I relaxed at home in Sacramento before traveling down to Southern California where I visited my aunt, uncle, and grandfather; it felt like summertime in the midst of winter.
Afterwards, I flew to Phoenix to spend time with my best friend Jess. We roadtripped in Jess' Jeep (affectionally named Libby) to Arizona's major cities & sights, stopping for hikes and fun landmarks along the way.
Just outside of Phoenix we found the most amazing cacti paradise and did a 6-mile hike to a spot where there were old remnants of hieroglyphics on the stones.
We didn't have a specific itinerary so we acted on whims based on the road signs we encountered, it was one of my most exciting weeks in a long time.
Jess at Bell Rock vortex in Sedona.
The range of colors and landscapes within a small radius was incredible, we spent one morning in the desert of Sedona and a few hours later drove past melting snow in Flagstaff before ending the evening at the epic Grand Canyon where the winds were brutally cold.
I took a few pictures at the Grand Canyon, but its beauty is unrivaled to any image. It's the sort of place I hope to visit again and again for the experience of seeing it firsthand versus taking a photograph of it.
We stayed overnight in a lodge inside of the park, right along the South rim, there is nothing more eerie than looking out into the vast darkness at night. It was magical.
Heading back to Phoenix we stopped at "Flinstone's Bedrock City", a roadside campground which doubles as a Flinstones Theme Park that was never fully completed. It is the definition of surreal, and they serve coffee that's 5 cents a cup in "Fred's Cafe".
In Flagstaff we stopped along Route 66 at the famous Galaxy Diner for milkshakes.
Our last stop outside of Phoenix was to Montezuma's Well, a naturally formed well where many Yavapai people used to live (literally within the walls of the well).
Finally I spent a few final days with Jess roaming around her native Phoenix, the pink sunsets that are incredibly commonplace each felt individually special.