Navajo trail || the road is home

Navajo Trail || 1.3 miles
Bryce, Utah

we circled the parking lot over and over and over again until we found a place to park among the cars with license plates from everywhere you could think of. it was morning but it was already hot enough to be wearing a bandanna soaked in cold water.

tongues native to seemingly every nation on earth filled the canyon with echos as we hiked down the switchbacks and into the gold. the formations pointed up to the blue, blue sky like fingers giving all the credit for their beauty to someone bigger (& breathing stars).

we sweated and laughed and i'm sure somebody was carrying sunscreen. i waited forever at a particularly enchanting turn in the trail for the guy in the plaid shorts to move so i could snap a photo. he apologized for being in the way and then moved further into the frame. oh well. there he will be forever. and now on the internet too, no less.

dad took a photo for a tourist couple and couldn't read the chinese writing on her iphone so abbie helped him find the right buttons. i filmed the process.

we climbed back up up up into what felt like a different layer of the world. the busy layer. so different from where the giants lived and loomed. big and red and orange and nectary yellow.

abbie and i looked out over it all and burned it into our camera lenses and memories like our eyes had room enough to fit it all inside. i wish they did.

because i had a moment of quiet and nothing and a burning desire to say happy new year to my wonderful friends. <3 who ate sugar cookies at christmas? who had a fun new year? how bout those resolutions?


cliff shelf || the road is home

Cliff Shelf || 0.5 miles
Badlands, SoDak

the trail rose 200 feet, up into sandstone peaks that triangled up to the white sky. it faded to the color of dusty blue felt later.

we hiked on a thick, humid morning. we visited a few trail heads, but this was our first. we mostly shot photos and stopped to put our hands on our hips and breathe deep the view that wandered down into the wild valley below.

dad wore a tee with cut off sleeves. abbie was a nautica model. i can't remember what i was wearing.

later we went back with mom and watched a great pink moon roll up over a lavender blue horizon like a sleepy wagon wheel. there was a deer munching in the brush below the summit. black birds couldn't decide where to land.

taillights were hazy red on the ride home. my limbs were heavy and happy tired. my parents talked and we pulled over to watch the sunset through the windshield. kayaks were strapped to our roof in the middle of the desert. abbie aimed her lens like a machine gun at a goat silhouetted on a peak.

i watched as she shot it. and breathed in and out air that was rich with something I don't know how to describe.

so thankful for all you guys. 
you all are beautiful harmonies in this world. 
you make me smile and my heart hum with each of your comments 
and whenever i read your blogs.

 xx || kate

granite canyon || the road is home

Granite Canyon || 12.9 Miles
Teton Village, WY
Trailhead Elevation: 10,450 Feet

we end up stopping at a different trail head than the one we pinpointed on our map back at camp. we have a limited amount of time-- and this trail is closer. Granite Canyon, the sign says, and my dad and I both agree that canyons are cool.

I have a backpack with sunscreen and water and probably some other junk I forgot about. dad has a thermos coffee and bear spray in the side pocket of the drivers side. first we decide that we probably don't need the bear spray, because what are the chances? a sign a hundred yards in sprouts up and tells us in red letters that there are indeed chances.  

so dad walks back for the can with the red pin. I wait. I see a deer. 

the trail cuts through a meadow that looks like something out of the sound of music. the big blue/gray shapes of the rocky tetons crop up around us, laced by ragged pines and a river swollen with melt. the trail loops off into the woods, climbing gradually. there's evidence of bears everywhere; fur tufts, droppings, claw marks on trees. I'm giddy with excitement, though we never catch sight of one. we see something like a woodchuck instead, not wanting to let us by. it eats grass for a long time, dad contemplates and i take it's picture.

we pass a group of hiker dudes who haven't showered or probably seen civilization in awhile; friendly beards wearing bandannas. the light comes in through the trees and the now deep-forest around us looks like a scene out of prince caspian. we ditch our stuff on an embankment and climb some rocks to drink up the views of the foothills, and the rocky giants above. 

we stop at the river and reach down to let the water run through the gaps between our fingers; liquid ice, fresh from the top. on the way back we weave through clusters of wild, fragrant sage and patches of native birches. I feel like this is ages ago, with the golden sunlight on my face; everything is like psalm twenty three, coming down on us. ancient but new, rich, yellow.

green pastures, quiet waters. i lack nothing.


what was your greatest adventure this week? and who's pumped for thankgiving and christmas? because, dang am I ever.

night drives in arches || the road is home

arches || moab, utah

we were gone for almost two months, but there was something about that particular night that made it one of the most vivid of the trip for me. I remember that warm Moab, Utah air rushing in through the open backseat windows. Abbs and I were like two newly adopted shelter dogs, hanging our messy heads out the windows. mom was in the passenger seat, dad had his hands on the steering wheel; i could see the wind dancing in his curls.

we rounded a corner and a motorcycle streaked past my window. no helmet; a ripped tank top filled up like a sail, flapping. he revved his engine and the sound ripped right down the belly of that canyon. the kind of sound you could probably feel in your chest if your feet were attached to that same ground.

"that's like the ultimate freedom" i said. mom reminded me of the dangers of motorcycles, but still got what i meant.

it was so dry. dust bellowed up behind every passing pick up like plumes of smoke. The light played hide and seek with the rock formations, and the shadows of the sandstone walls swallowed us in and out of lower temperatures, looming like giants. we got out at park ave's trail head, and it was twilight and silent. and we were staring down the wash at purples and reds.

and i stood there like the wee, starry-eyed child i be, staring up up up at so much big big big.


there's something about late night drives, isn't there? (and late night cereal eating... but that's beside the point...sorta.) when was the last time you went on one? solo, or with sibs/pals/a dog hanging his head out the window? what's your idea of a fun late night adventure?