In this season of life, I don’t have a place to call my own. Some of my best friends have invited me into their home during the months of my stay in the states and it has been the biggest blessing ever. One of my favorite things to do is to host people though. So when Felicia and Tyler came to Los Angeles to visit from Nashville…we got creative.
One of my favorite places in Southern California is Joshua Tree. I just love how magical this place is. All of the rock forms piled on high in the middle of the desert…it’s breath taking. It had caught Felicia and Tylers attention as well and they suggested we stay there a couple of nights during their trip. So we ventured onto Air BnB and found one of the coolest houses to rent out.
We had one full day in the desert and that consisted of rock climbing, relaxing, lots of eating, playing ping pong and taking pictures in the pretty sunset light. Quality conversations were had and beautiful memories were made.
Here is a peek into our trip…you can find more on the Wandering with Mary facebook page!
You can see more pictures on the Wandering with Mary facebook page.
I love the open road. There is something so exhilarating about driving in an unknown place and taking everything in for the first time. Being able to pull over, jump out of the car and explore your surroundings is something I feel most of us may take for granted far too often. Think about all the freedom we have to just experience this earth! Do you take advantage of it enough?
Our time was limited the morning we drove through Colorado. We had a few hours to make it to the airport to catch my flight and we needed every minute of that time allotted. As we began our drive, I was speechless. Driving just through Durango, I was in awe of the fall colors and quaint countryside backdrop. There was even a steam engine at one point that passed by as the morning light shined through the engine smoke….I mean…it doesn’t get more picturesque than that.
As we reached Silverton and headed even more north towards Grand Junction, we just had to stop. I knew time was limited but if I didn’t take pictures to document this drive…this experience, I knew I would regret it. Thank goodness, J.P. didn’t fight me on this, even though he did give me the “we really need to go” look a couple of times. At one point..I knew we should keep going as the road conditions were slowing us down a bit but I insisted we stop. I felt like we had walked into a snow globe and I just wanted to bask in the midst of it and let snowflakes fall onto my shoulders. I was looking up at the beautiful evergreens covered in snow when J.P. got an alert on his phone saying my flight had been pushed back a bit. I believe that was God giving us a gift of time allowance…an opportunity to play in his beautiful creation and not rush past or through it. We definitely took advantage of this gift.
So…this is the documentation of the most beautiful drive I have ever been on. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
Durango to Grand Junction
I wasn’t quite prepared for the weather.
This is what it looks like after you get hit in the face with a snowball —>
This is probably far too many photos…but I really couldn’t help but share every single one.
I still wasn’t prepared…
We travel a lot. It is a hobby that I took up a few years back and have been obsessed with ever since. While I have found it an absolutely amazing way to immerse yourself in different environments that will then lead to you learning so many new things about oneself…I believe travel is something that is always better with someone by your side.
It is hard to find the perfect travel companion. Maybe the person you are traveling with enjoys waking up at the butt crack of dawn, loves going on sightseeing tours, enjoys eating junky fast food for every meal or simply will only listen to the radio for the whole duration of the trip. It took a really long time, but I have found my perfect travel partner, Mr. Jonathan Patrick McLeod.
That doesn’t mean because he is the perfect travel partner, things will always go perfectly. In fact, this past trip we encountered so many challenges. I told J.P. that I feel like our trip resisted us before we even started the car. It began with a head cold on my part…then we both experienced horrible allergies while we were visiting our wonderful friends in Phoenix. The day we woke up to start our travels to Colorado we learned a few things…
1. My head cold and allergies lifted…yay!!
2. The government shut down and that led to all state parks being closed…including the Grand Canyon…can you believe that?
3. I had the most excruciating back pain.
I suggested we drive through Sedona because it wasn’t that far out of the way and it truly is one of the most beautiful places. As we were driving through, my back pain got to the point that when I was breathing, I felt like doubling over from pain and when we stopped to take pictures and I lifted my camera to my eye, all I could do was cry. I am no baby when it comes to pain and when I suggested I go see a chiropractor for the first time during our trip…it was a big deal.
We ended up foregoing our plans of getting on the road and camping in Colorado that night but decided to stay in Sedona instead where J.P. took care of me and my back. The next day it was like a miracle…no more back pain….a whole day ahead of us…here we go! But alas…as we drive through the mountains of Sedona, the cars check engine light came on. A few hours in Flagstaff at a Toyota dealership didn’t give us the best news but we decided we needed to move forward and be in constant prayer.
This trip was one that we had been looking forward to for awhile and it didn’t go at all how we imagined. When we finally made it to Colorado, I was blown away by the beauty of the fall and glimpses of winter even. I couldn’t help but wonder why we didn’t get to frolic in this beauty for the last couple of days like planned but we tried to make the best of it…I’ll share those photos with you next!
Even though our trip looks entirely different from what we expected…in the end I can’t help but smile looking at these photos…even the ones in Sedona where I was going through such bad back pain. I am lucky to have found a travel buddy that sees the beauty in the “change of plans” and is always looking optimistically about everything. I am lucky to have found someone who will pull off the side of the road whenever something interesting catches my eye and doesn’t question it for one bit or rush me to move on. I am lucky that this travel partner doesn’t mind eating sandwiches all day long so we aren’t eating fast food and regretting our life decisions….but I am also so happy that we both can agree when Dairy Queen is rightfully deserved.
*We have had so many travels, including the start of it all in Africa, that I’m just going to start sharing our adventures in no particular order in a series called “Here We Go”.*
Dairy Queen, Somewhere