Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Weekend As A Travel Writer

WARNING! This post is going to be a photo overload.

Life has been a bit nuts. When I started school this last semester I had no idea what I was in for. The non-stop craziness that is my day-to-day is a bit overwhelming. I have been working on a post where I put into words my feeling, but so far it is just random thoughts. So, I am saving that until I am able to articulate myself properly. It may take me awhile.

Anyway, one of the benefits of going to college is that I have been able to gain some amazing experiences. This last weekend is a perfect example. 

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, or Facebook have seen quite a lot of pictures of me and horses. Here is why . . .

For my final project in my travel writing class, we have been asked to write a lenghty travel article. We have to actually go to the location we choose, which limits our options a bit. Then we are to  give a 10-15  minute PowerPoint presentation on wherever we went and our writing process. 

While I was brainstorming, a horse trail I took with my husband and kids came to mind. We had gone to the White Mountains last Spring. We were camping and it was snowing. It had been a crazy weekend. On our second to last day we came across a stable at the base of the Sunrise Ski Resort. There we met this Apache Native American that gave horseback tours. Despite the cold, it was amazing. 

I thought, how awesome would it be to go again, and this time interview the Native American Guide. (I need quotes for the article). 

So, I pitched this idea to my professor. He loved the idea. 

The only problem is that the stable is four hours away, and my time is limited. I knew I did not want to do this by myself, but I also knew my husband could not get off work, nor did my kids want to miss school. Yes I know, it is weird that my kids would rather be in school than go on a trip to the mountains. I have no idea where they get it from.

I have been dreading making plans, because I didn't want to do this alone. Last minute I threw out the idea to a couple of my closest friends, that maybe they should come with. I would rent a cabin in Greer and we could make it a girls night away. And wouldn't you know it, they were all in. 


First off, the weather was perfect. The fall leaves were all gone and the mountain was settling in for winter. You know, those few weeks where the air braces itself for the snow. 

The cabin was this cute rusting building, very picturesque. I wanted something I could photograph incase our guide cancelled and I needed a backup story. 

We met our guide, Kicker, Monday afternoon. I was a bit nervous to interview him, mainly because I needed good quotes, and I really had no idea what I was doing. I am not sure what he thought of me, but he was so kind. His thoughts were really quite beautiful. He seems like a humble man, and very inspiring as well. I know if I do this right, he will make for a fascinating story. Talking to him was just as much fun as going on the trail ride. 

Don't I just look so official? Too funny.

Then the horses. This was a riot. I have very limited experience. My friend Melanie has even less, and of course Heather was the pro, because that girl has done everything. For whatever reason, the horses were in a mood to trot, so my backside is still paying the price. I couldn't figure out how to prevent my tush from bouncing on the saddle. Please don't try to picture this. Kicker recommended I move like Beyonce. Then he demonstrated. He was a much better Beyonce than I could every be, hence the bruising I have sustained. 

We all took loads of pictures. 

Hands down, it was one of the funnest two days I have had in a very long time. There is nothing better than being in a beautiful place, having an adventure with two of your closest friends. I think we all laughed a little harder than normal. Our jokes were definitely funnier than they would have been if we were in Mesa. I think we were all a bit drunk on the novelty of not having to take care of anyone else. 

These ladies were wonderful sports, and I will be forever grateful for them for supporting me. Though, I am not surprised because that is just who these ladies are. 

So anyway, it's time to put this travel article together. Can you believe it? I am already getting ready for finals! This weekend gave me just enough of a breather to push me through to the end, but I am so ready for winder break.

Once I finish the article, I will publish it here. The best in the class will be submitted for publication in the Arizona Republic Newspaper, so wish me luck!

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