Abbi Hearne favorites posts of the year on instagram | 2018 @abbihearne round up
It’s no secret that instagram is my go-to place to share my thoughts on everything from life on the road, my personal struggles and successes, friendships, my family, and a lot more. After our Patagonia trip early in 2018, I did a Patagonia Instagram Round-Up of our posts throughout the trip and really loved the process! I also loved knowing our insta posts from that trip are now “saved” on our own website and we can easily go back and see them. 2018 was such a wild year, I decided to do a similar post with my favorite instas from @abbihearne! Some are favorites because of the photo, some because of the friends, and a lot because of the captions. Each post specifies the date and the location of the photo (and where I was when I wrote it if they don’t match up). The locations link to the actual post, if you’d like to view them on Instagram. If you make it to the bottom let me know in the comments!
January 15, 2018 | Patagonia, Argentina
6 years of dreaming. Two impulsive plane tickets, four months of planning, 36 hours of travel including three plane rides and one excruciatingly long layover, four car rental places (everyone was booked until February but we finally found one!), and two three-hour road trip attempts to see Fitz Roy...in some ways it was all for this. There are a lot of things I wanted to see and do in Patagonia, and we still have two weeks packed full of adventure ahead, but when I read my first adventure book six years ago, I like to think I was set on course to make my way here one day for this moment. It’s crazy to dream of something for so long, studying so many photos and stories, and then to finally see it. This skyline surpassed every expectation. I am in awe of it’s existence and of anyone brave enough to climb it. I’m happy to welcome this place to the ranks of my personal favorites. In some ways it’s always been there, but now we’re official 😉
January 30, 2018 | Patagonia, Argentina
I’ve always been pretty obsessed with ice, so it was no surprise to me when this iceberg lagoon quickly became my favorite spot on the Patagonia trip. We spent one of our last nights camped near it and @megan.kantor motivated me to get up for sunrise that morning. It was pretty rainy and honestly a very cloudy sunrise, but we had the lake completely to ourselves and I made myself a cup of iced @alpinestartfoods coffee using glacier melt water and tiny icebergs straight from the lake. I’ve always preferred iced coffee over hot, so when I learned I could make Alpine Start coffee with any temp water (compared to the hot water requirement for other instant coffee brands) I was psyched. Full disclosure - they sent us a box to try, but never asked me to share my experience, I just want the world to know how dang good it is 🙌🏻 For reals though, if making iced coffee with glacial melt and iceberg chunks wasn’t already on your bucket list, I bet it is now 😉
February 15, 2018 | Moab, Utah
People always ask us how long we plan to live on the road, but the thing is, if you’d asked us three years ago how long we planned to live in an apartment outside of Houston, Texas we would’ve guessed at least 5 years. I mean, I’d visualized myself raising kids and doing the whole thing in that town. But dreams shifted, plans changed, and now we’re here doing this. I have no clue what things will look like in two, five, or ten more years. All I know is right now, I love this desert deeper than I’ve ever loved a place, and my heart soars every time I look up at the walls of Yosemite Valley, and at the moment, I can’t quite imagine settling down and picking between the two, so I’ll keep myself rolling, in a small van with a small bed and a small amount of things, because honestly who needs a flat screen TV when you can open the sliding door to this? I’ll take red sand in my toes over a white picket fence any day.
