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California Sunshine & Snow by ThereGoesSaraRose.com 2021

Sunshine & Snow || A California Christmas

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Sierra Nevada Mountains

I longed for freedom and fresh air. It was the morning after Christmas and the clouds danced in between the mountains of California as though they had music we could not hear. “I must see snow today,” I thought at my first sight of the sky. It rained more in the past week than I can remember all year. The mountains sparkled different shades of white in the early morning and the mountains are only a few hours away.

A Few Hours Later…

After hours of post-Christmas window-shopping, I could not head straight home. The hills just above my route glistened in green, shades of dark gray and just the beginning touches of gold. Thoughts turned to actions and I found myself driving up towards the Sierra Nevada’s of California.

Heading through the low hills, vehicles covered in snow occasionally pass in the opposite direction, teasing sweet freshness ahead. I’m not sure how far I’d have to drive to experience more than snow on the side of the highway, but I wasn’t stopping until I got there. Before seeing more outside of California, it was never odd to me how many different types of weather and land we have here. I have a new appreciation for my home.

4,000 ft. above sea level

Cars line the side of the road, and filled the small parking lot. The lowest spot on the trail packed with snow and recently melted road ice still sat in puddles on the pavement. My heart yearned for the tallest peaks, “Soon,” I say to myself. Getting out of my car, the energy for a random snowball fight bubbles to the surface.

The impromptu trip meant I was wearing high-heeled boots, on an icy road. Never one to avoid the possibility of falling in dirt, “Muddy slush stains will be photography memories,” and I turn on my video camera hoping to catch a fall on film. No falling-fail-video this time, though, sorry to disappoint!

Snow Runoff

Do you think I am a little over-the-moon when it comes to water? A fish in a desert would feel the same. More on how important snow runoff is to California here. However, these peaceful photos are already changed! Just hours after my drive, a storm was scheduled to hit, leaving California with record snowfall. Learn more of the recent weather chaos here. We currently have 161% more snow than average (LATimes.com, 2021), the snowiest December on record (UC Berkley, 2021)!

Watch the Adventure below!

Love Sara’s Photos? Own Your Own Here!

2021 Recap of There Goes Sara Rose

2021 Recap: TGSR! || There Goes Sara Rose

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Let’s Be Proud, Together!

Where are you on the digital media front? Years in the game and killing it at your niche? Or so new, SEO sounds more like alphabet soup? A moment to recognize how far we have come is just as important as a SWOT Analysis! Welcome to my 2021 ThereGoesSaraRose.com Recap! Let’s appreciate the progress and let me know how we stacked up!

ThereGoesSaraRose.com is on WordPpress?!

At eight months old, ThereGoesSaraRose.com, was officially released this year in April 2021. It is a source of pride, frustration, my first website, my digital home. Your comments, shares, and support as part of this community make all the hard work worth it! Thank YOU for your 33 comments, 68 likes, 25 follows,and 2,549 views in 2021!

Don’t Forget SEO!

One of my biggest learning lessons of the year is, “Hire to balance your weaknesses.” Although I pay $59 a month to host this blog on WordPress, additional services have been commissioned out when I was overwhelmed (check out the Nature On Tap Logo!). However, no one benefits if a creator struggles and doesn’t ask for help sooner! I recommend GoogleAdSense, Google Search Console and SEO start as a priority on your website to-do list! (Mine are just getting fixed this week!) However, my example will be a great comparison to see how true SEO (vs just social media marketing) improves a website when we compare our insights this time next year!

Annual ThereGoesSaraRose.com WordPress Recap as of December 21, 2021

Podcast

Anchor allows WordPress bloggers to easily turn their blogs into podcasts and share them on iTunes, Spotify, and more! This original content curated for ThereGoesSaraRose.com turns my travel blog into short, audio stories to help you relax and imagine! The first podcast was released on July 28, 2021. As of today there are now 21 episodes! If you aren’t already following, check out more here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose

So how did we do? Check out my #PodcastWrapped here!

Which Episodes did YOU like most? Check out the TOP THREE episodes of 2021 below!

Reddit

Did you know there are more than 52.8 Million daily active Reddit users worldwide (Oblero.com, 2021). It makes sense to share digital content on such a massive internet superhighway! I just started blogging and cannot say that I am any Reddit-expert (each community has so many different rules!), but I am trying! Each week, I share my blogs to Reddit in an attempt to find our community and fellow adventurers. Here is how Reddit said we stacked up!

