Greetings from the Sunny Southwest.

Hey buddies! Here are some things from life in the sunny Southwest!

Las Vegas is a surprisingly amazing place to live. I've never seen myself as the Vegas type, and spent most of my life telling people that I kind of hate it, but the thing we're finding is that it's perfect during this travel phase. There are endless things to do, and Vegas culture is actually fun, rather than (just) obnoxious and overwhelming. I think it's impossible to live here and take yourself too seriously. We met a few trail runners at a free race we went to outside of the city - the Bootlegger 25k - which has a lot of history and is co-directed by Ian Torrence of lots of things fame, and we're hoping to meet some more outdoorsy types as time progresses. We've already had a chance to catch up with friends from home as Aggie Hartkamp came to climb at Red Rocks and we hung out with her and her crew for a few days. We did a 37 mile bike loop after work one day, we've been hiking multiple times - it's generally an amazing spot and we're loving the different experiences that being based in the desert provides.

One of the best things about the city is that it's such a great launching place. Last week we took what was one of my favorite road trips ever, and hit five national parks (Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands) , three national monuments/heritage sights (Grand Staircase - Escalante, Parowan Gap Petroglyphs and Dinosaur Tracks), and three state parks (Snow Canyon, Red Canyon and Dead Horse Point)  in Utah in a week. Utah is like the moon in mostly good ways, and it is competitive in the prettiest state competition with WA, HI, CO, etc.

There was a time when spending a ton of time driving made me feel kind of crappy, like I need to get out and move. But right now, post-thru hike, a road trip was a perfect way to get to know the Southwest a little bit, and Southern Utah is an amazing place to drive. Literally everything is beautiful, the towns are kind of weird in a way that keeps your interest, there are protected lands everywhere, and free camping is super easy to find. (!!) The Subaru (thanks Pete!) was perfect for car camping (I fit in the back laying down!), and we bought a bunch of roadtrip CDs/tapes before we left Seattle that were perfect. There's perhaps no better soundtrack for a big American road trip than the kind of stuff you find in thrift store bargain bins: Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner...

And now we're checking out Arizona for a couple of days. Today we're in Pine, providing some trail magic for our friends Ras and Kathy Vaughan who are yoyo-ing the Arizona Trail. Tomorrow we'll head to Sedona to hang out with more PNW friends, Kelly and Roger, stay in a fancy villa they scored, and check out more red rock.

On the job front we both have work now- I'm doing some nursenary agency work at a few different hospitals, and Angel has three part time jobs as per usual. Likely we'll buckle down after this trip to make some money to save for future adventures. So far we've found the work environment here to be relaxed relative to what we're used to, so it's a great chance to do some work and not feel too stressed about it.

On the family front, Mom bought a new condo that she's renovating, so we're helping a little bit with that, and we'll have a family Thanksgiving on Thursday at my sister's place. Mom's happy to have a year long process of trying to find a place finished, and it's fun to see her tackling a bunch of projects in the house.

Living the dream at the moment and trying to remember to maximize the life opportunities we have right now! The second stage of post-PCT travel-life is in full swing, and so far things are great!


Julie C said…
This makes me so happy!
Anonymous said…
Yaaaaah!! Makes me happy too! We hope we can see you all in December! (Chrissy)
mrsdearing said…
Good for you! Life IS an adventure!