Köprülü Canyon & The Turquoise Coast
The Black Sea is an incredible body of water that long gets overlooked by travelers. Its geographic location and ecological traits make it very unique and beckons attention. Its sheer depth and circumference may impress any but the real wonders lie deep within the water.
We had an eighteen hour drive to catch a flight East. Another fifteen to board at JFK. Connect in Amsterdam and then finally land in Istanbul. An eight hour stretch through tightly packed stop and go traffic into the barren landscape of central Anatolia. The sun faded from burnt orange to pink as we stretched on to our final destination, descending down into the faerie like wonders of Cappadocia just at the crest of night. It took a week of traveling to begin our next travel adventure. The following day would be the beginning of a six week journey throughout the vast stretches of Turkey, the dreamy desert scape of Jordan and the ancient world of Egypt. We start off our trip in Cappadocia which marks the one year anniversary of our marriage.
Some days we have to get away from being away. Put our anxious thoughts behind us as we cruise out of sight and let the miles unravel, racking up the odometer. As the distance increases our minds revert to inner peace. It’s just the way we are wired together: infinite adventure, infinitely craving the raw, new feel of everything around us.
Throughout our world Nature delights us with its unique gems. When we find them we are in awe; soaking in the breathtaking wonders of this incredible Earth. Idaho has shown us much beauty along the Salmon and Payette Rivers as natural Hot Springs emanate from underground.
Summit of Thompson Peak ( 10,751′ ), highest peak in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho.
Adventure awaits in the Sawtooth Wilderness. From the towering, craggy peaks blanketed with thick layers of snow and ice, to the swift whitewater of the River Of No Return, an abundance of excitement is an understatement. The naturist spirit cannot be undersold here; it beckons and bleeds with brave enthusiasm.
The wilderness beckons. A system of trails into the deep forest, where wildlife roam freely and animal tracks are the only footprints you might come across on the path. There is a silence, a calm that can not be mimicked by any transient audio relaying through a screen. There is a serenity a truthfulness to the wide open vastness of lands untouched by human hands.
Shadowy openings lure us in.
A world beneath.
Caves are the veins of the earth.
Living, breathing interior.
A majestic centerpiece rises up from the Earth to greet the confluence of two beautiful rivers, the Green and the Yampa. Steamboat Rock an ethereal experience in the high desert of Northwestern Colorado. A hidden oasis protected and hidden from the masses. A quiet, sacred place of awe inspiring beauty.
From the Rockies to the Sierras, the Cascades and back, we consistently have an innate desire to seek out mountains. We have made countless loops around the United States, from the interior to the coast, and back again. We haven’t, however had the chance to see Mount Saint Helens on any of our routes, at least not until now. The volcanic mountains in the Cascades paint an impressive picture of our endlessly shaping world.
Early Winter Spires and Liberty Bell Mountain in North Cascades National Park
The sun sets and the ocean falls into the sky.
Rugged as the coast line
Taller than the redwood trees
Whistling wonders through whispering leaves
Those who travel go for adventure, the allure of something new, different; a change of pace from the ordinary. We seek out the beauty of nature and the raw cultural shift from place to place. Always on an inner quest of love and light. To experience and be apart of something foreign for a lapse of time. Many however, overlook and undermine a mirror image face of reality when coagulated by a self serving sanctum. Refusing to look at refuse. Turning away from the endless true nature of the ordinary man in the industrial era.
The Yucatan Peninsula has so much to offer for the avid wanderer. While most will come to rejoice the pristine, white sand beaches along the Riviera Maya from the Cancun Hotel Zone to Playa Del Carmen, we took a different path that for us meant something beyond the facade. Our sights were set on a more cultural experience through history, geography and gastronomic adventures. From the airport we quickly made our way down to Tulum, a 90 minute drive from the Cancún International Airport.
A colorful culture awaits in Tulum, Mexico. The geology is unique in itself with amazing cenotes, the jungle and wildlife. But it is also very rich in history, dating back to an ancient civilization of the Mayan peoples.
We spent our time here doing a bit of everything, but mostly enamored with the numerous Cenotes. A Cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes underground water beneath.
