travel

HEADING HOME: 3 STOPS ALONG THE WAY

It’s that time again, my wonderful readers!

Today’s blog post is going to focus on travel, as some of you really enjoy these sorts of posts from me. As some of you know, my dad and I made the drive from California to Tennessee recently, and we had the incredible chance to stop at a few places that must be highlighted. These three destinations are places you should definitely check out if you can.


1. BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK — SOUTHERN UTAH, USA

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Thirty minutes outside Bryce. Incredible! (Hutch, Utah // April 2019)

Bryce Canyon National Park is incredible, and it was our favorite stop on the trip. Located four hours northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, Bryce Canyon is famous for its red, orange, and white hoodoos. What the heck is a hoodoo, you may ask? A hoodoo a thin pillar of rock that protrudes upward. Hoodoos are formed through frost weathering and stream erosion. So Bryce Canyon is a sort of misnomer, as the national park is not a canyon at all.

Utah is one of the most beautiful states in the USA, in my opinion, and the people are super friendly too. While Bryce is a sort of famous national park, it is not as well-known due to its close proximity to Zion National Park. Therefore, if you want a beautiful, less-crowded alternative to Zion, Bryce is definitely your choice!

And a picture is worth a thousand words in this case. For sure.

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Bryce Canyon National Park (April 2019)

2. ARCHES NATIONAL PARK — EASTERN UTAH

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Arches National Park (April 2019)

While I had very high hopes for Arches, it was honestly not what I was expecting. About two hours from Grand Junction, Colorado, and four hours from Bryce, Arches is another testament to how beautiful the United States is. However, my dad and I thought we’d see arches at every turn in this park, and we saw very few. So if you go, just understand that you will see some gorgeous vistas, but the arches are few and far between.

There was a wonderful spring storm that came out of nowhere while we were hiking, and that was a fun moment, because we had to choose whether or not to keep hiking or die in the rain. (We chose the safety of my car, naturally.)

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The first arch we saw at Arches National Park (April 2019)

3. PIKES PEAK — THE ROCKIES, COLORADO

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The view at Pikes Peak’s summit (April 2019)

 

Pikes Peak is a staple of my dad’s childhood, and we were both super excited to visit! About thirty minutes from Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is America’s Mountain, and anybody can see why. The mountain stands at 14,115 feet and is the inspiration of the famous song “America the Beautiful.”

Today Pikes Peak is known for its nineteen mile road that reaches the summit. This incredible engineering feat allows anyone who can handle the altitude to travel up the fourteener in the comfort of one’s own car. (Of course, you must be careful with who’s driving your car, as my dad got quite nervous with the drive to the top. There are few guardrails, so beware if you have issues with height.) This road is perfect to observe dramatic cliff faces, snowy mountainsides, and other humans as they try not to freak out going up and down the mountain.

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I love this picture because my dad looks like Bigfoot (Pikes Peak // April 2019)

One thing to consider is altitude sickness. As we drove up, my dad and I were both keenly aware of the possibility of hypoxia, which is the lack of oxygen in the blood due to thin air. Pilots sometimes suffer hypoxia without supplemental oxygen, and so my dad and I were quizzing each other on possible symptoms (such as headaches, blue lips and fingernails, drowsiness, etc). There was no doubt that at the summit we were both somewhat delirious, and we barely stayed five minutes.

However, the drive down was incredible, and pictures don’t do the view justice. The big takeaway for the both of us, though, was that there is nothing like a good gulp of fresh air (and not at the top of a mountain).

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Narrow mountain roads, no guardrails (Pikes Peak // April 2019)

WOO.

Our thousand and a half mile journey was one for the books. Though we loved our trip and having the chance to see these great places, there is nothing like home, and that’s the biggest thing to remember. When we have the opportunity to visit new places, we cannot forget the places that came before, as we are all blessed with hometowns and home bases.

Think of your own home, and remember to treasure it as much as you can. We are never certain how long we will have on our one-of-a-kind planet. ❤

Until next time,

-K.

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thoughts

5 SUMMER OBJECTIVES

Hello, my beautiful and wonderful readers!

You guys are constantly inspiring me in so many ways. I love reading your posts and comments, as you are part of a community that challenges my writing and storytelling in amazing ways. Thank you for taking a chance and reading these posts!

