At very, very long last…

Here they are!  Pictures from my trip!  Lindsey, are you happy now?  =)

So, first of all…let me tell ya.  I’ve never seen so much gorgeous sky in all my life as I did on this trip.  This picture is of a really whacky, really cool cloud formation in Nevada:

And the next thing you gotta know is that it rained. I mean, it rained all through Idaho and Wyoming…Jackson Hole was rainy and Yellowstone was rainy and the Tetons were rainy.  So here’s a rain picture.  =)

And I discovered my dream location.  I want to move to Swan Valley, Idaho.  Seriously, it was gorgeous…this is the best picture I got, but believe me, it was way prettier.

Red barns and aspens and really green grass and cattle and horses and all these little brooks running through the valley…it was storybook.  *dreamy sigh*  I would love to move there, have a nice little ranch and on the side have a coffee shop in Jackson, Wyoming (it’s not that far from Swan Valley) because you would not believe how hard it is to get good coffee in that part of the country.  So we walked into this outdoor shop to ask where we could get some coffee and the guy scratches his head and stares at us for a minute.  Then he goes…very slowly…”Well…you mean with creamer or without?”  Maybe we’re just spoiled Californians, but I thought that was pretty funny.  Anyway.  Next picture.  This is in Yellowstone park…the lake was still frozen in some places along the shoreline.  We stopped at this one place where the ice was all honeycombed on the water and every time the water rippled, the ice would crackle like broken glass.  Pretty cool.

And now I’ve gotta introduce you to my little friend.  Or, more accurately, our little friend.  His name is Pavlov — don’t ask.  Please. — and he went with us on our trip because my sister thought it would be fun to take pictures of him climbing mountains and at the state-line-signs and stuff.  Think Flat Stanley sort of idea.  So…here’s Pavlov riding a bison:

And Pavlov exactly halfway between the north pole and the equator:

And — magically skipping through a ton of road between there and here — here are a few shots from Megan’s home state.  Garden of the Gods in Colorado.  Yes, the color was this intense, and no, I don’t know that kid.  He just wouldn’t get out of the way and I got tired of waiting in the heat so I took the picture with him in it anyway:

Fast-forward through hoursandhoursandhours of more driving and we get to — drumroll, please — TEXAS!

In case you didn’t already know, my family is a bit disloyal to our California roots.  For the longest time my brother wanted to be from Texas so he could have one of those bumper stickers that says “I’m from Texas, what country are you from?”  Yeah.  We’re Texicans at heart.  Even though I want to move to Idaho…

Ok, so…while we were in Texas, we went to Fort Hood, where my dad was stationed for a while way back when.  And even though it was unbearably hot and humid, I got some pics of the military vehicles there.

Next up, some “architecture” shots.  The first one is a rusty fire escape I spotted on the San Antonio riverwalk and I just had to get a picture because it looked so much like — ok, don’t laugh at me…Josh will know what I mean…I think — it looked like something out of the Bourne Ultimatum where they’re jumping around on the rooftops.  Anyway.  I thought the coloring and everything was really cool, even though my family and one of the two friends that joined us on the last leg of our trip thought I was weird for taking pictures of an old fire escape.

And another architecture shot…this one is (if I remember correctly) the first building in America to have air conditioning.  Figures it was in San Antone.  It was so, so hot there…

At the capitol…

Inside the capitol…

I already posted this, but it was so cool after very slight editing, I’m posting again…

A dinner stop on the side of the road.  After something like twelve hours in the car with the prospect of two or three more, we were very ready for some crazy, random pictures.  =)

Bryce Canyon…the colors and the scope of it all were just amazing:

Yes, that is snow in the next picture…down there in the crevice…on the rim of the canyon, though, it was really hot; that’s where I got my full-on, peeling-and-everything sunburn.  And I don’t even burn that easily…

At the campsite we stayed at during our three nights near Bryce and Zion, they had several horses.  This one was kind enough to let me take a few pictures…

And finally, one of my very favorite places in the whole wide world, Zion National Park!  It is so incredibly beautiful and breathtaking and huge there, but somehow it’s very comfortable, too…as in, I felt so much more at home there than at Bryce even though it was just as awe-inspiring.  Yeah.  It’s hands-down amazing.  These pictures don’t do it justice…but they are the best ones I got.

Check out the size of the people:

And last of all, the river.  Because this was the most awesomest part of the entire trip, in my most humble opinion.  Ok, so we had been hiking — in 98 degree weather, I might add — all morning and part of the afternoon.  We were really tired and hot and my mom and I had migraines but we decided to head over to the Narrows anyway.  So it was a long bus ride and a mile further to walk and I pretty much wanted to curl up in the shade with an Arnold Palmer and call it a day about halfway through that mile.  Well.  The trail ended at the river and there were all these people river-hiking and we were so hot and the water looked so inviting…so my mom goes, “who wants to put their shoes and socks on the line and go hiking in the river?”  Well, we all did.  And it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time…the water was freezing and at some points above my waist (although I’m not exactly the tallest girl in the world…it was maybe three feet deep) and it was wonderful.  All these crazy cool rock formations twisting away above you and the freezing water and the really strong current that almost knocks you and your camera into the water (speaking of which, that’s why there’s only one not-so-great-picture.  We didn’t want the cameras to get wet, so we just used them at the beginning of the river…it got cooler the farther you went though)…oh, my, it was a blast!  Oh, and I might add…the water cured the migraine pretty effectively.  I’ll have to try that next time around…=)

Anyway, there’s my trip.  Very condensed, but probably more than you wanted to hear all the same.  It was a trip of many, many car hours (like-such-as-in 12 hour days…one fifteen hour day…yeah) and many, many memories that I won’t even try to explain because you wouldn’t get them unless you’d been there…it was amazing.  Praise God we’re home safe and sound with lots of stories and family bonds stronger than ever! =)

~c. a.

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5 thoughts on “At very, very long last…

  1. Carreen! These pics are gorgeois (rhymes with bourgeois)! And I loved hearing about your trip. Very fun. Thanks for sharing.

    • *gasp* IT’S MS. GAINES! YAY! I’ve missed you so much… *recovers*

      Thank you for the kind “gorgeois”. =) We had lots of fun!

      [Edit: thanks for the link, too…that looks very interesting, I’ll have to check it out. I don’t know if you are interested in photography yourself, but a site I’ve found very helpful and inspiring is http://www.iheartfaces.com/. They have weekly photo challenges, info on editing, lots of helpful tips, etc. Really fun.]

  2. Well, Texas is one of the best states, behind California. The humidity kills me, but I’m pretty partial to San Antonio.

  3. Agreed, Lydia. I don’t know if I honestly could deal with the heat and humidity in San Antone, but since there is no chance of our moving there, it’s nice to say I wish we did. =) If we could move California’s scenery, weather, and friends to Texas, I’d be more than happy to live in the Lone Star state. =)

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