2016 was an amazing year. I decided to make a quick recap of last year. hope you enjoy! 🙂 and I promise, I’ll update this blog soon! I can’t wait to get into blogging again. It’s been a while.
I know, I know… and I’m sorry. I have been really bad on updating my blog these last few months and I apologize. These last few months have been mostly about work and Wesley and I haven’t really had time to go out on the weekends. Especially with the end of the year coming up, it’s been extra busy with work, holidays, and family and friends. But within in September and October, we were able to go to two different places, but I just didn’t have time to update you guys on the blog.
September – Labor Day Weekend
On Labor Day weekend, Wesley and I headed out to Alabama Hills and Lone Pine to check out Manzanar and camp in Alabama Hills. On the first day out in the Lone Pine area, we explored the town and Manzanar. Lone Pine is such a cute town and the main street of the town looks like time has completely stood still and looks like an old western town. When headed up the 395 North and towards Manzanar. As stated by the National Park Service, “In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.” Manzanar was an eye opening experience and came with a lot of emotion. The historical site had a lot of first hand accounts that you could read about and replica barracks that you could go into. Although it was amazing to see, it was also really sad be think about what the people went through and how scared they were to have everything and loose it all. We stayed there for the afternoon and after headed to Alabama Hills to camp out for two nights. Wesley and I have never camped alone together, we are always usually with a group of people. But camping out in Alabama Hills was amazing. It was so quiet and peaceful. We were planning to stay for two nights, but as we were trying to go up to see a ghost town, Wesley’s car was having some trouble and we had to get towed ALL THE WAY BACK to the LA County area… over 200 miles to be exact. So I hope in the near future we could go back and really explore the area even more so.
October – Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park
In early October, Wesley and I went out to the Oxnard area to catch a ferry out to one of the islands in Channel Islands National Park. We decided to go to Anacapa Island. It took about an hour and half to get to the island from the harbor and we were greeted with a steep and beautiful rocky cliff of the island with a beautiful lagoon. The island is pretty small at about 1 mile or so wide. They have some camp sites on the island, but we decided to just stay for the day. They have different points of interest on the island, but the most popular point is Inspiration point. This area of the island is so inspiring and beautiful. This island is great for a day trip. There are different islands within the National Park, which I am excited to one day explore.
So there was a little recap of the last couple of months with me. I hope you enjoyed! Till next time, see ya!
Although I am a few days late, I wanted to take a moment and recognize the 100th birthday of the National Park Service! My boyfriend and I embarked on a journey starting in 2015 to see as many National Parks as we can and it just so happen that in 2016, it was the 100th year of the National Park Service. With knowing that the centennial was upcoming, we wanted to see as many national parks as we could during any time we could take off from work and free weekends (usually holidays). In 2016, we visited 9 National Parks and 12 National Parks in total. We hope to visit a few more National Parks before the year ends. We bought a year pass, so might as well use it! So far, my favorite park that we visited was Arches National Park in Utah. The beauty of this park is so amazing. I love desert landscapes and the natural arches and beauty of this park leaves me so speechless. This park tested my endurance and my strength and made me realize that I could overcome obstacles. My boyfriend and I have cherished memories in this park and I would love to come back and explore more in this park.
I recently watched a video from the National Park Service and it stated, “Enjoy what is yours. Protect and keep this great heritage.” I love this statement and agree with it so much. Go and explore your National Parks.
Over Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend and I went to Denver, Colorado to explore some national parks in the state and in Utah.
When we first landed in Denver we went straight to the city of Golden to see the Buffalo Bill Museum and Buffalo Bill’s grave site. The museum was about an hour away from downtown Denver and had beautiful views of the city and greenery all around.
After, we headed to our first official stop, Estes Park. The city is such a cute and quaint town. The nature within the town is beautiful. While we were here we went to see The Stanley Hotel which inspired the movie, The Shining. You would think the hotel would be creepy and scary, but it’s not too bad. It’s actually quite beautiful. My boyfriend and I also spent the majority of our time at Rocky Mountain National Park, right outside of Estes Park. Rocky Mountain National Park is amazing. The mountain tops were filled with snow and the valleys were so green and lush. There were moose and elk roaming the park. It didn’t feel real. When we were there, we hiked around Bear Lake and up Alberta Falls. Both had amazing view points. We also drove around Trail Ridge Road, which is actually one of the longest roads in the states. The road goes up to a high elevation and it even started snowing while we were up there. I wish we could have spent more time in the park, but sadly our time at Estes Park came to end and we were off to the next city.
We drove from Estes Park to Moab, Utah. We made a stop in Glenwood Springs in Colorado. We went to the Glenwood Cavern Adventure Park to check out the caves. We took a tour in the Fairy Caves and saw beautiful caves and and learned about how the founders travelled through the mountains in Colorado. After the caves, we headed to Moab to explore Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. Both of the parks had amazing canyon views. We both love the desert and the landscapes that come with it. When we went to Canyonlands National Park, we explored the part of the park called “Island in the Sky”, which is the most popular part of the park. The other portions of the park are for back country hiking and off roading trails.
