cruising up highway 17, hair blowing in the wind, arms reaching far out of the windows towards the saguaros and the four of us gals laughing nonstop; it's like a scene from the movie crossroads.

we are unshowered, running on two hours of sleep and sore from dancing for hours on a rooftop bar in phoenix the night before. we are running on giggles and adrenaline at this point, so as soon as we get to sedona, we are ready to hike. we set out on Sterling pass trail. the 1,050 feet elevation gain provided views of the red rocks in the distance and the pine covered mountains surrounding us.

after sterling pass, we checked into our hotel, and like four mid-twenties aged gals should, we cannon balled into the pool. we then got ourselves dolled up to go get some well deserved dinner and drinks and of course do some turquoise shopping (because what better place than sedona?!)

when we got back to the hotel, we started planning our next day, and what would be my last day of the trip. we knew a sunrise hike had to happen. we set our alarms for five a.m. and set out for devils bridge trail. i have done quite a bit of hiking in sedona over the years but never until this trip did i know that there was a natural bridge in the area! we shared stories and laughed the whole way up to devils bridge. once we got to the top it hit me, and probably all four of us, that not everybody is so lucky to have such beautiful people in their lives. our thoughts and feelings matched so closely. kindred spirits. soul sisters. to that we popped a bottle of champagne!

there couldnt have been a better group of ladies to dance all night and hike all day with. i feel super lucky to have such strong and beautiful women in my life. cheers!

National Park Road Trip - Day Three

day three; antelope canyon, horseshoe bend, glen canyon national recreation area.

we used to dread coming back from any trip when we lived in philadelphia. we felt more at home not having a home. austin is a great city and we are so glad to have it as our home base, but i cant help but feel that i was meant to live a gypsy lifestyle. it's been hard getting back into the "daily grind" so to speak. the same urge to give up everything and go get lost I felt when we went on our bike trip in two thousand and eight is back. it’s not that i don’t like my job, or my home; but there is something inside of me telling me i was meant to do something more.

jeremy and i like a good struggle, or obstacle. we look at it as something to work through together and gain strength from. we seem to look for “what are we going to do?!” situations to purposefully put ourselves into. we are more at ease having no plan and going with whatever it is that feels right in that particular moment. our gut feelings seem to have always led us in a good direction thus far in life.

a few of the questions we receive most often are “what do you do for work? “ and “how do you two have time and money to travel so much?”. it’s really simple actually: our trips aren’t very costly!

we both actually enjoy sleeping in our car, even though it is pretty small. we live for that victorious feeling of driving for eighteen to twenty hours and finding ourselves a rest area with running water just as our eyes want to shut. we are fine with washing up in a lake or gas station rest room and we are happy to sleep in walmart parking lots among other creatures that feel the same.

National Park Road Trip - Day Two

day two; petrified forest national park, walnut canyon national monument and the grand canyon.

the grand canyon is much like stepping into a painting. the contrast between the soft colors and the rugged terrain makes it feel almost unreal. the birds swooping down into the canyon and along the canyon walls prove that it is very much alive and changing all the time. 

this was our third visit to the grand canyon and still we take so much from the experience. what we love most about visiting this dreamy place is that you can easily find a quiet place away from other tourists and there is always a new trail to walk or canyon wall to climb; each offering a new perspective of the canyon more beautiful than the last. 

one of the most inspiring days of our lives was our first visit to the grand canyon, so not only do we take in the constant newness of the scenery (like an elk walking right past us in the woods - yes, this happened!), but it is also a place where we can reflect on the amazing journey we have been on thus far.

"a few things in this beautiful old world are too big to talk about, one can only weep before so supreme a spectacle of glory and of majesty." margaret gehrke, an early visitor to the grand canyon; 1915.

American Southwest - Part Two

as we left the grand canyon and the sun set, the snowfall only picked up. after the mishap at the start of our trip i was a little apprehensive to put a lot of miles in when the road in front of us was barely visible. we decided to make it a short night and headed back to flagstaff to meet up with an old friend for dinner. the roads were starting to ice over so we drove to the nearest rest are where we spent another night sleeping in the car, something we are far too used to at this point. 

by the time we woke up the next morning the snow had stopped and we headed to the petrified forest national park for the eight a.m. opening. when we rolled up to the park the gates were closed and the road leading into the park was completely iced over. after numerous calls to the park office no one could give us a straight answer as to what time the park was going to open, or if it would be opening at all. we decided to hang around for a few hours and explore the area surrounding the park in hopes they would eventually open.

after three hours a ranger finally opened the gates but informed us that the hiking trails running through the park would remain closed due to the conditions. we were pretty disappointed with the hours lost and the fact we couldn't explore the interior of the park; i guess you win some and you lose some. we snapped a few photos of what we could see from the parking lot and hit the road again. 

looking at our map and weighing our options we decided to do what we do best; just drive, straight through from arizona to austin. we rung in the new year somewhere along the old dark highways of west texas.

the unexpected event when we embarked, twenty two hundred miles of driving and two national parks were a great way to start two thousand and thirteen. we cannot wait to see what kind of adventures this year has in store for us. ramble on!