I have a lot of photos from our most recent trip out west that I want to share. A lot of pictures that I’m really, really excited to show off! Despite covering ground we’d driven just a few years prior, we still managed to make lots of new stops. That being said, aside from our actual wedding photos, these might be some of my favorites. Not because they’re well composed or of wildly interesting subjects but because they’re really special.
I think I end up writing one of these posts after each road trip; where I just go on and on about how much I love traveling with Jeff, how it means the world to me, and how there’s nothing else I’d rather do despite the fact it’s not always perfect. This post from 2017 is a prime example. Well, Surprise! I’m here writing another one.
The day before the wedding, instead of a traditional rehearsal, we opted to just show off two of our favorite desert spots to our family. First stop, Twin Arrows. This was mine and Jeff’s third visit to the abandoned gas station, trading post, and diner since 2014. It’s going down hill quick but still remains one of those spots that just makes me fall in love with the desert all over again every single time. It’s also the inspiration behind the two arrows on the enamel pins we had made for our wedding.
After wandering around for a while, finding a snake, and coming up empty handed in the hunt for a geocache we moved on to the most important location of the trip. Just around ten miles away lies one of my favorite places in the world, Two Guns.
A little bit backstory here, we discovered Two Guns back in 2014 on our first trip our west. It was right on the way to where we were heading except we were majorly crunched for time. We had reservations and had to check into our wigwam before the front office closed for the night. But Two Guns!!!! It looked amazing. We had to stop, there was no two ways about it. Jeff and I agreed we’d only spend ten minutes there so we both got out of the car and literally ran from building to building snapping photos like crazy. The ten minutes was up in no time at all. We got back to the car gasping for breath and full of adrenaline. My pictures weren’t that great but it’s honestly one of my favorite memories from that whole trip. We visited again in 2016.
After we finally made concrete plans to get married there I could not wait to be there with everyone. The thought of showing it off to our loved ones was enough to make me all teary eyed. I can’t quite explain why but it’s such a special place to both of us. I’ve never been more excited to share something with someone than I was to share Two Guns with them. Even looking back now, I can’t believe that we actually managed to pull it all together.
For a brief moment before leaving for this trip, I contemplated not bringing along my camera. I figured I’d just be so busy I wouldn’t really have time to shoot much of anything. There were definitely a couple days where my camera didn’t get much use and just hung out in a bag that made my back really sweaty but I am so thankful to have had it at our ‘rehersal’. The photos from this day make my heart feel so full.
View from the top of the crumbling building we chose to exchange vows on.
Although the ruins aren’t what comes to mind when I think ‘Two Guns’, they were always my first choice when it came to ceremony location. They don’t have as much graffiti on them, and I really didn’t want any poorly drawn genitalia in my wedding photos. Before this trip, Jeff and I had actually never wandered out this far on the property. I had seen some photos of the building we ended up choosing online and even made a comment about how great the staircase was but didn’t truly consider it because I knew it was pretty far away from the road. When we actually approached that building with the staircase though, collectively the whole family was like ‘Is this the one?!’, ‘Can it be here?’ We found a heart shaped rock, and some random people showed up with puppies so obviously it felt right.
Picking the exact location the day prior was a really special moment and one of my favorite memories from the whole trip. I was definitely stressed and sweaty but I’d do it over and over again in a heartbeat! Not sure what else I could write that wouldn’t just be me repeating myself about how wonderful it was to be there with everyone. The whole trip just feels like a dream. I was so anxious about our very offbeat plans but dude, we nailed it.
Climbing down into the Apache Death Cave.
Our loved ones in the cave! How was this real life!?!