Posts Tagged ‘arizona’

The Weird Llama Lady

Friday, September 18th, 2015

I have officially become that weird person wandering around with a little llama fluff ball sticking out of my purse. I have already had numerous conversations with strangers about it; it is a great conversation starter. The first conversation I had was with some very nice janitorial staff at a rest stop who were entirely baffled by Mama the Llama. They hesitantly followed me around the rest stop as I took pictures and finally came up and asked me what in the world it was that I was holding. I told him it was a llama, which then sparked a somewhat circular conversation in which he insistently question me about whether it was a real llama or not no matter how many times I told him no, it was most definitely not a real llama. Aside from the giggles and pointing whenever I am out and about taking pictures with my lovely sidekick it has been quite a lot of fun even if it is hard to remember to always take her with me places.

Today we left Page for Durango where I will be staying for almost a week with my little brother. I am happy to say that we made it safe and sound with little incident.

After a slow morning where our tour plans for Antelope Canyon fell through and a meandering look at the ever faithful Horseshoe Bend we headed out to Monument Valley.


We took off from the straightforward route and fit in some adventuring time to visit this tribal park. Sitting right on the border between Utah and Arizona, this collection of monolithic rock formations of fiery red stone and sunset oranges always is a treat to stop for on a road trip.


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At Monument Valley we took a picnic break and then I made an ill-informed decision to try to drive just a short bit of the dirt road loop around the monuments. I learned today that PriPri is in no way, large or small, an off-roading vehicle. There were a few moments on that road (which I was doing by myself since my dad had the foresight to decide not to come with me) in which I really thought my car wasn’t going to make it. I survived and so did PriPri, although the car was definitely covered in red dust for quite some time afterwards.


From Monument Valley we continued on a smaller road to cut over to Colorado above four corners where we encountered some really beautiful rock bluffs that towered over the road. Driving in the shadow of these red mountains is truly a humbling experience. It makes you wonder at the thunderous sound it would make to hear the mountains crumble and it is impossible not to feel small when underneath them.

There is an extreme beauty in this country that constantly confounds me. The fact that I can drive on these bumpy chewed up roads across this vast nation and be so close to so many incredible natural formations and feel as if it is perfectly normal for them to be there next to me is astounding. I never feel more humbled than on a road trip, especially when I go through the Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. I cannot put into words the incredible beauty that this country has to offer and my photos cannot do it justice either.

Now I am in Colorado, nestled between mountains in the little lively town of Durango. I will be adventuring, relaxing, and spending time with my brother here before I head out on the second part of my journey across the states that will take me to my next big stop in Northern Michigan.

I cannot wait to see what Colorado has in store for me.


Day Two: Las Cruces

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

We began our second day adventure with Tucson, Arizona after a drive through the Sonoran Desert. The closer we got to the city of Tucson, the more cacti began to fill the scenery around us. This being so, and Tucson being home to both sectors of Saguaro National Park we decided to make a cacti stop in the Western section of Saguaro National Park.

This park is filled with unbelievable amounts of cacti, tall and towering, the stand like sentries over the dry land of the Tucson desert. Driving into the park we climb a hill that at its peak allows for a grand view of a huge valley blanketed with this type of cactus. This landscape, unique to Tucson was quite a sight to behold driving around that top corner of the peak. The quirky twisted and jumbled arms of the Saguaro cacti are amusing and beautiful. Some even looked as if they were hugging themselves. Others had beautiful flowers standing on the tips of their arms. It was quite a nice park.

This nice stop made up for our morning, which, before we reached the park, seemed would spell a disastrous day. We had a late start because we missed the alarm and got all turned around in the city itself. Along with injured ankles which were swollen, it was a worrisome morning that quickly turned around and became a long but interesting day. Especially with our epic old western stop at Tombstone, Arizona.

The sight of the OK Corral gun fight which is starred in many famous movies like the awesome old western movie with Val Kilmer and several other great actors called Tombstone which is about the story of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in the rough and tough town. This was such a great little authentic piece of old western history where reenactments are held as well as actors in character all the time wandering the dusty streets and saloons. It was “the town too tough to die”.

We spent a lot of our time in the Boothill Graveyard, which holds many famous and infamous residents of Tombstone. On the graves where the ways they died and it was truly fascinating to look into this little piece of history.

After Tombstone we headed out to visit a little national park I had never heard of before that was actually quite interesting. The park, Chiricahua National Park feels a little like a mixture of Bryce National Park and Yosemite National Park. Primarily a hiking destination we sadly didn’t get to go very in depth because it was just too hot to go hiking. However it looked really interesting and I wish we had come at a cooler time so we could go into Echo Canyon. With huge monolith like structures that look like the hoodoos of Bryce and deep valleys filled with strange and intriguing rock formations, it was a fascinating stop.

This was a last stop of the day as we made our way out of Arizona and into New Mexico where we would be staying the night with my lovely relatives in Las Cruces.


Adobe Doorway

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Driving through the Arizona deserts and the flatlands around Utah, we found a little turquoise stand amongst precariously perched rock pilings. There were also the remains of an old adobe house, it had no roof, no floors, nothing except for a turquoise framed door and window. This was one of my favorite places that we stopped at during our road trip. It felt like an entirely different world. A place of red sand, monstrous rock pilings, and windows within windows that let us look into this strange alien place. There is something haunting in this forgotten building and the lonely doorway left behind. Looking through those windows you can see the world the way it once was, before grand cities or electronics. Just the simplicity of nature.


Lizard at Horseshoe Bend

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Say hello to my new best friend. I found him on a hike down to Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. We had to walk on a long desert sand path to get to the spectacular view. On our way there, right on the side of the path was this little guy. I freaked out when I saw this and scrambled for my telephoto lens thinking he was about to bolt off and I couldn’t miss this shot.

He was just standing there and no one noticed him at all. Tons of people walked by me as I was taking pictures but no one else stopped to look or take notice. I don’t understand that. This creature is beautiful and amazing but so many people wouldn’t take the two seconds of their time to appreciate this little marvel of nature. It made me a little sad but at the same time, more shots of a cool lizard just for me.

He was just posing away for me. Watching me as he cocked his head back and forth. He didn’t move at all. I thought he would run away as soon as I pulled the camera out (that would be my usual luck) but he stayed for a good five minutes as I crept closer and closer. He didn’t really seem to mind. After a while he started doing little push ups and picking up his feet and shaking them because of the hot sand. I was so excited when I got these shots, it made me realize something else. I love doing action shots of animals. It makes me so much happier if I get a good shot of an animal rather than a good shot of landscape. Anyways, it was a lot of fun and I hope that next time you see a girl (or boy) frantically taking pictures of something, stop and take a look; you may never know what you are missing if you just stay locked into your own world. There is a big beautiful world out there, take notice before it is too late.