It was what I wanted for my birthday.
To spend a weekend lost in views which were unobstructed by car doors or windows. To sit on the back of a motorcycle and feel air on my face while experiencing the outdoors in a way I'm not typically able.
We rode for 3 days, traversing 750 miles of landscape that I never knew exisited. As we made our way to southern Utah and into Zion National Park at sunset, I found myself almost panicked by the idea that the beauty I was witnessing merely scratched the surface of all there is to see in this world. How could it have taken me 26 years to get to this place? What else have I been missing out on? I suddenly had the overwhelming urge to explore every corner of this earth and felt certain that each moment spent doing anything else was a moment wasted.
We met so many people from all over the world who had crossed oceans just to come to these spots, and there we were, just stopping by for the weekend. I was a bit embarrassed that these National Parks have been in our backyard for all this time and we had never taken advantage of them until now.
I snapped pictures from the back of the bike while Keane drove tirelessly for hours each day. We made stops all along the way to explore
and to do yoga on rock formations, high above the roads.
We stayed at family-owned motels once we reached our day's checkpoints and had amazing meals at local restaurants.
The weather was ideal, the trip was perfect.
We celebrated my birthday in Boulder, UT- population 95.
After walking a half a mile from our motel (which was pretty much the length of the entire town), we made it to the restaurant we'd heard so much about. Hell's Backbone Grill has been featured in National Geographic, O Magazine and The Wall Street Journal (among many others) for its sustainability efforts and amazing locally grown, organic cuisine.
Now, it's no secret that I love food. I love trying new things and savoring meals for hours in a restaurant. I especially love real food with a conscience and let me tell you, this place lived up to all its hype. We spent three hours enjoying the ambiance of this little slice of heaven. We sat on the patio in perfect temperature, listening to the sound of water around us while an employee's cat and dog lounged at our feet. We feasted on a bottle of red wine, appetizers, entrees and desserts, eating slowly and laughing hard. We chatted with the staff who came from all over the country to live and work on this compound for half the year. It was a magical place and because we couldn't get enough, we went back for breakfast the next morning before hitting the road again.
My birthday trip was one for the books. The hope of spending my special day(s) clinging to the back of my man while ridding into the proverbial sunset became a reality for us.
The only difference was our sunsets weren't proverbial at all. They were real and pink and perfect for capturing in photos.