Epic Voyage: Part III – Almost getting arrested at national parks

balance, body and swole, choices, cross country road trip, fitness, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, relax, road trip, roller derby, roller skating, RollerCon, rollerskating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, travel, wellness, women, yoga

These last two posts have been building up for several weeks, and I think a part of my reluctance is that it feels as if writing about it makes it “over.”

While I admit that I was VERY reluctant to head back home (I fell in love with Colorado and almost moved there), once I actually woke up in the last hotel I stayed in, I finally felt ready to go back.

This #EpicVoyage, after all, is very much like Santiago’s tale in The Alchemist, my favorite book. And, just like Santiago, I had quite the existential experience ❤

So, let’s start where we left off – LAS VEGAS!

One of the last skaters I got to hang out with shared with me how surprised she was at how fucking crazy some moments were at RollerCon, particularly how goddamn girl crazy I was.

Shit, 6000 skaters from around the world, let’s say at least half of them women (we know that it’s probably more disproportionate, but let’s just pretend…), and as statistics go, at least 10% of them are gay. That means that I was surrounded by at least 300 lesbians for a week, all skaters and skate-related, and athletes.

It was a buffet of hotness and I felt like a fat kid on cheat day.

HOWEVER!

It’s about habits, and what we ultimately DO.

My friend said, “I was surprised how out of your mind you were about (women) after all that meditation and yoga you’d been doing.”

I explained to her that while the thoughts are there, the behaviors are what matters. Sure, I was girl-crazy. I flirted, hung out with, danced with and spoke to a lot of women. A lot more than I had in the past three years. THREE YEARS! And in that time, with all the sleep deprivation, food (OMG all the food), temptation, derby, dancing and LOTS of influences, I still kept my honor intact and didn’t sleep with anyone.

Er…by “sleep with” I mean provide a thorough, high-quality, passionate fucking, provided by yours truly 🙂

So, I didn’t do that. I didn’t do it with women interested in me, nor the ones that I was interested in. I just had fun and put the flirt out there. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time; I was just putting it out there, letting the universe know that I was ready to have fun, but on my terms. It had to be with someone that I care about a good deal, someone I have a connection with, and someone I respect and KNOW will appreciate it.

After all, I’m a giver when it comes to this.

And we’ll get to that later on, but in the meantime, still in Vegas!

That last morning I was in Vegas was on a Tuesday, and that day before a bunch of friends went to the Grand Canyon and I was peeved that I didn’t get to go. I was solo my last day and thought it’d be cool to do a group thing…even though I pretty much did group stuff all week.

It was good because this last part of the road trip was all me. Miriam flew back to Miami that morning, and I had the rest of the journey on my own to do exactly what my heart told me to do.

My brain said go to California, so I can do the “OH I went from coast to coast” and serve my ego.

My heart said to do something I’ve never done, and I felt moved to go to the Grand Canyon. I’d never been; I’ve driven up and down the California coastline and I LOVE it, but it’s route and I’ve done it already.

Interestingly enough, I saw this sign at the Westgate after I dropped Dee off, and I have no idea if it was there all week, but I noticed when I needed to and it sealed my conviction that the Grand Canyon was the way to go.

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The epic sign I saw the last night I was in Vegas

My day started early again that Tuesday morning, and while I was still wrestling a bit with the California or Grand Canyon conundrum, I followed my stomach first and ran into a few lovely Florida skaters and had breakfast with a few before they left and we got this shot ❤

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Some of Florida’s finest and classiest ladies ❤ Mel, Brawl, me, Jax and Jam(s-her-ass-off) 😛

Before picking up my car, I ran into this British belle who was sporting both a skate shirt like me, but also HALLOWS LIKE ME ❤

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HALLOWS AND SKATING. Nerdgasm! I love that her shirt says “Skate don’t hate” and mine says #8WheelsOneLove ❤ Same message!

Once I finally stopped taking pictures with people, I took a few selfies and hit the road!

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Leaving the Westgate 🙂

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Keep it classy, Las Vegas ❤

Once I resolved to finally leave (admittedly it’s hard; I mean I once again had the time of my life and was still basking in RollerCon joy as well as the remnant Vegas sparkle imprinted on my mind), I made the short drive out to the Hoover Dam and thus continued my skating adventures on the road ❤

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Damn dat dam doe!

I also got lots of video skating around here, but in all candor I’m a bit overwhelmed with video content and that I will certainly need help with! So excited to go through that stuff as well and fine-tune it 😀 Ideally I’ll have a video journey to follow-up with as well. I recorded some immensely awesome stuff and SUPER inspirational messages!

After the Hoover Dam, I checked the route, my time, and realized I’d do pretty well as far as time goes and hit my goal of reaching the Grand Canyon in time for sunset. I got there with plenty of time to spare, and thankfully it was after 5:00PM, so security was a bit more lax about me skating around the trails, the rim, and…well they didn’t see me take these, so no harm, no foul (or, as we say in derby, no impact, no penalty :P)

Though there was no lodging available, I was ass-tired and did NOT have it in me to drive to the North Rim, and the park is open 24 hours, so no matter what, I was staying there and with no risk of getting kicked out.

I relaxed, put on my skates, and took some pretty cool pictures.