February 26, 2018 | Yosemite National Park, California
We stuck around Yosemite a few extra days to watch the snow storm that came in this afternoon. It was pretty magical, and still is, but we’re also really really cold. Every time I go outside, it takes an hour back in the van to thaw out my toes and feel warm again. Something as simple as going to the restroom means pulling on boots, a beanie, and a scarf. The restroom itself is cold and smelly because I share it with all the other park visitors. When it’s time for bed, we turn on our little heater and pretend it makes any sort of a difference, then turn it off to sleep because it’s dangerous to leave on. We sleep in down sleeping bags, which is fun on a camping trip but feels particularly homeless when it’s necessary for survival in your own version of a home. My computer dies quickly and we aren’t getting any solar to recharge batteries, so I can’t get work done despite emails piling up and photos waiting to be edited. I don’t have a hot shower, or an oven, or a climate controlled home to watch the snow from. Don’t get me wrong, the snow in Yosemite is beautiful, and I’m in love with my life overall, but today a few people messaged me saying they’re jealous of my simple life...and I have to be honest, today it feels very far from simple. Today it feels cold, frustrating, and challenging. If you’re reading this from a permanent address and you think you’re jealous of us, think of us when you microwave a quick warm snack, or when your dishes are magically washed with a machine, or your shower gets hot in 30 seconds, or you can walk barefoot to the restroom when you wake up needing to pee in the middle of the night. Or just try camping in your backyard and not going inside for any reason, but you still have to get a normal day’s worth of work done too 😉 #abbiandcharlieforever
April 17, 2018 | Moab, Utah
I do my best to share the real, not-so-great moments of vanlife on here, but this is not one of those posts. We have been living the van life dream this week in Moab. We made some new friends (👋🏻 @devynmarieee + @adamjonash) and the met up with a slightly less-new friend (👋🏻 @eliza_earle) and have spent the last couple of days mobbing the desert in our white vans. We’re all living and working on the road full time and our little community of buddies has been a blast waking up in pretty places, driving to town to get some work done, and then heading back into the desert in the afternoons to climb, explore, watch some epic sunsets, eat delicious dinners (and desserts!!), and stay up past our bedtimes. We keep laughing that these moments are what everyone *thinks* van life is all the time, but in reality these perfect nights and fun get-togethers are few and far between. My skin feels permanently layered in red dirt, I’m sunburnt (and probably will remain so until October), I’m exhausted, and my hands are covered in gobies, but as cheesy as it sounds...my heart is so full because weeks like this are why we put up with all the hard, cold, rainy, awful van days. Life always seems to make the most sense for us here in Moab and this first week back has been no exception // Photo from our spontaneous sunset picnic in Canyonlands a few nights ago. Can you see my little family of dirtbags hidden among the rocks? I love these people.
May 27, 2018 | Patagonia, Argentina (via Moab Utah)
This post is kind of embarrassing to write since my life is clearly built around the outdoors. I sometimes feel like a fake when I post this stuff because honestly, a lot of times you see a photo of me hiking, I probably spent at least a few minutes complaining about it to Callen and not wanting to go. The thing is, I’m pretty sedentary by nature. I love lazy days and I really struggle to self-motivate for activities. It’s something I am trying to improve on, and I think I’m better than I was, but I still have a hard time wanting to be active. I genuinely love the editing/emailing/working at a computer part of our job, but I also really love the outdoors and I love where these hikes take me. I’ve never finished a hike and wished I didn’t do it, I’ve never arrived at a place and wish I hadn’t gone, so why do I struggle so much to start these things? I love climbing when I’m doing it, but I almost never *want* to go climbing. Does anyone else feel this way? Has anyone overcome it? Do I just need to get over myself and be less lazy? Are there any tricks or tips? I want to be the person that looks forward to outdoor activities instead of just complaining before and then looking back on them fondly.
