road trip

Road tripping through Utah

Hi guys!

Apologies for the unintentional break I took from this space. Between life on the road and then getting sick almost as soon as I got back east, this space was pushed a bit from my mind. Anyway, I’ve officially been back home for a bit after a whirlwind three weeks on the road. It felt SO GOOD to be back out in my element; hiking, skiing, and just daydreaming on endless stretches of highway. After meeting up with my friend, Allee, in Arizona, (and our brief detour in Colorado!), we set our sights on Utah.

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I first visited some of these places a couple winters back, but that didn’t make them any less amazing the second time around. If anything, I was more excited, as I knew the cold temps would make them less desirable to visit. Pro tip : if you’re looking to have hiking trails in the southwest to yourself, visit in the winter! Even at sunrise, I’ve always shared hiking trails - especially national park trails - with other people. While there were a couple other brave souls out enjoying the sights, it was nothing like summer time with hoards of people!

Our first stop in Utah was Monument Valley. This time around we car camped nearby, but my first time visiting this place, we stayed at The View hotel, which looks right out over the infamous buttes. It was a bit overcast, but we had a small window of clear sky that made for a perfect sunrise. Like most southwest spots, you’re going to want to plan around where you’ll be for sunrise or sunset. That’s when the landscapes truly seems to glow.

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This section of the trip was definitely about car camping - aka saving money on lodging! - and we continued the following night at Dead Horse Point State Park. Using the ioverlander app, Allee was able to find a camp ground in the park, just a short drive from where we’d be shooting sunrise the following morning! With the recent snowfall, we couldn’t pass up a visit to nearby Arches National Park. Like I mentioned earlier, this place is a ghost town in winter! We had entire trails to ourselves, and got to explore the snow covered red rocks to our hearts content.

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From Moab, we continued our journey north in search of a little sunshine. I’ll be the first to admit, as much as I love Winter, the goal for this trip was definitely to embrace the sun and some WARMTH. We were able to find both at our next stop - Mystic Hot Springs. This place is a trip, I loved how unique the individual tubs are! Once we we were closer to Salt Lake City, we hiked to a natural hot spring (I personally preferred the natural pools. Can’t think of a better reward after a hike).

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I knew I couldn’t leave SLC without at least ONE ski day, and fortunately my long-time friend, JJ, was able to meet up with me to make it happen. We spent the day at Solitude Mountain, where I was able to use my Ikon Pass (have I mentioned lately how much I love this pass?! I’ve skied more this season than any other because of it! More on that in my next post). Solitude is unlike any mountain I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never skied in powder so deep in my life! It was such a fun day, and truly has me dreaming of more winter trips to the area. There’s certainly no shortage of mountains - Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird being a stone’s throw away.

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On our final night, our friend, Kevin, brought us out to nearby Antelope Island for a sunset campfire. If we had gone nowhere else in Utah, this place would be enough. It’s INCREDIBLE. Roaming buffalo scattered throughout, and mountain vistas that made me feel as though we had been transported to southern Alaska. It was a dream.

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Can’t wait to share the last leg of this trip with you guys! Promise it will be soon.

xo

J.

A Winter Road Trip North of the Border

Hey guys!

Hope you’re all having a great week! It’s been COLD lately here in the Northeast. I’m currently bundled up indoors and catching up on some blog posts, like this trip to Canada I took right before Christmas! My friend, Jack, and I took an impromptu road trip north of the border to Québec, to play in the snow and take in all the holiday decor.

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Our first stop was to Mont-Tremblant, a beautiful ski mountain and village tucked in the Laurentian Mountain Range. Tremblant is a fellow Ikon Pass destination, and marked my second time (first in Québec!) skiing in Canada. After a four hour drive from the Adirondack mountains, we set about to explore the village and get our bearings for the following morning. When we woke up, we were greeted with a fresh layer of powder and snow flakes falling! With a short ride up the Cabriolet (which in itself is SUCH a fun way to view the village!)., we made our way onto the gondola and up to the summit. It was snowing HARD when we arrived, and the surroundings made for a true winter wonderland. Since this was my first time visiting the mountain, I decided to join a free guided tour. The mountain offers them twice daily, and in my case, I had the guide all to myself! It was a super fun and easy way to get my bearings of the trails.

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After a full day of skiing, we made our way back down to explore the village by daylight. I loved how magical and festive all the holiday decorations were. It felt like we had been transported onto a movie stage for a Christmas movie. We were so overwhelmed with the beauty of the village that we actually ended up changing our plans to stay another night. In the morning, we had the incredible opportunity to explore the nearby Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant before they opened to the public. After touring the grounds, and enjoying the hot baths, I experienced my first polar bear plunge by dipping into the Diable River! I’m not gonna lie, it was excruciating, but it’s all part of the hydrotherapy experience. To read more about the process, check it out here.

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After our relaxing morning, we had one last stop before returning to New York : Québec City. After my first visit to the city last year, I knew I had to come back to see it in full holiday mode. And it did not disappoint. The old streets are so enchanting and everyone was so full of Christmas spirit.

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It was truly such a fun holiday trip, and I’m so happy I had my friend, Jack, there to share it with! He also helped shoot a bunch of my images on this trip, so please be sure to check out his amazing work. We spent a good chunk of this trip planning out some veryyyy fun trips for this year, so this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing of him! Until next time.

xo

J.