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I ate shit on one of the turns on the trail and scraped up my FRESH TATTOO. That I got TEN HOURS before this stop. And, of course, fell on a spot I’ve never fell on before, right on the toe of the skate. So, appropriately so, it’s the toe that’s scuffed because there’s no toe guard on the skate in the tattoo 😛

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Be bold and do epic shit.

So now I have a tattoo that says SMASH that has a scuff on it from SMASHING my damn leg, ON THE SAME LEG as the tattoo of the Deathly Hallows with Harry’s scar. I broke that ankle a few years after getting the tattoo, and now I have a surgical scar running through it.

Next to the tattoo of Harry’s scar.

So I have a scar next to a scar.

It’s like I gave the universe a fucking bulls-eye. “RIGHT THERE, MOTHERFUCKER, RIGHT THERE.”

Hey I can laugh about it 🙂

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This is the picture that terrified all the moms on my Facebook feed.

😀

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This one gives me so many happy feels. SO many. I was so scared to take my skates out there with me, and seriously I did consider if this was the last damn thing I did, is this how I want to go out?

FUCK YEAH IT IS! WHY NOT?!

It’d make a hell of a story!

I spent that evening skating the trails, exploring the South Rim from the main visitor’s area, watching the sun set and the moon rise (kinda made it hard to skate back and ultimately find my car…got lost for an hour, in the dark, on skates :P), and observing the vastness of it all and the silence it commanded. No music, no talking, just witnessing and being humbled by the majesty of nature’s creation.

Here I felt the surge of inspiration rush through me again, as I contemplated the strength and persistence of the Colorado River as it pushed on through mountains and rocks to create this beautiful masterpiece. This was created as a cooperative endeavor, not a competitive one. The river *IS*. The rock *IS*. Together, they created this. Together. In harmony. They simultaneously exist as beautiful, whole, and magnificent in their glory. That tiny river caused all this.

That’s some profoundly inspirational stuff right there!

After I eventually found my car, I looked around for a place to park so I could get some sleep. Once I had a good spot, I moved over to the passenger’s side, lounged back, and got the most sleep thus far of the trip.

Shit I’ve been homeless before; at least here I knew I was allowed to be here, and as far as scenery goes, I could do much worse!

That next morning I geared up again and hit the trail for more shots…or so I hoped!

I almost got arrested, so I took off my skates and gear and did the pedestrian, legal thing for a bit before I went into #YogaEveryDamnDay mode 🙂

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Not too shabby for a woman with a justifiable heights aversion 😀

I had ZERO phone reception, so researching stuff online wasn’t going to be an option. Though I had an idea how to get to California (uuuhhh…head WEST?!), I didn’t quite know how I wanted to do it, or if I even wanted to do it in the first place.

After wandering a bit, my heart said to go to the visitor’s center and look around. I got some GREAT information for the next visit in which I plan to hike, camp, and do more epic shit. Thankfully I wandered and explored for a bit more, because I heard a family say “Four Corners” in passing, and when I went inside, I heard “Four Corners” again. Since I had no map or clue how to get there, I went inside to see if I could buy a map.

A lovely park ranger gave me one ❤ We chatted for a bit and she asked what brought me here, so I told her about RollerCon and the road trip, and she was SO cool and hooked me up with maps and helpful tips! 😀 😀 😀

So yay for not getting arrested AND for getting help 🙂

It took me a few hours to get out of the park and toward Four Corners, because the sights were just too perfect to pass up. I stopped every few miles until I hit the rim at the desert view.

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Eventually I hit the edge, and then that was the end of my visit to the Grand Canyon. Knowing I’d be back again, I felt ready to say so long for now and head out to the Four Corners.

What’s pretty fucking spectacular about this is I had no idea how I would get to California and still hit all the stops I wanted to in the middle part of the country, which I’d never been to. Doing the math, it added almost 2000 more miles, just to go to California and then come pretty much back the way I came.

BORING.

When I made a dream list of places to hit on this Epic Voyage, Colorado was at the very top of the list, right under Las Vegas. I had some shit to sort out there in my head, to get rid of old stuff and create space for new stuff. Plus I had relevant interests there…so, Colorado is where I intended to stay, once I headed out to Four Corners.

I MET THESE GOATS ON THE WAY.

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GOATS! LOTS! It was a *SCREEEEECH! car whips around* moment.

After the goats, I drove to Four Corners, and got there 30 minutes after close 😛 Oops!

Oh well, guess I gotta stay in Colorado! I stayed in Cortez for the night, where for the first time in DAYS I had cell reception and uploaded those epic Grand Canyon shots and scared every single mother that I am Facebook friends with 😛

I spent the night in Cortez and while having breakfast, a woman came up to me and remarked how concerned she was for my skin color. Reasonably so – my Irish ass was in the desert sun for the better part of the day prior, and even with my Florida base tan, that desert sun doesn’t play around!!

I put on my Deadpool t-shirt, Captain America leggings, lathered on the sunscreen and hit Four Corners for realies this time!

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Skates were NOT appreciated, so I took them off and decided to do a Wheel instead of some skater stuff on the Four Corners.

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Wheel pose, because a Bridge is nice, but this shit is fancy, yo.

I met people there visiting also from Florida, and when they told me they’re from West Palm Beach, I told them to check out Dub City Derby Girls!

After I got my picture, I decided to explore Colorado some more, and I drove out to my next destination: Colorado Springs!

The tale of the Epic Voyage continues in the finale… 🙂

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