Friday, March 6, 2015

A River Runs Through It.

Cheers to the freakin' weekend! My favorite time of year is upon us: Spring Break or, as I affectionately refer to it, Birthday Week. Naturally, I am up into absurd hours of the night watching a River Runs Through It, "working" on past due Naturalism homework. 

Brent and I are leaving for Goblin Valley in the a.m. then we are off to Colorado. I am glad to be free of responsibility for a week. Honestly, we aren't sedentary creatures; we were meant to roam wild. Everything has felt like a ticking time bomb lately. I am so anxious to move on with my life, yet I am at a crossroads. I am painfully torn between the nostalgia of my past and intrigue of the future. The result is a self-inflicted state of limbo where I find myself discontent with the present. 

Incidentally, I may have found my calling in life. My plan was to become an English teacher, just like my mom. However, with my impending graduation at the end of this semester, I simply can't envision myself as an authority figure, governing over a body of students not much younger than myself. Instead, I want to immerse myself in other cultures-- teach English to young children that yearn for knowledge. I then want to consider a Masters in Linguistics and spend my life conducting field research all over the world. 

This plan really seemed to stick with me. I am beyond blessed that I finally have the opportunity to travel the world come May, so I can finally get out into the world and separate myself from all of the things that cause me pain and all of the people that I have been holding onto too tightly. Then, in August, I am leaving everything and everyone I love in Utah, to the great "Mountain" Montana. I am terribly introverted, and terrifically bad at making friends, so I am nervous to start over again. However, I read a quote from the book I am reading, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, that really resonated with me, "Everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia." 

We hold onto the things that made us happy, even when those things cease to make us happy. This is the burden we, as humans, have; these are the things we carry. We are painfully nostalgic creatures. I've always been a daydreamer, splitting my time between dreaming of the past or the future. However, I failed to notice that I could save my time by simply realizing that the present beautifully encompasses both the past and the future. For instance, when I was a little girl, I imagined that I would get married at 23 or 24, and here I am. Married at 23 (or, almost 23). And one day, I will fondly look back at the time when I was 23 and full of life, and I will regret not living and dedicating myself to being happy and content with the present. 

I like to do my best thinking at night, and I am trying my best to be happy with my current circumstances, even though there are a hundred places I'd rather be. Everything in my life conspired to bring me to the place I am today, so I should learn to love the life I lead, and lead the life that I want to live. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Post San Francisco Wanderings.

The day we departed San Francisco was a total disaster. Incidentally, it was Friday the 13th and we were down and out the entire day. First, we missed Sea Glass Beach which was disappointing, to say the least. Next, we got Redwood National Park and Redwood Forest mixed up and drove an hour up into the mountains expecting towering redwoods and instead were taken through prairies and hills. Luckily, the drive was stunning, but we were too anxious and frustrated to enjoy the drive. It was getting late, so we had to find somewhere to camp. We drove deep into the woods into a free campsite and began to get our camp in order. I couldn't shake this eerie feeling of complete and utter isolation. I had a bit of an emotional breakdown, so we packed up our stuff and headed to the closest town. At this point it was almost 11 at night and we had been driving for almost 12 hours, so we decided to get dinner at Denny's and figure out where we were going to sleep that night. We eventually just fell asleep in the car in the Mcdonalds parking lot. Although it was a pretty miserable affair, I felt like a true vagabond--subject to the whims of the road. It was a humbling experience.

We managed to stop and take a break for a woodland photo shoot.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

San Francisco.

This city, albeit outrageously expensive, was full of life. The buildings were bright, the streets were steep and crooked, the people were friendly, and the whole city was bursting with energy. The day we arrived, Shannon and I went to the Beat Museum down the road from our hostel. Incidentally, the beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac are my idols. They featured our area of the city, North Beach, and I can understand their affinity for San Francisco. The place is magical. Anyways, while we were touring the museum, we were commissioned to help the owners move some things around and clean some display boxes. As a fan of the beats, I could think of no higher honor. Afterwards we were paid with $50 worth of beatnik posters, and we were satisfied customers. The next few days were a kaleidoscopic blur of late night jaunts on rooftops, bike rides through fishing towns, mint mojito iced coffee, hippie adventures, sea side clam chowder, treks through redwood forests, and card games with an aussie, a dane, a southern belle, and a  hostel worker. I loved every minute.

Biked across the golden gate bridge.

John Muir woods. My phone couldn't do it justice.

Haight-Ashbury aka hippie central

For our trip to Haight-Asbury I made a wildflower crown.

The ferry ride back from Sausalito.

Tea and fresh fruit for every breakfast :)

Random wall art in the Mission district.

The delicious mint mojito coffee. 

Me and my bud Jack Kerouac.

North Beach--home to the beatniks.

Cleaning displays at the beat museum.

Enjoying the famous clam chowder down at Fisherman's Wharf.