June 20, 2018 | Yosemite National Park, California
We wrapped up our final Yosemite gig of the season last night and are now heading across Nevada for the next destination! This season in Yosemite will be one to remember...between photographing 10 total couples, we spent just about all of our free time soaking in the valley with friends, climbing, floating the Merced, watching Indiana Jones (👋🏻 @cannonjtc), sitting in the meadows, and running away on the weekends to jump out of planes at @skydiveca. We experienced some really low lows (that I might write about later...still undecided), and some really high highs. I am leaving this place full of appreciation for the valley itself, but mostly for the people it’s brought us. I always say the best thing about vanlife that I didn’t see coming is the friends we’ve made. This community of nomadic rag-tag monkeys is the best thing. Also, I love my job...and want to end this post with a formal apology to my mom for this photo @callenhearne took of me “working” last night 😂😬
June 28, 2018 | Skydive Spaceland (via Yosemite)
Two years ago, my dentist told me to get Invisalign for my bottom teeth and the price he quoted was the same as the skydiving license I’d been considering. A few weeks later I jumped out of a plane solo for the first time on a Monday, and then 23 more times by Friday. It’s been two years of sharing the skies with this amazing community and having the best fun ever, and my bottom teeth are still crooked. No regrets. Also so in love with these gumbie first jump photos...I was scared out of my mind 😂 #blueskies
June 29, 2018 | Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
You know the rom-com story line where the guy is a photographer and he’s always taking these sweet candid photos of a girl and she’s his muse and it’s this lovely little thing? That’s not us 👀 I try to keep things honest around here, and I never want you to look through our feed and feel like we live this perfect life where everyone is happy all the time...so fully honest confession: I typically have to do some convincing to get Cal to take photos of me or me and Charlie...and definitely need a really good day to get some tripod shots of the fam. This day I wanted Callen to take some photos of Charlie and I. We had just wrapped a really busy month of taking other people’s photos (@thehearnes) so Cal wasn’t feeling it, and after about three photos we were done. I was upset, Cal was tired, we were both probably hungry (honestly the root of 99% of arguments) and we got really frustrated with each other. I threw a fit and then I was bummed because I’m all about the feeling behind photos and even though some of the photos were nice, I knew I would always remember the argument when we looked back at them. But I guess, now that we’re a few weeks removed, that’s the beauty of it. I never want to look back at the good old days and only remember the good. I want to remember the fights, the fits, and the frustrations too. And I want you, all of you lovely people who love to encourage and follow along, and especially those of you who say you live vicariously through us...I guess I just want you to know it’s not always as sunshiney it seems. Marriage is hard...add in living in a van and running a business together and being together basically 24/7 and sometimes it feels impossible. There are days I think about how nice it would be to have a house and separate jobs so we could miss each other during the day and come home to a place where it’s easy to make dinner and do dishes and go to bed without dirt in your toes. Some days I day-dream about waking up and walking bare-foot to a clean restroom that I don’t share with every other tourist in the area we’re living in at the moment. This is getting long, but the point is, we have good and bad days too :)
July 4, 2018 | Alaska
We’ve driven over 2,000 miles in the past few days. We’ve seen bluer than blue lakes, epic mountains, soaked in beautiful hot springs, and then camped right here last night and it still kind of feels like a dream. I’ve never seen a glacier like this. It’s huge, and spreads out in every direction. We drove this valley and found more glaciers, more lakes, and barely any people. The sunset lasted forever and kept getting better. The temps are pristine. I’m in heaven. So, who wants to road trip across Canada with us and elope here next summer? 😝
July 28, 2018 | Denali National Park, Alaska
Dream job. Yesterday was the most amazing experience. We flew a helicopter out to a glacier with our bride and groom for their first look and portraits. I had my nose pressed to the window in awe the entire time...it was so incredible to see the glacier from that vantage point!! I can’t believe we came to Alaska and got to do this. Feeling so thankful for every single thing that led up to me standing on a glacier straightening a brides dress next to a helicopter for their wedding portraits. Life is crazy.
July 30, 2018 | Austin, Texas (photo: Moab Utah)
If you follow our stories, you might be wondering why I’m in Texas and Callen is driving the van back from Alaska without me.
There is no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to do it. A little over a week ago, we learned my dad has a large, very aggressive brain tumor. Over the course of a few days, we heard a lot of scary terms. Scary predictions. Scary options. We learned that all three options suck. We learned that life can change in a flash and the things you thought you had years to do...can be pushed to a much tighter, much shittier timeline. -
We were in Alaska. My dad was in Austin with my mom and brother. I had work to do, and my dad insisted we don’t let this disrupt our lives. He repeated on every phone call, that what we’re doing is exactly what he wants us to be doing (so classic Don).
So, we finished the week. It was good at times, and really really hard at times. But early yesterday morning I got on a plane in Anchorage and came home. I am so thankful to be here, so thankful for ten days off work that allowed this, and so thankful for Callen’s best friend who dropped everything to fly up to Anchorage and take my place so he wouldn’t drive back alone.