For as much as I love the snow, mountains, cold and adventure, I have never truly been able to learn how to ski until this winter. Growing up East side I was never presented the opportunity nor had the “push” to try out winter sports. Thanks to the experience living in Winter Park, Colorado we have found a new love for the outdoors and snow that we otherwise never knew.
* Truck Camper Renovation Update!*
– Click Below for a detailed layout of our full off-grid electrical setup, including harnessing Solar Power and wiring a Split-Charge System!
Celebrating our love for each other & our love for Nature with a Snowshoe adventure through the wintry forest.
For the last few years Tyema and I have been criss-crossing the United States, making uncountable laps through our Nation’s most breathtaking scenery.
Simple ways we are helping the environment & ways YOU can also help the environment.
Tyema and I spent our holiday in our little apartment being creative with each other. As the whiskey and wine poured, the lyrics unraveled. We decided to share with you all our work in progress. Enjoy. (Full lyrics in link below)
More recorded music here
This is our first winter in our beautiful home state Colorado. Rather than traveling somewhere warm or abroad, we dedicated this winter to learning and playing in the snow. The vibe of a ski mountain town is so relaxed and we’re so grateful for this experience. Stepping out into the frosted air each morning makes us giddy and excited for each day.
My soul seeks asylum, my mind clarity.
Before this great big temple of ice.
In its presence eye am shown
My past, present and future.
Eye am shown, the beauty, the divine, the inevitability of dwindle and decay.
That nothing gold can stay.
Iceland has an incredible wealth of beauty tucked behind every mountain, fjord, and lava field. It is impossible to see everything in one day, and unreasonable to try. Making the most of our Icelandic Adventure Honeymoon, Tyema and I continue to rack up the miles, venturing further and further from our cabin on the Skorradsalvatn every chance we get. This way and that, back and forth across the country, once, twice and over again. Scouting out our next move we decided to take the long drive north to explore more remote areas and experience the Icelandic capital of the north, Akureyri.
Within an hours drive we began to climb up and into the highlands. Light rain turned to sleet then snow. We watched the temperature steadily drop and the windows start to fog. Traffic became less frequent, speed cameras few and far between. Seemingly endless expanses of farmland, fat balls of wool dotting the landscape. And then unexpectedly we begin to climb again in between the narrow gauge valleys of breathtaking mountains. Thicker snow blanketing rolling and jagged peaks. Series of crystal blue waterfalls gushing in abundance.
The enchantment of Iceland grew tremendously as our days progressed and we traveled further from our home base in Borgarnes. This next section of our Icelandic Adventure Honeymoon will focus entirely on the South, a section of Iceland that most will be more familiar with, due to its relative close proximity to Reykjavík. Of this area there are incredibly dramatic changes in the landscape that are unparalleled to any other place in the world. From our cabin, again we begin by looking out to the Northeast at Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland. We have followed the Hvítá River West, down into Borgarfjörður, but now it is time to follow its main arterial vain South along the Golden Circle and down to the North Atlantic.
Langjökull is undeniably the main contributing factor to the wondrous sights of the Golden Circle. Gullfoss, Iceland’s most notable waterfall in the Southern region, would not be possible without the continual melt from the glacier. It is a beacon of an ever-changing environment; it is a reminder of the causal effect of man in Nature and the inevitability of its fate. The sheer magnitude of this waterfall, cascading in two stages equivalent of 105 feet, was so great that we felt fixed, frozen in time while staring out at its majestic beauty. The roar of the water deafening. Eyes glazed, jackets drenched with mist. Pushing through the throngs of people glued behind cellphone and camera lights to get a more apt vantage.
Home is among the towering pines, jagged, snow-capped mountains and sulphur plumes of geothermic activity. I feel at home in the land of fire and ice. The common expression of a tree-less, leafless, barren expanse is thwarted every day as I look out our dining room windows. Towering conifers border the cabin, shrouded in the early morning dew, wet and dripping onto volcanic soil. The birch like wildfire, red berries clinging to dormant branches, growing in clusters from the porch to the Skorradalsvatn. We nestle here for a month, embracing our love as we embrace this intensely dynamic country. This cabin has been our solace in between long and unending drives. 5000 kilometers in two weeks time and we have yet to see a fraction of this magnificent place. Still, in all the beauty we have seen thus far, West Iceland has a special place in my heart.
