Category / Hiking

Arizona Destinations Hiking Outdoors

Grand Canyon Sunset | Arizona

Hey there! It’s been a while since we’re last talked, hasn’t it? If your last couple of months were anything like ours it probably included a lot of festivities, running around, staring at at a calendar with a confused expression wondering how another week just sped by, making lists, checking them twice. You know the drill.

If this is your first time stopping by our little corner of the internet, welcome! If you’ve been here before, we’re glad to see you again, friend 🙂 Before we jump right back into the swing of things I wanted to give you a short update on what we’ve been up to.  Alex got the opportunity of a lifetime to work on the beautiful Central Coast of California, and for the last month we’ve been living the dream in the most adorable city we’ve ever lived in. Just because we have a permanent address, it doesn’t mean we don’t still have beautiful places to show you. I still have pictures from Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii that I can’t wait for you to see! I hope they inspire you to spend more time outdoors enjoying this beautiful Earth we get to call home. Also, in a couple of weeks we will be going to Canada, needless to day there will be more nature pictures (and hopefully more doughnuts). And finally, we live in the land of romantic rolling hills, vineyards, and ocean sunsets, and I look forward to exploring every nook and cranny and posting them here for you to see and maybe even add to your travel list.

As a celebration of the first post of the year, here are some pictures of the Grand Canyon at sunset. On the day we took these we weren’t expecting to go see the Grand Canyon until the next morning, but our GPS surprised us and took us through the park at sunset on our way to our hotel. The sky was incredible, and the colors on this screen don’t do justice to the shades of fiery red, smoldering orange, and cotton candy pink that streaked the sky that night. We parked the car and ran through the park like two kids at a candy store. The wind was harsh and cold, sending away most of the tourists back to their warm rooms and leaving the viewing area almost all to ourselves. I hold this memory near and dear to my heart because it was my first time ever seeing the Grand Canyon, and I can’t imagine a more stunning way to experience it. If you’ve ever seen it in person you know what I’m talking about. You can’t help but feel connected to the Earth and humbled that you got to see something so beautiful with your own two eyes. Without further ado, here they are.


Thank you for reading! We can’t wait to see you again soon.

Keep exploring,

Camille

Arizona Destinations Hiking Outdoors

Antelope Canyon

Our trip to Antelope Canyon was one of the highlights of our trip. My favorite part is how everything came together last-minute since we weren’t originally planning on visiting it. After our hopes of getting two permits to hike to Havasu Falls (if you’ve never heard of this place, please Google it. I’m sure it will be added to your “bucket list”) were crushed, we got in the car and started driving towards Colorado. “Hey, I remember seeing some beautiful canyons somewhere on Pinterest, I think they’re here in Arizona”, I casually mentioned as we drove through miles of desert. After pulling up a few pictures on our phones, and seeing that it was on the way to our next destination we were stoked! 

If you’re making plans to visit the canyons be warned that you can only get in with a tour company. A quick yelp search will give you many options to choose from. We opted for the Dixie Ellis Lower Antelope Canyon Tour, since they send out groups every 15 minutes, and most places were sold out or ridiculously expensive. To enter the Native American land you will have to pay for a “permit” per person, and this money does not go towards your actual tour. Bring cash since they don’t take cards and the nearest ATM is a good 15-20 minutes away. You’re in the middle of the desert after all.

My first glance as we were going into the canyon is one I’ll never forget. Smooth sandstone walls curving and swirling, almost like waves, created a beautiful maze leading deeper into the earth. Even though I was aware that the place was filled with tourists, it never really felt that way. The canyon is narrow is curvy enough to create different “rooms” as you make your way to the other side.

Do you see the face on that last picture? Some people call this wall “The Chief”.

This place is breath-taking, so serene and surreal. Every once in a while, the wind will blow over the canyon and shower you with the lightest dusting of sand. Depending on what time of day you’re visiting, the sand will show you the slivers of light shining into the canyon. Simply beautiful.

Never stop exploring,

Camille

Destinations Hiking Oregon Outdoors

South Sister

When Alex and I went to Atlas for some delicious ciders, we had just finished our hike at Smith Rock. The bartender overheard us talking about it and asked, “have you been to South Sister yet?” That was all it took, challenge accepted. Immediately, we pulled out our phones to look at the size of the mountain. After checking out the altitude, different terrains, and clear views from the top we were sold.