Twitch

Before I travel blogged, the majority of my online content focused on game-streaming! Although I took a hiatus from Twitch to start the travel blog and my first major road trip, I came back to Twitch by the end of 2021. So why mention it here, now?

In 2016, Twitch introduced IRL (In Real Life) streaming opening to door for more than just gaming. This allowed ME to LIVE stream some of my travels with you! Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Los Angeles Rose Garden videos here! Although a small portion of streaming in 2021, be prepared for more travels coming to you live at Twitch.tv/NerdGlassesLLC!

Nature On Tap

On November 22, 2021, the digital doors opened at NatureOnTap on RedBubble.com! Over the years, travels accumulated amazing photos or inspired art and now these items are available to YOU on quality tapestries, home goods, and more! Finally, art on useful, quality products for your home or office! Check out more here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/NatureOnTap

NatureOnTap Shop Opening Confirmation at RedBubble.com

But You Love Custom Pieces?

There is a reason for today’s special post! While I am not traveling, I am inspired to create. The travel and art blog has now come full circle offering art hand-created by me, Sara Rose! Just this morning, Nature On Tap opened on Etsy.com! Check out the shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NatureOnTap or watch the creations made LIVE on Twitch.tv/NerdGlassesLLC!

Get Ready, 2022!

Comment below what would you like to see more of in 2022! I did not mention growth on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as these were my methods to connect with you. However, many of these platforms are changing and adapting (stores on Instagram? Live streams on Twitter?!). Share your ideas about these new options on any of my social media! There are many more things in the works behind-the-scenes, but you never know what YOU can inspire in others just by sharing! Until next time, thank you for exploring the adventure here at “There Goes Sara Rose!”

New Orleans: At First Glance travel cover. Photo by Sara Rose (2021)

New Orleans: At First Glance || There Goes Sara Rose

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New Orleans, Lousiana. A city of history, magic, and creativity and one of my most anticipated stops of the trip. “In New Orleans, our service is hospitality. If we don’t host you well, you don’t return and we don’t eat,” a New Orleans Native & Tour Guide tells a group of tourists on a cemetery tour. Join me as I retell two of the most liberating and exciting days of my life where I explore The French Quarter and more in New Orleans!

Sara Rose in New Orleans, Bourbon Street. (Photo by M. Neri, 2021)
Sara Rose stopping to check for cars in the small streets of the French Quarter. (Photo by M. Neri, 2021)

In New Orleans, our service is hospitality. If we don’t host you well, you don’t return and we don’t eat.

New Orleans Tour Guide

A Pirate Life For Me

As I step into the tepid evening air in front of the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel, I feel so much moisture. Wall sconces entrancing my brain, making me think of pirate life, taverns, and history. The French Quarter, or “Old Square”, is located on the banks Mississippi River. Welcome to New Orleans, established by the French in 1718. Check out my first reactions in the video below!

@theregoessararose

Welcome to New Orleans, LA! ##bourbonstreet ##nola ##traveltiktok ##reptile

♬ original sound – ThereGoesSaraRose

“Blue Dog Piano” by George Rodrigue

Who dared paint a piano? A baby grand, at that? Judgment pierced through my inner musician as I walked through the swirling doors of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Mesmerized, I walked straight to the Steinway masterpiece, luggage still in hand. This piano “BLUE” me away! The closer I got, the more curious I became. To learn more on the history of the piano or how the Blue Dog art was inspired, check Wendy Rodrigue’s article Blue Dog: In The Beginning!

“Blue Dog Piano” by George Rodrigue, 2012. Photography by Sara Rose (2021)

The French Quarter

Both Spanish and French influence is found on every corner in The French Quarter! Some of the Spanish Calle tiles (see photos below), are over a century old! According to history, a special font was used to create the street tiles found in New Orleans. Much of the French influence was lost in the Great Fires of 1788 and 1794 and Spanish-Collonial style took over in it’s place.

Hotel Monteleone

One of the most beautiful buildings I saw during my short stay in Lousiana was the historical landmark, the Hotel Monteleone. Steeped in family tradition, this hotel passed through five generations of Monteleone’s to become what it is today! So many distinguished authors stayed at this hotel, it was named “official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association. [Two other hotels in] New York are the only other hotels in the United States that share this honor,” (HotelMonteleone.com, 2021).

Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans. Photography by Sara Rose (2021)

Learn More!