Anyone who has ever met my dad remembers him. He’s one of the most caring, loving, thoughtful, and sensitive people I’ve ever met. He is brave. He loves me in a unique and beautiful way that can’t be explained, but all of my people know what I’m talking about.
Friends have asked how I’m doing. I am well. I am really really sad. Scared. Frustrated. But, this family...we love hard. I wouldn’t want to go through this with any other people. My dad is at peace. I will share more details in another post, but he is currently in surgery. The plan today is to remove a portion of the tumor in order to give us more time.
This post isn’t pretty, and I can’t tie it up with a bow. This sucks. Go hug someone you love. #dadstrickland
August 6, 2018 | Austin, Texas (photo: Yosemite)
I’m about to board a plane to Denver. I can’t wait to see Callen. I am really sad to be leaving my dad. As of right now, I’m just exhausted. Emotionally and physically at the end of my rope. If I’ve learned anything since that phone call a little over two weeks ago, it’s that life is unpredictable and we can never know when our last days with someone will be. But I feel some amount of peace. I know my family is ok. They know I love them, and I know they love me. This week has brought some of the deepest connections I’ve had with my mom, my brothers, and of course, my dad. I have never felt so close to them. Above all, I am so thankful for this gift of time. So many people lose their loved ones suddenly, I get this rare opportunity to stare time in the face and love the heck out of my dad for as long as it will give me. The thing is, we all have this with the people in our lives...but nothing like a brain tumor to wake you up and remind you to love your people every single day. Call them. Give longer hugs. Never assume you have more time. I know it’s cliche, but we are not promised tomorrow. Love your people today. // I’ll end with this. As I was hugging dad goodbye, I said “I’ll be back soon.” he smiled, and said “me too.” ❤️ #dadstrickland
August 11, 2018 | Fort Collins, Colorado
We’re moving!! » Well, we’re always moving, but as of today, we are no longer in the #vanlife club. We bought a new rig! After a year in a half in the most wonderful van we could have asked for, we found ourselves wanting a little more space and 4x4 capabilities. When Callen found this baby, he was smitten and it wasn’t long before I was too! We’ve been on the road for over two years now (anyone remember the little coffin trailer? we’ve come so far!) and plan to keep this up for a lot more years, so when we found a rig that would make life on the road more sustainable and remove some of our every day frustrations, we knew it was the right choice! I’m sure you have a billion questions, but the most important answer is this: it has a (composting) toilet AND a shower!!!! Bless. We’ll be doing a thorough tour of everything and answering any questions you may have ASAP (still deciding between a story or insta live, we’ll see). And, yes, the van will be for sale as soon as we move out 🚐 We’ll be selling it in Fort Collins, Colorado area and will share more details early next week. But for now, it’s time to make this new (GIANT) baby feel like home!!
August 24, 2018 | Moab, Utah
We brought our new home on wheels to our home dirt. This month has been one of the worst, most stressful bits of time in our lives so far, but it’s been laced with some of the sweetest, best moments. Life is funny that way. Even today wasn’t easy, but for that sacred hour as we drove the winding sandstone canyon along the river into Moab, marveling at the near sunset light on the mesas and the sweeping orange desert views...knowing good and well our hearts were coming home after so much time away. It was magic. I’m no longer naive to the fact that these magic moments don’t last forever, but right now we’re eating at a little Thai place on main street and soaking in the goodness. Life is good, friends.
