Day 7: Early AM wakeup alarm to get me driving over to Arches to capture sunrise. With some previous research, I learned about Window Arch being the best quick view for sunrise. I barely made it to the parking area, grabbed my tripod and gear, and power walked to the arch. With super quick recon, I saw the perfect spot, which I figured was the best because around 5 photographers were perched at the location. Dashing up the rocks with gear and a tripod was slightly daunting, but I managed to get my grad ND’s on my wide angle and setup the shot as the sun hit the mark. It was a dream image. It was truly hard to imagine all the miles I drove, and sights I saw to end up viewing sunrise at Window Arch as the final pinnacle of my journey to Philmont. I explored with different angles after the main image, then called it.
Images of Windows Arch at Arches National Monument.
Images from after sunrise and my drive to my Grandma's house in Colorado.
I still had a long day of driving ahead to get to my grandma’s house in Colorado. Speed forward a few hours later, I finally make it. My journey of pre-Philmont exploration has ended. Many memories made, lots learned, which few have the pleasure of experiencing. Although I missed sharing those experiences and memories with someone else, I realize that I have some moments that are true to just me. Nothing can change those moments that are engrained in my head. Not only that, but I traveled across part of the US and felt like it was natural. There were times of uncertainty, mainly with where to sleep for cheap, so my skills of travel were challenged.
I had the ultimate freedom and took full advantage of that. I hardly spent any money on food and very little (relatively) on places to camp. To those wishing to journey into the unknown and seek the ultimate freedom, go for it. Pursue it. Don’t wish for it. Dare yourself. You will find inspiration and happiness within the unknown.