I woke up in Utah this morning.
I fell asleep in Colorado.
Only half a state apart, but the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains of Denver gave way to the arches and canyons of Moab.
Let me give you a nomad’s pro tip: leave the plans behind.
Terrence and I took off from a latte art throw down Friday night and started driving. I do not like driving in general, night driving even less, and night driving while it’s raining even less. So the Chaser generously traded out with me to get us over the mountains.
And no, we really didn’t have a plan. We just wanted to go west.
That’s what comes with not having a plan, but it also made it easier to continue onwards when our vague idea fell through.
Paved roads are great. Unpaved tend to lean towards much more interesting adventures. Keep in mind that we were traveling the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
We found a sign neither of us had seen before: a warning that the pavement would cede to gravel.
We turned down the first dry road we’d seen in twelve hours and my heart stopped. Nomad pro tip #2: national parks aren’t everything. We found an isolated overhang that spread Goosenecks beneath us and Monument Valley before. We climbed down crevices and watched the lizards dart around. We peered at the beauty that in an hour, fewer than ten other people spotted.
There’s beauty in isolation, often being off the beaten path brings just as much joy – if not more – than doing the traditional travels. I love going to the known spots – they’re beloved for a reason! But even more, I love being able to breathe in the silence while taking in something phenomenal.