I think we can all agree that 2016 was one mean year. 2016 was horrible to me with a nice little twist at the end. After battling colon cancer most of the year, I was ready to put an end to this chapter with one epic road trip. And I did exactly that.
I’ve been wanting to see Monument Valley in Utah for a while now and this was the perfect opportunity to get away. I wanted to end the year by seeing beautiful places out of cell and internet range. I wanted to take it all in. I packed up my car in what ended up being the coldest week of the year since winter began and hit the road without any concrete plans. I drove all day from California to Utah and parked overnight at the visitor center like a good little nomad. First time I ever slept in my car on a road trip. I wanted to be there for the sunrise, even if it was 25 degrees that night. Thankfully I didn’t freeze to death and waking up to the amazing view was worth it.
After spending most of the day at Monument Valley I really wanted to catch the sunset at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. I was there earlier this year but it was so hot that I cut that experience short. Being only two hours away, it was the perfect time to revisit. I got there just in time to find a spot on the edge and watch the sun go down. What a wonderful experience. Majestic! I sat there and watched until the sun was completely gone. Then I sat there and watched everyone else sharing in this experience.
Once the sun went down I decided to drive down to Sedona, AZ. I found a campsite just south of town and camped for the night. In the morning I headed into Sedona looking for the Chapel of the Holy Cross. I found this place on Instagram and have been wanting to see it every since. Breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe it. I decided to finish my time in Sedona with a hike at Red Rock State Park and eventually began making my way home. This trip exceeded my expectations. It was the culmination of so many things I’ve learned about myself this year. I am strong, I am a fighter and I am not done packing up my car and driving towards pretty places. My hope is that 2017 will be kinder and full of new adventures. Happy New Year!