Adventure time… 2nd leg of America

Hey guys i’m still here travelling the states. The last week I have just had minimal service… It’s been great to just tune out, but its also been hard as I wasn’t expecting to run out of service so I have had a few unfinished tasks. We have also been in bear country so it would have been nice to have a phone just in case. We did have bear spray though ! No..it’s not like mosquito spray. When I told my sister she was Laughing Out Loud. So Tip #1 for this blog is to get a T-mobile sim. When we arrived at the airport there was a little phone shop selling sim cards (I can’t remember what the brand is that I got, but I get bugger all service) and my partner who got a T-mobile sim gets all the service. And tip #2 get bloody bear spray ! It’s worth the $50 (not that we used it but we didn’t exactly get much of a thrill going on hikes knowing that there were grizzly bears about so we have done a lot of drive-hiking (is that even a thing?) > i’ll save this story for my 4th blog.

So where did we finish… Oh that’s right… we were camping at the edge of the Zion National Park where some famous sheep yards are. It was beautiful. We woke up with the sound of nothing. The sun edged its way over the Zion Range, warming the mountain range up. The colours of the Zion Canyons are amazing. Just big (and I mean big) red rocky mountains, always changing colour dependant on the sun. Have I painted a good picture yet?

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This has been our cute little home for the last 2 weeks. Its been sooo good. Now there is 2 companies that I would recommend. We were originally going to go with cruise America through our travel agent. But we left it all a bit to late and ended up sourcing this one from this company and they have been really great and pretty good rates too. Oh and make sure you get a shower & toilet. Than you can camp anywhere.

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Zion National Park from a distance the night before.

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Today we entered the Zion National Park ready to explore ! I honestly had no idea what to expect and it’s actually been one of my favourite places so far for hiking and the view. You really have to experience it just to see how big this place is. We tried to get accommodation but you really need to book ahead during peak times. This has been a bit of a disadvantage of “going with the flow” when travelling. But it has so many bonuses and I would take an un-planned trip any day over a planned trip !

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Tip #3 – Now ya’ll (yes as in american ya’ll)…whatever you do, don’t go for looks over comfort when your about to do the narrows hike. A skirt just does not cut it (I did have swimmers on underneath but in some parts we were waist deep in water and I had to either ditch the skirt or put up with a wet skirt). We literally hiked for about 8km through rocks and water EXACTLY like above…(this was a good spot because most of it was about a foot or more deep of water and then in some parts flowing water. I would highly HIGHLY recommend doing it though because it’s actually been one of the best things I have done all holidays ! The scenery was breathtaking. These pictures don’t come anywhere near close to what the scenery was like and how big the canyons were.

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Tip #4 – When you get your partner to take a photo make sure you remind him that it’s really important that YOUR in focus… Not the bikini babe in the background (insert rolling eyes here).

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Oh k shirts off and i’m in focus…

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So this is literally what you walk through for km’s. It’s amazing !

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He really wanted a photo in front of these hands so now he gets to be featured on here. Plus it’s a payback for all the blurry photos of me.

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Now I did tell you that these mountains/canyons are huge hay ? Do you kinda get the picture of just how big they are yet ?

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We met this really cool fella from Santa Fe named Solar ! And turns out his actually pretty handy on the camera.

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Can-did ? Also pack sunscreen ! I was so sunburnt #redheadlife #morefrekles

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Hike done ! I am definitely investing in some hiking shoes for next time… wet soggy feet for 5 hours was total bliss…

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Don’t feed the squirrels… but seriously how cute are they. I had a nectarine that rolled out of my bag and it literally rolled the whole way down the hill on our way home and this little guy came out of nowhere and stole it. You aint seen funny until you see a little squirrel running back up the hill with a huge nectarine.

So that night we ended up going into Ceder City (I think) – Because I broke my camera and wanted it looked at + my partner had a blocked ear so he needed to get that looked at. It was a great little escape into a town to get some good food. Turns out my partner googled a shop that he thought was in Ceder City and it turns out it was over the other side of America (inset rolling eyes here) but at least he got his ear fixed !

