For spring break, I went to Moab, Utah with my dad. It was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. The energy out there is palpable, and influenced in me a deep sense of connection with nature. There were incredible rock formations and evidence of the powerful sculpting forces of nature everywhere I turned. My dad and I spent all day, every day outdoors exploring Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park as well as taking a few hikes scattered outside the parks. There were unlimited opportunities for adventure, and three full days in Moab was definitely not enough time for me.

We stayed at the most perfect bed and breakfast called the Red Moon Lodge, operated a mile or two outside Moab by a wonderful couple. The carbon footprint of the place was very low, being

powered by solar energy and watered by natural sources located on the property. I meditated daily sitting in the “Medicine Wheel” (a native American circular structure constructed of rocks on a raised circular dirt platform used for invoking good health in the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual realms), and my experience with this Native American tradition has inspired me to build my own miniature wheel at home. My dad and I enjoyed home grown eggs and home made pancakes, waffles, or french toast every morning, and worked off the big breakfast by hiking all day.

The above pictures are just a glimpse of my beautiful time in Moab. My breath was taken away, literally by the immense strength of the winds out there, and figuratively by the awe-inspiring beauty of the canyons and valleys. I felt as if I were walking on Mars. I had my camera with me at all times, trying desperately to capture each and every glimpse of Mother Earth, but as most people with experience trying to photograph mountains know, pictures simply don’t do it justice. Nevertheless, nature is my favorite thing to photograph, and I wish I had more learning opportunities to improve my skills in this area, because I feel that I have so much more to learn.

Returning home from Moab, I felt as if I were leaving a piece of my heart there. Saying goodbye to the red dirt and the humbling mountains was incredibly hard for me. This trip was a much-needed change of scenery for me, and my dad was the perfect travel partner to experience with. I hope to be back soon to explore more and more of this stunning place.

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