Two Road Trips Across the Country In Two Months

Originally, the plan was to move out to Denver after completing my travels around the world. I visited Denver in the last leg of my trip to look at apartments, but things just weren’t feeling right.

I spent the next few months on the go, in Canada and then in Washington (the state). It hit me like a ton of bricks that this is where I should be moving to. This is where I wanted to be and start a big and brand new chapter of my life!

I went back to Michigan for a time, trained for a few months, and then went to Argentina to trek up Aconcagua for about 3 weeks. Once I arrived back home I had a few adult-ish things to do and in about 3-4 weeks, all of my things from storage were loaded into a 16 foot Budget Rental Truck that I had to drive across country by myself. I am now very accustomed to doing things on my own with little anxiety, but this was a bit more nerve-wracking than usual because of the big truck aspect. I wasn’t able to back up in the thing because of the ginormous blind spots and I had no one to tell me if I was going to hit anything or anyone. It was also very prone to being affected by the wind, and with a looser steering wheel, it was easy to over-correct. Most times it wasn’t too terrifying, but when I was going through the major cities in construction zones, it was really scary.

Other than that, I got very used to driving a big truck in a few short days. I love taking road trips and watching America pass me by for 10 days made me extremely happy! I made stops along the way, sang at the top of my lungs to songs I heard over and over again on the radio, and danced in my seat when I thought no one was looking.

I took a southern route to avoid hazardous weather which took me to places I had never been. It’s amazing how beautiful this country is. I was on a tighter schedule because of the rental truck, so every day was 9-12 hrs.

Once I arrived to Washington, I spent a few weeks there before flying back to Michigan to get my van. Another amazing road trip commenced and this time I had a more northernly route. I also had more freedom to make stops without having to worry about dealing with a big moving truck. I also got to spend a week in Utah, something I’ve been wanting to do since 2009.

They were both exciting trips, and the last one also gave me my first experience of #vanlife! I had makeshift curtains rigged up and I made a squished little bed in the back seat. I’m tempted to build a platform and take the seats out for a real taste of #vanlife in August, September, and October, maybe head into Canada??? Jury is still out on that decision.

Anyway, photos from my time on the road are below!

20170324_070401
Leaving Grand Rapids, MI before the sun is up!
20170324_143143
St. Louis, MS and ‘fun’ construction zones.
20170325_144142
Texas sky is huge!
JB3A5394
Somewhere in New Mexico along I-40.
JB3A5402
Outside of Las Vegas.
JB3A5416
My first time in Death Valley and just catching the sun rise!
JB3A5429
Badwater Basin.
JB3A5452
Lowest point in North America at 282 ft. below sea level.

JB3A5496

JB3A5520

JB3A5682
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

JB3A5646

JB3A5541
Experienced a little rain in Death Valley.

20170327_081625

My first cross country experience had a deadline, so there wasn’t much time to stop and relax. After Death Valley, I busted back to Olympia by the next evening.

JB3A5744
In Iowa watching the severe weather threat die on my second journey across the country.

JB3A5779

JB3A5922
Spotted Wolf View Area in Utah
JB3A5942
Eagle Canyon in Utah.
JB3A5968
Bonneville Salt Flats.

JB3A6009

JB3A6026
Stop along I-80 heading back into Salt Lake City, UT.
JB3A6559
This was my first experience with #vanlife. After getting over the initial fear, it was fine. Just gotta keep your wits about you and have a plan if you need to leave in a hurry.

JB3A6589

JB3A6638
Utah State Route 95.

JB3A6753

JB3A6778
Hite, UT. This area is super cool and hardly anyone was around!
JB3A6815
Cainville Badlands.
JB3A6843
Factory Butte.

JB3A6854

JB3A6872

JB3A6157
Admiring the plant life in Arches National Park.

JB3A6150

JB3A6094

JB3A6204
After Arches, I made my way to both sections of Canyonlands as all national parks were free that weekend.
JB3A6242
Canyonlands…amazing views and not a single person disturbed me.

JB3A6221

JB3A6305

JB3A6423
Good morning from Canyonlands!

JB3A6398

JB3A6429

JB3A6900
Driving into Zion before 7am to try and get a camping spot. P.s.-I got one!
JB3A6971
My first time and first hike (The Watchman Trail) in Zion! It was amazing!

JB3A7059-2

JB3A6956

JB3A7092

JB3A6934

JB3A7188
 Angel’s Landing!

JB3A7064

JB3A7133

JB3A7329

JB3A7128

JB3A7266

JB3A7363
Observation Point. Looking down on where I had hiked the day before on Angel’s Landing.

JB3A7366

JB3A7396

JB3A7481
The Mojave Desert outside of Baker, CA.

JB3A7519

JB3A7528

JB3A7570

JB3A7590

JB3A7637
Just made it to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes as the sun was rising and before anyone was there to ruin the sand with footprints and disturb the patterns created by strong winds.

JB3A8204

JB3A8475

JB3A8566
The wind was intense and I left with it in places it should never be.

JB3A8628

JB3A8669

JB3A8710
What an amazing close encounter with this lady running along the road! I saw my first road runner on this trip, too…I definitely kept my eyes out for falling anvils and exploding rockets!
JB3A8719
Looks as though she had some pups recently.
JB3A8753
Just outside Bakersfield, CA, I was able to get a glimpse of the end of the Super Bloom!

JB3A8743

JB3A8741

Gah!!!! What an adventure! There are so many places I wasn’t able to get to. The US is an amazing, and at times, wild place with so much protected land. Make sure to get out there and enjoy it, as well as take care of it, and leave it as you found it!!

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Two Road Trips Across the Country In Two Months

  1. Love it, especially the one about looking for falling anvils – LOL. I drove from Yuma to Cleveland in a long-bed pickup truck pulling a 36′ trailer to pick up a large piece of equipment for a commercial job we were doing. Totally get not being able to back-up. Every time I stopped I had to be sure I could pull forward to get out. It was a great adventure! Another time I took almost three weeks to drive from Yuma to visit my sister-in-law in Mississippi. I tried to stay off the freeways as much as possible and took in some very interesting sights. I love road trips!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s