September 11, 2018 | Valdez, Alaska
We pulled up to this iceberg lake around 9pm and it was still light enough to walk around. It was raining lightly, so Callen stayed in the van while I donned my rain jacket and wandered around the lake. I was so excited, iceberg lagoons are one of my favorite things on earth, and since Cal wasn’t psyched on the rain (understandably so) I FaceTimed my Dad. Something worth knowing about Don Strickland: if one of his kids is excited about a handful of dirt, Don will hype up that dirt to be more valuable than the Mona Lisa. Us three kids know that in any scenario, if we want to share our own excitement with someone, we call Dad and that excitement will be shared ten-fold. So, I FaceTimed dad late at night, and he answered, and apparently my face gave away my intense excitement, because before I even flipped the camera to show him the view, he was in near tears excited and happy, just to see my face so happy. I flipped the view, showed him the lagoon, and he took it in, said how amazing, and then requested the camera go back to my face because that’s what he wanted to see (classic dad). We talked for over an hour, me sitting on a cold rock in the rain in Alaska, my dad at home in Texas staying up past his bed time not daring to cut our call short. We talked about all kinds of things, as we usually do, and the whole conversation felt filled with joy and excitement and magic. Don is happiest when his kids are happy, so to have a conversation together at the height of my excitement in Alaska thus far was a treat for both of us. We eventually hung up, probably because he was concerned for my health in the rain, and I went to sleep thankful to have a person in my life I can always share excitement with like that. We didn’t know at the time, but less than two weeks later, he would learn of his brain tumor. Less than two weeks after a conversation that showed me just how lucky I am to have him, I learned the harsh truth that I won’t always have him. I have thought about that night many times this month. I am so thankful. I hope we get many many more calls, but nothing is certain, so I’ll just keep calling when I’m excited, and thanking God for every one. #dadstrickland
September 25, 2018 | Moab, Utah
We finally got our quaint little homes together for a photo 😂 It’s always a treat when our paths cross with this big orange fam 🧡🧡🧡
October 6, 2018 | Moab, Utah (photo: Canada)
Hike to a natural hot spring. Park at an empty trailhead. Hike a trail that isn’t extremely crowded. Camp. Live in a van. Take a road trip. Take an evening walk. Do yoga in a park. Go to the grocery store at night. Get work done at a coffee shop until it closes. Walk my dog in a new place. Travel internationally. These are things I would be afraid to do if I wasn’t doing them with Callen. I’ll admit, some of that fear is my own issue. I admire women who do these things alone. I am only telling my side of the story - these recent events have helped me realize how few men understand what we (women) fear, and why we are so defensive when another women is blamed for her own assault. It’s because we have been learning and implementing strategies to avoid being assaulted for our entire lives. It’s because in college, I didn’t sign up for night classes that fit in my schedule perfectly because I was afraid to walk home in the dark. It’s because I was taught that what I wear has an affect on boys, and it’s my responsibility to control that, not theirs. I was told to walk with my keys in my hands, ready to defend myself if need be. I was taught to walk quickly to my car, get in, and lock the doors as soon as possible. I was taught not to listen to music when walking, because I need to be aware of my surroundings. Taught to not wear a pony tail, because that is easier to grab (yes, really). To take a different route to my classes, to walk on sidewalks and not the nice, seemingly safe path along the creek on campus (where, a year after I graduated a student was assaulted and murdered on her way back from class). We are so defensive when another women is blamed for her assault because we have conditioned ourselves, changed our schedules, and operated our lives around *not* being assaulted, yet it still happens to 1 in 6 American women (and that’s just the ones who’ve reported it). After my story today, I have received so many messages from women describing what they do to avoid assault, and many have said it feels less like “if” and more like “when.” These posts aren’t about politics. This is about helping men understand why we are upset.
October 20, 2018 | Yosemite National Park (photo: Alaska)
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about #dadstrickland and about how I’m doing. First, thank you to everyone who asks, messages me, or starts a conversation about Dad. Sometimes I don’t reply, so thank you for your patience and understanding in that too. I actually wrote out a caption about happy tears and sad tears and how they’re both happening a lot these days (honestly, that’s not new for me, I get my overactive tear ducts from Dad) and then it got lost, so I’ll sum it up...Grief is weird, especially when you’re grieving what’s happening to someone who’s still alive. I still get to call my dad, he’s in the family group text, he even looks at my Instagram posts on the big screen while my mom reads him my words (hi mom and dad, you’re my favorite insta followers). Honestly, it feels strange to write about grief for someone who will hear what I write, but Dad loves words, so I’ll keep going. This week, it’s been happy tears for finishing radiation, but sad tears that radiation even has to be a word in our vocabulary. Happy tears that he’s regaining strength, but sad tears that there’s still a really aggressive tumor in his brain. Happy tears that medicine and technology and a miraculously successful surgery bought us more time, but sad tears that the diagnosis is still bad, still much less time than we figured we’d have months ago, before this stupid tumor came up in our lives turned everything upside down. It’s weird, you know, to be given the rare opportunity to grieve someone when they’re here with you. It makes me thankful and angry. It makes me more proactive in phone calls and texts, but it also makes me frustrated when I go days living my normal life without being proactive. It makes me wish I was there, but thankful that my parents are so selfless that they encourage me to be here. I could go on...but today, grief looks like a peaceful morning and hope for a peaceful evening, but right now, a lot of tears and no desire to change out of my PJs.
