Friday, April 27, 2012

SIC’s experience in the City of Sinners

Las Vegas.

As a Montana girl, raised in the quiet recesses of the mountains, Las Vegas was certainly an eye opener, to say the least. This was my first time visiting and I did not know what exactly to expect from the famed city of sin.

Neither Jesse or I are very good at driving in cities, so before we arrived we took a short gas/bathroom break and made a pact that no swearing, yelling, or panicking would occur while driving. Neither of us really do much of any of those, but driving is stressful when there are four lanes going super fast around us and honking all the time. We decided that if we missed a turn, we missed a turn.

So, we drove into the city, got to the strip, where our hotel was located (Yes, we stayed in a hotel! It was only about $30, so we decided it was going to be worth it for the Las Vegas experience), and then we missed the turn! It took us about half an hour of navigating back to the turn, since that was the only entrance to our hotel.

Finally, we checked into our room, took our showers, snazzed ourselves up, and headed out to explore the city. Our first stop was an overpriced bud light. Apparently, there is no open container law, but I still felt the need to keep my brew on the down-low. Montana habits die hard, I guess.

At one point, we wandered over to one of the expensive hotels and sauntered into the pool area where the fountains blew higher than our two of us. The digs were pretty dang nice and we decided to lounge on one of the round couch beds for a smidge while we decided where we wanted to grab some grub. We also decided that when we get a house, the round couch bed is essential in our d├ęcor.

The night wasn’t out of control nor did it end up a total bore, but we both discovered that gambling and spending tons of money on superfluous items really isn’t our thing. If we’d paid to see one of their tantalizing shows, the story might have been different, but I kind of doubt it.

Oh, Las Vegas. Glad to have come and glad to have left. A one-night stand is good enough for me. ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Road Trip – Goblin Valley State Park

After dinner with Scott and Josie, Jesse and I headed south to Goblin Valley State Park. It was a couple hour drive and we were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived at the park gate. Unfortunately for us, the park was closed and so we ended up setting up a time-lapse of the beautiful, moonless, midnight sky and pitched our tent nearby. We woke up early and snagged a campsite in the park before making our way down into the valley studded with the mushroom-shaped rock formations.

In the deep shadows of the early morning, it’s easy to see why these rock figurines are called goblins. Some sections of the valley are grooved with ravines and ridges where a few of these little guardians sit. I imagine that they’ve climbed back to their spot each morning after a night of roaming and now loom over us with their ears pricked and their eyes glassing for the horizon.

The goblins were seriously so cool. They are the remaining part of a layer of sediment that has mostly eroded away and each goblin sits on a layer of softer, easily eroded dirt. I was afraid to touch them so they wouldn’t fall off their pedestals. Oddly enough, the park allows roaming off the main trails into these ravines. So, Jesse and I took advantage of the map-less terrain.

Jesse and I decided to take the Cinestar for a spin around the goblins a couple different times during our stay in the park. The first morning Jesse flew it over me as I played around on some ridges with goblins. Since our Epic Valentine’s Day I’ve become more comfortable being around the Cinestar and letting it fly over me without ducking out of the way.  ;) Jesse also flew it through a specific group of goblins called The Three Sisters right before we left. Even though Jesse is a good pilot, I couldn’t help but hold my breath as it passed through the massive rock towers.

We also set up a couple different time-lapses in the valley. We started one early that morning grabbed a campsite so that the other hikers wouldn’t end up in our shots. It’s pretty exciting for me to be a part of all this camera work. Jesse’s been teaching me everything as we go and I feel like I’m beginning to understand all the settings that work well with time-lapses and such. Check out this little video we made!

Our last evening in Goblin Valley, the wind picked up, throwing sand in our eyes and in our food. We took shelter and hid in the tent, drinking the last of our growlers filled with delicious Draught Works Scepter Head IPA. These are the kind of moments you hope to remember fifty years into the future: not a care in the world but to make the most of the peaceful times you are given.

Road Trip Baby!

Life on the road isn’t always on the road. Sometimes you stay for days in one place and other times you hit a town a night and keep moving.

Jesse and I have been “on the road” for a little over a week. We left Missoula on Sunday April 15th. We got a late start because we wanted to leave the house nice and clean before we left and we were slow in our packing process. Luckily we were not on much of a hurry. We just wanted to get to Salt Lake before it got too late and not during rush hour. Fortunately, we timed it pretty perfectly. We arrived in Salt Lake a little later than expected, but that was all right. We crashed with some of Jesse’s friends from college, Chase and Alli, who were extremely generous and so much fun for me to meet. I will be excited to see them again.

On our first day in Salt Lake after the drive, Jesse and I took a stroll down to the Mormon Temple in downtown and took some photos of whatever caught our eye. There are so many words to describe the temple, the gardens, the new Walking-Mall in downtown Salt Lake, but I think the word that best describes it, for me, is: encompassing. The attention that goes into every detail of the downtown and every part of the cultural experience of Salt Lake is obvious. Mormon and non both assert their presence in bold ways, bringing a distinct taste to the city.
We also drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon and bouldered for a bit that evening. That was my first time bouldering outside this season and, Man, my fingers were pink by the end of our climbing session. Jesse got some fun shots of Chase and his other good friend Jared pulling hard on granite.
That night we had dinner with Jared and his girlfriend Kelsey, who are both finishing up school in Salt Lake. Kelsey made a delicious Thai Peanut Noodle dish made from all gluten free ingredients. They gave us the insider’s scoop on life in Salt Lake in comparison to Missoula.

It was really fun to get the non-Mormon perspective on Salt Lake and then get the Mormon perspective the next day from my cousins in Provo. We had dinner with my cousin Scott and his wife Josie at a new Thai restaurant (Ha! That’s really funny; I didn’t realize until just now that we had Thai two nights in a row!) This was the first time they had met Jesse and Jesse’s first time meeting any of my extended family. Personally, I think it went really well. ;)

Over all, Salt Lake and the surrounding area was great. Jesse and I got to spend time with all generous and kind people who we will definitely see again!

The Change-Up

Hello from Hannah! And TTYL from Jesse!
Since I graduated with an English degree, Jesse and I decided that it only makes sense to let me take over the writing portion of SIC for now.
Jesse will definitely put up some posts on his own when he feels inspired, but I will probably be doing most of the blogging.
Hopefully that means that we will be posting more about our activities on a regular basis! J

Friday, April 13, 2012

Viator Travel Contest

Hannah and I just entered our video into this Viator Travel Contest.  If we win we, we will have the opportunity to travel to 20 cities in 60 days making short films about our experiences.  This would be an awesome summer opportunity for the both of us.  We entered kind of late in the contest, but I think we still stand a chance.  They've already selected two people and are selecting two more.
Check out the video we entered about SIC and the city of Missoula (you might need to "like" viator before the video will work).

Vote for it and please share with you friends and family