nature

"Seattle was built out on pilings over the sea, and at high tide the whole city seemed to come afloat like a ship lifting free from a mud berth and swaying in its chains." ~ Jonathan Raban by Jason Leach

7/7 Photo: Yeah, Seattle is a beautiful Skyline, Mt. Rainer in the background (bucket list to climb that peak)

7/8 Photo: Space Needle. Fun fact it is not the highest point in Seattle in which to get a view, but it certainly is expensive!

7/9 Photo: Congratulations to Mike and Nhien on their marriage! Of the only dates I had on my calendar this wedding was it.

7/10 Photo: After being stuck in standstill traffic for 2 hours 50 miles outside of Seattle I was rewarded with a great sunset as I was driving through Oregon.

“Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth.” ― Ptolemy by Jason Leach

6/25 Photo: Bryce Canyon, just happens to have trees growing out of it

6/26 Photo: Delicate Arch with the Milky Way behind it. That tiny white dot in the middle is a person, just to give some perspective! It was truly incredible to sit on top of a mountain in the desert so late at night and hike out by headlamp. 

"To Travel is to take a Journey into Yourself" - Danny Kanye by Jason Leach

Welp, that time flew by! Sorry for the lack of posting photos, it has been a whirlwind of travel and then finding WiFi spots (strong ones anyways) is a challenge. That being said a quick update and then on to the photos!

So I left Maryland and headed to Johnson City TN, I highly recommend you check this place out! AND if you do get a nitro brewed coffee in town, amazing! Did some hiking in the area, spent time with old friends, checked out Asheville NC (cool town!) and then hit the road again. I took a straight shot over 1,000 miles on I-40. Let's just say my car and I are a lot closer now. Stopped in Oklahoma City, then through Texas, and into New Mexico. I stopped at El Malpais Chalderon National Monument (they had caves and a volcano to check out, no longer active), as well as El Morro National Monument. Cool spots in the middle of lot's of open space. 

From there I headed to Arizona and on to The Grand Canyon. Truthfully, you wont find a photo in here from that because it is really difficult to capture the sheer size and beauty of the place in a picture (that is my challenge to you all to go see it yourself!). From there I headed to Glen Canyon Dam, then to Zion National Park (AMAZING, see photo below). From Zion I went to Bryce Canyon National Park and the last night on to Moab where I am currently sitting outside a Gelato and local coffee roasters shop (they have good WiFi!). I checked out Canyonlands National Park this morning and am looking to do some night shots at Arches tonight. Then it is off to Boise ID for about a week or so with my brother! Talk soon!

 

6/19 Photo: On top of Max Patch with a dear friend! Tennessee is known for its tall mountains called "balds." They are basically devoid of trees but open grassland at 6,000 feet. They only occur in certain places (TN being the main one).

6/20 Photo: This was the drive to the top of Tennessee's tallest mountain, Clingman's Dome in Smokies National Park. It is a 13 mile drive with a 0.5 mile walk, it was clouded in at the summit but there is a cool ramp structure you can climb to get above the tress. 

6/21 Photo: MAD DRIVING DONE OVER THE PAST DAY!!! I drove through TN, OK, and into TX where I took this night shot. PS that is my car that I am rocking across this great land. I plan to do a post of the sweet car camping setup I have been rocking (truthfully it is a bunch of duffles stacked, but I can sleep fully spread out in the backseat through to the trunk, making for easy naps!).

6/22 Photo: BOOM New Mexico! Petrified Forest National Park is really cool! I was not expecting it to be so big (25 miles of road to drive with offshoots). The petrified wood is really colorful but I thought this composition looked better in black and white (I have a thing for BW photo's).

6/23 Photo: Looking out over the Grand Canyon

6/24 Photo: The Narrows at Zion. NEVER have I been to such a cool place with such an different (aka: awesome) experience! For 16 miles (I barely did 3) you can walk the river down a sweet slot canyon (check the flash flood warnings at the visitor center first). This experience solidified for me Zion being my favorite park so far!

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley by Jason Leach

6/18: Sunshine and green fields, Maryland has some beautiful scenery 

Deciding to take this road trip has given way to many feelings. Most are good, at other times I wonder if it is the right thing to be doing. More often than not I talk to others and they are jealous and excited. Most wish they had the chance and/or time themselves. Yet I wonder if I am letting myself down or worse others. 

It is interesting to think about how societal pressures influence us unknowingly at times. Today I drove over 400 miles from Maryland to Johnson City Tennessee (a lovely place nestled around the Smokies and just an hour form Ashville North Carolina) and I kept having a reoccurring thought about how perhaps I should be more focused on my job search. That being gainfully employed is what truly matters. That life without a schedule is uncomfortable and almost scary.

Driving alone for 400 miles gives you plenty to think about and just when I arrive to a new place, meeting with old friends, I am continually reminded that others wish they could make the time for a trip like this and perhaps I am become more comfortable with not living life scheduled, and most importantly in hearing their stories, that sure it might take some work and some time, but I will find a job and it will be fine. Here's to letting go of a schedule for a while....

"Here are some who like to run. They run for fun in the hot, hot sun."- Dr. Suess by Jason Leach

6/17 Photo: Thanks for the guest shot from my buddy Kellen. A little trail running down Horsetooth Mountain. I could get used to hiking/trail running/biking in CO.

Life update, I was invited to interview at the University of Colorado Denver this past week, so I got a chance to meet up with some friends and check out what Fort Collins has to offer, suffice to say it was almost surreal. Having planned to live there for so long (and having never been previously) I was not quite sure what to make of it. Until going for a hike, that was all I needed to realize that this place is a great playground and fit. If you have not gone, I highly recommend it.

I am currently back in Maryland and getting ready to head to Tennessee tomorrow. Exciting news, Rachel and I settled on moving to Broomfield CO, and are apartment hunting currently. No worries we will be getting a two bedroom place so you all can visit! She has a great job opportunity and we feel Broomfield sets me up to have options of places to work as it provides easy access to Boulder, Denver, and a variety of smaller areas.  This is pretty exciting given we have spent the past months talking about this move and it is finally here. Suffice to say we are already making wishlists of places to travel and things to do while when we move there and get settled (anyone want to join Manitou Incline Trail?)!

Off to Johnson City TN!