Need to know more about New Orleans? There is no way I absorbed enough at first glance, either! Check out History of New Orleans as soon as you have a chance for a concise and heartfelt story of The Crescent City and how, against so many odds, the city is thriving today! Join me in my next article as I visit a cemetery at midnight, walk Bourbon street and try Alligator wings! Adventure with me at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Journey to New Orleans

Texas, Rain & New Orleans! || There Goes Sara Rose

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Traveling from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana is more than just one section of my summer 2021 road trip. This was an elevation decrease of 1,296 ft/ 395m and driving 871 miles/1401 km in just over 2 days. Follow along as I share with you the long journey to one of my favorite stops on my road trip, New Orleans!

The Long Drive

Welcome to, what seemed to be, one of the longest drives of my life. Driving long distances is nothing new to a Californian, however, nothing seemed to compare to the drive from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico. I am unsure if it was the change in humidity, or if it was the wide open skies and road. One thing I remember for sure though, Texas seems to go on and on.

A wisened-woman, a bright turban to match her flowing dress said , “You may not be from here in this lifetime, but it is in your blood, baby,” and in that moment, I felt like royalty.

Sara Rose, on my trip to New Orleans (2021)

Water, In the Air?

Upon arriving to Houston, I excitedly opened the windows. The car windows had otherwise been closed and air conditioning on full-blast on the way down this trek of the United States. So what happened when I opened the windows? A change in humidity so drastic, I started to slightly hyperventilate. After a few seconds of adjusting, the moisture in the air felt pleasant compared to the desert air I’d experienced the first few days of my trip! (See the hottest day of the trip, here!)

Water, Everywhere

Caught in a storm the night before, the water-lover inside me is in love with the environment. Amazed by the beginnings of the wetlands, I recorded too many videos of just water. Think I am kidding? Old River Lake (a video below taken on the way out of Texas!) is home to beavers, otters, minks and many more animals! Check out my video HERE as I enter Lousiana and see GATOR DEN!

@theregoessararose

🤣😂 TBH some of that was my family accent coming out #traveltiktok #loves #wanderlust #thesouth

♬ original sound – ThereGoesSaraRose
Gator Den stop in Louisiana (Video by Sara Rose, 2021)
Crossing over Old River Lake from in Texas, on my way to New Orleans, Louisiana! (Videography & voice by Sara Rose, 2021)

Made It To New Orleans!

It might have been late upon my arrival, but I made sure to capture the view from my hotel in Louisiana! There is such an old and beautiful energy in New Orleans, full of history and mystique at the same time. I love everything Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney), grew up with The Pelican Brief (Pakula, 1993) as of my favorite movies and a fleur-de-lis tattoo on my back. New Orleans fit me like a long lost glove.

New Orleans, Louisiana at 4 AM from hotel window. (Photo by M. Neri, 2021)

More from New Orleans!

Check out MORE from New Orleans in my next post! There was no way I could include all of the magic of my experience there in one post so look for more all December long from my travels in 2021 and more at “There Goes Sara Rose”!

Nature On Tap is here!

Digital art and travel photography by Sara Rose is LIVE and available to YOU! I am very proud to bring you nature through my blog when you need it (on tap!) and now, available at Redbubble.com/people/NatureOnTap/shop! Nature on Tap brings the world to you with backgrounds to your life on tapestries and many more home goods! Check out some of my newest designs and photos below:

PHOTOS COMING SOON!

The World’s Largest Lego® Art Exhibit || EXHIBIT Review

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The Art of the Brick

One week ago I visited an extraordinary Lego® art exhibit in Los Angeles, California. 100 sculptures and over 1 million Lego® bricks blew me away! I visited Nathan Sawaya‘s The Art of the Brick and left nothing short of entranced. Here, the inner-child shines even though these sculptures are nowhere near your typical living-room Lego® creations. Supported with emotional depth, I must encourage you to attend before it leaves! Let me share with you, The Art of the Brick.

Only Until January 2022?!

Most of my travel spots you can return to at leisure, but not this one! The Art of the Brick is only at the Los Angeles California Science Museum until January 2, 2022 when it moves to San Francisco. Check here for the most current schedule. Art Exhibits change and are moved (curated) around the world so generations can experience the wonderful collections. However, I “OH MY GOODNESS-” ‘d so many times, I knew I had to share more with you immediately.

