Wow, wow, wow. I really don’t know how it’s possible to squeeze so much adventure, connection, and peacefulness into such a short amount of time but somehow we managed to. Maybe it’s being in a beautiful place, or being surrounded by new friends who feel like old ones, or maybe it’s just all of the mac n’ cheese and wine we consumed but this short, overnight trip was exactly what I needed.
In typical fashion, I hurried out of work Friday afternoon and rushed home to finish packing and make a quick run to the grocery store to stock up on goodies (note to self, put raspberries in a separate bag so your food bag doesn’t become a sticky mess) for the trip. We then met up with friends at the gate of Hyalite Reservoir with the goal of biking the 12 miles uphill and finding the cabin that we were supposed to stay in for the night.
This was an evening of firsts for me which made it even more exciting. First time bike packing, first time biking up Hyalite, and first time staying in a forest service cabin. Besides figuring out how to attach the panniers to my bike and then not fall over from the weight of the bags on said bike everything went very smoothly. We chatted on the way up and even shared a little whiskey at the halfway point because what’s an outdoor adventure with a little whiskey in your flask?
We reached the cabin as the sun was setting over the peaks and the air was beginning to cool. After changing out of our sweaty clothes we made a fire and began making dinner. It was amazing how quickly our little cabin heated up and how cozy it was! I felt like I could stay there for days. Sleep came easily with full bellies and the pitter patter of rain on the roof.
We awoke early the next morning and promptly moved the kitchen chairs outside to soak up the sun’s early morning rays. It was complete bliss as we sat with hot cups of coffee in our hands and watched the clouds move across the sky and mountain tops. Breakfast was made, yoga was practiced and soon enough we were ready to explore the area around us. We wandered our way up a little hill and again we sat and talked and watched the clouds move across the sky.
It’s been awhile since I’ve sat without really doing anything, idle, you might say, and it felt amazing. The air was just warm enough to not be chilly and the sun showers only lasted a few minutes and the raindrops turned the sky around us into a glistening little world. It’s hard to describe the peacefulness I felt during those few hours sitting on a hillside in the middle of Montana but I’m sure if you’ve ever had a similar experience you can relate and if not I urge you to go sit somewhere for an hour or so and completely disconnect from the world.
One night was too quick to spend in this place yet the hours felt so long as we didn’t have our technology to distract us from each other and the place we were in. I’m already wishing for next year when the road to Hyalite closes to cars for a few weeks and to be able to escape again to this breathtaking and quiet place.
A combination of two of my past trips to Moab. I love this place and have made the ten hour drive three times in the past six months. A fourth time is in the works ;)
I’ve wanted to come to the Wind River Range for years now (although I don’t remember exactly when my interest in this area was sparked) so when I saw the opportunity to explore this area I took it. Myself and twenty other women, most who had never met before, stayed at Thompson Outfitters near the Green River Lakes and were hosted by And She’s Dope Too, Backcountry, and The North Face. We shared meals around picnic tables, campfires, and on lakeside beaches. We photographed each other and the wilderness around us with Savannah Cummins, photographer and athlete for The North Face. We got to know each other through conversations about what drives our outdoor pursuits as well as small and laughter talk while playing games of cornhole.
I feel immensely grateful to have had this opportunity to explore this area with such an inspiring group of women. Wyoming, I love you (just don’t tell Montana).
Being a teacher full time definitely has it perks with it's time off. There's Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, and of course Summer vacation. I try to take advantage of this time off as much as I can. The last few weeks have been really busy and I was in need of a little getaway to relax and re-focus. Michael and I headed down to Jackson, WY and the Tetons for two days with our main goals being to see the Grand Teton, eat lots of yummy food, cross country ski, drink whiskey and read in the car, and soak in a hot spring.
We accomplished all of our goals except for the hot spring. We are saving it for when we don't have to cross a river in freezing temps!
I am so fortunate to now live within an hour and a half drive to the oldest national park in the U.S. It's a beauty too. Each geyser, falls, and valley could be it's own national park anywhere back East. At REI (where Michael works in Bozeman) each employee has a name tag that also says their favorite place. After he biked part of the Colorado Trail a few summers ago, he put Kenosha Pass on his. I was never quite sure what my favorite place was. For awhile Montreal was one of the most beautiful places I had been, then it was a little hidden beach in Costa Rica, then Mt. Bierstadt. Now I know for sure what I would put if I ever worked there, Yellowstone. Two places in the park stand out and tie as my favorite (so far, we only spent two days there!) and they are Yellowstone Lake and Grand Prismatic Spring. I was so overwhelmed with the beauty in these places that I almost started tearing up. Although there is already snow in the forecast here I can't wait to go back and explore this park more.
This trip was perfect in every way. It was spent with some of the greatest people I have met and we had an amazing time exploring upstate New York and Burlington. We stayed in the cutest airb&bs, hiked until it felt like our legs were going to fall off, climbed at local crags, ate crepes and gravy fries, drank bottles of wine and local beer, woke up at sunrise every morning, and wanted to steal every dog we saw (at least I did). This weekend was one for the books!
After watching a few of my favorite travel documentaries (180 South, this is on you), a phone call to a friend, and the click of a mouse I had booked a ticket to Texas to visit and road trip with my adventure buddy and friend, Denis. We drove for a week and visited Big Bend National Park, sand dunes in West Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico (that one took a lot of convincing). It was an amazing trip filled with weird conversations, lots of laughs, spaghetti o's, and sunburn.
My best friend is lucky enough to live in Hawaii so when she called me to tell me she was getting married it was expected that the ceremony would be where she calls home. I traveled to Honolulu over Christmas and immediately felt welcomed to this beautiful place.
I hadn't been on a vacation with my family in four years so this year I made a point to not be traveling elsewhere in order to go with them. It was great to spend time with them, eat home cooked meals, and lay on the beach all day. We took the ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke one afternoon to explore the little town and it is the cutest place! All of these mom and pop shops and restaurants, shady streets, and quaint cottages. It feels like you landed in a different time. I rented a paddle board for my second to last day and my sister, her friend, and I had a blast! Definitely tricky to get started and much harder than it looks but so fun!
I spent five weeks in Costa Rica obtaining my TEFL certificate. The first week was spent exploring the country via many rickety public buses. The remainder of my time was spent in the quaint town of Samara on the Pacific Coast. There is an abundance of people loving life, sunshine, surf, and fresh fruits which made my time there remarkable. It's one place that I'm constantly wanting to go back to!
I had been playing with the idea of a trip out West for about six months before I finalized an actual plan. I have always been in awe of open spaces and towering peaks so I knew that I needed to get out there. With so many options, I had about six or seven spreadsheets with ideas of places to go and see. They ranged from road tripping from B.C to Southern California, seeing how many 14ers I could summit in a month, and backpacking the Colorado Trail. Something kept bringing me back to Colorado and before I knew it I had asked my 15 year old sister to come with me. To both of our surprise, my parents agreed that she could go. From then on we were in a flurry of making packing lists and itineraries. I could go on and on about the details with this trip but I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
When I was in my senior year of high school my relatives in Paris contacted my parents and told them that they would like to bring my sisters and I to visit as part of a graduation gift. I was thrilled to travel to France to stay with them for two weeks. I was even lucky enough to be there for my cousin's beautiful wedding, my birthday, and my second cousin's birthday! Talk about a lot of celebrations.