Category Archives: Backpacking

My Biggest and Best Tip for Backpacking Europe

Simple:

Overnight travel = Use daylight for exploring rather than travel + Covers cost of hostel or hotel.

Take night ferries, bus, or trains.

It’s a Twofer. Two birds one stone. You have to move around while backpacking Europe, also you have to sleep. Why not do both at once?

IMG_6713 IMG_6714 IMG_6758 IMG_6723 IMG_6727That is what Jessica and I did, anyways and it worked out great. We loved the night ferries from England to Denmark and Sweden to Estonia. Our night train from Denmark to Sweden however, we did not love. It received a nickname, that rhythms with L train. What is your worst public transportation story? I have a few. Maybe, if you are good, next post will be all about the 2014’s H.E. Double Hockey Sticks Train to Sweden and how it reminded me of the night on the Literal L train to Shanghai in 2005.

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Skydiving Canyonlands

“Make sure my sister knows I loved her

Make sure my mother knows the same

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing

Like the love that let us share our name

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing

Like the love that let us share our name”

-The Avett Brothers

This is one of those stories I’ll tell until the day I jump out of that plane and forget that rip cord. (Or lying in my death bed, get it? …Until the day I die.) To morbid? Sorry, I am fine with it as you can see in this video clip, I verbally state my will but it is all a joke. Ever since we planned our death in CNA class, my own death is not a fear of mine.

Anyways, this will forever be one of my favorite life stories and I can not due it justice. Perhaps justice could be served if  Blake, Karli, and I gathered you around a kitchen table and described it in excruciating detail.  Great stories would be told. Catch phrases would be remembered. (It only takes 5 minutes. Schetch.)  The next best thing is this video clip.

Jumping out of this plane was seriously one of the best things I have ever done. (Not the best, one of the best.) It was the perfect mixture of amazing, thrilling, and peaceful. I was called a straight-up bad A, twice, from a  professional skydiver. The feeling falling towards earth, Oh and the view! I loved it.  Would I do it again. Yes. Would I sell everything I own and buy a parachute and do this everyday? Yeah, everyday.

Should I? Maybe, I am just glad I was able to share this adventure with good old Blake and my little sister Karli. She is a trooper. This one is for you, I love ya girl. (Thanks for the idea Blake, I might have stolen this from your “last words”.)

Name

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8 years ago….

I loaded up two suit cases. I went to the airport. I met up with a group of people and boarded a plane to China. My family cried when they said goodbye. I am sure I did too. I had really never left, a junior college 40 minutes from my house is nothing in comparison to Asia. I was headed off with three roommates from college. One of whom had convinced me in the first place, to go to the interview. The children’s faces in the photos convinced me this was a great idea.

I remember L.A. We held on to our bags like nervous traveling Americans. We found our gate. Our layover was long. Our head teacher took some motion sickness pills, knowing the long flight that was a head. We left our bags with the sleepy version of him. We were antsy and wandered. McDonald’s was the meal I chose as my last meal in the United State, I am a fool. I sat down with two of the new people, I was headed out with. I remember her pink hoodie and question whether they were dating; they seemed like they knew each other well. I learn they too, had just met. The hilarious ginger, had made the right food choice with a large plate of Mexican food in front of him. ( Actually,  as I am typing this I question everything I believe and have believed in the past eight years, HELLO WORLD!!!  A large plate of Mexican food right before a 15 hour flight to China? How could I ever have thought that was a good idea?)  Sure, we never ate Mexican food in China, minus the chicken tacos we made in from the box my mom sent, but still I just can fathom eating that before take off.

Anyways, nothing will match the feeling of that day. I was excited, nervous, and happy. No matter what I’ll never be who I was before I left for China again. I’ll never be that confidant, innocent, wide eyed girl headed out to see the world. China changed me. And I am glad I it did, I am glad I let it. Forever more I would be that confidant, innocent wide eye girl who hungers to see the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW6Nk6Dpu6g

Nature’s Astonishing Power

I got told that I am:

“A supportive and nurturing friend, open to sharing ideas and collaborating with others instinctive, wise and full of inherent knowledge determined to succeed in your goals able to handle the toughest situations with grace.”

Friends and Family:

“You’re a solid and steady rock, who’s supportive of friends and family. This is a great quality, but you’re also mindful that there is strength in vulnerability.”

