Spent part of my November exploring the Ozarks this past year.
Since the beginning of summer and the last time you guys heard from me, I have been really busy. As of late, that has consisted of a ton of traveling. Multiple long distance road trips including one in July where I found myself as far north as Idaho and another trip in August where I visited LA. Those experiences definitely opened my eyes. And I enjoyed them immensely. I don't want to get into that too much here, because I have so much to tell you guys about those trips. Which I will post about next. But, it definitely ties into the motive behind this Camping trip at White Sands.
After coming off that exhilarating high of seeing so many new places and learning of new information for the first time, I really wanted to continue pushing myself forward creatively. I felt extremely motivated. Maybe more so than ever before. I want to become great at what I do and actually enjoy the process that goes along with that. Whether I'm moving at breakneck speed or chugging along slow and steady I still need to be consistent. And that means doing a better job of keeping you guys up to date too! I apologize for the long absence. But hey, I'm back now!
Anyways, if you skipped through all that I don't blame you. You were probably just really excited to see what it looks like to camp at one of the most epic places in the world I'm sure! So was I haha. And let me tell you, it was freaking awesome! Definitely kicking myself about not having done this sooner.
I found a week where I was free for a couple days and then started planning it out. I reached out to some homies in Cruces wondering if anyone wanted to join me. It just so happened that the day I planned on going was a new moon and Chris Lang from Organ Mountain Outfitters had already set aside that exact day for the same reason! Perfect. Drove down a couple days early and spent some time exploring the Organ Mountains. Huge shoutout to Zach Andrews and Kobi Shillings for giving me a place to stay.
The day arrived and Chris and I were off. We secured a permit, packed up our bags, arrived at the park around 6pm and hit the trail with about an hour until the sun would start to set.
Chris and I both agreed we couldn't have picked a better day. Summer is practically over so the worst of the heat is behind us and the temperatures haven't dropped too much yet either. We hardly broke a sweat and got to enjoy a beautiful sunset before setting up the tent. Because it was just one night and its illegal to make a fire we only brought the basics with us. A couple of cliff bars, some fruit, and about a gallon of water each. Then we waited for a while until it got dark...
...and spent the next 4 hours chasing the milky way and hiking around the dunes with our trusty headlamps!
Photo by Chris Lang
After hiking around we ventured back to camp and snagged a couple more shots of the tent and crashed out. We managed to get a couple hours of sleep before we were awakened by some powerful winds shaking the tent and the first glow of light on the horizon. We caught sunrise, packed, and then left pretty quick.
I was restless, so I decided to go on an adventure. I left my house in the middle of the night to go catch sunrise down south somewhere. Stopped once to get a shot of the truck with Elephant Butte in the distance. Then I found myself waiting at the gate of Aguirre Springs Rec Area. I was approached by a guy my age and eventually learned he was on a road trip from Florida. For the rest of the morning I hung out with Robert and hiked Pine Loop Trail. It was only the beginning of what you would call a spontaneous trip. I soon learned that so much more was in store and that a surprise was around almost every corner. Ate lunch with Chris, the owner of OrganMountain Outfitters. Then mobbed around with him and Robert the rest of the day! The evening was quite moody and there were storm clouds brewing overhead but it was still a great time. And this was all just the first day of the trip.
Later that evening.
The weekend before Thanksgiving I decided to go on a spontaneous trip with my good friend Johnny.
A stressful semester at school and constantly working or doing homework was starting to hinder my creativity. This was the perfect opportunity to get out and just have fun and enjoy life. We drove all day Sunday and made it to Monument Valley during the evening. Even though it was dark, seeing the silhouettes of the historic landmark gave us so much joy. We decided to camp at the primitive camp ground near the hotel. In the morning we woke up to one of the coolest views I've ever seen. After taking it in and grabbing a few pictures, the fog started to move into the valley and soon the valley was hardly visible. It will be a morning I won't easily forget.
And yet, the rest of the day was just as memorable. We then drove to the Lake Powell area hoping to see Antelope Canyon but didn't have any luck because of heavy rain and flooding. Determined not to be bummed out we immediatly drove to Horseshoe Bend. On the way we saw some epic fog and hiked around for a bit. But Horseshoe Bend was perhaps the most incredible spot from the whole trip. It was cloudy and moody so the bend looked completely different than what I have seen on social media. Such a huge canyon that the Colorado River just snaked through so far below. It was so hard not to take a powerful image there.
The last stop for sunset was Coal Mine Canyon. We were freezing and full of curiosity and decided to hike down even though it was almost dark. The colors of the rocks and canyon walls were breathtaking. It was such a great way to end the day. Even the hike was satisfying. The 5 hour ride home was full of conversation and reflection. Such an epic trip.
The rest are iPhone pictures because my camera died.
Excited to be taking a step forward with creating my own website. It has been a goal that I wasn't sure I could achieve so soon. But here I am. So from now on I will be updating it with recent content as often as possible. I am not much of a writer but I do want to challenge myself to create more than just pictures. That is why I have decided to start posting blogs as well.