"Yellow", 2006 by Nathan Sawaya at Los Angeles' California Science Museum 2021's "The Art of the Brick" Special Exhibit.
Yellow, 2006 by Nathan Sawaya. Photo by Sara Rose (2021)

California Science Center

A massive faceless, yellow figure made of Legos® greets me from a building-sized poster as I step out of my car into the quiet morning air of Los Angeles. The drive from Hollywood was far too hectic and I was glad to be out of the car. But, we are hours away from the 10:00 AM opening time Google lists for the Center. I can’t quite tear my eyes away from the man, pulling his chest apart to reveal a hollow inside, spilling out more Legos®. Welcome to the California Science Center, where most things are not what they seem.

My Favorites

“So much movement and natural shape starts with the simple form of a cube.” This revelation followed me as I continued around each corner. A surrealistic artist with a fascination for breakout artistry (i.e. Monet), I have to be honest, I assumed I was about to walk into *insert eye roll* yet another pop art exhibit. However, even the recreations of historical pieces brought new life to familiar scenes! Allowing the viewer to experience what was once just viewing a 2D image sent fireworks through my neurodivergent brain. I only wished for a walkthrough of famous scenes next! Check out highlights of my favorite sculptures in my video link below!

@theregoessararose

The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya’s in Los Angeles’ California Science Museum. Only until January 2022! #legos #mustvisit #specialexhibit #traveltiktok

♬ original sound – ThereGoesSaraRose
The Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya Exhibit Highlights. (Videography and production by Sara Rose, 2021)

PERNiCiEM: The Endangered Species Collection

Pairing with photographer Dean West, the Perniciem Collection sits at the end of Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick. With talents combined, the best was saved for last. I am delighted as I turn the corner to see the Perniciem scupltures. Each sculpture sits next to a beautiful photograph, at home in their own world. To be honest, the first several photos earned a double-take. I didn’t realize the Lego® version of the animal was in each photo! The biology was so well designed, the cubed creatures seemed real.

Art Making a Difference

I am excited to share, “A percentage of the [PERNiCiEM] proceeds will go to NGOs that are on the ground protecting and preserving the beauty and splendor of our world,” (PerniciemCollection.com). Lego® is even perfecting bricks made from recycled plastics and we appreciate their efforts (Wired.com, 2021)! I’m not a scientist, but I love nature and animals and any attempt to understand how we can do better is vital (Sara “Milbrodt” Rose, 2019).

What To Know Before Visiting

Proof of vaccination or proof of negative test was required before entry into the California Science Museum (one of the several buildings at the Science Center). Fortunately, signs with links and QR codes made finding my information very easy. I did not plan this stop on my trip and if the information was not so easily accessible, this article would not be here today! I did notice several testing tents around Los Angeles and at one on a street corner near the Center, a reminder of COVID-19.

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Order your tickets online before you go! Choosing time slots online made my day a breeze and allowed for breaks. I arrived over an hour early so picked my ticket bundle while eating Quiznos across the street. I wanted to try everything but overall, three activities cost me less than attending a movie theater!

Can’t Make It?

If you can’t get to Los Angeles before the exhibit leaves, you may still be in luck! Just up the West Coast, San Francisco is the next stop for The Art of the Brick. You never know, maybe I will see you there! Find the most up-to-date details on where to see the exhibit, here! Until next time, There Goes Sara Rose.

Sara Rose at a Oklahoma Rest Stop. Photo by M. Neri (2021)

Oklahoma: Brave, Courageous & Honorable || There Goes Sara Rose

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Welcome to another adventure in, “16 States in 16 Days,” as we travel to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! With my great-grandfather from Oklahoma, I wanted to know more about this state even before I arrived. Some dark, curiosity tugged at my brain. Getting to my hotel room later than anticipated and rushing to see friends in Texas the next day, I fall asleep staring out at a beautiful city of lights and wonder, “What did I miss?” Let’s find out!

Lost History, Lost Souls

Often the state name is defined as, “red people,” the meaning lost in translation. Digging just a bit deeper, a more accurate translation is a Courageous or Honorable Nation or a Brave People (Kahlalin, 2017). What a beautiful reflection of self-worth! But the beauty of the people indigenous to the area became lost under current conditions, leading to missing loved ones and voices forever silenced. It is wrong to continue my story from the summer, without pausing to respect how the area came to be.

Support & Learn!

