Seven Days in the Desert




An entire week, wandering the desert.

A different hotel every night.

Crazy new landscapes nether of us have ever seen before. 

I want to spend more weeks in the desert.



I stumbled upon a cheap flight to Las Vegas, on a budget airline and couldn’t pass it up. The first evening in the desert was spent wandering under the crazy neon lights.


The next day was the short drive to Arizona across the dam. 

The Hoover Dam is huge. And even huge-er in person.


Ghost towns were explored. Some were abandoned, some were tourist traps, and some were in between.


The realization that it snowed in Arizona, occurred when we arrived at the Grand Canyon and it was in the 20s with snow and ice everywhere.



After a long day’s drive, Monument Valley was full of peace and calmness. 
(Plus amazing Navajo food!)


The wigwams were a cozy destination on another frigid desert night.



The petrified forest national park was full of strange striped rocky hills, trees turned to stone, and the strongest winds I’ve ever experienced.


Silly roadside attractions made for many quick stops for a picture.
(Or 100!)


Another realization that it snowed in Arizona happened while driving though a snowstorm at the top of an enormous mountain range. Upon the decent, we were greeted by a sea of cactuses. 


Sunny southern Arizona is home to hundreds of resting aircraft, in the airplane boneyard.


The meteor crater was at another wild windy location. At the center lies a 6 ft tall astronaut statue, only visible with a telescope.


The last day involved scaling a craggy desert mountain road to get to a town where donkeys roam freely. And follow everyone around in hopes of being fed!


The desert landscapes are crazier than I ever imagined. I can’t wait to go back!

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Abandoned Mill Village

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A few more pictures from when my friends and I explored an old Abandoned Mill Village, that was used for part of filming the Hunger Games movies.

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These little homes have sat vacant for at least forty years, while nature engulfed them. Grass grew tall around the foundation, and vines had climbed through the windows, and cracks in the walls.

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I wish I could go back in time and see what this place once was.

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It was the perfect kind of day for exploring, and a day I will never forget.

Statue of Liberty

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On our trip to New York City, we rode the Staten Island Ferry, which goes right past the Statue of Liberty. We decided not to visit the statue itself due to long lines and limited space viable to actually climb it. Plus, you have a much better view of it when you ride the Staten Island Ferry!

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This happened to be the coldest day of our December trip. The temperature never rose above freezing, and out on the windy water it was extremely frigid. It had snowed for a short time earlier in the day, and he lingering snow clouds made for a dramatic backdrop to the Statue of Liberty.

Abandoned Mill Village: Inside the Walls

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When my friends and I visited the Abandoned Mill Village, we couldn’t resist taking a look inside the little houses that had been abandoned for forty years or more.

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Many of them were painted bright colors inside, perhaps they had once been cheerful little homes. But now the paint was peeling from the walls, parts of the floors were caved in, and plants had begun to creep in through the broken windows and cracks in the walls.

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It’s a spooky feeling walking through a place now dilapidated, that was once somebody’s home. I wish I could see what these houses looked like when families were still living in this village.

Skyscrapers of Glass

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I traveled to Houston for the first time to visit my Aunt and my Grandma, who both moved there some time ago. I love traveling to new places, and I especially love big cities so I was definitely looking forward to exploring downtown Houston during my visit. I didn’t really know anything at all about this city, so I had no idea what to expect when I traveled there.

(Except I recognized the brown pointy Bank of America building from the Sim City game I played years ago!)

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I soon came to discover that Houston is a sprawling metropolis made up of gigantic interstates and new buildings being built all the time. Although Houston had a rather large downtown, the city was very spread out and not just centered around the downtown area.  Just about anywhere you drove, you were not far from places to eat or from large shopping centers. There is just so much “stuff” in Houston. It is also the fourth biggest city in the US, which I had no idea of until I traveled there.

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We drove around downtown on a Saturday afternoon and I took pictures through the windshield of my Aunt’s car as we ventured past all the glass skyscrapers, towering over the street. The city felt very new and shiny. It also felt very quiet. Surprisingly there were not many people walking around, and there were very few cars on the street, which I can only guess was because there are so many interesting things to do throughout the entire city, and not just downtown.

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The glass on the buildings reflected the blue sky, and the palm trees scattered around made for a very bright and tropical feeling city. It was definitely different than other cities I had been to. (Also the stoplights are turned the wrong way??!!!)

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Visiting Houston and seeing palm trees and big blue skies, made me want to travel father west. I wonder what the next new city I visit will be….

Abandoned Mill Village

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This is a sequel to my post: Cemetery in a Christmas Tree Farm

After my friends and I visited their family’s long lost graveyard, one of them had the idea of exploring an old abandoned village that had been used to film parts of the Hunger Games movies. It wasn’t far from the Christmas Tree Farm, and we were in an exploring mood so we went for it.

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I imagined the village being tucked way back into the woods, maybe down a dirt road and hard to find. But in reality it was just a few minutes off the interstate, and on either side of a busy road!

This plot of land is called the Henry River Mill Village, and was an industrial textile manufacturing operation from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The mill workers lived in the 35 homes that made up this little village, but when the mill closed down and the workers left, the homes became abandoned and forgotten.

The little mill houses have certainly degraded over the many years spent abandoned, and most of them are full of graffiti and trash. But this mill town still seems to have quite a bit of character, with the winding pathways, rolling hills and overgrown brush that wrap around the homes.

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This entire town is actually for sale!  I’ll be interested to see what becomes of this little place in the future. I’d definitely love to return to it again someday.

In the Sky

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I have flown on a plane six times in the last half year. Before that the last time I flew was when I was four. I find the whole process of flying absolutely astounding.  (And a bit scary! )

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The last plane trip a week ago was to Houston Texas with my Mom, Sister and Husband to visit my Aunt and Grandma. I’d never been to Texas before, or even that far west.

This was my longest plane ride, and also the first time I’ve flown on a clear day. Both times going to New York it was dark and cloudy which made for a boring view out the window. So I was very excited this time, to look down on the earth from way above.

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I stared out the window and snapped pictures for the entirety of the 2.5 hour trip. I am amazed to be able to view the earth from this level. I imagined all the towns, and homes we were passing over. Places I may visit one day, but mainly places that I will never see from the ground.

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When I got home I compared these pictures to the satellite view on google maps, to try and figure out what I flew over. This ended up being somewhere over Georgia.

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Even when we were up at 38,000 ft, I could still just barely see cars on the highways. They looked like specs of dust! It was very surreal.

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Another one of my favorite things is seeing other planes in the sky!

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I am guessing that’s the Mississippi river..

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My first glimpse of Houston!

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The plane journey to Texas was by far the best ride yet. Even if I was so freaked during takeoff I couldn’t look out the window while I attempted to record a timelapse. I spent so many years afraid to ever ride in a plane, and it still does scare me, but I also think it’s incredible so I always find myself dreaming of where I will fly to next.