Difficult Roads

On Mother’s Day, I received an anonymous gift.  In side was a card letting me know someone was thinking of me this Mother’s Day, a beautiful necklace and a quote that was just what I needed at that very moment, and still use it to draw strength and encouragement from:

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

Mountains to Climb

Growing up, I’ve always loved mountains.  Being raised in Salt Lake City, I was surrounded by beautiful mountains.  My parents would regularly take our family camping in the mountains, and I grew up loving Yellow Stone, the Tetons, and other beautiful sites.

Mountains to Climb4
My Family- Mirror Lake- July 2014

But it wasn’t until college, while working at Jacob Lake  Inn, that I really came to appreciate and love mountains.  For 5 fall seasons in a row, I spent 6 days a week working as a waitress and 1 day a week hiking the trails of Zion National Park, Snow Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona and the Kaibab National Forest.  During my 2 hour work breaks, I would go trail running in the forest close to the Inn, and I hiked Rim2Rim of the Grand Canyon 3 times.

Mountains to Climb2
Grand Canyon’s Cape Royal- May 2013

It was in these moments that I pushed myself to do hard things.  These experiences gave me that drive to challenge myself and try new things and see beautiful, amazing and breath taking views and destinations (cue Hannah Montana’s “It’s the Climb” 🙂

I’m continuing to learn that life in its self is a mountain that we are climbing everyday, or maybe more like we are climbing multiple mountains with different experiences we have…. marriage, careers, family,  goals, daily tasks, etc.

Not every experience is a trial, and each experience brings learning and new outlooks on life no matter how simple or drastic it is.  With each trail in life, I’ve learned that my attitude and outlook  has a lot of control in how much I take away from my experience and what I learn.

***BACK TO THE NECKLACE***

As you can see, that small act of kindness from whoever sent me the necklace and quote really helped me remember what I’m capable of.

I love this necklace, and it has helped mold my outlook on the kind of woman, wife, mother, and individual I want to be.

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Colorado River- New Years Day 2018

Just because I’m not regularly plateauing Angel’s Landing, crossing the Colorado River while doing Rim2Rim or running through the Kaibab Forest doesn’t mean I’m not capable of conquering the mountains I have in front of me right now.

I can conquer every mountain I’m climbing right now.

I can take control of how I approach PCOS, and not allowing the symptoms to define who I am.

Hailame and I will be able to have a family of our own.

I am capable of disciplining myself to become healthier.

I will be a Mother… one day.

Why?

Because…

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations…

and my road of life is beautiful.

love, hannah jane

p.s. If the wonderful person who sent me this gift is reading this, thank you for thinking of me, it was and is just what I need.

Chaco Adventures Part 2: Hoover Dam

The second part of our weekend adventure through Lake Mead, Nevada was going to see the historic Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam wasn’t what I was expecting.  Actually, I don’t really know what I was expecting… just not that.  But it was really cool to see, and it is HUGE!  What I didn’t expect was how close it was to the Las Vegas area.

 

The weather was perfect at Hoover Dam that day.  The wind had calmed down, coming from crazy windy Stewarts Point at Lake Mead… and alas, we were still looking at Lake Mead when we got there and majority of the drive there because the Lake is so wide in every direction.

When we first got there, we took the escalator down to the Visitor Center…. and promptly got back on to head back up realizing it cost an arm and a leg to go in and we just weren’t that interested to spend that much time and money down there.  But the escalator was one of the longest ones I’d ever been on, so that was cool!

Visitor Center
Dam Escalator Selfie!

While walking the dam,we laughed at the endless “dam” jokes we could think of… the dam walkway… dam tourist… dam bus… dam escalator… dam Gift Shop… the dam dam… (oops that one doesn’t work 🙂 🙂 ).

On the way back home through Las Vegas, we stopped in Boulder City and ate at Chilly Jilly’s, checking off the goal to eat somewhere that isn’t in St. George.  It was delicious.  They had a Pineapple Dole Whip (which brought back sweet memories of Disneyland), Hailame had Chicken Tenders and I ate a Tri-Tip Steak BBQ sandwich.  We loved it and would love to come back.

Chilly Jilly

If you have any recommendations on places to visit near St. George (aside from the main ones: Zions, Snow Canyon, Sand Hallow, Red Cliffs, Kanarraville, etc.) please share them with me!  We are always looking for new spots to visit!

Happy Chaco Adventures!

love, hannah jane

 

Chaco Adventures: Lake Mead and the road less traveled

Last weekend Hailame and I went on a day trip to Lake Mead, Nevada.  Hailame is the best travel buddy when he is “Adventure Mode.”  He brings the best tunes, we have the best conversations, and he is so great at taking pictures and he especially loves videoing what he sees!  If you want to take a look at our Instagram we share of fun places we go together, you can view that here –> The St. Georgeous Advents.

Map at Moapa

 

To change things up because we weren’t in any hurry, we took the “road less traveled” and went the back way off the main highway, which was absolutely awesome, spontaneous and beautiful.

Lake Mead Selfie

Our first stop was at Stewarts Point, and it was beautiful and barren.  There were random empty creepy homes scattered randomly close to the “beach” which wasn’t really a beach because the sand when wet was like clay.  Weirdest thing!

We walked down close to the water, and boy was it windy!  I’m so thankful I pulled my hair up for the day.  Hailame likes when I keep my hair down, but when it’s windy my thin stringy hair is impossible, and tangles like crazy!  So props to me for planning ahead!

 

 

I dipped my feet in the water, and the sand very spongy and clay like.  I wish I hadn’t tried to get a Chaco Selfie by the water because that clay sand stuff stuck to my Chacos like glue and it just kept building up on my way to the car (not cool!) and of course this was the only time I didn’t bring an extra pair of shoes!

 

 

Leaving Stewarts Point, we thought we had seen the main area of the Lake… we were only seeing like an 1/8th of the entire like!  We had no idea what the Lake itself has around 500 miles of shorelines!  What!!?!?!

Stewarts Point
Red Dot (us)… where we were, not realizing how HUGE the lake was!

We fell upon Echo Bay, excited to see that it had a Restaurant and Gift Shop, planning to eat somewhere that we couldn’t find in St. George and finding some fun Lake Mead things…and there was a gas station, store with 7 items for sale and no restaurant… and we wouldn’t have been able to eat anyway because the gas was so darn expensive! Ha!

EchoBay

It felt like a Ghost Town… which is sad because it had a boat dock and beautiful view…  So we filled up our car with the World’s Most Expensive Gas, bought myself some flip flops to replace muddy Chacos (yes one of the 7 items were flips flops), and a post card to send to Mom (more on that later).

Echo Bay

The drive towards Hoover Dam (next planned stop) was glorious!  There would be black and gray hills for days and then out of blue (or red) some gorgeous Red Rocks would be everywhere and then it would be back to black and gray!

One of our favorite surprises was Red Stone Trail-head.  We didn’t stop to walk around because it was windy and chilly, but we took some amazing videos (I wish I had taken pictures).  It was almost as if part of Snow Canyon State Park had been picked up and dropped right there!  Beautiful!

Lake Mead Selfies

I most definitely want to come back to visit Lake Mead when it’s warmer and not so darn windy, but the visit was so worth it!

Hope you enjoy your weekend adventures!

Next Stop…. Hoover Dam (and all the “Dam” jokes that come with it!)

love, hannah jane