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YD Road Trip Update 3: Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a Dirty YogaDork in the Dam Desert, Vegas, Grand Canyon (photos)

in Great American YogaDork Road Trip

yogi halo. photo edit by JT Liss

Following our 4 day space trip orbiting planet Wanderlust, the YD roadster took us southward toward the marvels of the natural world…modern plumbing in the desert! Oh and the Grand Canyon. (though it’s pretty amazing they can get running water to all the Del Taco’s and Mr. Pickles out here in the middle of cacti and tumbleweed, no?)

The road from Lake Tahoe to Vegas is a long, LONG stretch of bucolic scenery, vast open sky, odd weather patterns, wild dust storms and lots of signs simply stating “TRUCKS” or “ROCKS.” Also, trucks and rocks. To the real natural wonders, though, we were in awe.

photo by JT Liss

After a 10 some hour drive to Vegas, a spin through some fantastic sand, rainbows and ghost towns, a quick tour round the roulette table – we won! then we lost! –  a short stay in the haunted old El Cortez downtown, and a Griswald speed trip to the Hoover Dam…

photo by JT Liss

(YD waves hello!)

we made it to the most magnificent hole in the earth created by the force of nature, the Grand Canyon. deep inhale…

photo by JT Liss

big sigh out the mouth.

Here is a fellow yogadork and photog J.T. Liss rocking his Karma Warrior t-shirt (seriously, check them out! 12% of proceeds go to a charity of your choice) propped up on the Hugger Mugger meditation cushion, meditating 7000 feet up, naturally.  (sponsor plug! perhaps now would be a fine time to mention that the HM meditation cushion doubles nicely as a road trip head pillow and lap desk.)

Oh, hello YD. By this point our little yogadork has seen some pretty awe-inspiring settings and has no words except for “holy $@*t. Namaste”

Needless to say, driving through the desert and rolling around in nature doing the yog we got a bit dirty, and smelled like it! Which is apt, since standing on the precipice of one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world had us feeling like specs of dust in the wind. So dramatic!

We took in all we could, including a glass or two of Wente Vineyards’ finest crisp melon Louis Mel, Savignon Blanc 2010 (we are becoming quite the road trip wine snobs. act as if!), the sunset over the cliffs and the rising crescent moon, before hitting the road once again.

photo by JT Liss

Road notes: Something about west coasters/desert dwellers gives them a penchant for John Mellencamp’s greatest hits, and just one Springsteen song, that we cringe to say, is the unnecessarily repetitively hooked “Born in the USA.” We love our country too, but come on, The Boss’s (other) songs were made for the open road! But hey we were lucky to get any reception at all at some points along the open road of no man’s land. Try doing car yoga to “Life in the Fast Lane” for the 11th time on the radio*. Ain’t that America. (*note: conscious decision to listen to local radio stations to get full Americana effect, perhaps not best idea ever.)

Animal count:

  • 1 black bear
  • 1 herd of llamas or alpacas (can anyone tell the difference?)
  • 1 Roadrunner! He looked a lot smaller in person, but he sure could move. No Wiley or anvils in sight, thank goodness.
  • 2 elk
  • countless cows and horses of varying shades and sizes
  • 0 wild asses

Next stop, a drive through the night, due west to Santa Barbara, CA and up the Big Sur coast.

Thanks to our sponsors Wente Vineyards and Hugger Mugger, for without you we would be hitchhiking through the desert, tongues wagging, seeing coconut water mirages in the heat.

Photos above by J.T. Liss. Check out more photos from the trip at J.T. Liss Photography on facebook. 25% of any photos sold will benefit Off The Mat.



  • Wanderlust Tahoe Day 1: The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Yogis!
  • Wanderlust Tahoe Recap: New Yoga Age, A Space Oddity (photos)
  • YD Road Trip Update 2: Twilight, San Fran, Wente Vineyards and Reno, Baby
  • YD Road Trip Update 1: Portland and Seattle – Espresso, Wine and Yoga
  • 4 comments… add one
    • wow it looks a great trip, very nice pictures. I would also like to go on such trip. Will you please let me know more about this trip so that I can plan this trip.

    • Mellifluous

      Stunning photography! I am in love.

    • Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?
      How did it make you feel?
      Did it fill you with wonder and awe?
      Did it startle you out of your ego?

      Did you feel the infinite grandeur
      And timelessness Of the universe?
      Did it make you feel small
      Yet in a strange but unmistakable way
      Infinitely large, too
      As infinite as the universe itself?

      Spiritual enlightenment
      Is when we suddenly realize
      That we’re staring at the wonder
      Of the Grand Canyon
      Each and every moment
      Of each and every day.

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