The Oklahoma Watch speaks to that reality in their article Ida’s Law: The Promise, Limitations of Oklahoma’s Pursuit of Justice for Indigenous People (2021) and I invite you learn more, just as I am. So what can we do to be apart of the movement to make a difference? SPEAK UP, ASK QUESTIONS, LEARN! I invite you to research the history of others and appreciate their culture respectfully! Check out more creators below:

Kahlalin– Chahta urban Native on Medium.com

Elle Canada’s Top 10 Indigenous Content Creators You Should Be Following

PBS’s How Indigenous Are Using TikTok to Educate and Entertain

Why this article, NOW?

While on my road trip, I saw a few, small government signs indicating the “Trail of Tears,” but not much more information or learning to be had. What is the 5,043-mile Trail of Tears, you ask? Early United States enacted the Indian Removal Act, evicting thousands from their home states and forcing them to walk to “Indian Territory”. However, in 1907, Oklahoma became a state and “Indian Territory” disappeared (History.com).

Make Informed Decisions, Notice What is Missing

As there were SEVERAL Route 66 and National Park stops, glamorous when compared even to the small signs, I was disappointed. How could such a major part of our nation’s history, end up hidden? In comparison, a child’s response to shame is to hide the proof, so is the United States ashamed of what they did? How can we grow from our mistakes unless we discuss them?

Attempting to research more on the history, I found myself accosted with statements such as, “the white farmer” vs “the Indian” when, in reality, it is made pretty clear the United States Government is the one who enacted these laws. I studied propaganda, Titles and infinitives are a GREAT way to attempt an emotional reaction in the uninformed. Always ask, “Who is not taking their share of the blame in this problem-solving discussion?. If it is the talkative group with Capitalized Titles, this is propaganda and makes Them seems more powerful than they are.

“The instrument in question is not the act of our nation. We are not parties to its covenants; it has not received the sanction of our people.”

-John Ross

End the US versus THEM conversation, NOW!

How many have heard the statement, “I learned about racism through school”? There is MASSIVE difference between understanding racism and eliminating negative cultural tones meant to keep others down; Learning about history from one source doesn’t cut it.

Can You Handle It?

Be prepared for the mental shift. The more you learn, you may find yourself disgusted at past thoughts and statements, moments of muscle memory from nature or nurture. Be HAPPY in those moments, we could have continued in our stupidity instead. In six-grade, I choose to read Roots, by Alex Clare, but it took me six months to finish as I would get sick to my stomach in the details. If I could keep learning something so tough as a child, we can keep learning as adults now.

We can make a difference together!

Many of us are having the same conversation, but afraid to ask our neighbor’s story because of “Cancel Culture” or not wanting to look stupid. PLEASE, please tell us HERE how something was uninformed or wrong! Let’s research! Let us LEARN through growth and vulnerability and accepting our past selves so we can accept who we are today.

We are not IMPOSTERS, nor are we our grandparents, we are the generations making a difference.

Thank you! Comment YOUR experiences below! Like & Follow for more at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Day 4: Petroglyphs & Ancient Volcanoes || Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Driving to the Petroglyph National Monument as the next stop on my trip, plants and the earth change into more shades and colors than I can understand. The land is not like the long California Central Valley I hail from. On my way to New Mexico from Arizona, the earth changes between red and sandy browns and is splashed with flora and fauna in yellow- to icy-greens. Learn more about my hike around the Petroglyphs, ancient volcanos and more; Welcome to Day 4 of my summer 2021 road trip, “16 States in 16 Days!” at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Utility Before Everything

There is something different about the mindset in New Mexico that is very obvious between one state and the next. Trucks and utility vehicles rule the road, some brands I have not heard of before. In this northern trek through the state, I rarely saw a sedan-style or compact car, if at all. The people seemed tough and focused on their task at hand, not distracted with phones or friendly chatter. Most of the restroom stops made me keenly aware I was one of the only travelers “out and about” while almost all others were truckers or workers. The bright-signs of Route 66 behind me, the time for “new” and “different” had begun.

No Shoes, No Shirt? No Problem!

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service is a sign used by some businesses in California and what came to mind as I stepped into Subway for lunch. I realize how little style and fashion matter as soon as I enter New Mexico. Shirts worn were thrown together haphazardly, “wearing” their shirt by a slight technicality. One button through the wrong button hole would show sun-baked skin, hardened by work in the wilderness. Here I thought I was someone who loved travel, loved the forest; these are people who live the forest life and I was jealous and humbled at the same time!

