on the road again…| utah, arizona, new mexico & colorado | four corners monument

Over the holiday weekend, I crashed my family’s long-anticipated vacation: UTAZ 2016. I flew into Salt Lake and caught up with everyone in Bluff, Montana. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the Four Corners Monument, the exact spot where Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado meet. Pictured are my mom and dad, Aunt A, Uncle T, and my cousins O & C.

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I was so bummed this wasn’t open. There are few things better than fresh, hot frybread…

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Obligatory pic of me standing in all four states at once.

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O strikes a pose.
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C is king of the mesa.
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My dad takes photography very seriously. See where I get it from? 🙂

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on the road again…| new mexico | abiquiú | ghost ranch | part 1

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Saturday & Sunday, I headed out to Ghost Ranch, located in Abiquiú, about an hour and 15 min north of Santa Fe. Famous for its affiliation with the late painter Georgia O’Keefee, the ranch features multiple hiking trails through gorgeous canyons and over amazing mesas.

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Chimney Rock from near the trailhead.
Chimney Rock from near the trailhead.

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Before I started working in New Mexico, I was warned about scorpions & tarantulas. So far, this is the most intimidating creepy-crawly I’ve encountered…

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Prayer stone stack
Prayer stone stack

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I made it to the top of the trail! 1.5 miles up and 1.5 back. Behind me is Chimney Rock.
I made it to the top of the trail! 1.5 miles up and 1.5 back. Behind me is Chimney Rock.
At the top. The perfect spot for some meditation. It was so incredibly quiet...except for the wind!
The perfect spot for some meditation. It was so incredibly quiet…except for the wind!
THIS. VIEW.
THIS. VIEW.

on the road again…| new mexico | santa fe | loretto chapel

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“Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel: the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction. When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel. Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters’ prayers. The stairway’s carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway’s construction.” source: the Loretto Chapel website

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on the road again…| new mexico | carlsbad | living desert zoo & gardens state park

Monday, I spent a couple hours exploring the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park in Carlsbad, NM. I was delighted to learn from the docent that Living Desert is NOT your typical zoo. All the animals there are indigenous to the various desert environments and are only in captivity because a) they’ve been injured or were sick or b) they’ve imprinted onto humans in a way that would make them vulnerable in the wild…so it feels more like a wildlife sanctuary than a zoo.

I got your back, bro!
I got your back, bro!

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Is it Friday yet?
Is it Friday yet?

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