The American Southwest

We spent two weeks traveling the Southwest and I can't stress enough how the beauty of these places was just far too vast to convey through the photos. We were road-tripping so we had a lot of mobility and saw a great many places. We had a very short time in Santa Fe but it was enough to ensure that we plan a special trip back. The art community was so strong and diverse. We picked out some pottery to add to the house.

Next up was Sedona, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and Page, AZ.

We really enjoyed a hike in Sedona. The town was cute but a bit overly touristy for us. We did find some nice art galleries but it wasn't our vibe as much as Santa Fe was. We didn't have much time in Flagstaff as it was mostly just our jumping off point (it snowed while we were there as well, important to note).

The Grand Canyon was so enormous and impressive. I'm very grateful that we (and the many tourists around us) did not fall to our deaths. We were far more cautious of how far we ventured out onto rocks and cliffs, but many tourists were in such precarious positions I spent most of the day with anxiety for the safety of strangers. At one point I enlisted the help of a woman in scolding my husband to be careful as he inched closer and closer to an edge. It really was spectacular and you can totally spend a couple of days just walking the easy rim trail. #myfearofheightsishealthy We had to wait out a snow storm our first day mid May....which I certainly hadn't packed for. It melted quickly and we began our walk and the rest of the day was lovely.

Page, Arizona was a surprise to us. I had been aware of Antelope Canyon for several years and more recently became aware of Horseshoe Bend (thanks Instagram) but I was totally unaware of the draw of Glenn Canyon. Shout out to our guide Eugene with Taadidiin Tours for a spectacular experience viewing Antelope Canyon!! There are 7 different canyons open for tours and different companies (Navajo based) have exclusive rights to a couple each. If you are staying in Page and looking for somewhere to eat, we highly recommend Big John's Texas BBQ. We had great service and delicious food even when they were crazy busy. We didn't get out onto the water at Glenn Canyon but we drove around it a bit to check out the area. This is not the kind of boating I grew up doing! It looked like a great get-away if that is your jam.

Also interesting to note, we ran into so many foreign tourists in all of these locations. SO. MANY. It made us extra aware and proud of the natural beauty of the U.S. that draws people from so far away.

We traveled through Arches National Park in Utah while driving toward Wyoming. While we were hoping to get an afternoon hike in while traveling through, the weather did not cooperate. The first time we got out of the car to check out a view we had to make a mad-dash back as a hail storm started to rage. We made it to safety before the worst of it hit, don't worry. We'll have to make a trip back there as well when we can devote more time. There are several other areas in Utah I'd also like to check out and hike in. Our next en route stop was Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We just had an overnight and partial day there. We made the most of it by spending our morning at Iron Mountain Hot Springs before driving north out of town. If you are kid-free, this is the place to go! So calm and relaxing. I didn't expect to last long but with numerous pools at various temperatures, it kept my attention much longer than I anticipated. We also had some lovely conversations with strangers. And of course, we ran into a couple of #UIowa alums-- Hawkeyes are everywhere!

We ended our trip at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch for a weekend with some friends. It was a lovely weekend relaxing and catching up. We also squeezed in some horseback riding, trap shooting, and archery. I stayed on the horse, hit several of my birds (clay), and didn't hit anyone with rogue arrows!

I'm not well built for vacations that involve just sitting or laying around. Even if it's by the beach or pool. I get antsy. I love our summer road trips, hiking, photo-taking, car-snacking, hotel-hopping escapades!

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