Traveling with People of the Mountains…

As I traveled through the state whose slogan is “Life Elevated” it didn’t take long for me to figure out why the state of Utah was given this very insightful nickname.

Shortly after crossing over the state line I came to the point when I needed to take a break to stretch my legs, as I  came around the corner I saw this beautiful arch in the rock with cars pulled over on the side of the road at the base. I nearly drove past but before I knew it I had talked myself into taking my break here and quickly pulled over before I passed the parking spaces.

Climbing up this beautiful rock formation didn’t take long, though in my better judgement I changed my shoes before attempting the climb. Making it to the top…I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was in the center of Arches National Park and didn’t even realize it! But once I “elevated” myself I was able to see so much clearer the beautiful landscape that surrounded me and I never would have known if I didn’t take a minute to metaphorically “smell the roses”

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I learned a little something as I was passing through;

From the Ute tribe, meaning “people of the mountains.”

The Navajo Indians were referred to by the Apache as “Yuttahih” meaning “one that is higher up.” Europeans misunderstood this term to refer to the tribes living higher in the mountains than the Navajo, the Utes, and the territory was called the land of the Utes, Utah.

Isn’t it interesting what you can learn when you are just passing through? It took a lot of convincing for me to actually get up from my rocky overlook and get back on the road again, as all good things must end eventually so must my scenic break also come to an end.

I have realized, more-so on this trip, how much I am like my mom. With Mother’s day tomorrow I have spent a lot of time looking back on my life and thinking how thankful I am for my mom, as I am sure most of the world is doing at this very moment.

An Adventurer, explorer, independent, spontaneous, notices the little details in life, someone who appreciates a good road trip and knows that life can only be lived once. This is the shortened version of what comprises my mom’s personality but these are traits I am proud to say that I was taught as a child and have applied to my own life.

Many things have crossed my mind over thousands of miles across this country in the last six months but mostly over the last two weeks. I have realized that sometimes it is in the mess of things when something good is brought to light.
Life is hectic, scary, unpredictable and most of all unreliable…and there is nothing we can do about it. But something I heard a lot growing up “it isn’t about how hard you fall, it is what you do when you stand”. We all hit rock bottom and guess what when you hit rock bottom, that won’t be the last time either. However, life isn’t about when you hit bottom it is what you do when you get there. I know people who have lived their whole lives at rock bottom and I know others who have hit bottom harder than anyone else I have ever known and yet they refuse to be beaten or broken. They choose to rise.

As I drive through my last state on this grand adventure filled with rock formations and mountains I have been thinking a lot about heights and when you fall…you must rise.

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Live your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you what you are capable of doing or let the words of another dictate how you live your life. Dream as if the stars are within your grasp and the moon is too close. The only limit you will ever be faced with is the one you put on yourself.

Traveling Photographer Out!

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