In Nature:

“You recognize nature’s astonishing power, but that’s the reason you like to challenge it. You get a thrill out of conquering things, like climbing to the top of a mountain.”
Musinia Mt viewrecordthe top  trailclimbing down at the top the three of us

..uh thank you for a truly accurate description of myself, shampoo website. That was odd. Anyways, on to the story in the photos.

Once upon a time, there was this girl who didn’t know what to do with her life and she was scared. She had kind and wise dad. This girl also had a step mother, don’t all fairy tales include one? Well this fairy tale does. Was she a wicked step mother, no. She was a soft spoken, sweet, adventurous step mother. (A step-mother who wrote a darling blog about her daring adventures.)

Anyways the daughter, was in one of those dark places in life. The kind that only stepping into the darkness with faith could bring her closer to the light. She was unable to recognize this. Her parents could though, they also say she needed some adventure.

This brave beauty lived for adventure but had somehow forgotten the rush she  gained from accomplishing things. She had in the past created a list of goals and spoke of them frequently. One of the goals was so close yet so far way. It was right out her door. Her goal was simple, to climb to the top of the nearest peak, to climb Mt. Musinia.

Her parents told her that the fifth day in September would be the day she would climb the peak and they would go to. Together they stepped out for the adventure that would change their lives forever.

During the hike the wise father stated that this hike was similar to the young woman’s life. The comparison was made in the fact that things were difficult and most likely going to get more difficult before it got better but then when she was just about to give up there would be hope and the grand feeling of accomplishment. Through nature’s astonishing power she felt the connection between his words, the adventure, and her life. He was right. Don’t give up. HOPE.

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Cowboy’s Chaps

We all have that kind of friend, you know the type of that you loan $20 to, then they disappear. You know the type that shows up with bleached blonde hair because of a lost bet. This kind of friend is the life of the party. This is the type of person you take on a road trip.

Perhaps, you all aren’t as lucky enough to have this type of friend. My sister, Karli and I are lucky enough. So, we did invite our friend Blake on our road trip. He is a 24 hour comedy act. A friend like that sure makes a road trip super exciting.

I have always wanted to backpack around Southern Utah. Canyon Lands, Arches, and Moab, you know the drill. In particular I have always wanted to see Cowboy’s Chaps. You might know it as Delicate or Ladies Britches. Or perhaps you don’t recognize any of those names at all, but I am talking about the most famous arch of all time, the one that is the face of the Utah license plates. Odd as is might sound I planned on licking that arch.

We took a little weekend road trip to Moab. We pulled directly into Arches National Park after the drive. Utah is hot in the middle of the summer. Why was I wearing pants? We pulled into the visitors center to get a little information, a little water, and to change into shorts.

When I walked into the parking lot there was Blake at the wheel of my car with my sister buckled in the back. “Okay,” I thought, “Let’s do this.”

Little did I know, that Blake too was looking to see Cowboy’s Chaps. In fact, he hardly cared about the rest of the arches we pasted, as we raced through the park. Finally, Karli said “Can we stop and take some pictures?” That was of course one of our main goals, to take some amazing photos of that wonderful place. Blake stopped the car. And we took some pictures.

Karli and Blake on our Road Trip

Karli and Blake in their kaki pants on our Road Trip

We got out and hiked the trails and climbed some rocks. We had a small picnic of PB& Js. Blake brought a special bag of cherries that he snacked on the entire time. If there are ever Cherry trees in Arches National Park, I am sure it will be because of Blake. He was spitting seeds everywhere while joking about how he would run off and live in the park for the rest of his life.

Blake's Utah Cherries

Blake’s Utah Cherries

I wanted to see the sun set while we were there at Cowboy’s Chaps. We planned it just right so that we would be before the sun went down. We hiked the longer hike. I thought I was in shape enough to keep up with those two, but Blake and Karli lead the way, as I gasped for air behind them. It was a lovely hike. I enjoyed the fact that the trail was covered with several languages and a variety of ages. I feel that Cowboy’s Chaps is beautiful scene that all should enjoy.

Karli and I waited for our turn to take our picture. That is when I accomplished my goal, I leaned in and licked it. Maybe it is just me but it tasted of sand, wind, salt, accomplishment, friendship, and a hint of cherries.

Cowboy's Chaps

Cowboy’s Chaps by TeAnna Rasmussen

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