July 9: Rest, Reflection, Rocks

Today is the first day without interviews that didn’t include a flat tire! That was a real relief. With that not an issue, we were able to enjoy a day without a cadence dictated by interviews and a need to be somewhere. Take it from Mike and Juan: take your rest; you’ve earned it, probably more than you think you do. 

What we decided to do with our day: waking up at about the same time as usual, having breakfast, and then renting a personal car to travel around a bit easier. Hey, Nelly needs a rest too!

Grand Junction is, in some ways, a pretty significant part of the inspiration for Ephs on the Mooove. In the first post for this project, we reference a cross country train trip with a stop in Grand Junction. Going from Portland to Sacramento to Grand Junction gave us a sampling pretty quickly of how different communities and people can be. Train riders were each unique and had their own stories: some had done the trek multiple times and gave us pointers on where to take photos, while others were just quickly hopping on and off with a quick hello. Some we got to make-up stories in our own heads and that was that. We got to take some beautiful photos at Arches and bond over a love of landscape photography. People, places, and photography are the major elements of this project. While we are working diligently to push out the stories we’ve collected (please be patient, we promise they are worth it!), we hope that the people and the photography and our blog have resonated with you and brought some joy. 

Our joy today came from traveling around Colorado National Monument and taking a bunch of photos in 100 degree weather. Always be prepared with sunscreen, lots of water, pace yourself, find shade, and take care of yourself on trips like that folks. Anyways, we drove around the road through the canyons, took way too many pictures, and were enamored with the landscape. It is truly magnificent, even if you don’t like rocks nearly as much as Mike. For your viewing pleasure, enjoy some of our photos! 

We grabbed some lunch at the Goat and Clover, a spot we visited last time too, and then impulsively decided to buy hats (treat yourself, right?). The rest of the afternoon was for some relaxing and cooling down at our campground and mentally preparing for more long days of driving. 

Looking back, this has been a remarkably humbling experience so far. Sure, there are lots of hours of driving and tons of miles (over 3000 now), but seeing alums in their space is amazing. Coupled with the immense hospitality, from cookies to coffee to offers of showering, and the level of trust they are giving us to share their stories, it is a true honor and privilege. In some ways, we won’t be able to do their stories full justice, after all it is one conversation and these are all remarkable people in their own ways (as are all of you reading this). However, we do hope that you are able to find things that resonate with you in these conversations. Whether you have found your calling or are in between roles or are searching for your spark, know that you are not alone and you matter. You are still writing your story, as are all of us. This whole community is rooting for you and is here. They’ve invited us in, quite literally, despite being strangers and that is the magic of this community. You bring your own magic to your communities and for that we are grateful. 

Next up: West Wendover, NV by way of Salt Lake City!


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