Petroglyphs National Monument

A small rangers hut marks the entrance of the Petroglyphs National Monument. $1 parking fee paid ($2 on weekends) and a short drive to what looks to be a nearby hill and I made it! It is 11 AM on June 14th, 2021 and 91° F/ 32.7° C but it barely feels warm. Why does it feel so different here? Just a few short hours away from California, this heat feels enjoyable and even…fresh? And it hits me, the air is CLEAN! Until that moment it never occurred to me just how different air can feel in different climates. Lungs no longer challenged by polluted air, it hits me with full force how much easier it is to function when I can breathe.

Take a Hike!

There are several trails to hike at the Petroglyphs National Monument. Again, I found myself wishing I had more time to explore! The Boca Negra Canyon Trail, a short 1 mile hike, is an ancient, very steep volcanic cone and requires good, close-toed shoes. I was able to record the hike back down with only a few slips and several up-close views of the carved images. Take the hike with me on my YouTube here or watch the video below!

Walk the Petroglyph National Monument – Boca Negra Canyon Trail || Albuquerque, New Mexico (S. Rose, 2021)

Road Trip TIP!

After the hike, I still had several hours on the road as I crossed over the tip of Texas to get to Oklahoma. Remember, self care is INCREDIBLY important on a road trip! Love’s was recommended to me & I will pass on the knowledge: Make Love’s you bathroom stops! They are consistently the most clean and well stocked. Share your travel tips in the comments below or on any of my social media and until next time, There Goes Sara Rose!

Sunset at Love’s in Erick, Oklahoma

The Petrified Forest National Park Coverac

Day 3: Petrified Forest National Park || 16 States in 16 Days

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“Easter Egg” Finds!

What will YOU find at the Petrified Forest National Park? Is there even a forest? When I visited this northern National Park in Arizona, I was shocked over and over again! In fact, this would become one of my favorite stops on my summer 2021 trip, “16 States in 16 Days”. If you are interested in how this National Park came to be, check out, Day 3: Crystal Forest & Painted Desert! Just like the hidden items found in video games, be sure to share your travel “easter eggs” in the comments below and let’s see what I found, next!

Broadway, Film, TV & Radio

Did you know, National Parks have long been the backdrop to movie scenes? They have! Yet, I never knew The Petrified Forest (1936) was a film and broadway production! What brought a star-studded cast to the Petrified Forest National Park? Time to dig in and find out more about the history of this incredible place. Follow the adventure here at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!

Inspired by Desperate Times

The broadway film, “The Petrified Forest,” (1935) originated from the famous playwright, Robert E. Sherwood. One fascinating fact is Sherwood was inspired by a famous character in the news, the FBI’s first Public Enemy #1, John Dillinger! Set during the Great Depression, the play inspired a litany of entertainment, and first turned into a movie only a year later. (More about Dillinger when I share my stay in Chicago, Illinois!)

Released in 1936, “The Petrified Forest” and it’s star-studded cast of Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart was even more important than you think. What makes this movie special? THIS is the movie that set Humphrey Bogart on the path to stardom! There were several radio and television adaptations of The Petrified Forest since then. Who knew an ancient place contained such recent history?

Bureau of Land Management to National Park

The Petrified Forest was more famous than I realized! time to dig into more recent times. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) transferred the care of the Petrified Forest to the National Park service in 2007. Although this expanded the park by thousands of acres, this means some “reminders” in the park, are not your traditional Federal Government sign. In Humbolt, Arizona, you may find just such a sign if you pay attention. Visitors are often reminded not to take anything home from the park, leaving things just the way we found it. Poking fun at this mantra, a broken down station wagon attempting the theft of a MASSIVE log of Petrified Wood sits at the Petrified Forest Gift Shop.

Local Gift Shops

Local shops and owners proudly showcase handmade pots, collectibles, one-of-a-kind pieces and more. With history and knowledge of the area combined, many serve as gift shops, visitors centers and museums all-in-one. “No Photography” was requested by signs or artists so I can only encourage you to visit and check out the sights for yourself! Some shops even had piles of rock and geodes available by the pound. I don’t know about you, but an outside fireplace made of geodes like the store-front below would be amazing!

Check out some of the large, and very expensive, pieces of Petrified Wood in my videos linked below! Keep an eye out for the 2,600 million-year-old fossil, Wild Bill!

