Wyoming | Highway 287 North

August 28 // canon 6d // wyoming 

golden light is the best kind of light 

Europe | Rothenburg ob der Tauber

january 2015 // rothenburg, germany // canon 5d 

You've probably seen 672894502348573 photos of Rothenburg's famous arch, and so I'm not going to really bore you with paragraphs of places we went and things we saw in what is potentially Germany's most instagrammed small town. And since it's a pretty small town, there's not much use in talking about 'top spots to visit', because if you take a loop, you'll see everything. But there are two things that stand out to me from the trip, even a year and a half later

these are my people, this is my tribe //

We were walking past an old home that was currently being renovated. A giant dumpster blocked most of the cobblestoned alley, and, as we squeezed past it, I took a peek inside, only to see hundreds of old wooden shoe-forms--the home must have been a cobbler's shop, once upon a time. And, without hesitating, I reached in, and grabbed a shoe. 

My friends gave me a look, but less than a minute later, several sets of hands were reaching in and grabbing their own. We ran through the towns, carrying wooden shoe-forms, and, for some reason, pretended they were phones. "Hello? I'm sorry, I can't hear you. I'm using a shoe to call you." The other students, who we inevitably ran into over and over (it's a small town, after all), kept giving us looks. "Is that a shoe?" They asked confused, and we grinned, and laughed. We had only known each other for a couple of weeks, but to me it was the seal of friendship--because any person who would reach into a dumpster to grab a wooden shoe horn without hesitation and pretend it was a phone is a friend to me. 

looking 'outside the box'//

I love said friends, but I'm also a little bit of an  major introvert--and after a long day of exploring in the cold, I....still wanted to be exploring. After my friends decided to call it a day, I slipped out and started walking, looking for something new, and different. 

My quest took me to the end of the walled city. Standing outside the centuries-old stone barriers, I found myself climbing over a wall, getting the knees of my jeans a little dirty--and finding a beautiful fountain, emptied out for the winter. A quick turn took me to an abandoned swimming pool outside of a hotel, dried leaves covering the bright blue bottom. 

It was quiet, and cold, and I stood there alone, shivering, but triumphant--because I had found something not-so-perfect in the oh-so-perfect Rothenburg. 

wildflowers + friends

snowy range // august 7 // canon 6d 

wildflowers + friends + beautiful views that i'm getting used to but not quite. this is my life now, and things are good, good good good. 

Wyoming | Snowy Range

august 7 // medicine bow // canon 6d 

Laramie is surrounded by Medicine Bow National Forest on either side, with Vedauwoo a half hour east and the Snowy Range an hour west. While Vedauwoo, with its crazy rock formations, is cool, it's nothing compared to the snowies. 

There's a highway (230) that snakes through the range, up and down, with hairpin turns and incredible views. For the most part, my friend Claire and I just stayed on the road, driving around in search of good light and wildflowers, of which we found both. At one point, we did hop off for a quick mile hike to a miner's cabin, and I stood inside of the falling-down ruin, thinking about what it must have been like to live in a little valley in the most beautiful place in the world, almost completely alone. We spent some time at Lake Louise, gazing at the crystal clear waters, before heading back--but as we drove up over the mountains, we couldn't help but stop at an observation point, to gaze out at the sunset and the blue mountains. 

life in laramie i.

In a children's book, I once read a passage about how, if you live in enough places, they start to become overlaid on top of each other, shared similarities amongst different landscapes. And the longer I live here, the truer it rings.

Brown rabbits appear everywhere, nervously scurrying across streets and small yards, and there is a footbridge over a mess of inter-connected train tracks--just like Mannheim. A stray cat in the Safeway parking lot makes me think of Bridgewater, and the small coffee shops and big football stadium harken back to days in Amherst. And I hold fast, and hard, onto those things--always keep an eye out for more--because they are little signs. this too, can be home. 

I live in a house now. It's green, and big, and far cheaper than anything on the East Coast. I signed the lease. I paid rent, without frantically checking my bank app to make sure there was enough money. I have three roommates, who all brought enough dishes and furniture for a small army. We have doubles of everything--and a plethora of other things, like wine openers (we have eight and counting).

I don't have a lot of things--something I am still working on, because I'm always terrified of having ~stuff~. Stuff means you're staying, and I have to remind myself, that, well--I will be here, for a while. This is home, for longer than my other places, at least.

Books weigh me down, though. I might not have a dresser that takes four people to get up the stairs, but books are home; Books anchor me (cheesy, I know). So I buy them in bulk, start building a library of classics + favorites and thick, meaty reads that remind me of other times, to put in my bookshelf, to lay strewn across the floor, to build a fort around myself.

I have never seen sunsets, the way I see them in Laramie. The sky--which is so much bigger here, an unexplainable phenomena--cracks open like an egg, and today's blue + grey turns into this evening's red, orange, pink, purple, lavender--a vivid masterpiece unlike anything anywhere else. The sunsets are worth staying for, alone.

(there are a lot of things worth staying for, though) 

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