Just when we were missing Bozeman, Bozeman came to us! Two friends of ours – Trike and Jordan, who had only met once before – decided to take coincidental trips to come play with us in the desert. The four of us had never hung out together before, but we clicked like family! Trike wanted to mountain bike and climb for her birthday week and Jordan, a professional photographer, wanted to snap a few (thousand) pics. So what’s it like to have a photographer follow you around all week?
Now let me tell you: I am not a model. I get nervous, uncomfortable, and think I’m about to barf, especially when Jordan convinces me to stand over cliffs, (which happened quite often.) But after a couple of days it was like we were just laughing and having fun with someone who happened to have a camera and would occasionally ask us to jump over the same rock nine times. But thanks to Jordan the four of us went on adventures I would have never found myself, and crammed as much as we possibly could into each day. Go Team Desert!
Our first photo-shoot at Horseshoe Bend, a section of the Grand Canyon. If anyone asked what we were shooting for I made Jordan say, “Access Hollywood.” (And check out Jordan’s instagram @jordan_siemens and his website: jordansiemens.com!)
Below, you’ll see us opping around White Pockets in Vermillion Cliffs, in Arizona. After 26 miles on a bumpy dirt road (car sick), and following directions like “Take every left, except one. Pass this tree, go through that farm…” we finally found this oasis of rock formations, and we were the only ones to enjoy it.
Up, up, and away to Zion National Park! Wow, words can’t describe these magnificent cliffs. Sure makes you feel small and less egocentric in a place like this. We hiked up Angel’s Landing, a super steep hike along a razor thin edge with 3,000 foot drops. Chains, ice, and slick footing – I only made it ¾ of the way up. Good job to the other three for balancing up to the top. I about had a heart attack watching them pull themselves up the chains and over the ice. #noregrets
Our last day in Zion we hiked The Narrows, a water hike through gigantic cliffs, perfectly straight out of the water. It required water shoes and pants, and a sturdy walking stick for the swift current. Thanks to the cold winter, we only saw a handful of other people. Another opportunity to marvel at what nature is capable of.
The crowds started to eat away at us so we bee-lined it for the open desert, good ‘ol BLM land that allows us to relax and be free. We mountain biked, trail ran, and ate plenty of s’mores. We were four dirt baggers living the good life.
And then we made an unexpected decision: Vegas baby! Maybe after being alone for several days we were feeling the need to be social, or maybe we had just lost our minds. We camped at Red Rocks, away from the craziness, and found locals biking, climbing, hiking, and soaking up the rays. But we couldn’t go to Vegas and not live it up just once, so on our last night we headed to Red Rocks Casino and threw down. I won seven cents!
After a whirlwind of nine days, Dave and I now sit all alone outside of Bishop, California. I do love having our quiet nights back, and we just happened to find a campsite right next to a hot spring, but it feels like something is missing without Trike and Jordan. Having now been on the road for two months, I have a new appreciation for good people who will go out of their way for you. I love being on the road, and I love the life of a vagabond, but nothing can replace friends.