in a tiny car for 2 weeks, the thought of trying to cram ourselves back in the car for another day was all it took for us to crack. But at least we cracked with laughter and not anger.

And now I have been home for the past 23 days. Having plenty of adventures that have yet to be documented. Its my hope that I will start documenting my daily adventures, no matter how small. So stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Adventure

 

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The Adventure of Moving

Let the adventure begin!

Year 29 has been a crazy whirlwind of travel, life adventures, and to end this year I will be trading the Sunshine State for the Golden State. What better time to move than at the culmination of my 20’s and the celebration of the next great chapter?

Using Google and Road Trip USA.com, I’ve been researching possible road trip routes to my new home for slightly over a month now. There are a couple of viable options in my mind. Side note: I also realized that it will be slightly after I turn 30, but this will fulfill one of my Top 30 adventures, The Great American Road Trip.

The first leg of my trip will be to visit my parents in Arkansas; this will also be the first time that Ace will get to meet my parents. Not an opportunity that he’s exactly thrilled about, because my family is important to me (as is he) he’s willing to play along.

After leaving my parents, it’s off to Te-has (Texas) where, I want to visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. I recently read that they have the largest display of tulips this side of Holland and with tulips being my favorite flower I simply HAVE to stop. I wonder if I can find some little wooden shoes?

Dallas could be the only stop in Texas because there doesn’t seem to be much after that until New Mexico. My great-grandmother lived in Cave City, AR and when we would visit her we would take a trip to the cave there. I always loved it and when I found out about the Carlsbad Caverns, I knew I had to go. From there Roswell could be the next mini-stop just a couple of pictures with signs and then we’d be off to finish crossing New Mexico, perhaps stopping in Albuquerque to visit family.

Ace requested a stop at the Grand Canyon. If we time it just right, I’m hoping that we can witness sunrise over the canyon. I think he’s mentioned that he wants to hike down to the bottom. I’m not sure how long that takes, but it seems like that could several hours. The going down part not so bad, it’d be the going up part that I’m not so sure about. Although, I know that it would be an amazing opportunity. I can’t even begin to imagine looking up from the floor of the G.C.

Bryce Canyon is another possible stop. However, in mind I feel like its out of the way and there isn’t a good way to make it over to California from there. If I weren’t driving my car, I would want to drive through America’s loneliest highway in Nevada, but I’m not so sure that my little car can make that trip.
There is still plenty of time to decide logistics and plan stops along the way. I know I’m missing out on some of the finer points of traveling across the Southwest, so if you’ve got ideas or suggestions let me know!

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Adventure

 

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