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Showing posts from September, 2017

Thermal Waters, Bathhouses, and Gangsters!

I highly recommend that you take a trip to Arkansas. The drive alone, through this Natural State, is worth it. Lush green wherever you turn, lakes around every bend; it’s a beautiful state and there’s unlimited opportunities for fun recreation. During your trip, take a detour to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where you’ll find Hot Springs National Park in the middle of downtown and a fun and speckled history.
The naturally thermal pools (or hot springs) remain around 143 degrees Fahrenheit and lack the Sulphur odor of most hot springs, which caused many doctors to recommend these pools for health and healing. In addition, thoroughbred horse racing began in the early 1900’s (and gambling was made legal in the 20’s). This bought an influx of people to the city, which became neutral territory for gangsters and was Al Capone’s home base for many years (check out the Gangster Museum when you visit!). Spring training was held here so the ball players could heal their sore muscles (and detox after a…

Diamonds Are NOT A Girl's Best Friend!

Crater of Diamonds State Park was a scenic hour drive west of Hot Springs, Arkansas. After deciding to sleep in, we missed the “how to mine for diamonds” class by 15 minutes. Oops. Probably should have attended so we would know how to utilize our rented equipment (tray, shovel, and 3.5 gallon bucket) and thereby increase our odds of finding a diamond! Side note: in 2016, there were 501 diamonds found here with only 161k visitors (better odds than the lottery!) and 17 of these diamonds were over one Carat. Largest diamond found in 2017 was 7.44 carats. Now, that’s what I was hoping for…a 7ct diamond!! Could you imagine? Eagerly, we took our mining equipment and hit the…open dirt field.
Time to work. Mining for diamonds was back breaking work. Filling the bucket with dirt (and fingers were crossed, diamonds!), and carrying it to the water trough became heavy after the 6th, 7th, and 8th time. But what a unique workout! We would then sift through the dirt utilizing two stacked trays, one…

Oh, The Goals of a Wanderer

Friends, family, strangers, they've all seemed to have one of the following thoughts regarding me quitting my job, relinquishing my home, and living out of a car for 60+days: (1) I wish I could join you/I've always wanted to do what you're doing (2) Have you been saving/How can you afford this? (3) If only I didn't have my spouse, kids, mortgage, student loans, etc... I’ve also been called many names over the last month (and even over the last 15 years). Nomad. Hippie. Free soul. People trying to define me, put me in a box, or assign a word to describe who I am, how I feel, what I’ve seen and done. Well, this is me: I enjoy traveling, seeing new destinations, meeting people. I become bored with the same place and after visiting a spot, I always prefer to visit some place new. And now, after years of talking about it, planning it in my head, and dreaming about it, I've taken the leap. I’m officially a wanderer, aimlessly traveling. The journey has finally begun. The…

Bye Bye Dallas

Left Phoenix late afternoon on Friday and aimed to drive as far as we could before finding a place to sleep. On the way, we passed through Saguaro National Park and took pictures of large cacti (love) and raced a little roadrunner across the road.  So darling. Continued driving until about 3:00am (we did have a jump forward on time when we entered Texas, but it was still a long, late drive), then crashed in the car at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I didn’t know that Texas had two National Parks; I only knew about Big Bend. How exciting to accidentally find our way to another! 
After watching the sun rise, we stopped at Carlsbad National Park to tour the caverns. Striking. Loved the effects that millions of years of continually mixing rain water and hydrogen-sulfide rich water (had to google the exact term) had on the limestone. The structures, streams, ponds, etc. were artistic and gorgeous. The 50 degree weather was wonderful as well!
Continued our drive towards Dallas, with an o…

Just Can’t Wait to Get On The Road Again!

No road trip is complete without singing a little Willie! Every time we entered the car to go to the next location, I would sing the two famous lines of that song, and off we would go. “On the road again…” la la la *sways back and forth*

We entered Zion and the area immediately turned into large red hills and pine trees, similar to Bryce Canyon. We googled how the bus system worked (there aren’t places for parking, so we had to park outside the park or at the visitor center and take a bus to one of nine stops.), filled up our water, then found a park ranger to question.
Amber asked what Zion offered that the other national parks didn’t, and after looking a tad dumbfounded, he told her Angel’s Landing. We initially were going to do the water fall hike, but the ranger said there wouldn’t be much water fall at this time of year. So, I convinced Amber to start the Angel’s Landing hike, with the promise that we could turn around at any point. (ha!)

Uff. Da. That hike was intense. B…

On The Road Again

Last day of work was Friday (tears mixed with joy) and Saturday morning found me hopping aboard a flight to Phoenix. Can I give a shout out to Southwest? I love how airline employees are adding humor to their boring safety speeches. On this flight, I laughed multiple times at a flight attendant’s comments but what had me chuckling was when we landed in Phoenix. After touching down, the plane was still moving quickly across the tarmac. After a good 20 seconds of not slowing down, the captain (maybe a flight attendant) came over the intercom and goes, "whoooooooaaaaaaaa Nelllllllly", accent included. Hah So fun!

Amber picked me up at the airport and we hit the road for Moab. Initially, we planned to visit Sedona and the Grand Canyon first, ending with Moab, but decided to complete the long drive first (great foresight!).

Driving to Moab, we saw signs for Four Corners, so of course we had to take the hour detour. Paid our $5 (cash only!), walked around for 20 minutes,…