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Like a lion in Zion

37°19' 22" N 113°2' 45" W Zion National Park

Nov 17, 2014  –  by Maeva

After yet another night on a Walmart parking lot (hey, it’s free!) we made it to Zion National Park on a Saturday morning. It was probably not the best idea to do it on a weekend, but something had to fall on a weekend at some point.

Based on friends’s advice we decided to take the Angel’s Landing hike to the summit of the canyon. Classified as a strenuous hike guys! It was really cool, with lots of steep and narrow ways up top, bringing quite the aerial experience! There were chains to hold on to and steep cliffs right by us. It was quite exhausting and painfully reminded us that we’re not on the best diet for exercise… But reaching a breathtaking 360 view at the top made it absolutely worth it! I even managed to hurt myself, “falling like a baby goat trying to walk for the first time” according to Steph.

All in all, we had no idea why to expect and were offered a truly scenic 4 hour hike that was absolutely amazing and truly deserved its name: Angel’s Landing. If you’re in the area, this is where you want to go. Except if you’re afraid of heights, we did see some people crawling on the floor at the beginning – don’t think it they made it too far!

Zion National Park from below
Zion National Park from below
Maeva hiking in Zion
Maeva hiking in Zion
Maeva walking in Zion
Maeva walking in Zion
Incredible view in Zion
Incredible view in Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva sitting at the summit of Angel's Landing
Maeva sitting at the summit of Angel’s Landing
Maeva posing at the summit
Maeva posing at the summit
Steph sitting at the top of Zion
Steph sitting at the top of Zion
Incredible view at the top of Zion National Park
Incredible view at the top of Zion National Park
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Spotting a ram in Zion
Spotting a ram in Zion

Santa Barbara

34°25' 15" N 119°41' 53" W Santa Barbara

Oct 26, 2014  –  by Maeva

We finally made our way to sunny Santa Barbara. Sunny may be an understatement, it honestly felt as if we had stepped right back into the heat of August days. We stayed in this small beach town for a couple of days, just enough to combine some surf sessions close to Isla Vista Point, chilling and longboarding along the beach. Steph has been working hard at perfecting those barrels as you can see!

Steph taking a wave in Santa Barbara
Steph taking a wave in Santa Barbara
Steph surfing in a small barrel
Steph surfing in a small barrel
Steph fixing board on the beach
Steph fixing board on the beach

Also, Steph has been teaching me some longboard moves in order for me to stay more or less stable, and there has been some improvement! You will see the proof below. It does help that the board I got is totally beautiful with its wooden material and totally badass with a shark at the back! As the guys from the skate shop said, “If that’s the one you like, then that’s the one you should get.”

Maeva posing with her longboard
Maeva posing with her longboard
Maeva imitating the shark on her longboard
Maeva imitating the shark on her longboard
Maeva longboarding
Maeva longboarding
Steph selfie longboarding
Steph selfie longboarding

Although we missed Livia in town, she gave us tons of tips for places to sleep and cool hikes to go for. We followed her advice and slept in our van at the Rose Gardens at the Mission every night – perfect spot! We also went for a hike to Saddle Rock, but probably didn’t pick the right time. It was the middle of the afternoon and burning hot. The view was absolutely worth it though! We almost ran down the trail to jump into the car and rush to the ocean. It was our first swim without our wetsuits and it never felt more like summer! And of course, when we reached the sea, two dolphins were casually passing by a few meters away from the shore.

Steph on top of Saddle Rock
Steph on top of Saddle Rock

Now, if you like dolphins, I would suggest moving to SB. I mean yes, we saw some in Santa Cruz, but the Santa Barbara dolphins are way more fun. Why you ask? Well because they’re freestylers! They’ll come and tease the surfers by jumping around and offering an amazing little show. Steph will be practising his left turn and two dolphins will throw a backflip in the background, no big deal. Oh you want proof? Look below my friends. I’m SO thrilled that early one morning I got to capture Steph on his board and a dolphin jumping a few meters away. It was hard to coordinate both models.

Steph and the dolphins in the ocean
Steph and the dolphins in the ocean
Dolphins jumping in Santa Barbara
Dolphins jumping in Santa Barbara

Other than that, we visited the cute little downtown with its beautifully designed courthouse and the main street, State Street. Following Peter’s advice, we also treated ourselves to some tacos and guacamole at La Super Rica Taqueria, a cute turquoise Mexican restaurant – definitely worth stopping by!

Santa Barbara Courthouse
Santa Barbara Courthouse
Round house in Santa Barbara
Round house in Santa Barbara
Cool vintage car in Santa Barbara
Cool vintage car in Santa Barbara
La Super Rica Taqueria
La Super Rica Taqueria

Thanks again for the great SB tips Livia!!

PS: I should also point out that Steph developed a new addiction during the couple of days spent in SB: the Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. It was just so warm that we had to share a Venti one every afternoon you know! First it was the Oreo Blizzard at DQ, now it’s the Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks.. what will be next?

Manzanita from the top

45°45' 3" N 123°56' 34" W Neahkahnie Mountain

Sep 29, 2014  –  by Maeva

Manzanita is another beach, just South of Cannon Beach. But this time we decided to change our perspective and see it from the top. We hiked the Neahkahnie Mountain through the humid forest to reach the very foggy summit. Luckily, when you’re on the coast, it only takes a bit of wind to clear the sky in a matter of seconds. And as soon as that happened, we got an amazing view far out in the ocean and Manzanita beach.

Steph watching Manzanita from the Neahkahnie summit
Steph watching Manzanita from the Neahkahnie summit
Maeva watching Manzanita from the Neahkahnie summit
Maeva watching Manzanita from the Neahkahnie summit