Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nature Journaling ~ Colorado Travel Journal

Emboldened by my Ireland travel journal, I wanted to do the same thing on our Colorado vacation--create a journal of drawing and writing and paper ephemera that would capture the essence of the trip. What I didn't realize was that traveling with my family of five would allow for less time to myself than traveling with a group of more than a dozen, attending workshops and presentations all day, and readings at night. But I did manage to fill my little journal by the end of the trip.

On our way out, I kept track of the states we traveled through, our travel time, mileage, rest stops, gas consumption, and tolls--data we can use for planning future road trips.
In addition to a few sketches--though not as many as I would have liked (and all dashed off faster than I would have liked), I added post cards, National Park Passport stamps and rubbings from the smashed pennies my kids like to make wherever there's a smashed penny machine.

I'm terrible at landscape drawing, but I keep trying anyway.

I went on a little bird-watching walk early one morning in Mesa Verde and sketched the birds I saw, noting field marks. This is my favorite, and most effective, way of learning new birds.

I like sketching flowers best, but only managed two. This is a fireweed.
The view from our campsite in Rocky. I could have sat and made bad landscape drawings of those mountains all day long.

Some quick studies of the guys hanging out in camp. My people are even worse than my landscapes. :)
I made a map of the different places we went in the state and the routes we took to get there.

After each campground or hotel we stayed in, we all gave it a rating with comments.

In the back of the book I kept running lists--birds, wildflowers, funny things the kids said, and license plates. We saw 48 states, Washington DC and five Canadian provinces by the time we got to Denver (New Mexico and Hawaii, which had eluded us, appeared on our second day in Denver).

It was a fun way to keep all of the details of the trip in one place, and something I imagine I'll go back to to relive those moments in the desert and the mountains (probably in the depths of a cold, snowy winter).


  1. This is always what I imagine a travel book should look like, but I'm so unsatisfied with my drawings and doodles. I love how you're just going for it.

    1. I imagine that with an artist husband, your standards are pretty high. But I say, just go for it and have fun!

  2. i use to journal/scrapbook so much more when I was a teen and I remember how I loved it. Your journals are very beautiful and inspiring...I might just have to get back into it. Thanks Andrea!!


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