Monday, March 12, 2018

Seven Days in the Desert

An entire week, wandering the desert.

A different hotel every night.

Crazy new landscapes nether of us have ever seen before. 

I want to spend more weeks in the desert.

I stumbled upon a cheap flight to Las Vegas, on a budget airline and couldn't pass it up. The first evening in the desert was spent wandering under the crazy neon lights.

The next day was the short drive to Arizona across the dam. 

The Hoover Dam is huge. And even huge-er in person.

Ghost towns were explored. Some were abandoned, some were tourist traps, and some were in between.

The realization that it snowed in Arizona, occurred when we arrived at the Grand Canyon and it was in the 20s with snow and ice everywhere.

After a long day's drive, Monument Valley was full of peace and calmness. 
(Plus amazing Navajo food!)

The wigwams were a cozy destination on another frigid desert night.

The petrified forest national park was full of strange striped rocky hills, trees turned to stone, and the strongest winds I've ever experienced.

Silly roadside attractions made for many quick stops for a picture.
(Or 100!)

Another realization that it snowed in Arizona happened while driving though a snowstorm at the top of an enormous mountain range. Upon the decent, we were greeted by a sea of cactuses. 

Sunny southern Arizona is home to hundreds of resting aircraft, in the airplane boneyard.

The meteor crater was at another wild windy location. At the center lies a 6 ft tall astronaut statue, only visible with a telescope.

The last day involved scaling a craggy desert mountain road to get to a town where donkeys roam freely. And follow everyone around in hopes of being fed!

The desert landscapes are crazier than I ever imagined. I can't wait to go back!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Green is on the Way

Through the drab brown leaves and dirt, green is beginning to appear.

The sun is shining for a little bit longer each day, and the air is feeling warmer and warmer.

Green is on the way!

Monday, February 26, 2018

We Found a Lighthouse on Belle Isle

On our Belle Isle Adventures, we passed by what appeared to be an old lighthouse, so we turned the car around to go check it out.

Only to find out the roads were one way around the whole island. 

 We tried driving the wrong way for a few minutes, but a few other random people who also came to explore this place on a cold Thanksgiving day freaked out honking at us.

So we took the long way around.

Finally we were parked and set off down the long muddy trail. 

Towards  the eerie lighthouse, sitting in the desolate field. 

But the lighthouse was was farther away than it looked, and the ground was getting muddier and mudder. Plus we didn't want to be late for the Thanksgiving feast. So we ran all the way back to the car and raced to dinner.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

When the Mountains Looked Small

Flying back from Houston, the plane took a detour to go around an enormous lightning storm.

The detour meant I got to fly over the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was my third time flying, and the first time ever seeing mountains from a plane, so with my face pressed right up against the glass I started snapping 100s of pictures like a maniac. 

The beautiful landscape distracted me from the turbulent ride as we circled the storm.

This mountain range feels enormous and never ending when you're on the ground in the middle of them.  But from the sky, they are just some fleeting ripples in the ground.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Time to Explore the Power Plant

Bailey Power Plant has stood abandoned for years. As long as I can remember, it has been this mysterious run-down industrial building, surrounded by a huge wire fence, but begging to be explored.

 I never had the courage to sneak in though.

It has been undergoing renovations for the past few years now, just as all the old tobacco factories have.

But on this day, as the renovations are getting closer to completion, the fence was finally down. The power plant was open for wandering.

The inside of the building still requires much work, but it was exciting to be able to wander around the outside, under all the tunnels and bridges that remained illusive for so many years.

The view inside the broken windows

A space that was once a muddy swamp, is becoming a nice little patio with string lighting. I imagine it will be a popular spot when summer comes.

This area that was once a ghost town, is now turning into one of the most popular parts of the city and I can't wait to see it continue.