The next day we came back out to Zion because I really wanted to hike Angels Landing – rated one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. Zion National Park class it as “strenuous” & “not suitable for the elderly or children. I really don’t think they could emphasise this fact enough !!! It’s a hike up a 1488ft mountain and when you get close to the top you have to use chains to hold onto, as you hike up to the top. It is extremely dangerous and personally I think they should put a limit on the amount of people allowed to hike there at once, because there are people everywhere and only one chain to hold onto. So people coming up or down have to share…one slip and you fall and ill let you work out what happens to you if you do fall. I don’t really have that many photos from it because it was so dangerous and I honestly wish I never lugged my 3.5kg camera up there !

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Owl ya’ll doin ? sorry i’ve literally waited all week to put this photo up… #dadjoke

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So that part there is where you have to hold onto chains etc to hike to the top. See what I mean ? One slip and you are gone. It is not somewhere I would be taking kids personally as you have to hold onto them. So if your prepared to lug your weight plus your child’s and know that they wont muck around, than go for it !

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At the top contemplating the massive hike up and knowing that I have to do it all again to get back to the bottom.

Tip #5 it took us about 6 hours to do this hike. Little to no sunscreen and only 700ml’s of water each…Use your brains and just pack more than we did ! (plus my partner “accidentally” drank my water thinking it was his bottle so little old me nursed a little headache the rest of the night !

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So when we got back down we decided to strip off and have a swim in this river to rehydrate ! So that mountain that you’re looking at is Angels Landing !

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On the drive back to camp I finally spotted some mountain goats ! I got out of the van to walk up the road to get closer picture. Soon remembered I was in mountain lion territory so that was a definite no go zone and got back in the van.

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The last shot of Zion I took… We camped at Hi-ground campground (i think). I do recommend staying here because you get free wifi !

On route to monument valley… Yay. Yay. Yay ! I have to save this for my next blog because there is just sooo many photos to share !

Thanks for reading ! To support me and my page please share my page or leave a comment to let me know what you loved about it !

Love and sunsets

Jayde x

First time travelling to America

If you want to keep up with my little travel adventure over here in the states than follow along as i try and upload some blogs about my experience. If you’re wanting to go to the states and have never travelled before either this might just encourage you to go !

I have never really done the whole travelling thing before but have always wanted to do it ! My partner and I run extremely busy lives to the point where I feel I am constantly living just to work. For the past (nearly) 4 years we have been together I have just known him to work. Weekends, weekdays, constant driving from one job to the other. We were meant to go to America last year but it got put off for work. The year before that it was Darwin, but it never happened. We prioritised work. Which is the biggest mistake you can make in life. So this year I booked a photography workshop so that I HAD to come and there was no backing out of it. Tickets + a motorhome were basically booked last minute. So I would strongly suggest just jot a date down. Prioritise it and book it. We ended up booking a rental car for the first couple of days just to get used to the roads over here. Especially when there is 8 lanes one way like below… But it’s really not that bad, a bit of american road rage is all you’ll cop. _DSC4700

Day 1 – We booked a little car but the lady upgraded me to this brand new Jeep Wrangler that they just got in that day just for shits and gigs…how can you turn that down yer ? And off we went to the Death Valley…how pretty does she look. The jeep I mean…Everything is literally dead in the valley. As we were driving through this spot below… the most coolest thing happened ! “what the hell is that?” “Is it a drone?” “ohhh madddd it’s an army jet !!! It was coming right for us along the road so fast and at the last minute it flipped on its side above us and sped off out of site quicker than it came at us.
The Jet lag was finally kicking in. After being on a 15 hour flight and having only 4 hours sleep the day before we left and driving for hours in LA and Death valley we were buggered. So we sought out accommodation. I probably wouldn’t recommend staying in the Death Valley. Accommodation is quite expensive and the food is like its name. I ate what was meant to be a half chook that night for dinner and it set me up for 3 days of food poisoning. Our accommodation was amazing though and we ended up sleeping for 15 hours (which silly me did a tan the night before so i was marinating in Bondi sans for a solid 15 hours straight=not good).