The next morning we packed up, and up we went! We didn’t know this was Oregon’s third highest mountain, and it would have been a good idea to train more since we came from California sea level and were about to attempt reaching a 10,000 ft. summit. The whole trail added up to 12.5 miles round trip, but starting from the parking lot across the street adds an extra mile to the hike. If you’re planning on attempting this, bring LOTS of water, high calorie energy snacks, salty foods, wear good shoes, and apply that sunscreen like there’s no tomorrow. Hiking poles (I wish we’d thought of it beforehand) will make you way more comfortable and confident, especially on the steep downhill on the way back. You can pick some up at your nearest sporting goods store, or even at Walmart for $20. It’s worth it, I promise. Just ask my sad, squished, toes.

South Sister looks deceivingly less threatening from the road. The first few miles were nice and smooth, being shaded by trees with rolling inclines. Eventually, we started feeling the elevation, and the views were beautiful.

Reaching the glacial lake was beautiful, I didn’t know water could be that shade of turquoise. When Alex and I took a break before that last stretch, we smiled and said “we’re almost there! It won’t take long at all.” Hahaha… HAHAHAHAHA. Be warned, the last mile and a half are the hardest. We practically were hiking uphill in sand and loose rocks. Burn baby burn.

After catching our breath for a while, we did a victory dance at the top. I was in complete awe, not expecting to see ice and snow coating the top. It felt like we were walking on the moon.

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Beautiful mountains, fresh air, my best friend, my heart is full.

Never stop exploring,

Camille

Destinations Hiking Oregon Outdoors

Smith Rock

When I first learned that Bend, Oregon, was high desert, I was expecting 3 weeks of sand and cacti. Imagine my surprise when I saw that  it’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful and lush forests I have ever seen, not to mention all the lakes nearby and the Deschutes River that runs right through downtown. Exciting, right? But I also felt a little lied to, I mean, what even qualifies the area as “high desert”? To me, Smith Rock is the answer to all those questions I was too embarrassed to ask the locals. Take a look:

From far away, Smith Rock looks like a solid mountain, but up close we were able to see that it’s actually made up of many different formations, with rivers and canyons spread throughout it. Alex told me he’d found us a “fun little hike”, so we packed our camelbaks and up we went! It wasn’t until the end that I found out the trail was named “Misery Ridge”. Don’t let the name scare you away, though! It’s only about a 4 mile loop with a 1,000 feet elevation gain.  Pack lots of sunscreen! We had perfect cloud coverage that day, but I can see it getting toasty during the summer months.

If you’re into rock-climbing, this place was crawling with climbers and fun routes! While hiking up, Alex and I seriously regretted not bringing our gear. See if you can find the climbers in the second picture :

The views from the top are spectacular! For the first time, I was able to see just how many mountains there were in the area. We were also greeted by some beautiful trees (SHADE!), and the perfect spot to re-hydrate and enjoy the fruit of our hard work.

The way down is as beautiful as the way up. I kept finding myself putting my camera away only to take it out again a minute later. This trail took us way longer than it should have because we were both so snap-happy, but it was absolutely worth it. No need to rush, can I get an amen?


Smith Rock, thanks for the fluffiest cloud show I’ve ever experienced!

If you want to hike Smith Rock without the 1,000 feet elevation gain, there’s a trail that will take you along the perimeter of the rock. It’s also shaded and remains pretty flat throughout. Keep your eyes on the trees, we spotted quite a few wild Bald Eagles. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures because I was in jaw-dropping awe and feeling extra patriotic. ‘MERICA!

 

Never stop exploring,

Camille

Hiking Outdoors Utah

The Wild Bison of Utah

Antelope Island State Park is one of ten islands in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. As soon as I heard they had free-roaming bison, I packed my bag and headed out the door, hoping I’d get to see them up close and personal (but not too close).

There’s nothing like seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. There are no fences, there are no limits to the possibilities. I was in their turf — a dangerous and captivating notion. If they wanted to chase me, they could. If they wanted to run from me, they could. Instead, we both found harmony, and I was able to capture these images from a nearby trail. It’s moments like these that make me feel an overwhelming appreciation for nature and all of its serene beauty. I could have sat on that rock all day watching the bison eat, scratch their head on their favorite rock, and play with each other.

I hope they make you feel as peaceful as I did while I took them. Enjoy the pictures 🙂

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Until next time,

Camille