Now that I am back home in my emerald nook of Tennessee, I’d like to share some objectives with you that will pertain to my summer. While I have a few ideas jotted down, I’d ask you guys to consider thinking of your own objectives. With summer approaching, a new season is upon us. Before we know it, fall will roll around, and then winter. (The opposite is true for you guys on the opposing hemisphere, and whether that is a good thing or not is for you to decide.) However, what I’m trying to say is: It’s time to make some goals, and stick to them.

So, without further ado, here are some of my missions for Summer 2019.

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Is it Bigfoot? Is it Katie? Who really knows? (Random Utah mesa // April 2019)

1. WRITE AT LEAST THREE NOVELS

If you were with me last summer, you may remember that I challenged myself to write five books within the span of four months. Somehow I completed this task through a strict daily quota system that put my brain and wrists to the test. I promise I do not write this with the intention of bragging; we all have different paces that work for us. I did this challenge because I knew college was coming, and I cannot write (or write well) when I am at school. Since writing is my passion, I knew I had to expel as much creative energy as I could in a short amount of time, and it worked.

This summer I am going to tone it down a little bit. Five books in four months is a cool personal goal, but I understand that the quality of those books may not be the best, as each completion was a race to finish. Therefore, I’d like to slow down a little bit this summer, and focus on certain stories I want to tell.

  • Church Boy is a (somewhat religious) romance novel that will be out by June 1. I am currently writing this novel, but it won’t take me too long to finish. I am super excited to see your reactions, as this book will be a return to my roots.
  • Book that matters: While I am not sure what this book will be yet, I write one book a year that I keep to myself. These books are my best ones, and I am afraid to share them with the world, as I truly want to send these to literary agents and get ’em published. (I should make a blog post on this soon.)
  • Maybe one more romance: Romance books are the easiest for me to write. On good days I can crank out over three thousand words, as I know exactly how to tie things together between my lead characters. Therefore, when I’m under a time crunch, romance books are the perfect way to expel my creative energy and have some fun in the meantime.

2. COMPLETE MY INSTRUMENT RATING (flying stuff hehe)

I’d be remiss not to mention my other love. Now that I’ve completed my private pilot rating, I’m onto the next step: My instrument rating. This will take a few months, and I should be done by the time summer is over (although I don’t want to speak too soon, as I am the queen of terrible weather). We’ll see how it goes, but I’m aiming to fly as much as I can in order to build hours and gain more flight time.


3. PERSONAL GOALS

Well, I don’t want to get too explicit when it comes to my personal goals, but I have a few things I want to work on this summer. Miss Givenchy, you may or may not remember what I am talking about, but I’ll be a little cryptic on this one for now.

  • A certain August date
  • Readjust to Tennessee life
  • Branch out more
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We’re back at that random Utah mesa, but this time in color (April 2019)

4. LESS TIME ON PHONE

While I was at college I spent way too much time on my phone. Instead of picking up a book or writing, I was on my phone, consuming pointless information that does my brain no good. Though I’m getting better at restricting my phone usage, there is definitely still an addiction that cannot be good for my body. Therefore, I’m going to limit my time on the phone. This will not affect my blogging capabilities, as this blog means the world to me, and I enjoy reading your posts so much. ❤


5. MORE WATER

Here is another important goal for my summer. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I love Diet Coke, but I drink way too much of it. Though I am drinking more water in the present, I want to consume even more. As a twenty-one-year-old, I still battle acne, and when I drink more water, my skin is not as prone to annoying pimples and whiteheads. (I cannot believe I am admitting to this on my blog right now haha). But it rings true: More water, healthier skin! Healthier everything, really.


YEAH!

What are your summer goals? Your goals for this approaching season in general? Though some of you are not big into strict guidelines, I do think jotting down a few things would help you approach your life in a different way. These things don’t have to be super life changing (but they can be!). These goals just need to help you become who you want to be. 🙂

Therefore, I’m super excited to hear your updates, and to update you on my life too. We have so many things to look forward to, even when we think we don’t. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox for now.

Until next time,

-K.

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I did not ask to be this cool. Wow, I am such a weirdo. However, a certain thanks is in order to my photographer and sweet poppa Lawrence, who traveled with me two thousand miles to ensure I’d make it home alive. Next blog post will be on my favorite stops on our journey from California to Tennessee!