Driving through Oregon gave me a sense of home, a sense of comfort. Those long winding roads, full of mist covered trees, intertwining with one another.I felt at peace.. Until the sun set.
The sun set behind the trees as I drove into the eery darkness of the rainforest, and my skin began to crawl. I felt so uneasy, and sure some could say I watched too many scary movies as a kid but damn was I starting to get scared, and the worst part being, the further I drove the further away I seemed to get from any civilization, therefore any gas station.
I had been driving for hours at this point and the morning hours getting closer and closer. It seemed as though the road began to close in on me, getting darker, creating a sense of tunnel vision. Speaking of vision, did I mention that I had lost my glasses the second week into Colorado, meaning that no, I should not have been driving for 12 hours into the early hours of the night. Rest assured I arrived safely at my destination in Asheville.
Although my first sleep there wasn't exactly how I had planned it. I spent outside a friends place, which quickly turned into a construction zone. I remember driving up to her place around 2 in the morning, the roads quiet and dark, I thought to myself PERFECT!! Only to be woken up at 8 am to two construction dudes recounting their weekend events right outside my window. I peered out to see what was going on and I’d quickly realized that they had completely boxed me in. They blocked off the road with tape and pylons, getting ready to rip up the concrete while yes I was still inside my car, I was to scared to move so I just sat there and waited it out!
Anyways, luckily my second night in Oregon was spent out in nature, far far away from any construction zones. It was such a magical evening, Clarissa and I got some snacks and some wine and had a beautiful sunset picnic at Diamond lake. Nowhere to be, only stories to be told.
Oregon was full of these moments for me. Cannon beach, long forest walks, natural hot spring, lake and ocean dips and good company. I had four days exploring Oregon and didn't see nearly as much as I could have, but I’m okay with that. I didn't feel the need to race around and see everything because the memories I made outweighed any view or landmark out there.
I highly recommend going to Oregon if presented the opportunity, however, take your time and don't rush or force anything, there is so much to see. Even going for a simple walk you are bound to see the beauty that is Oregon.
I had the pleasure of exploring these sacred grounds the same day I parted ways from my community in Colorado, I set off onto the open road and tackled a dream of mine, that has always been to walk amongst these incredible giants.
Arches National Park is truly breathtaking to say the least. I found a sense of comfort here, as the sun took its decent over these formations while the moon rose simultaneously. I felt content, not saddened nor was I fearful but instead I was wholehearted and full of love.
I followed my heart to these giants and left part of it amongst them, forever proud and grateful to have found myself here.
I only had about 5 hours to explore the entire park and only wished I could have stayed longer, but I thoroughly made the most of my solo time there and hey at least this way I have another reason to go back to enjoy these beauties again.
I've had a few people ask me what my favorite experience in Colorado was. It would be nearly impossible for me to summarize one of the most life changing journey of my life into one specific moment. The entire summer start to finish was overwhelmingly beautiful, but strangely enough I have one moment in particular that truly stands out to me. Best part, it was not planned at all, I could have never guessed that this was somewhere my life would have taken me.
A dear friend of mine happened to have an extra ticket to a show at Red Rocks and asked if I wanted to come. Gregory Alan Isakov was playing and I said who? I had no idea who he was, funny how that works out,- someone I didn’t know existed in a place I didn’t know existed, and this turned out to be the most magical moment of my summer.
To be quite honest I didn’t know if I could handle another show at Red rocks. The week before a big group of us had to The String Cheese Incident who gave us the show of a lifetime. There were light beams projected onto our Flintstone like surroundings, we danced, we laughed and we let go and let loose, surrendering and consumed by such an incredible experience.
Like I said in the beginning, we didn't plan to go a second time. This time we has a smaller more intimate group going to see this artist perform, this artist who I’d still never heard of. As it turns out, that was the most impactful moment of my entire summer. It's funny to me something so new and so unknown, had such an impact on me.
If you haven’t already listened to Gregory Alan Isakov then I would seriously recommend it. (Like quite literally stop reading this and youtube his song "Amsterdam" that is my ultimate favorite song!) Although, nothing could ever compare to hearing it at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater, those apple headphones your repping will do just fine.
The magic that radiated from that stage was out of this world. The way every instruments sound bounced, echoed off of these incredibly beautiful rock formations, intensifying and magnetizing every note, it made my body come to life. I listened to the way the violin, chello, drums, guitar, bass and vocals all falling in sync one by one making me feel safe, warm and cracked open. I was completely blissed out and in a state of complete contentment.
We weren’t bouncing off the walls or head banging, no laser beams or light show, no instead we sat and swayed. Thousands of people rocking back and forth to the intense vibrations of the sweet, soft sound of magic- sinking deep within our bodies.
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world, my chosen family to share such a pivotal experience with. Closing my eyes I surrendered to the joy and happiness pulsing though me. Unsure whether to cry, smile or explode with gratitude. I sat there and listened, I took in every beat and every lyric that my mind could absorb. I was creating a home video in my mind, to cherish, to keep with me in moments of sadness or defeat. Something I could remember as one of the best moments in my life.
Still to this day, that performance vibrates through me and touches my heart in a way words cannot and will not ever do justice for but what I can say is that I am confident in saying that this was the highlight of my summer.
A memory and a feeling I will hold dear to my heart, for as long as possible.
Victoria is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived in my life. The amount of lush greenery that surrounds the city is incomparable to any other place I've been thus far.
The city is rapidly growing, way faster than I think anyone could have anticipated, however, there are so many different pieces to the island, that still have a small town feel.
The best part being that you can drive 30 minutes in any direction and get something completely different. The ocean, the city, mountains, lakes, rivers, farms and even other islands. Any where you turn, there is something for everyone.
Maybe I'm a little bias in expressing my love for Vic, but I challenge you to find someone who truly disagrees with me.
Some of my favorite places around the city are Mount Douglas park. There are great hikes for all levels , the paths navigate their way through the forest and towards the coast line or you can choose to follow them up to the top.( Which I strongly recommend seeing at sunrise or sunset.) If your feeling like you want to opt out of the hike and just go for the view, you're in luck! You are actually able to drive all the way up to the top, park your car and head to the big bowl, where you can sit and enjoy the in the view.
Another one is somewhere I'm sure everyone has told you about, and that is Dallas road. For me it isn't the busy dog park or the breakwater but further down towards Gonzales. There is a cute, sneaky little doc that sit on the shore line that has a view of the Olympic mountains. I love to sit at this spot around sunset or just after, its quiet and calm for the most part. All you need is a blanket and a book and you're set, added bonus being that the view of the stars isn't half bad and isn't to washed out from light pollution.
On the flip side of the coin, Dallas is also one of my favorite places to storm watch. Seeing as the waves crash into the breakwater and sidewalk is exciting and therapeutic all at the same time.
Victoria is a beautiful city to visit in the summer, vibrant colors, great patios, beaches, awesome local shops and street markets. However, the winter slows down dramatically, which is nice but can get a little grey and lonely so if you are someone who really get affected by seasonal depression this one wouldn't be high on my list of recommendations. Buuuut if you're not a snow bunny than Victoria may be your winter oasis, considering they hardly get any snow at all.
Victoria has such a beauty to it. Hippies, City lifers, musicians, families and travelers everyone welcome whatever your flavor. Definitely recommend.