When we went to Arches National Park, we did some hiking to see the most popular sights in the Park. My favorite arch in the park is Delicate Arch which consisted of a hike up a rock face. Even though I felt like giving up throughout the hike, I knew the view at the end of the hike was so rewarding. We waited to watch the sunset at Delicate Arch. Even though it was really crowded, it was so beautiful.
After a view days in Moab, it was time to head back to Colorado. We were headed to Alamosa, Colorado. But on our way back, we stopped at Mesa Verde National Park. This national park was different that the other parks we had visited. Going to this park was like stepping into history. We got to explore the Cliff Palace. The tour included climbing ladders and going down steep steps and it was so worth it. After our tour we rested in Alamosa for the night.
The next day, we went to spend some time at our last national park, Great Sand Dunes National Park. This park was like seeing an oasis in the desert, but vice versa. The sand dunes were such a stark contrast to the Rocky Mountains in the background. At the dunes, you could rent boards so that you could ride down the dunes. We didn’t end up doing that, but we took our time roaming the dunes. After, we headed into to Denver to end our trip within a few days of arriving in the city.
This trip was amazing and even though we saw a lot and did a lot, it was all worth it. I am so happy that I got to spend so much time and make so many memories with my boyfriend, Wesley. There is so much more to see in Colorado and Utah and we hope to be back soon.
Thanks for reading! Till next time!
Recently, my boyfriend and I went to check out some National Parks in Colorado and Utah. During our trip we went to 3 National Parks in Colorado and 2 National Parks in Utah. We visited (in order) Rocky National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park. All the parks were so different and unique in their own way. I loved this trip so much!
Also, this year, all National Parks are celebrating the centennial! So go and explore your local National Parks!
In February and March, Wesley and I went to 3 different deserts out here in Southern California. Within the past few years, I have truly fallen in love with the desert landscapes and the different varieties that these landscapes have to offer. I love how barren and simple the desert is and it really shows the true self of California. There is a simplistic and calming beauty that I find in these landscapes. To me, the desert is so peaceful.
Of course, when you are going out to the desert, it’s important to stay hydrated and to be smart and prepared out there. It can be dangerous if you aren’t fully prepared.
During the last weekend of February, we went for a day trip out to Death Valley. We had recently gone in January with a big group of people for a camping trip, but we wanted to see more of “touristy” things in Death Valley. Also, I really wanted to see the Superbloom. The Superbloom apparently it only happens once every decade and it was so worth it. We left the Los Angeles area around 3 AM to get to Death Valley by 9AM. I highly recommend getting there early to beat the crowds. It started to get really busy by lunch time. We went to check out most of the touristy spots within the basin of the Badwater Basin. Death Valley is truly amazing and beautiful. Because it is so massive (it’s one of the biggest National Parks in the United States), there is so much more that we haven’t seen. I’m excited to go back and to explore even more.
The next weekend, Wesley and I headed out to San Diego County to Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells for a camping trip with some of our friends. Last year, we went out to Anza Borrego with some of the same people within the group. We camped out in Ocotillo Wells and explored around the area and in Anza Borrego. These areas are much more barren in comparison to Death Valley. Also, they aren’t as busy as Death Valley is too. This year, instead of camping at a traditional camp site, we literally had a GPS point and met everyone there. This was straight up primitive camping with no running water, no designated spot, and no bathrooms. It was actually a really cool experience. Oh yeah, and we also experienced our first legit sand storm. It was crazy and a little scary too. We also for the first time slept in our car, rather than set up a tent. The winds were just too crazy to set up a tent and Wesley has a huge car, so it was fine. The next day we explored both Anza Borrego and Ocotillo Wells. It’s pretty cool because we were just over on the other side of the Salton Sea. We saw the different places that this land scape had to offer and ended the day with the metal sculptures scattered around Anza Borrego. It was awesome to get to meet new people and see old faces. Can’t wait for our next outing. Hopefully it won’t be another year till we see them again 🙂
The following weekend, Wesley and I headed out to our final desert destination of our desert bonanza in Joshua Tree. We love Joshua Tree. Before last weekend, we had never gone camping the park, but we have done 2 day trips out in Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is one of the closest national parks to Los Angeles. Camping out in Joshua Tree was so amazing. We camped out in Jumbo Rocks campground with our oldest friends since high school. We were surrounded by huge boulders and the sites were secluded from each other. We checked out all of the different sites in Joshua Tree and climbed all of the rocks that we could. Joshua Tree is known for it’s rock formations and the Joshua Trees themselves. The rock formations make you feel like your in Bedrock, it’s so cool! It was awesome spending time with some of our oldest friends. We have all known each other since high school and it always awesome to make some time to hang out with them.
Deserts in Southern California are amazingly beautiful and offer so much. There are so many things to do out there for everyone. If you live in So Cal, go and explore your own backyard. There’s adventure out there.
Cheers! Happy exploring!
Over Thanksgiving weekend, my boyfriend and I headed out to Utah and Arizona to check out Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Monument Valley.
Check out our short video documenting our experience out there! I will be posting a photo diary soon! Enjoy!