Monday, August 4, 2014

Epic Road Trip: Recap

I spent two weeks on the road with one of my best friends in the world, and we packed a lot of sights in, so it follows that I have about a month of stories to share.

Except, the best memories I have from our epic road trip don’t translate well into stories.  They’re the moments of over-tired hilarity and inside-joke ridden silliness that had me laughing until I couldn’t breathe.  So I’ll by and large skip over the stories like those of D’Artagnan, the dino cats, the Utah black hole, and the dead baby elk. 

I’ll share instead our highlights.  Rachel and I crossed 7 states, visited 5 national parks, and crossed paths with 10 different friends and family members. 


The third day of our road trip brought us to the first big stop…the Grand Canyon.
It was…grand.

photo by Rachel Hix

Then it was on to Antelope Canyon in Page, UT, followed by a brief stop at the Glen Canyon Dam as we passed it. 

Antelope Canyon
photo by Rachel Hix

Glen Canyon Dam
photo by Rachel HIx

Next was Zion National Park, hands down our favorite part of the trip, where we hiked a short portion of The Narrows due to the recommendation from our B&B host and the fact that he lent us ski poles (in place of trekking poles) and a backpack to use.

photo by Rachel Hix

The Narrows, Zion
photo by Rachel Hix

We spent a marathon day driving and visited both Bryce Canyon National Park and Arches National Park on our way to Colorado.

Bryce Canyon
photo by Rachel Hix

Arches National Park
photo by Rachel Hix

We drove through Rocky Mountain National Park  (and saw a moose!) on our way to Rachel’s sister’s home in Fort Collins, CO, where we spent a day and a half.

Rocky Mountain National Park
photo by Rachel Hix

She made me get out of the car and stand on the snow.

Kayaking with Lauren
photo by Rachel Hix

After a lazy morning with Lauren in Ft. Collins, we met up with Amy in Denver for an afternoon packed with sightseeing and tubing.

Red Rocks Ampitheater

In Colorado Springs, we met with Puerto Rico friends and a couple of Guatemala friends too (what were the chances Carmen would be staying with Carrie the same weekend we were passing through?).  We did a lot during our time there, too. 

Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods

Pike's Peak.
This is my favorite picture of the entire trip!!  Carrie and Amanda are
photo bombing elves!! 

And then we drove back through Kansas and came home.


I will say this about the trip.  The quintessential phrase “road trip” always brought up, for me, images of best friends who can talk about anything and make a joke out of any bad situation, spontaneous stops, and, for some reason, the desert.  And shockingly, my own trip with Rachel met all those criterion.  We talked and talked—to the point where I feel like Rachel must almost feel like she’s already been to Guatemala and met all my friends there—and we laughed and never wanted to kill each other.  Our 6 hour driving days had a habit of taking us 9 hours as we stopped at places like Dorothy’s house in Kansas or the Meteor Crater in Arizona.  And of course, our drive encompassed a lot of rocks and dirt and sun in the American Southwest. 
All in all, it’s all I could have wanted in a road trip.  

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