"In canyon country, you pick your own path."
all together on saturday morning we left the hustle and bustle of provo and struck out with our wild adventurous hearts for the desert canyonlands of moab, utah.
couldn't resist a stop in the weird dusty little town of green river. it was fill-a-bag for $2 day at the thrift store, and we made quick work of the place.
we had a big laugh at this next picture later - - thrifting is serious business for these two!
arriving in our beloved red rock country. i am glad i just finished another Terry Tempest Williams book, An Unspoken Hunger, so i can return to it now for echoes of these places that invigorate and inspire our souls.
"Hands on the earth, I closed my eyes and remembered where the source of my power lies."
addie is especially enamored of these lands. it feels like the very heart, the center, of her body she says.
"Each of us harbors a homeland, a landscape we naturally comprehend. By understanding the dependability of place, we can anchor ourselves as trees."
bursting out of the car in some of his weird thrifted finds, my brother matt couldn't help but do a jiggity figgity dance with wild abandon. crazy coyote soul!
we hiked to Corona Arch. you have to cross these train tracks that go straight across the wide empty desert landscape. i wonder if the train still runs? i can feels old songs in those rails.
red sand, sage, yucca, saltbrush. even in january the desert is a rusty sunlit wash of color and texture.
as far as the eye can see....
when we arrived at corona arch, there was a bald eagle soaring up over it, white head shining in the late sunlight.
"In these moments, I felt innocent and wild, privy to secrets and gifts exchanged only in nature."
we had sunset at the arch all to ourselves. amy and matt did a little photo shoot for their etsy. they like to take photos in all the beautiful and varied spots they visit, to give their shop a little pizzazz.
"As women connected to the earth, we are nurturing and we are fierce, we are wicked and we are sublime. The full range is ours. We hold the moon in our bellies and fire in our hearts. We bleed. We give milk. We are the mothers of first words. These words grow. They are our children. They are our stories and our poems."
i have said it before and i will say it again. so many times that the words are truths that echo through each of my footprints in red dirt or mossy floor, swing out through the tips of my fingers...it is so good to hike in nature with those you love. under the sun, or clouds or the moon, through the trees or canyons or snow. laughing and glowing like every thirst is quenched.
after a good hike, you get to have whatever you want for dinner ;-)
i had the best veggie burger of my life at Eddie McStiff's.
i am NOT a food photographer, nor a foodie for that matter, and the pictures never come out looking as appetizing as real life. but let me tell you, this hit the damn spot!
next day was a cold one in Arches National Park. this handsome raven seemed to be enjoying some winter peace, and was making the most quirky talkative noises.
we hiked to sand dune arch, through a wide sandy canyon that the kids could play in like a giant sandbox.
"There is no defense against an open heart and a supple body in dialogue with wilderness. Internal strength is an absorption of the external landscape. We are informed by beauty, raw and sensual."
to be in a place like this, hours at a time, looking up, stretching your neck and your bones and your heart, cracking like ancient rocks, letting light in, you become more alive and full, full of a raw bleeding pure love that cycles through dirt and skin, cloud and rain, fire and sweat and back again.
we had time for a little etsy shoot here too. i modeled a rad crocheted afghan-sweater for matt and amy.
the vistas in arches are so incredible. there is no real capturing with a camera, even a nice one. it is all around you, like a tornado of beauty.
we left arches in the afternoon and headed to another area in the very center of utah, a strange and magical little land called Goblin Valley.
hooray!!! it might be cloudy, but the sun hasn't set yet! the kids were free to roam and play to their hearts' content here where the strange and ancient hoodoos go marching in neighborly groups, in shapes resembling giant snails and bears and aliens.
wearing about ten layers, but some exploring and climbing brings the warmth to your cheeks.
cool tiny tunnels and cubby holes for kids to make forts in, ambush from, or slide through.
"What most humans really desire is really something quite different from industrial gimmickry -- liberty, spontaneity, nakedness, mystery, wildness, wilderness." - Ed Abbey
as the sun set, the clouds parted a little and the land was bathed in the most heavenly rosy glow.
you go dizzy from the beauty. you get goofy. you run and dance in that light and you know you and everything around you is pure magic.
amy and i had matching coats, which we were more than happy to show off!
we ended up witnessing the most spectacular sunset you could dream of. so fresh and vibrant it stings the eyes. cold winter sun so alive and pure that every cell vibrates to its song.
i think the road trip gods were with us.
we even had the luck to arrive just barely on time to a brewery in Price, utah for dinner. on a sunday in utah it aint easy to find a good place to eat, especially in the tiny towns dotting the remote roads up through the center of the state. Pinnacle Brewery, aka Groggs, provided big fresh salads, pizza and beer and all the other goods to a hungry, happy, desert satiated family. plus, rustic old tools on the walls and a fire blazing in a stone fireplace and a cheerful server who didn't mind our tardiness, well what more could you want?
thanks for sticking with me! it was a long one i know, but those rambles always stick in my skin for a few days after and haunt me awhile. D.H Lawrence writes, "In every living thing, there is a desire for love, for the relationship of unison with the rest of things." i carry my wilderness love with me, i share it here, and i invoke it for the tiny child inside.
again, many of these photos are addie's and can be found here.