Our odometer tells us that we traveled 7,206 miles, over the course of 16 days, through more states than I can even remember or count. What it doesn’t tell us is the incredible memories that were made as Steven and I traveled out west for our first time. We saw countless incredible sights. National monuments, incredible parks, and just downright gorgeous scenery. The time we spent in the car was well worth it because of all the beautiful landscapes we saw as we made our first loop around the country.
The best part about this trip is we got to see SO many friends (and family!) and just be able to share our experiences with them! It was also cool being able to visit some places from the perspective of a local! The major points of our trip were: Little Rock, Durango, the Grand Canyon, Salt Lake City, Boise, Mount Rushmore, and Ann Arbor. Traveling by car allowed us the luxury of being able to make detours and side trips that we weren’t planning on (like Yellowstone, or Zion national parks). We also took our car through creeks and down a lot of dirt roads!
Here’s a word of advice for anyone who plans to travel and see all kinds of amazing things out west – plan for MORE time. Steven and I underestimated how much there was to do in the national parks, and just how much time we’d actually WANT to spend there! We are so grateful for the time we had, and we had so much fun, but on our next loop across the country we plan to spend more time in the places we wish we had more of! Especially the Grand Canyon – apparently you can hike all the way down below the rim to the river! We did a little bit of a hike below the rim and it was incredible.
Second word of advice- keep a travel journal! I’ve always kept ones for my major trips around the world, but I never kept any for personal trips with Steven, and we travel every year! I really noticed it last year after our trip to DC. We did SO much and LEARNED so much, and I didn’t keep track of any of it! This year is the first year of many trips that I kept a personal travel journal. I can’t wait to share these with our children someday! We also bought a FujiFilm Instax Mini 90 and I took photos throughout the trip and gave extras to friends we saw, and put the rest in my travel journal. So perfect!
We spent way too much money, ate too much incredible food, we climbed, we hiked, we walked a lot, saw a lot of mountain goats, laughed until our bellies hurt, shared in humorous and interesting experiences (we got kicked off a shuttle bus, and we almost ran into a bison!), and drove until we were tired.
I know I found the perfect man for me if spending two weeks on a road trip sounds like the best days of my life! There aren’t enough words, and at the same time, there isn’t enough blog space to talk about all the incredible places we saw and just how truly grateful we are to have had this opportunity!
So, please accept the following photos as a way to share our trip with you!