Three Days in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah

 Sunset in Nevada's Valley of Fire | Kodak Portra 800 | scanned by  Goodman Film Lab

Sunset in Nevada's Valley of Fire | Kodak Portra 800 | scanned by Goodman Film Lab

Every February, I travel to Las Vegas to attend a photography conference called WPPI.  We usually do a shootout in the desert with models (I'll blog about that another time) but I really wanted to hit the road and do a little more sightseeing this year.  Since I lost my Dad in August, I've been trying so hard to live my life to the fullest.  His loss was such a brutal reminder that you never know when your time is going to be up. 

A big part of living my best life is traveling and seeing the world because that is what fuels my passion and creativity.  I've been a lot of places, but there is nowhere quite like the high deserts, mountains, and valleys of the west and I've been dying to experience them first hand.  My friend Chantell (a photographer herself, and also the designer of my pretty new website) was up for the adventure so we flew out to Vegas a few days early, rented a Jeep, and went exploring!

 View from the Hoover Dam | Ektar 100 | scanned by  Goodman Film Lab

View from the Hoover Dam | Ektar 100 | scanned by Goodman Film Lab

Our first stop was the Hoover Dam.  I have to thank Chantell for this because the idea didn't sound very exciting to me, but once we were there I was in such awe of the combination of natural and architectural beauty.  There were also these huge statues, built in the 1930's that were very impressive to see.  It is considered good luck to rub the statues' feet and you can see just how many people have done it if you look closely.

After the Hoover Dam, we set out to see the famous Valley of Fire.  Our GPS took us a route that ended up going through Lake Mead National Park which was a nice surprise.  Lake Mead is a gorgeous oasis in the middle of the desert and there were some really cool rock formations that we stopped to take pictures of.  Also, if you can’t tell, I’m pretty obsessed with desert plants!  Everything was so different from flat, green, Florida.

The Valley of Fire was everything I expected it to be and more.  The rock formations were almost other worldly and I felt like we were on Mars.  We arrived just in time for a gorgeous sunset... Nevada has some of the prettiest ones I’ve seen with the soft light and mountains reflecting the sun.

The next day, we visited Zion National Park which was hands down my favorite!  We couldn’t hike because we didn’t have the shoes, it was snowing, and the signs that warned us of imminent death were a little scary, but we still saw the most breathtaking views!  I'm planning on returning to Zion with my son one day and staying for a week so we can really explore all Zion has to offer!

Our last stop was the Coral Pink Sand Dunes National Park, which Chantell and I were both very disappointed to find out were not pink!  The dunes were still beautiful, a bright orange color and dusted with fresh snow.  The snow prevented us from going dune boarding, but in all honesty I probably would have broken something so it was a blessing in disguise!

Overall, this was such a wonderful and much needed trip.  I wish it could have been longer then three days, but I will just have to go back!  In the meantime I’ll treasure the memories and the photos that I took.  And when I FINALLY get around to opening my print shop, I have some new material 😊  

I absolutely loved seeing this very special and unique part of our country.  Travel is everything, and you only live once so just do it!

Fuji 400, Kodak Portra 800, and Ektar 100 | Film Processing and Scans by Goodman Film Lab