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Day 2 – The next day was the day I came down sick with food poisoning… Vomiting in a 45 Degree desert wasn’t my best memory. Thankfully we stopped at a cool little servo so I could stomach a few hot chips. They even had pokie machines in the cafe part !
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We then hit vegas where I was feeling slightly better. We booked an Air B&B until Monday until we picked up our motor home. Booking an Air B&B was probably the best thing we did because we had the whole little suite to ourselves and we were able to have a base, whilst we got over the plane ride and time difference.

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Day 3 –  We filled the first bit of the morning having a look around vegas. My partner really wanted to go to American Shooters. So lucky him gets to be featured on here…even though he specifically said he didn’t want to be on here (insert laughing emoji).

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I really have no interest in guns whatsoever… #diditforthephoto

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That afternoon we were booked in with Sundance helicopters for a sunset ride over the Grand Canyon ! By far one of the best experiences out of this whole trip has been that ! Our pilot was this lovely young girl and admittedly we were all like holy shit she looks too young… But go the girls she absolutely killed it and we all had a laugh about it later on about how good she was ! Below are pics of the famous Hoover dam and some pics of the grand canyon. It was slightly hazy so I didn’t get s good of shots I wanted.
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Day 4 – We said goodbye to the Jeep which we were a little sad about but how good does this new home look ! This is our home for the next 21 days ! From here we headed out to Zion National Park. Because I hadn’t found any good food as of yet our lovely Uber driver recommended to go to the Black Bear in St George on the way to Zion. The burger was worth the travel !

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Make sure you book well ahead of time if you want to stay at Zion national park. We found this little spot near some old sheep yards near a town just outside of Zion! It was actually my favourite spot we have camped at so far ! The view was unreal both sunset and sunrise ! The next blog will be about Zion National Park which is going to be epic !!!

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A cotton paddock and a gorgeous family.

Seriously guys… This session was a bit of everything !!

From running around the paddock to a few little wriggles away from mum and dads snuggles, then to some REAL cuddles. Running races in between the cotton rows, to a killer sunset and then to finish it off with a moody night sky. This session was simply put heaven.

When Rachel first stepped out of her car in that gorgeous skirt and her fur vest I KNEW that this session was going to be just a little bit of magic and boy was I right.

A typical family session is always a little bit chaotic and you may be sitting there thinking there’s no way I am going to bring my wild little family along for some photos. But if you just surround yourself with the love and soak up all the shy little giggles and wriggles, the magic really does happen. This was my first ever cotton paddock session and definitely wont be my last (just have to remember from now on May = cotton) . For the last couple of years I have just been on the hunt for a cotton paddock close by so I can photograph it.

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Jamie & Toby

I am so excited to share this day with you and my first ever blog!

Jamie and Toby are high school sweethearts who finally tied the knot in sunny Moulamein. It was a day full of many laughs, a little bit of shopping (at my favourite shop that was conveniently right next door to the hair salon), a last minute ceremony prep, beautiful vows, the most amazing garden that hosted the ceremony AND the reception, a pretty snazzi ute getting blown up (all for the photos right…), a few burs and a wild pool party by the end of it…clothes were optional by this time. All in all this was definitely a wedding to remember from the amazing food and a real backyard wedding vibe surrounded by all Jamie and Toby’s family hanging out on the hay bales soaking up the whole day…and literally soaking wet after the midnight pool party.

Enjoy seeing a snippet of Jamie and Toby’s big day and feel free to share this with your friends and family so they too can see what we got up to.

Oh and by the way lets play a game !!!! See if you can guess who caught the bouquet just by looking at the first picture of the bouquet throwing (the second last picture) try not to cheat and keep scrolling to see ! This was the most wildest bouquet toss I have seen to date !

Second shooter: Cass Michael Photography (thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!)

Caravan bar: @thebondwoodbar

Hair: Paper Scissors Rock – Swan Hill

Makeup: The Beauty Spot – Swan Hill

Catering: The Pantry Shelf – Steph Spinks

Dress: Cinderella’s Bridal World – Mildura

 

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