My mantra this leg: "Be in love with your life. Every minute of it." -Jack Kerouac

Thursday, June 12, 2014


It is difficult, and nearly impossible, to describe the majesty and beauty of wilderness, let alone the deep personal experience that each individual has while they are in nature. As a pantheist, I have a deep passionate love for nature that is deeply personal. Being a native Utahn, I have been blessed with the greatest scenery on earth, and I thought that I need not venture outside of its perimeters to find anything that compares. However, I was wrong. Another beautiful thing about nature and wilderness is that each place has its own energy. Yosemite's towering granite mountains and giant sequoia's were unbelievable, and I felt a connection to the environment in a much different way than I had anywhere else. Not to mention the fact that the sequoia's emitted the most intoxicating scent. If I had to attribute a description to it I would describe it as deep, moist, sweet pine with floral notes. I wish that I could bottle it up and make a perfume out of it. We spent five nights in Yosemite, mostly cheating the system and staying at the backpackers camp, and two nights in the wilderness sites. At the wilderness camps there were communal fires, and much like a moth to a flame, these fires drew in some of the most eclectic, interesting people that I have ever met. Our first night we were greeted by a group of older gentlemen who offered us as many kosher, all-beef franks that we could eat. We engaged in hearty conversation as the group began to grow until there were over twenty people around the fire. I took a step back and soaked up the energy of all the different conversations that were going on around me. Twenty-something year old long-distance backpackers were conversing with seventy years old seasoned backpackers while priests were talking to bartenders. It was an overwhelming experience. I could feel other's energy transferring as they opened themselves up to the people around them. The souls were intermingling and reforming from each new conversation and experience, incorporating others people's influence, ideas, and experiences into their own schema. It is remarkable to see someone's face light up when they encounter an idea that sticks with them. You know at that moment they changed a little inside, and it is deeply moving to witness. We were all in the wilderness, doing what we love most and sharing our experience, and our lives, with others. It was a beautiful thing. The next day Shannon and I summited the world-renowned half dome. It was grueling, but the views were unlike any I have experienced before. We met our good pal Stan, who is 70+ years old, as well as a couple of our other fireside friends. After our hike we made our way back to the fire and met another round of beautiful people as well as our older friends. To commemorate our new-found friendship we had the people around the fire write in our travel journals. Here are some of their sentiments: "I never worry about the younger generation when I meet wonderful people like you two. Follow your dreams and make the most of your youth." -Stan. "Experience as much as you can with friends that allow you to be yourself." -Scott (the bartender). Aside from the stunning scenery, the people were the greatest part of my Yosemite experience.

Vernal falls.

The giant sequoia's

On the top of half dome!

Looking down on the valley floor.

Climbing the death defying cables.

The dome.

After our grueling hike we took a refreshing dip in the Merced River. It was freezing.

My mantra for this leg: "May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." -Edward Abbey (one of the greatest human's to have ever existed.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Leg One: Lake Tahoe

My wandering spirit finally prompted me to get out of Ogden and hit the open road. My heart has always been tethered to the pines and the mountains, so there was no better destination than the Pacific Northwest. Not only is the PNW full of hippies (my favorite breed of human) it is full of vibrant life and infinite outdoor adventures. Adhering to my favorite quotes as my road trip manta's, Shannon and I hit the road bright and early on the first of June with a heightened sense of euphoria. There is nothing quite like embarking on a journey, designed solely for self-discovery, knowing that you are guaranteed to have life changing experiences, meet  interesting and beautiful souls, and set foot to places that you have never been before. It is incredibly moving. I am merely week into my journey, yet I feel as though I have experienced debilitating pitfalls, pure elation, and everything in between. It is so beautiful to feel everything so deeply.

Our first destination was Lake Tahoe. We opted to drive the entire 9+ hours to Lake Tahoe in one day. This proved to be painless, due to the fact that we enjoyed the fascinating book Under the Banner of Heaven, as well as this song, which helped the hours pass quickly. Thanks to the website we were able to find a stellar site amongst the Sierra Nevada mountains. The next morning we drove into the town of South Lake Tahoe and hit the beach for some kayaking. The scenery was beyond stunning. Not only did we enjoy the spoils of white sand beaches and crystalline blue waters, we were also rewarded with panoramic views of craggy snow capped mountains and towering pines. We took a few refreshing dips in the alpine lake and made our way back to the beach to lie on the warm sand. Finally, when we were warm enough, we headed to a local eatery called Sprouts that served delicious, wholesome, healthy food. I ordered potato leek soup and a fresh peach smoothie, and it was divine. I was in heaven. After doing some research, we hit the road again and headed to the highly acclaimed Sand Harbor. We decided to stick it to the man and refused to pay the $12 fee, so we opted to hike into the cove instead. We scrambled over huge granite boulders, which proved to be exhausting, but the views were awe-inspiring. After a full day of adventure we made our way back to camp and dwindled the night away by the campfire.

Here is my favorite quote that I think perfectly describes the first leg and of my Great Pacific Adventure as well as the wanderlust that compelled me to hit the open road:

"She always had that look about her,
that look of otherness, of
eyes that see too far, and thoughts
that wander off the edge of the world."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Viva la Mexico.

So, Spring Break was a feat. We all hopped in our little two door Cavalier and hit the road bright and early. We spent the night at our bud Dante's house and then we made our way 45 min down the coast to beautiful Rosarito, Mexico! Let just say, there is no place I would have rather been. I have been going back to this place since I was 14 years old, and it will never get old. Our days were filled with Yaquis Taco's, pina coladas on the beach, colorful Mexican markets, late night strolls on the beach, jungle ziplines, friendly faces, endless sunshine, and blue ocean.

Ocean view from our room.

Fresh fruit, homemade muffins, and chai tea for every breakfast!

Daily travels down the beach to downtown Rosarito.

Late night hot tubs. A few close calls with security guards.

Pina Coladas at La Bufadora.

Stunning sunsets in the Observatory.

Never-ending wild adventures from my right hand girl, Des.

The resort grounds were stunning.

Mexican markets are where it's at.

There is nothing that I enjoy more in life than traveling to new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new and exciting things. I am so grateful to have a husband and friends that are willing to follow my wandering spirit. I am so lucky that I got the chance to spend my 22nd birthday in one of my favorite places with all of my favorite people.