Behind The Rocks

About a week and a half ago I had the opportunity to shoulder my pack and head out into the “back of beyond” for a couple of days. For the first time ever I didn’t take Forrest, Sprocket, or anyone else with me. I was on my own for 72 hours (I actually woosed out a bit and came back to the real world at about 68 hours but good enough).

I’m much more of a “goal oriented” hiker and I floundered a bit my first day or so out. Making your way cross-country in the maze of rocks is absolutely amazing but also sort of daunting, especially with a pack on your back. I eventually gave in and picked a destination down a jeep road so I could start putting down some miles. (Perhaps this trip was about breaking through being alone and the next will be about having a more exploratory attitude?)

As a bit of an experiment on traveling alone, I would say it was successful. I was never scared or worried about myself and I got to do lots of thinking, hiking, and sleeping. On the other hand, I did learn that for me “solo” is better served with a side of canine companionship: Sprocket isn’t exactly talkative but he is an awesome listener so he facilitates thinking quite nicely. (Besides, he’s an awesome tent cuddler.)

Another awesome thing about my hike was seeing the La Sal Mountains, the Abajo Mountains and the Henry Mountains from amidst the red rock.

Here’s the La Sal Mountains just peaking out from Behind The Rocks (I had a better view of them from the rim but apparently I was too struck by their beauty to take a picture):

The Abajo Mountains, to the south:

The Henry Mountains, to the west:

In the end, I’d say I was pretty lucky to have those three days, wouldn’t you agree?

Mariela: Traveling Alone

I’m on my way back from Utah today (I am not ready to go back to work!) I have one more guest post about embracing adventure to round out the week. (If you haven’t read Kinzie and Vado’s posts yet, go do it!) Today, Mariela is writing about the just buying a ticket and going but more importantly she’s talking about how adventure and being a grownup are not incompatible.

My tale of adventure begins with a nervous young woman sitting in front of the computer, purchasing herself a ticket to a European country for which she doesn’t speak the language, with only enough money for 4 nights of hostels & 6 of couch surfing. (I should add that notifying my mother of my plans lead to tears, excessive pepper spray purchases and her cutting a strand of my hair for my DNA, “just in case…”)

December of 2011 marked my first closed real estate deal, hooray! Most of that commission was meant to sit in my savings account in preparation for my cross-country move to Chicago that would finally putting an end to two years of long distance—something I’d been working two jobs to make happen. But in early January of 2012, I spent an evening watching Midnight in Paris and listening to the soundtrack on repeat for about a solid week to follow. Not more than three days later, Kayak came to my daydream’s rescue—a 72-hour sale on flights to Europe! I’ve always been one of those rambling believers of fate, ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ you’ll hear me say in the best and worst of times. And this? This was the very best of times.

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