Tag Archives: Travel

Forest Floor

colorado 2 003

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Wandering in the Rockies yesterday on a lengthy hike with a friend, I stopped to admire the forest floor. The soft crunch underfoot was a quilt of characters — dark black compost covered with bright splotches of lime green moss, rust orange lichen, fading brittle pine needles, musty and moist pine cones, aging golden leaves and the occasional ivory mushroom. Each element is interesting alone, but together they create a fascinating array of color, scent and texture.

This is much like life. Faith, family, friends, community, pets, art, music, great food, love — all wonderful on their own, but thrown together, the patchwork of an incredibly fulfilling life.


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Bumpersticker in Denver

New Adventures of the Same Kelli

New passport time

New passport time

My passport is up for renewal. In the last 10 years I’ve managed to travel to:

Israel, Palestine, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Mozambique, South Africa, Cameroon, Malawi, Costa Rica, Ireland, England and the Bahamas. Most of these adventures have been through college scholarships, volunteering, work and good fortune. I’m exceptionally lucky when it comes to finding great international adventure with little to no budget.

New passport time

New passport time

New passport time

This passport is one of my favorite things. My parents don’t travel much and as a kid, when I read of foreign lands, I had no idea how I’d ever get there.  While I may not have a house full of nice furniture, or a car without dings, I’ve got this little book that reminds me of all the amazing people I’ve met, the cultures I’ve inhaled, the food, spirit, scent and joy of far away lands I’ve celebrated.

Next on the list: France, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Italy, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Egypt.  I’d also very much like to go back to Stellenbosch.

My wanderlust is not entirely gone, but it is very nice now to be enjoying a garden and other things that require me to be in one place for more than a few months.



I took a break from the heat and escaped to northern Arizona for the day, stirring up trouble in my old college haunts.

good morning, latte at La Bellavia

swedish pancakes

breakfast, after

Such as La Bellavia, where they serve the very best pancakes in the world. (Swedish, with blueberries and applesauce)

typical Flag

Route 66 and tracks

hippie mobile

typical residential street

yellow rose of Flagstaff

june 5 031

missing an apostrophe

poppies blowing in the wind

And downtown, where I could spend my salary in the blink of an eye at Babbit’s.



palace doors

Dork and a moon flower

Pretty spot in tlaquepaque

Le boots

Only in Sedona

Then there was Sedona, with it’s galleries, gardens and sweet scent. There is the most calming, peaceful perfume that hangs near the cottonwood-lined Oak Creek. I could sit and listen to the water trickle, curled up in the shade, all afternoon. Or, I could go to Oaxaca for margaritas on the patio. And a burrito.

{And yes, apparently by “old college haunts,” I meant a bakery and a Mexican restaurant. I guess some things never change.}

It is incredible what a brief change of scenery does for my perspective.



The fastest way to find wildlife in Yellowstone is to first locate the gaggle of humans. This rare specie will more than likely have a camera way too powerful for their own good, a giant RV, and potentially be wearing Hello Kitty (which I didn’t realize they made in adult sizes.)

When approaching such animals, I highly recommend toning down the cynicism and instead asking such brilliant questions as, “So, what are you guys looking at?” and “What’s up?”

LOTS of Wild Animals

In this case, they were staring at a buffalo that had been recently taken down by a pack of wolves. Other animals were circling, waiting to feed. Also, a bald eagle was in a tree.

Dead buffalo

That teeny tiny brown dot in the river is the poor buffalo.

Black Bear

That teeny tiny black dot in the tree is a bear. Thankfully, another gaggle of tourists helped us with this sighting. I have no idea why the bear was in the tree, but he sat there for quite a while, occasionally moving his head. I later saw what I think was a grizzly, but it very well could have been a quick buffalo at a distance.


These antelope were everywhere. We managed to see some big horn sheep today too. Even though I like to come across as someone who could handle any sort of outdoorsy adventure thrown my way, I was a little worried this Yellowstone trip wasn’t going to be my thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

If Bullwinkle were a girl

Down to a Bullwinkle, we saw just about everything.

Pretty much the prettiest place I've ever been

We even managed to get in a good hike and at 7,000+ feet, my little heart was racing. We’ve thoroughly conquered this park and seen just about as much of it as I imagine humanly possible in such a short period. I can’t wait to return.

Next time, I’ll learn to fly fish. I’ll bring a tripod. I’ll spend lots of time staring and the stars and certainly spend more time on my feet and outside of a car. I’ll spend gobs of time in the Lamar Valley, one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been.

Montana: A+.


Where the Buffalo Roam

Smiley American breakfast

European Breakfast

My breakfast vs. Shelley’s. Are you kidding me? A day in Yellowstone and all you are having an English muffin? Bring on the carbs. And the eggs. And the smiley. (Jess ate the pork.)

Roosevelt Gate

My blog's new motto

Or jellystone

Shell and me, hanging

The Roosevelt Gate at the entry of the park. A sign of the great things to come during the day, including many a “nature” sighting.

Lady elk





Bubbling geysers!


Is it wrong this makes me want a burger?

Hello cute baby buffalo!


Mama and baby buffalo

And even better, baby buffalo!

Peeps waiting for Old Faithful

Every 90 minutes

Come on already

Little bit o' steam

Bubbling up


Working the geyser

Old Faithful

Girls at Old Faithful

Look ma!

Look, Mom! Old Faithful. It was actually much quieter than you’d expect, especially considering how many people sat on bleachers waiting for this gurgling geyser to do its thing.


Truly the highlight of the day — a wolf! Amazing. We later saw a coyote, but this sighting was truly majestic.




We ended our adventures at the Chico Hot Springs, soaking with margaritas in hand. I am thoroughly catching up on some much needed rest and am more relaxed at the moment than I’ve been in months. Thank heavens for this fantastic vacation. Tomorrow we’ve got our eyes set on the Lamar Valley where according to a local lead, “Bears roam on the side of the road.” We’ll see.

Later gators

Off to enjoy the Montana nightlife — dinner, gin and tonics, a jacket and a set of swings over looking the river on a starry night.


Home on the Range

Lincoln Logs

Yippie I O


Yellowstone River

Road trip food

Comfy room Trail Mix Montana Style

Sweet friends

The road trip after landing in Billings was a sugar-fueled 120 miles. Apparently we all have vacation mode that means lots of Diet Coke and Red Vines. Thankfully, our little room in Gardiner is as amazing as you can imagine, overlooking the Yellowstone River. Kayakers just went by and I am pretty sure the three pair of sandals I brought weren’t the best idea.

Snow. In May. Who knew? That said, today was the 13th day with temperatures higher than 100 in Phoenix and I’m currently wearing a coat. Life in Montana — giddyup.