Saturday, November 30, 2013
Over the next 16 days we visited with my family in Amarillo, TX, saw two tapings of the Price is Right (you'll want to set your DVR's for the 12/10/13 and 2/05/14 episodes if you want to look for me in the audience), watched from behind the scenes as the pilot of an upcoming tv show was being filmed, spent an afternoon at Griffith Observatory, went up to the top of a mountain in Malibu, watched the sun set at Venice beach, gambled in Las Vegas (I actually left a little bit ahead), drove over the Hoover Dam, camped at the Grand Canyon, explored Arches National Park, played cards and had coffee with friends in Boulder, CO, and then returned home with barely a week before Thanksgiving. The journey was exhausting, and came with its own set of challenges, but we saw more of the country than I've ever seen before and every stunning vista was worth the effort. Most importantly, it opened my eyes to what I could do if I had the right equipment. The legs I have now allowed me to get out of the car, enjoy the view, and even explore a little bit, but when it comes to really rugged terrain they are not ideal. That said, some day I look forward to returning to both the Grand Canyon and Arches with the right equipment and getting deeper into the parks than I could on this trip.
Being with my family on Thanksgiving, so soon after the journey helps put it all into perspective. This year the Warriner family home was exceptionally full with friends and family from out of town making it an extra special year. My recent journey was the first big vacation that I have taken in over 8 years without my parents. It was important for me to do that, and I'm truly thankful to Jamal and Nathan for encouraging me to go on this adventure and pushing me (sometimes literally) to explore the world again. That said, part of what made this Thanksgiving so special to me was having my family to come home to and share the stories of our adventure with. And now, in order to join them, I'm going to stop writing and post some pictures...hope you enjoy them!