Geodes and Petrified Wood in Petrified Forest National Park gift shops, Arizona (Video Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

The Future of the Petrified Forest National park

With the help of the International Dark Sky Association and the National Park Service (NPS) Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, the Petrified Forest is working to achieve International Dark Sky Park status. How do they do this? To become a dark sky park, they must prove how dark the skies can get at night. To learn more about the process, check out the Petrified Forest Dark Skies efforts at nps.gov! Whatever part of the park your journey takes you, be sure to share it! Subscribe to ThereGoesSaraRose.com, follow on any of my social media or comment below and SHARE YOUR ADVENTURES! Until next time, There Goes Sara Rose!

Read MORE about the Petrified Forest National Park here!

Day 3: Crystal Forest & Painted Desert || 16 States in 16 Days at ThereGoesSaraRose.com

Crystal Forest & Painted Desert Cover (Photo by Sara Rose, 2021)

Day 3: Crystal Forest & Painted Desert || 16 States in 16 Days

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Are They REAL?!

Crystal Forest and The Painted Desert. The names sound like magical places, imagined, brightly-colored, and in a far away land. However, they are right here in Arizona, in the United States of America! Join me as we travel and adventure 6,000-mile road trip, “16 States in 16 Days,” at ThereGoesSaraRose.com! Let’s begin Day 3 as I explore the Petrified Forest National Park in Northern Arizona!

Petrified Forest National Park Sign, Arizona (Photo Credit: Michael Neri, 2021)

Petrified Forest

Set aside in 1906, the Petrified Forest National Park is one of the largest collections of petrified wood in the world! Many of the local structures in use are now on the National Register of Historic Places as well! Whatever spot you are visiting, be sure to ask a park ranger for the most up to date information on the park or visit http://www.nps.gov/pefo. The most popular way to visit is to take the 28 mile drive through the park with short trails to stop at along the way. It is illegal to take any wood with you, but you can purchase some at the shops nearby! So what can we do at this park how did wood become rock? Let’s find out!

My Experience

A dry heat hits you as you open the car door. Similar to opening a heated oven, moisture is sapped from your face like a sponge that fell out of the ocean. A California native, this heat didn’t bother me as much as I thought. Why? The air here is clean (more on California air another time!). Strapped with water bottles, my first trail of the day was at the back of the visitors center. About a mile later, I was SHOCKED at the layers of colored earth in the valley below! There may have been heat, wind, and a dryness that did not stop, but every moment of the day, things looked different. The sun moved and changed the colors around me. I could have stayed and relaxed in the sunlight all afternoon. What will YOU do on your visit?

What To Do

Any time spent at the park is amazing! The highest concentrations of petrified wood are found in the southern end of the park, while the northern end showcases the human story and Painted Desert views.

One or Two Hours to Visit:

  • South End: Visit the Rainbow Forest Museum and watch the park film; walk Giant Logs and Crystal Forest Trails; drive the Blue Mesa Road
  • North End: Watch the park film at Painted Desert Visitors Center; select several overlooks to take in views of the Painted Desert, walk the Tawa Point Trail and visit the Painted Desert Inn.

Half a Day to Visit:

  • Drive through the entire park (28 mi/45km main road)
  • Walk the Painted Desert Rim Trail to Kachina Point
  • Enjoy the views and wayside exhibits at Route 66, Newspaper Rock, Agate Bridge, and Jasper Forest.
  • Walk the Giant Logs Trail (pick up a trail guide at Rainbow Forest Museum)
  • Visit Puerco Pueblo
  • Attend a ranger program (available seasonally)
  • Explore Blue Mesa and walk the trail

Full Day or More to Visit:

  • Hike to Long Logs and Agate House
  • Choose an Off the Beaten Path hike
  • Spend the night at the park’s Wilderness Area
  • Celebrate!

Painted Desert

“A broad region of rocky badlands encompassing more than 93,500 acres, this vast landscape features rocks in every hue – from deep lavenders and rich grays to reds, oranges, and pinks,” the Painted Desert must be experienced in person. Photo after photo made me realize, I could not capture every color in one photo, the adventurer must experience the desert in person to truly understand the beauty of such a place.

There is a sizzling quietness which, if you listen closely, is teeming with life and survival, not a dead thing to be disregarded. These elegant layers, painted by mother nature through volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods is home to many amazing views and worth every moment spent here!

