Out West Part I



We went on a two week road trip to camp in some of our favorite places this Fall.  We invited Nathan's parents so they could see and experience it all with us. This trip came at the perfect time, right at the end of many weeks and weekends straight of photo work. I was completely exhausted and eager to be outside. I turned my phone off for the majority of the trip, shot more film, and wrote down my experiences in my travel journal. It felt so nice to simply be. I hope you take a deep breath, slow down and  feel a sense of awe as you view these landscapes. I'll share snippets from my journal throughout. 



The first night of camping, we stayed at Colorado National Monument. The weather was oddly warm for November and made camping easy. We ate quinoa and sweet potatoes before turning off the lantern to look at the stars. There is nothing like stars in this place. N and I naturally woke up early (I love how changing time zones makes me feel like a morning person) to catch the sunrise over the mountain range above. We talked about the difference between light and energy. There were little rabbits running around us too! It felt like a dream.  




I love Canyonlands. It's one of the most underrated National Parks. We sat at Grand View Point for the longest time, watching people deep in the canyons riding bikes and driving down a dirt road that goes for miles. I felt so small sitting there, yet entirely captivated by the vastness. We camped on a cliff and made a fire that smelled like cedar and juniper. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a smell so much. 






We hiked to Delicate Arch just in time for sunset. N naturally ditches me every time because his legs are twice as long as mine. This place kind of freaked me out; not the arch itself but the ledge you have to sit on to see it. Its like the edge of a swirling bowl that drops 200 feet. The sunset light hits the arch just before setting and creates the prettiest glow. We walked down the mountain behind groups of people and it felt like we lived on the moon. We talked about the insane beauty of  Native Americans living here and what it would've been like.  There was even a section of rock wall covered in petroglyphs.







On our way to Capitol Reef, we stopped to see more petroglyphs carved in the rock walls along the prettiest river possible (below). Imagine living here? It blows my mind. We arrived at Capitol Reef just before evening. We've never been here before and it completely surprised me. Our campsite was nestled in the town of Fruita, an old Mormon settlement with orchards and old buildings. Looking up, you saw the massive mesas all around you. We set up camp under bright, yellow trees and went for a drive down a dirt road between the rock walls before dark. I loved this drive. We stuck our heads out of the sunroof and laughed nonstop. 

Sadie Culberson Studios Asheville Wedding Portrait Creative Photographer
Sadie Culberson Studios Asheville Wedding Portrait Creative Photographer