wild wild west, ya'll

when a good friend of yours is on a road trip across the states and invites you to hop on in vegas and ride through the desert to yosemite, you probably shouldn't say no (unless you have a real job, in which case... i don't know. evaluate how much you like your job?). 

because the blue of the sky in the desert is an extraordinary thing. 

this road trip was so much fun. spencer and his sister were doing a little tour-de-states on the way to her new job in nevada. lucky me got to tag along for adventures down wiiiide open roads, old ruins, wild horses, alien gift shops, and some drone-flying around the air force base...

we also explored an abandoned gold-mining ghost town, called bode state park.

there was some seriously spooky vibes around that old town. but mostly i mean the freezing cold draft of air that we felt while peeking in the old jail cell... normal in the desert in may?! i think not...

thanks spencer and jenna for inviting me along! more pictures of yosemite coming soon :)

give me big sur // give me bixby

"all the way from san francisco // as i chased the end of your road // and i've still got miles to go."

maybe it was death cab for cutie, or maybe it was hunter s thompson's letters, or any other number of writers who have idealized big sur and the bixby canyon bridge for me... 

it was every bit as good as i imagined it would be. this first time in big sur made me unbearably giddy at the sight of those giant rocky cliffs and windy roads and bluuue blue seas that just carry on into infinity. 

we camped for just one night at a campground with a few redwoods on the other end, (staring up a redwood tree is nothing quite like i've ever seen before.) and it was just enough to leave me craving another, longer visit. 

my favorite memory from this little trip was an adventure that didn't even involve any of these ^^^ breathtaking views. but it was breathtaking in a different kinda way. it was at night, after we set up our tent. noelle and delaney and i went on a late night hike with nothing but ourselves and a single flashlight. i hadn't been in the wilderness in california since that one time i was 11 in yosemite and that bear growled by our tent and scared me stiff. so this time, even though we didn't stray too far, i couldn't help but thinking about all of the creatures i couldn't see who were probably watching us or smelling us or curious about what we might taste like. but i didn't voice my fears to the other girls, because i didn't want to sound silly or like a city girl, or like a person-who-fears-things-with-teeth-and-claws-on-every-dark-walk-through-a-wood. so i stayed silent and focused on my steps as we traversed a pitch black dirt trail, and then over logs, and then boulders, until we found ourselves at the edge of a rushing creek. the water brought a break in the trees and a narrow path of sky that was littered with some of the brightest stars i've ever seen. delaney led us to a big round rock right in the middle of this little river---the perfect spot to stop and sit and look up for a while. so we sat there, for what felt like half an hour, completely silent and transfixed on every element around us. cold rock beneath us, flowing water on either side of us, multiple-hundred-year-old trees hovering over us, and billions of balls of fire lightyears away from us. 

i'm so thankful for moments like these in the grandeur of nature, to stop and let the power of wonder overpower all of our buzzing irrational fears. 

san fran

after a couple of weeks of work and play in the virgin islands, i returned to the west coast.

one of my favorite travel buddies, noelle, invited me to visit with her in california! after hitchhiking across europe and then exploring the costa rican jungle with her, i couldn't very well say no to yet another awesome impromptu adventure with this girl. so off to san fran i flew!

noelle and i explored the pier in sf, went to a free concert in oakland, and stayed at the house she grew up in, in the sweet little town of winters! we later tagged along on a road trip to big sur (pictures coming soon!), before heading back to san fran. 

after the big sur trip, i got to stay right in the city with a friend i met in costa rica! and michael lives in the perfect location, right by dolores park. i also had the craaazy serendipitous luck to spend a day with my sweet belgian friend daphne, who was in town to give a lecture! here are michael and daphne ^^^ hanging out in michael's beauuutiful backyard/patio area!

probably too many people are aware of just how much i love beatnik culture. kerouac and ginsberg are for SURE two of my greatest inspirations, so getting the chance to slink around some iconic spots i read about so much in their writing was a serious dream come true. 

some golden gate peeking.

san francisco, you are glorious.