Located fifteen minutes southeast of Borgarnes, on the northern lowlands of the Skarðsheiði mountain range we plan our days with excitement and adoration of this majestic land. We start slow, right in our front yard and expand outward as our days progress. Trying to understand the mountains, follow the rivers and waterways that lead to Borgarfjörður and Þingvallavtn, we trace the landscape out to Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland that straddle the Western and Southern region. We took the drive up 550 and then turned onto the pothole-riddled, snow patched 551 road toward the base camp. As we steadily navigated the road, grinding misjudged gears, the wind rolled off of the icecap, gusts tearing through the warmth of our jackets. Snow, thrust across the sun drenched sky, sent rainbows swirling about, dancing around the mountains.
A sensuous, exotic dance thrust across every corner of the star stained sky. Silent whispers in the wind, inaudible, beckoning the brave. The cold slipped like a silk nightgown; enchanted eyes glistening upward. An electric night, we too charged and excited. Oxygen swirling above, green and red photons pouring down in a flood all around us. We stood at the edges of the Skorradalsvatn, the lapping water reflecting rays in immeasurable degrees. The shimmering lake snaking from the east, spilling out and over the dam crest, carving the landscape down into Borgarfjörður, and then into the Greenland Sea. The Aurora floating along its’ winding course as all things connect in every dimension.
All day long, getting myself ready I was calm and collected. The day couldn’t have started more beautifully, waking up with you by my side, enjoying a nice breakfast then parting ways with an “I love you.”
Finding a balance is the key to living simply.
I have always taken life as it comes, living freely, flowing with the present. I enjoy the freedom of spontaneity. The only importance being the here and now. Together, Greg and I provide the perfect balance to our relationship and to our lifestyle. He teaches me to be grounded, to remember to water my roots. I teach him to be air, to remember life is a breeze. With this balance, we have managed to create a life of our own choosing. A life of self given freedom, our only responsibilities being the nourishment of our happiness.
We slowly crept along the Grand Gulch, thick chunks of rock, broken debris crushing under the weight of the wheels. Zigzagging back and forth across intersecting veins of the Grand Wash. Mangled, sun scorched logs and limbs lay displaced, waiting for the next thunderstorm to sweep them down into the Fremont, the Dirty Devil and into Lake Powell – by that time splintered and fragmented. In the washes and up on the banks their ancestors scatter, turned over through time, transformed, petrified into ancient fossils. An eerie relief walking through the desert to see time unraveled in front of our eyes. This barren desert, eroding rock and deepening canyons once a paradise filled with life and vegetation. We walk and drive on a crumbled, silent graveyard.
Following the footsteps of the ancient cultures that dwelled here long before us, is one of the most fascinating learning experiences. From our home in the four corners, to the very edges of Lake powell, stretching north into the fish lake national forest. We follow the remnants of ancient civilization, from cliff dwellings to kivas, fragments of pottery to stone tools and petroglyphs. There is so much history hidden throughout this vast desert terrain. The winds finally pushed us down a scenic route to Central Utah in a valley surrounded by the fish lake national forest, to the Fremont Indian State Park.
There are hidden worlds in everything.
We open the doors, opening ourselves.
To the beauty that sits quietly, vibrating loudly.
We sink our weary limbs far beneath the surface.
Of life. Of love. Of time.
We fold gently like ripples, we quiver, we break.
Converging as one, one flow, one love.
Mystic as the waters
We all know the saying, “life is short” and it definitely does seem like time passes us by so quickly. Rather than focusing on the brevity of time, we believe in the importance of how we choose to spend our time. Are we doing what makes us happy? Do we feel fulfilled with our life choices?