October 26, 2018 | Yosemite National Park, California
We officially wrapped up our 2018 Yosemite season today! I’m honestly pretty ready to be leaving the valley for now, but it’s never easy leaving our little community of buddies out there. Thankfully most of them live on the road too, so I can bug them to come see us in Moab next month 😉 I spent yesterday morning with this fam in front of my camera and it was so refreshing — after a busy season of incredible elopements and weddings (@thehearnes) it felt good to roll out of bed in my fleecies and take a few photos of the crew on a normal morning, eating breakfast, reading books and, of course, climbing all over their family van aka Rolling Thunder. Becca, Tommy, Fitz & Ingi (and parachute man) - you guys are endless entertainment and good convos. Come to Moab when it gets too cold in the valley 😝 @beccajcaldwell @tommycaldwell
October 30, 2018 | Patagonia, Argentina (via Yosemite)
I try my best to remember these visceral moments in the outdoors. When the place, for some reason or another, grabs my full attention and allows no misstep in my mind, at least for a handful of seconds, sometimes minutes. Getting swept with sheets of cold rain and wind from every direction on the edge of Lago Carrera in Patagonia. Standing on a rock in a glacial lake below Cerro Torre, surrounded by tiny iceberg bits clinging together like chimes as the water moved around me. Wandering the tops of seemingly endless sandstone fins near Moab. Driving into Yosemite Valley and seeing Half Dome at the end. Standing on top of Casa Grande in Big Bend, my first time on the edge of a cliff, and feeling the air blow up from the valley below. Stepping out of a helicopter onto a glacier, feeling like I was walking on glass. Standing in freezing, golden sunlight at 11pm in Alaska, after all these years of hearing my mom’s stories of the same thing. These moments have always caught me off guard, and always stuck with me as I live months and years past them. I guess, at the bottom of it all, these moments are why I keep pursuing *adventure* whatever that actually means. It’s not so much to feel cool or see pretty things, but to spend a couple of moments distracted from myself. And then I spend the rest of my days dreaming of those places until it all happens again. Currently...dreaming of the little tiny icebergs and how I’d have spent days watching them if I could.
November 6, 2018 | Moab, Utah
Went on a peaceful little hike with Charlie in a new canyon today and found these little pools reflecting the walls. The fall colors were beautiful and the temps were perfect. It’s not just the epic towers and big cliffs that pull me to Moab...it’s little pools and carved rocks and yellow trees; the details you’ll miss if you go too fast. And the fact that I could wander a new canyon every day and never get close to seeing all of them. Also, that deep blue in the pool is my favorite color, I normally associate it with glaciers so seeing it in the desert was a gift today. #shotoniphone
November 15, 2018 | Moab, Utah
I had a handful of climbing-related goals for this Moab season, but this was by far the most intimidating. I told myself I’d be psyched to get up to the side walk (narrow part before the corkscrew summit) but thanks to the high stoke and incredible encouragement from buddies, I stood on top of the tiny summit with a 300 foot drop all around me. As someone who used to be terrified of thirty foot cliffs...I’m really proud of this. I finally stood on top of Ancient Art!!!! Thank you @britt.in.wanderland, @gleninthevertical, and of course @callenhearne for what was possibly my favorite desert day yet 🙌🏻
November 23, 2018 | Moab, Utah
I am sure I’ll have a lot of words about this week soon, but for now...I’m thankful. Thank you to every single one of you who have prayed for this week, cheered us on, thought of us, and sent kind messages. Life is never easy, but this week life feels good. I’m thankful.
