Coolest Trip Yet!!!

I cannot remember when it was decided, but I know it was Mallory's idea and I leapt at it without reserve, as I normally do, being a little crazy and all that. The mission: to run a half marathon in each state. I think Mallory had a meager four states completed already and I had just started running not long before. I may have had a whopping two under my SPIbelt. So, for the past year or so, we've been living the dream and using all our vacation time driving where we can, flying where we can't and running. In the year or less since Mallory asked if I would run the country with her, I have completed seven states. Last week was Utah at the Utah Valley Half Marathon and the week before Colorado for the Steamboat Springs Half Marathon

The state thing was Mallory's idea for sure, but the Utah trip part was mine. I needed to get over the state being a representation of illness and death since it's where both of my parents died. I needed to see my family again for reasons beyond funerals and I wanted Mallory to experience some of my side of the continent with me. Success all around. Coolest dang trip of all time!

Me on Whale Rock in Canyonlands
We always rate each state on livability, as in does it make us want to leave Rhode Island and live there. So far, every single state has made us want to leave Rhode Island (especially when we come home from a summer vacation to torrential downpours and 53 degrees). Dear Rhode Island... you really suck sometimes.

Moving on, this was the busiest vacation ever. We were everywhere: Denver, Steamboat Springs, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Provo, Lehi, Wyoming. All in 9 days including 2 days of travel.

For purposes of this particular post, I need to fill you in on Arches National Park, because it was the most incredible place I have ever seen. If you stick your phone out of a moving car window at any moment, without even looking, you may snap the most gorgeous photo of your life. It is that easy to see the coolest landscapes in the world. Just open your eyes. On our first hike, I was on the verge of tears for no particular reason. Just speechless-wow. Just shit-this-is-beautiful. Just is-this-real-life amazement. My mind was clear and full and I maybe forgot my own name at times. I was high on hiking, a little nauseated from the drive and sorta weak on Dramamine, but it was glorious, divine and every word in every language for hell yeah!

View along the trail of our first hike in Arches.
We hiked to every arch we could regardless the temperature or time of day. With your $10 per car weekly entry fee (What? Cheap right?) visitors are given a map that includes the ideal time of day to take photos in various locations. I like taking photos, but we opted to squeeze in as much as we could as quickly as possible and snap some shots as we went along. Ideal time of day or not, still good shots, if I do say so myself. One day, we went on a guided hike to Surprise Arch and more, hiked on our own to Landscape Arch and Delicate Arch and figured we had hiked a minimum of nine miles in 97 degree heat overall. We were determined to see all we could and were kinda bad ass about it.

Sun setting through Turret Arch.

Delicate Arch
We arrived home with a bursting sense of passion for travel, National Parks, hiking and camping (which we haven't done yet, but plan to try this summer).  Sitting at a sunny outdoor table at The Cheesecake Factory, minutes after our plane landed in Boston, eating salads and quesadillas, we started planning our next far away race trip for 2014: ALASKA. Boo-ya! Okay, it's not actually paid for, but it's happening. I am so lucky to have someone in my life as adventurous and into the experience of living as I am. We really bring out the best of functional mania in each other and it's a hell of a run.


Post a Comment