monument valley and open roads.

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It's funny, how I remember our time spent in the rental car being some of the most fun we had. On the fourth day of our trip, we left Sedona and drove four hours north to Utah to see Monument Valley. We were seeking out the infamous view, and drove around for what seemed like hours before realizing that you only view it coming south into Arizona, instead of heading north into Utah. (Seems easy enough, I know, as there's only one road going through it. But I promise it was more confusing than that!) When we finally found it, we parked on the side of the road and played for an hour, despite our desperate need for a bathroom.

We took lots of pictures (clearly) and tried not to get hit by cars. A crow sat near us talking for awhile, and we forgot to go back for the perfectly clean bones on the side of the road. We gathered red rocks in our bags and finally decided to head out.

Our next stop was Madrid, New Mexico -- seven hours away. We drove for hours before reaching the NM border and those hours were some of my favorites -- wide open desert, encountering horses, sheep, and wild dogs on the sides of the road, spotting tiny houses isolated in the Arizona landscape and wondering who lived there, reaching mountain passes finally only to find more of the same on the other side. Just past the sheep, we stopped the car and got out and ran through the road, arms in the air.

Freedom. Expanse. A bigness we couldn't really comprehend.

Arizona, we love you.