Our first time arriving in Pagosa Springs, we were completely spirited away. The word “Pagosah” meaning healing waters in Southern Ute, is home of the world’s deepest hot springs. We were completely oblivious to all of the splendors of this beautiful area, our only focus was the piece of land that was purchased, the land that would become our home. Upon arriving, our souls were lifted from the small town feel. We followed the main road passing alongside the San Juan river as it flowed exuberantly through the center of town. Winding its way to the main attraction, the series of pools that have been built up and filtered from the mother source. Their crystal clear waters glistening in the sunlight, steam rising into the cool mountain air. The historical bathhouse rising up over the river, the stunning views of the San Juan Mountains rising up over the valley in a full panorama. We knew in the depths of our hearts that this was it, this was home.
Treasures in fragmented layers litter this terrestrial labyrinth
Underneath scattered, undulated time. The hour glass thrown.
Cracked and splintered, a pedestal for observation.
Gliding along a shelf of cedar, aromatic intoxication infused with sage.
The ancient man still slumbering in sleep, seen from desert to stream.
From cliffs and mesas, mountains and bridges, arches and kivas.
Stands (lies) the test of recorded time.
The smell fades as sand sifts. The eyes glaze betwixt.
We are burnt, scorched in rays of wonder and admiration.
Silently staggering in clay, our feet of the same sheet.
Flesh on flesh, bones on stones.
Who ever said the desert was a lonesome place?
Filled with life, above and below,
Forever linked, soul with soul.
There is magic hidden in the desert oasis. The Henries faded in the rear view mirror, an isolated mountain range as tall as 11,522 ft, towering over the lower desert plateau. A network of deep rutted canyons and winding washes, carved scars on the desert surface, zigzagging their way down to the very edges of the Waterpocket Fold, around and down feeding into Lake Powell.
We have been working in the beautiful state of Utah this past month, exploring around Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This experience has opened our eyes to the hidden beauty of the desert, from the incredibly carved slot canyons, to the towering mesas and buttes. But our heartstrings will always be pulled back to the mountains. After a full week of work and a five hour drive we arrived, home sweet home. Our exhaustion faded the minute we reached our county road and began the 7.4 mile ascent up the mountain. Our eyes lit up at the foliage, evergreen for as far as the eye could see. We turned down our dead end lane, smiling ecstatically at our creation, our home. Starting from an untouched parcel of land, cleared of the dead brush, leveled for a house, all the while living in the back of a truck. Built up, touched with love, to settling in and for the first time feeling comfortable in a place. A feeling we have never felt before. The lifestyle we choose, constantly, on the move teaches us to appreciate the simple comforts we have when we do come home. The quiet of the mountain makes us feel like we have the wilderness all to ourselves. Our only neighbors being the abundance of wildlife that roam these lands.
For the past few years Tyema and I have been living a very minimalistic lifestyle, making a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint at home, and on the road. In this ever changing world it is important for all of us to do what we can to help protect our environment for future generations.
“Being a woman & being Colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.” -Ntozake Shange (For Colored Girls)
Northeast of Moab on Scenic Byway 128 the Colorado River flows through the meandering canyon as it channels its’ way down to Canyonlands National Park, meeting up with the Green River from the North. We have been following and tracing the course of the Colorado for the last few years as it rushes from the Rocky Mountains National Park to the South Eastern edges of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Humbly always watching in awe as thousands of miles of river carve ancient canyons, dramatically distorting the landscape. We have seen beginning to end, forward and reverse from hundreds of perspectives. From white capped, rushing snow melt to stained red sandstone sediment, it endlessly changes shape, form and identity. Constantly flowing, constantly providing life across the Western Plateau.
After twenty hours of train we arrived in the Arctic circle, our intentions set on viewing the great Northern Lights. With the temperature below freezing, we strapped on our packs and began the short walk to our Hotel. The sun was peeking up over the Fjord in its efforts to rise. We knew we only had a couple short hours of daylight left so we hurried to our hotel, dropped our bags and headed out toward the pier. We were bundled up snug in cozy layers trying to fight the arctic chill. Greg wanted to get to the end of the pier to catch the sunset over the fjord, I was reluctant and freezing so it took some convincing to get me moving. But with each step, the colors of the sunset began to slowly change and my excitement warmed me again.