A 24/7, never-ending hive of activity where you can easily loose yourself in the chaos. There’s no place like Vegas.
Taken from one of the overhead bridges down the strip, I tried to capture the bright lights against the darkness of the sky beyond. We flew over the Vegas strip at night (you’ll see all of the lights without any of the added costs of a helicopter ride) and it’s strange how this hub of activity looms out of the desert.
The first time we visited, we drove through the night, arriving at the Strip in full darkness (with tunes from the Hangover playing – it has to be done!). It’s a sight I’ll never forget. Whenever I go to Vegas, I’ve always tried to arrive at night for maximum impact.
We chose one of the rainiest days of our trip to drive out to Moraine Lake. It had been sunny in the morning and we had taken the opportunity to head up Sulphur Mountain where we had amazing views (as long as you turned your back to the coffee shop and huge visitors centre – you can read about that in a forthcoming post). By the time we got back down the mountain and set off to Moraine Lake, it was drizzling and quite a bit cooler.
This change in weather had resulted in fewer people around the lake, giving us a better view once we arrived. A huge rock scramble to one side of the lake provided a good vantage point, but instead we trundled around the edge of the water, sticking to the cover of the trees.
At the mouth of the lake, many logs floated side by side, creating a false path stretching across the water. A few ripples broke the surface of the water as the rain hit the surface. The quietness of the lake, coupled with the rain, created a lonely atmosphere. The backdrop of the mountains provided a stunning frame for the lake and prevented the vibe from getting too morose.
Whilst waiting to get that ‘perfect picture’ of the lake, I watched a older Chinese family try to orchestrate several children and a couple of older family members into the best photo position, suggesting poses and shouting for smiles. This took some time and it was good to watch them taking such care in the capture of a family photograph in this beautiful spot. As everyone aligned and showed their best holiday smiles, the older female of the group let out the biggest sneeze, surprising herself and the rest of the family, right as the camera clicked. The group (including us and those around us) descended into fits of laughter and a better, more natural photograph was captured. I’d love to see how that picture turned out – and if the people who’s mantlepiece the photo ended up on realise just how much effort was put into its creation.
Water always seems to be a big theme in our travels. We don’t try to seek it out intentionally, however it always seems to be that our destinations have a water theme – rivers, lakes, waterfalls.
We’ve had many conversations about how calming it feels to be near the water -usually when we are visiting somewhere pretty with lots of water, in between commenting on ‘how we don’t do this enough’. Ingleton Falls is one of those places you can visit again and again – we have probably only been there once in the sunshine (it rains a lot!) but we have been a number of times in the drizzle and every time has still felt refreshing. Walking along the river bank, heading up the side of the falls, the sounds of the falls echo throughout the trees, building a soundtrack to the hike and it feels almost trance-like.
There is magic hiding in the surrounding areas, where people hammer coins into wish trees, creating living sculptures. It’s captivating and creepy in equal measures to look at the vast number of coins, knowing that they represent the wishes of hundreds of other day trippers and travellers who have walked the path before you. This is one of the shortest distances our travels have taken us, however it’s a good reminder that you don’t have to go a great distance to find something magical.
Getting started, when you don’t know how to get started.
I bet most people who start a blog say the exact same thing – where do I start? We weren’t sure if we should start with our newest travels or with some of the older trips, a written piece, or a photoblog. So we started with the memories. Going through boxes of ticket stubs, photos and paperwork spanning trips as recent as last month, to trips many years old. We started to talk about the things that stood out from our trips. In most cases, it wasn’t ‘typical’ landmarks, that stood out (although sometimes it was) – often it was a conversation with fellow travellers, a night spent with friends or getting lost in unfamiliar territory. These were the things that we decided to write about, the things we wanted to share. They are random, un-coordinated and tinged in the rose-tintedness of memory – but they are (we think) the most interesting bits about travelling. They are the things that keep us going back for more!
It’s the same with trying to travel part time. It’s hard to know where to start. It’s all about looking for somewhere that will make a memory. It doesn’t have to mean setting off on a 12 month adventure, or flying half way around the globe. Find something that sparks your imagination and makes a connection. It could be only a half hour drive from your house, but if it taps into your emotions, you can guarantee that’s what will make the best adventure memories.
The open road, full of possibility and adventure. The start of a journey always makes me nervous – mainly because of the unknown waiting around the corner, but it’s exactly that unknown quantity which makes me so excited for what could happen next.