Wow, we really had an incredible 2017. We…
And so much more.
We experienced too much greatness this year for me not to write a little post reviewing our 2017. This was a year of trying new things, discovering beautiful places, and even a few spectacular concerts sprinkled in.
We rang in the New Year with a crew of amazing individuals at Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Wyoming. I had never experienced such a beautiful winter where the snow never seemed to stop falling. The Tetons came into view as we neared Jackson, WY, and blew me away with their indescribable beauty. The trips to town were rounded out by the occasional moose, fox, bison, elk, or deer sighting. We even went snowmobiling and dog sledding for the first time!
We left Wyoming earlier than expected and snuck off to Central America! We spent six weeks hopping through Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize and ended our trip with my family in sunny Florida. This was my second time to Central America, and boy will I keep going back. This is a backpacker’s paradise – incredible culture, nature’s finest beaches and jungles, archaeological wonders, and warm weather when you need it most – all on a budget.One of the biggest highlights for us was checking off one of my bucket list items – learning to scuba dive. I somehow discovered one of the cheapest and beautiful dive sites in the world at Utila Dive Center in Utila, Honduras. We did our four day Open Water PADI Certification for $329 per person which included everything from equipment rentals, class materials, certification, and even 5 nights stay at a nearby hostel. Scuba diving was truly one of the most unique experiences of my life. I definitely had to push myself out of my comfort zone, but words cannot describe the sensation of breathing under water and the mind blowing environment that lies beneath the water’s surface. If you’ve ever considered scuba diving but are hesitant about the cost, look no further than the Utila Dive Center.
After the long road trip from Florida to Indiana, Sean and I took about 30 hours at home and switched gears for a long month of work in perhaps my favorite state – California. This was our second year working catering for Coachella Music Festival, and this year we decided to drive out there. While we were there, Sean and I made the decision to try out a vegan diet for the first time. Here I am eight months later and still vegan! If you’re considering this for the new year, I say go for it. Believe me, I never thought I could do it, and I certainly didn’t expect to love it – but going vegan has been one of the best decisions of my life. I have removed myself from a industry that I have problems with and continue to make conscious decisions regarding the environment. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the documentaries Cowspiracy which discusses environmental damage of animal agriculture and What the Health that explains the health benefits of a plant based diet.
We left Indio,CA late April and decided to help our friend Natalie by driving her up to Portland, OR – why not a quick trip to another corner of the country? It was a pretty fun trip through the mountains, redwoods, and up the coast. We then circled back by Denver and made our way back to home base in Indiana.
We enjoyed Spring back with the family in Indiana. We kept busy with dehydrating food for our upcoming Colorado Trail thru-hike. We also visited Turkey Run and Clifty Falls State Parks, enjoyed a night of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at Symphony on the Prairie, and I was part of two very special weddings. Our time at home flew by and next thing we knew were were off again.
We started our summer travels off with a bang – our first time at Red Rocks Amphitheater for three nights of Umprey’s Mcgee. One for the books.Just a few days later, we were back right where we belong with miles of trail and mountains for as far as the eye can see. We spent most of the month hiking our way nearly 500 miles from Denver to Durango on the Colorado Trail. We even managed to squeeze in one more spontaneous night at Red Rocks for String Cheese Incident as a birthday surprise. Cherry on top? Sean proposed on top of a mountain while we were hiking the Colorado Trail. I can’t make this stuff up. 2017 is our year.
We completed the Colorado Trail in Durango August 10 and were greeted by our dear friend Pat. Pat picked us up and drove us first to Lake Powell, then to Las Vegas. Our first time in Vegas was short and sweet and included staying at Caesar’s Palace, daytime swimming and gambling, and Cirque du Soliel’s Mystere. Before we knew it, we were on a plane heading to Portland, OR, and getting ready for the week long Oregon Eclipse Music Festival. We were floored by the masses of beautiful people, the mind blowing art, the never ending music, the presentations, the ever growing art installations, just WOW. And then totality happened. Wow.
After the festival, we returned to Portland and got ready for the next adventure – our final 250 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail that we had left undone from 2016. We rented a car, managed to pick up a German hitchhiker heading to the PCT, and drove the 14 hours from Portland to Mammoth Lakes, CA. We took our time completing our final chapter of the PCT and were in awe of the stunning landscapes through Mammoth, Yosemite, and ending around Lake Tahoe.
We spent the month with one of our friends in Northern California. He talked us into spending some time hiking on the Lost Coast Trail. This epic trail goes between secluded beaches up into redwood groves. I was shocked to spend the night camping right on the shores of the Pacific Ocean without a soul in sight.
We ended our travels out West flying home from Oakland to Indianapolis. We were happy to finally spend the holidays with family and friends at home for the first time in a few years. Ahh home. We’re sleeping in a bed which is pretty fabulous, and I have a laptop to use to work on this blog – what a concept! We hope we’re not getting too soft sitting on the couch because we are in full prep mode for our thruhike of the Continental Divide Trail next year after our wedding. This will complete the triple crown of hiking – Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail – totaling over 8,000 miles. A successful completion of the CDT will put us among less than 400 other registered triple crowners. We are excited, nervous, a little apprehensive, but overall, we’re ready to be living back outside again. Being home is a gift, but it reminds us where we belong – somewhere in nature, somewhere quiet, somewhere sacred.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU 2017 and all of you who helped make it happen. We are honored to be living the life we love, and words can’t describe our gratitude. My fiance put it best the other day,
“You will never look stupid for trying, so get out there and do what you love. If 2017 was not the best year of your life, then drop everything that does not serve you and follow your passions. Make yourself happy and always love with no limits.”
Man, I should get him to write more often ;). But let me say, as we welcome the New Year, take the time to really define your goals and aspirations and see what actions you can take to achieve those goals. I never in my wildest dreams could’ve thought an adventure like this could all happen in a year, but we’ve made travel a want above all others and align our actions to achieve that goal. This year, try something new, go somewhere you’ve never been, break a bad habit. Push your limits and redefine your comfort zone. Take your life into your own hands and make 2018 your year.
Cheers to a very Happy New Year,
Bekah and Sean
Follow along as we prep for the CDT 2018!!