November 25, 2018 | Moab, Utah
“How is your dad?”
A question I get often, almost daily. I am thankful for how many of you care. I am sharing this journey with you by choice, I prefer it that way. But, I don’t know how to answer that question. Because this cancer he has is cruel. This cancer doesn’t get better. This cancer doesn’t heal. He has a deadly tumor, one we’ve now known about for 4 months. The doc said if we did nothing, it’d kill him in three, so we did surgery, and he’s still here 4 months later. That’s so much better than not.
He cries a lot, although that’s not new for him. But now, when he cries, instead of rolling our eyes and sighing “classic dad,” we cry too. These tears carry so much right now. A beautiful view, he cries because he knows the reality of maybe never seeing it again. Talk about the future, he cries. Looking at me...he cries. Me too, I am so much closer to tears now. I am sadder and happier now. He is too. -
On their last day in Moab, my dad was standing out on the patio staring at the mountains. I joined him, he was already in tears, and we heaved sobs together. He told me he hadn’t really thought about how his life would end. He told me how this caught him off guard. I said, me too. He told me he was happy with life. Proud of his kids, in love with his wife. We hugged and cried, wiped tears and went back inside.
This week felt like a gift. There were times when we felt normal, like cancer hadn’t found its way in our family. They met my friends, I got to show them the most beautiful sides of my life on the road. I watched as Dad talked with these people I love...it’s always been a favorite thing of mine but was even more special this time. The family was closer. No bitter frustrations or annoyances. We loved in a new way. We found thankfulness in new ways. We cried together, a lot. Saying goodbye was more difficult than it has ever been, even though we all plan to be together again in one month.
These thoughts don’t have ends, so neither do the captions. #dadstrickland
November 30, 2018 | Moab, Utah
I’ve been pretty open on here before about how much I struggle with motivation for outdoor activities. If you haven’t read some of those stories, this might surprise you. I am a homebody, I’m honestly pretty lazy when it comes to physical activity (but stick a computer in front of me and I have no problem cranking out a 12 hour work day 😬), I get embarrassed easily when I’m not good at something, and I almost always want to chill instead of try hard.
So, despite spending time with climbers and having fun finding routes I enjoy for years, I have always struggled with calling myself a rock climber. Maybe part of it is that I hang out with climbers that are way better than me, so if they’re climbers, surely I’m not. But the other day, a friend I look up to as a person and climber @koepnickkiersa shut that logic right up. She assured me that as long as I’m pulling myself up rocks, I’m a climber. She told me it isn’t about how good you are, or how often you climb, or how much your life revolves around it, but that if you’re having fun and loving any aspect of the sport, even if you’re a top-rope hero like me, you’re a climber.
And while I know it may seem silly to need this reminder, her saying it gave me a kick in the butt to just get after it. To have fun and pull on rocks and not be embarrassed when I’m bad at it. And, to be proud of myself when I am good at it. According to the messages I’m receiving after my story yesterday, I’m not the only lady that struggles with this, and I want to offer some practical advice that has changed my world: find other lady climbers.
I know, I know. It’s not easy. I live on the road and at least 80% of our friends are guys. It’s really hard to make new friends when you live nowhere. But recently, climbing with girls has been so good for me. It’s encouraged me and pushed me, and overall made me a better, more confident climber.
Thank you to the ladies that have encouraged me to try hard and have fun lately @devynmarieee @firstname.lastname@example.org ❤️🥰 I don’t know what I’d do without you!
December 2, 2018 | Moab, Utah
It’s no secret that what draws us to Moab is the desert, but on our second visit out here, a friendly local suggested we check out the La Sal Mountains. Our jaws were on the floor the entire drive through the golden aspens, in awe that such a mountain paradise could be so close to our beloved desert.
For years, we’ve talked about skiing in the La Sal, but haven’t made it happen. We’ve known about a little yurt near our favorite meadow, and after I made an off-hand comment about it to our friends Devyn and Adam, who are serious skiers, they jumped into action. Devyn booked the yurt before I even told her I was in, she “just had a feeling” (classic).
