We truly were enchanted with our stay in Santa Fe. Above is some shots on the road and in our hostel. We spent two nights in Santa Fe International hostel and it was a gem of a find. The outdoor courtyard was charming, our room was a sunny sanctuary, and the feeling of community was welcoming. We enjoyed the details that surrounded us in the city. Every bridge we passed displayed artwork, wooden doors carved with intricate designs, and eclectic shops that boasts influence from Native American arts to artisan pieces from all over the world. I met an inspiring local named Ian who runs Peaceful Wind Gallery. Every piece selectively collected during his travels through India, Nepal, Tibet and Southeast Asia. I was in awe with his finds. There were original scrolls from Tibet, intricate furniture, and beautiful Buddhist statues. We also chatted with his son who has embraced his dad’s gallery by branching into the up and coming art scene of Tibet. They both travel and meet with different artists to showcase their work. The most amazing part of our visit to this gallery is seeing how passionate they were about each piece and the story behind the artist. It was a great karmic encounter, and grateful for people like Ian who walk into your lives, even if just for a short visit to open your eyes with wonder.
We’re a month into our US road trip and each day keeps getting better than the next. To be able to drive through various landscapes, camp, hike, photograph and eat our way all the way out west has been the most incredible experience! Little by little we’ll stop into local coffee shops for wi-fi to answer emails, but most of our trip has been spent unplugged and off the grid. One thing I’ve enjoyed the most about this trip is the fact that we’ve had a very flexible itinerary. We slept in, mostly rode on highways, took exits to purposely get off track and discover ghost towns, 4-wheel trails, and local flea markets! One in particular is the Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market in Santa Fe. It was on Indian land and cameras were not allowed, but I happened to take a few snapshots through my iphone. (sorry I couldn’t help it!) Needless to say, my mind was blown. What an amazing encounter! Each booth was filled with artisan pieces such as; textiles, woven baskets, ethnic beads, intricate carvings, brightly patterned bags along with rocks and minerals of all sorts. Speaking with the vendors, they all had an interesting story about how they curated all the pieces for their booth. Many of them live overseas part time, and travel to acquire their collection. Not to shabby right? I told Aaron that’s what I want to be when I grow up! 😉 In a few days, we’re off to the Philippines. Bittersweet to leave, but we’re terribly excited.
I will always remember running into a rattlesnake crossing our paths, and just a few minutes later a tarantula the size of my hand scurried past us. Wow I thought, this land was rugged and it was beautiful! Day hikes and siestas filled our daylight hours, and as always the grand finale of the star lights fill our nights.
Bright coral hued sands sparkled under the Utah sunlight. Sands so fine and incredibly soft that sinks like snow with every step. We’ve always been enchanted by the desert and this was an adult sandbox!
Best parts of the trips are always the spontaneous stops that you come across along the ride. We had a very flexible schedule on the road, so we were lucky enough to stand in awe of many places that we otherwise would not have know to include in our itinerary. One of them was overlooking Lake Powell as the moon appeared brightly against the water color sky of Arizona.
When passing through Colorado we decided to spend the night in San Juan National Forrest. During the drive it was hard to keep myself from hanging out the car window. Incredible tall pine trees, mountains, lakes, creeks, and valleys that reminded me of a Bob Ross painting. Maybe that’s not the best metaphor, but it was radical change from the desert and canyon lands that we have recently spent our days in. Once we got to the park we were told that “Cinnamon Pass” has an elevation of 12,805 and it requires a 4-wheel vehicle to drive through windy and steep roads clinging to the side of the mountain. We were told this is a side of Colorado that many don’t get to experience, so we said let’s do it! Contrary to our drive through Colorado, going up Cinnamon Pass on this rugged, bumpy ride alongside of this mountain made it hard for me to look out the window without feeling my fear of heights linger. It felt like with every bump, we were flung sideways and I kept imagining our tires rolling off the edge of the mountain rolling down deep into the steep valley below us. Once we made it to the top, we realized it was well worth the 4-wheeling adventure up. It was majestic and it felt as if we had all of Colorado to ourselves. We pitched a tent by a creek and cracked open the whiskey to keep us warm. This weather and elevation was also something we had to acclimate to. I was out of breath just from a short walk and had to throw on every layer of clothing we brought with us. We tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags and slept into the cool crisp night of Colorado.
Finally taking some time to go through the crazy amount of photos we’ve taken over the past few months. Looking back through our US road trip photos, it makes me a little home sick. The Southwest has to be one of the most beautiful places on this earth. There’s something magical about the desert and I look forward to returning there sometime in the not so distant future. Here are a few of my favorite shots captured with the Nikon EM.
During our drive through Colorado we noticed a small town below us in the distance. It was Silverton, a beautiful quaint historic mining town filled with colorful Victorian style buildings with the jaw-dropping Colorado backdrop. Could this be a real town?! I kept asking myself. It was picture perfect, like a made up town for a movie set in Universal Studios. Lucky for us, it was real, very real, the locals super friendly mountain folks and they know how to cook some hearty burgers!
It’s really happening! I kept having to remind myself as Austin disappears in my rear view mirror and the open road ahead is about to be our new reality. To backtrack, me and Aaron loved Austin. We called it our playground because we filled our days with music festivals, amazing friends, and creative projects along with our full time gigs. Aaron was a web designer for a design house and I was an Account Executive for an Austin Magazine. What we had planned on as our “pit stop” to Austin became 3 years in Austin. After lots of daydreaming, and “what if we could quit our jobs and travel” talks, we decided to chase it. Long story short, we quit our jobs, sold all of our possessions, paid off credit cards, told everyone farewell, and even agreed to leave Gonzo for awhile.
So we’re riding the wave of a vaguely planned indefinite trip. The month of June to road trip across the US, and then flying off to Southeast Asia towards the Philippines, then to Palau Islands and the rest is all up in the air still. There’s been discussion on Thailand and Cambodia or Nepal and Tibet. Could be all of the above, if it’s meant to be. Right?