Imagine being a six year old overlooking a canyon wondering about how such a place could be created. That six year old was me when I first discovered the outdoors. As that Memory stuck out to me, I remember asking myself so many questions about the canyon. Was those trees at the bottom or just bushes? Why were there likes that looks like claw marks through the vegetation? All these questions go through a little girl’s head when she looks over, inches away from the ledge.
My mother took a six year old me on a road trip to northern Arizona and southern Utah. We stopped at Canyon De Chelly, Lake Powell, Zion National Park and Arches National Park. The most memorable thing was, I was happy. Every since than I would not help but get excited for the next adventure.
In my youth I was very fortunate to have parents who, even though had very little money, still made an effort to give us a vacation. We were constantly travelling as children. In the 90’s gas was cheap so the road was freedom if you had a working car.
My Father was the one who got me to love the forest though. He took us kids to many of the national parks. It all started with South Dakota though. That was the trip where I saw bison for the first time and Mount Rushmore. I loved seeing the change in vegetation as we drove from desert to lush forests. My father was an expert at driving all night to get to our destination. His determination was unmatched but sometimes he would get exhausted and pull off to the side of the road to sleep. Learning to live on the road and without showering for a few days was no bother to us kids. It was actually pretty awesome when we were not fighting. When we finally reached our destination we got to play in the woods as if there was no dangers to be seen.
This was the world I enjoyed, and still do this day I still crave the life of travel and rolling in the dirt. Unfortunately every road trip comes to an end. When our journeys end we get back to reality. We get back to the world of making money and society.
As I call the “dark ages” in my life I became a poser when it came to the outdoors. A want-to-be hiker and camper. My mood was down and everything in the world seemed dark. When I realized I craved the enjoyment of nature as much as I needed water was when I went a whole year without it. I was in a damaging relationship and the vacation I got was to Vegas (Las Vegas is too stressful to be a vacation).
At the end of that section of my life I escaped to nature to heal myself and you know what, it worked. I planned a trip with my dad. I told him this is what I want to do, this is where I want to go. I had very little money but I had to make it happen and so I did. We both packed our bags and made a road trip to Glacier National Park from Phoenix, Arizona. That was when I fell in love with the wilderness/nature all over again. I also fell in love with Photography too.
I told myself I will not be a poser anymore and so my journey to finding my happiness started. All it took was a trail to guide me back on the right track.
(All pictures were taken by six /eight year old me, except for the last one…I took that one.)