A series of events led to our booking switching from the easy, flat 3 mile trek to a more difficult 8 mile trek, but we were committed. We found cheap XC ski set ups at the used gear shop the evening before, knowing we wouldn’t want to do that distance on snowshoes. Devyn convinced Cassie and Chris to join, and before we knew it, we were skiing in the La Sal on a beautiful blue bird day. -
Stoke started out high, but XC skiing uses muscles I haven’t been using. It was really difficult! Add that to the fact that Charlie was kind of epicing as well (he’s no snow dog), and my morale was waning, but then Callen sounded his turkey call from the front of the group and our little yurt came into view. We started the fire and ate our fill of charcuterie and hot stew. After champagne and cookies to celebrate Chris’s 30th birthday, we all crashed at 9pm, waking every few hours to stoke the fire and keep our little yurt warm.
When we woke up in the morning, Devyn opened the door to a near white-out and over two feet of fresh powder. Previously expecting an easy day cruising back downhill, I was not psyched on the conditions...but everyone kept morale high and we made our way out, and despite the consistent, sometimes miserable, snowfall, I must admit it was absolutely beautiful.
I am so thankful for rad friends that push us past our comfort zones. We stuffed our faces with Thai food and hugged them goodbye, promising we’d do this again soon, once we forget the sufferfest and only have fond memories of the adventure 😉
December 18, 2018 | Salt Lake City, Utah
Sometimes, one of the hardest things about living on the road is the lack of community. You’re always moving, so you don’t really get to have neighbors or church friends or work friends or gym friends. Often, our friends are also nomadic, so we’ll see them a few times a year and then be apart for months at a time. But, sometimes the stars align, and friends are in the same places, or in this case, a group of friends invites you in as one of their own.
Bri has been telling us about their community of SLC friends for a long time. I’ve heard their names and stories, and more recently, bonded with them from afar when our Madias needed us. When we came up to SLC for a few weeks, they invited us right in, allowing us to park + sleep in their driveway and hang around the table during the days. It felt so normal, to have a group of friends gathered in a house and spending the evenings together. Something we miss terribly about our life back in Texas.
On our last day in Salt Lake, everyone came together to have a little “Friendsmas” party somewhere far from the city where all the dogs (and humans....) could run freely. We found a little corner of the desert, parked the two biggest rigs next to each other, strung some lights, set up a table, and Bri made everyone sweet potato chili while we all sipped wine and enjoyed the fresh air. It was simple and life-giving and I found myself so overwhelmed with thankfulness for the communities we’ve found out here.
Life on the road started out very lonely, and still feels very lonely sometimes. But this year the friendships have grown so much stronger. After two and a half years of this, I finally feel like we have solid communities. People we can come and go with, people that whether we’ve been apart for a year or apart for three days, we can reconnect and get right back in stride.
So...thank you to Bri and Keith’s friends, now our friends too, for inviting us in as your own. And thank you to the dogs...for doing your best to take a photo with Charlie, the socially awkward heeler that needs a little help when it comes to making friends (don’t we all?) 🐶👀
December 25, 2018 | Austin, Texas (photo: Utah)
Merry Christmas friends 🖤 I know it’s the cheesiest thing in the world to say, but I’m so thankful for all of you. It feels wild to write this to a crowd of social media followers, but the truth is you all have encouraged, inspired, supported, and loved me through some major years of my life and for that I am grateful. Each one of you reading this is a human with a life and family and friends and dreams, and for some reason or another you keep coming back to hear from me. I appreciate every single comment, message, “like”, and even you lurkers that just view my stuff and do nothing 😜 Whatever December 25th means to you, I hope today is full of peace and joy 🖤 xo
The Hearnes Adventure Photography is run by Abbi and Callen Hearne, a husband & wife wedding photography team with an emphasis on adventure. They live on the road as full-time nomads, allowing them to serve a large portion of the western US. You can typically find them in Moab, Utah or Yosemite National Park, California, with side-quests to wild places like Patagonia, Alaska, or the Swiss Alps. They believe love is the greatest adventure and strive to create photos that are epic, romantic, true, and timeless.