Leaving GUMO was one of the saddest mornings ever. Allie and I woke up super early to catch the sunrise glow on the mountains. As we pulled out of the park a steady stream of warm tears rolled down my cheeks. Thank God for Allie for being the best friend and holding my hand in support the whole way.
Our first stop was Santa Fe, which I fell in love with!! We visited the Georgia O'Keefe house and museum and got to explore the city. I was on a mission to find a sweet cowboy hat and found the perfect one at a store downtown! The cashier was so bubbly and had a Boston accent, so naturally we bonded, took a photo, and shared contact information. Honestly considering moving to Santa Fe just because that interaction was so beautiful.
After Santa Fe we drove to the Petrified Forest NP. It's one of those parks that has a gate that opens and closes at a certain time every day- so we were on a time crunch. By the time we got there we only had a few hours to explore. Luckily, the park isn't too large, and most of the hikes were small paved nature loops. What an interesting and unique freaking place! We both really felt the presence of dinosaurs and the impact of time.
As for trash, we really didn't find too much! There was this one pile of cardboard next to an open minivan with a family in it. I was confused if it was their trash or if they were just appreciating it as a part of the landscape. Either way, I interrupted their family gathering to snag it. But other than that it was a SPARKLING PARK!