Good morning from Arapaho National Forest! It’s Andi here taking over the S&R blog to share my most recent out west road trip. As a lover of “off the beaten path” travel I find happiness in curiosity. I just finished traveling America exploring artistic hideaways writing book number two, to be published in Spring of 2017 titled “A Wanderful Life”. It’s my favorite job yet! In the midst of that my bf and I are in process of moving from New Orleans to Nashville, he’s just wrapping up a summer tour so we decided to take a few weeks in the Rockies before heading back down south. I’ll be sharing views from our adventures and a few of my travels hacks too. Thanks for coming along!
The older I get the further my heart roots in nature: I love fireside storytelling, brooding rainfall and misty mountain summits. On this trip we road horseback through Estes Park’s high country trails and took evening strolls under the cascade of stars in Grand Lake. There’s a different energy out here at the end of summer, and I’m a girl that loves a wild child good time!
The Arapaho Forest is named for the tribe of Native Americans which inhabited the Colorado Eastern Plains. When traveling I like to research the history of a place. Seek out the off grid bohemians to gain a local perspective on the ancient traditions. There’s a quote from John Muir “keep close to nature’s heart and break clear away once in a while … wash your spirit clean.” I find traveling the National Parks – this is our 8th one this year – has given me a renewed sense of connection that I didn’t know I was missing. It’s the 100 year anniversary of our park system, I highly recommend getting out there!
After spending this year on the road I’ve got a big list of travel hacks. The most important: find that person whose wanderlust philosophy lines up with yours, you’ve got to have a travel soul mate! Secondly, travel like a minimalist. For wanderers on lengthier trips you’ll be so glad you had less to lug along. I always include a few special pieces too – a favorite piece of jewelry can create a subtle transformation, and every girl likes to feel dressed up even when she’s living like a forest vagabond.
Rocky Mountain National Park spans the Continental Divide – it’s full of emerald valleys, alpine tundra meadows, airy mountain peaks and crystal lakes. There’s herds of elks in the low meadows, little red foxes dashing amongst the brush and 6 feet moose frequenting the willow thickets. It’s best to head out out at dusk to catch the action. Over head there’s the darkest ravens and hawks peering down. Be sure to bring your picnic supplies in at night, we learned the hard way, the Grand Lake black bear snuck right into our cabin yard to see what we’d left in the baskets.
Thanks for spending this time with me! For more travel stories and tips visit me over on www.ouiwegirl.com and pick up my book in the Spring!
photography credit: Ben Alleman
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