Painted Desert, Arizona (Photo Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Painted Desert Inn

Although no longer accommodating overnight guests, the Painted Desert Inn is a historical monument surviving from the 1920’s! Originally, “The Stone Tree House,” Herbert David Lore created his vision with the help of family members and officially registered the tourist attraction in 1924. This National Historic Landmark, although touted as a museum online, was closed when I visited. Since no one was around, I was happy to get footage of the outside of the museum, be sure to check that out here on my Tiktok! Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below!

More to Come!

There are still so many questions! Did I bring any petrified wood home? Why is there a broken down car on my Instagram? What chaos occurred on Day 3? I could not share it all in just one post so be sure to check back soon for more from Arizona and New Mexico on Day 3 of, “16 States in 16 Days”! Still not enough for you? Check out more on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or hangout with me LIVE on Twitch! Until next time adventurers, There Goes Sara Rose!

Day 2: Seligman, Arizona || 16 States in 16 Days

TRAVEL. CAPTURE. CREATE. THEREGOESSARAROSE.COM

“[Route 66] didn’t cut through the land like that Interstate. It moved with the land. It rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.”

–Sally, Cars (2006, Pixar)

“The Birthplace of Route 66”

As I step out the car, I hear a gunshot from behind me. Here I thought I was just stopping at a ghost town, but no! Historic Route 66, and Seligman, Arizona is literally poppin’! Welcome to another stop on Day 2 of “16 States in 16 Days”. A 6,00 mile road trip I travel around the United States on ThereGoesSaraRose.com and hope you join me in the story! Originally “Prescott Junction”, Seligman was name after Jesse Seligman, a railroad financier in 1886. Although not included in Interstate 40 in 1978, the town was saved by becoming the, “Birthplace of Historic Route 66,” in 1987. With that kind of title, it seemed like the PERFECT stop on our trip!

Wild, Wild…Cars?!

@theregoessararose

Western skit in Seligman, Arizona! The shot MAY have scared me. 🤣 #traveldiaries #route66 #theatre #western #thespian ThereGoesSaraRose.com

♬ original sound – ThereGoesSaraRose
TikTok video of street actors in Seligman, AZ (Video Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)
#BigAZz66sign in Seligman, Arizona (Photo Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Local thespians share their comedic, Western-inspired skits, reinacting what it might have been like to live in the Wild Wild West. With bright costumes near the local #BigAZz66sign in Seligman, Arizona I found where the previously mentioned “gunshot” originated! Notice anything special about this sign? Yes, that is Lightning McQueen and Mater from the Pixar movie, Cars! “Somewhere between Gallup, New Mexico, and Kingman, Arizona,” (Pixar.com, 2021), it is said Seligman, AZ is just one of these towns which inspired Radiator Springs from the movie! If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a create family film and shows some of the history of Route 66 and towns like Seligman, Arizona!

TikTok video of old cars in Seligman, AZ (Video Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Home of Commodore Perry Owens

What happens to a Cowboy when they retire? They settle in Seligman, Arizona, of course! Commodore Perry Owens, a sheriff of Apache County, was said to be an amazing shot, with both and rifles, handguns and so ambidextrous he carried two guns! Unfortunately, he found himself relieved of his position when a shoot-out ensued in 1852, killing The Blevins Brothers and the Commodore unharmed. Relieved of his position, Commodore Owens settled down and ran a saloon in Seligman, Arizona. Check out my photos of his blue house and signage depicting his life.

More Cars!

What I was NOT expecting to find is how ready the town was for tourists! Whether it was the movie which breathed life back in the towns (or vice versa!) I was so surprised with how much there was to see that I cannot wait to return. I did not expect to step into a modern Western, but that is exactly where I was! Growing up in California, if someone told me we stopped at a scene in Universal Studios, I would have been less surprise by my surroundings.

TikTok of animated cowboy in Seligman, AZ (Video Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Never Enough

A major regret the majority of this trip was not allowing myself more time to wander through parts of these old towns on my road trip. As we drove, many times I would scream, “STOP!” to my friend and driver and we would try to take as many pictures and videos as possible, even if it meant making it to the next stop exhausted and much too late. If you have questions or thoughts about what I share, please comment below!

TikTok of Seligman, AZ (Video Credit: Sara Rose, 2021)

Please share your favorite parts of Route 66 in the comments below! Make sure to subscribe to get early access to the blog and follow my social media for more great photos and videos! Until our next adventure, happy trails Adventurers!