Sunset on the West Coast

#WestwardHo!

The Great American Roadtrip. It’s idyllic. It’s the stuff of dreams. But have you ever tried to plan it? Gotten your hands dirty booking campsites and tours and planning your way around roadway construction? I did, and I’ll overview it here (we’ll get to those pesky planning details later).

  • Day #1: A 15-hour drive to Denver, where we visited a dispensary and shortly after drifted into Dreamland on the soft couch of a friend who let us crash at his place.
  • Day #2: A short, 5-hour drive to Arches National Park, where we marveled at the hundreds of  alien-like rock formations and enjoyed a cold one (with less than 4% alcohol content of course, since it was a Sunday in Utah).
  • Day #3: A long day of hiking through Arches National Park, getting lost just before a torrential downpour and then heading on our merry way to Page, AZ.
  • Day #4: A photographer’s dream at Lower Antelope Canyon where we learned just how special our precious iPhones and the right lighting are. Don’t forget a quick stop at Horseshoe Bend, the start of the Grand Canyon, all before landing for the evening at its South Rim.
  • Day #5: A brisk 10-mile hike along the rim of the Grand Canyon, including stops for various headstand photo ops.
  • Day #6: A sunrise at the edge of the canyon and a short stop at Hoover Dam, only to land in our first beds of the trip…Vegas!
  • Day #7: An extremely overpriced cup of coffee from our beloved Starbucks and we were off to crash with more friends in Huntington Beach, CA. Grabbed some of that famous California guac at a Mexican food joint and watched the sunset on the beach.
  • Day #8: A little saltwater therapy at Table Rock Beach, a practically secret beach in Laguna Beach, CA and a required stop for some grub at In-and-Out Burger (ask for Animal Style or you’re doing it wrong).
  • Day #9: A quick stop in Hollywood to check out the sign and the Chinese Theater and buy some great records at Amoeba Music and then we made our way to Yosemite National Park for the night.
  • Day #10: Literally jaw-dropping views of El Capitan (for all of you Mac users out there), Half Dome and so many kick-ass waterfalls. Yosemite is straight from a storybook.
  • Day #11: More waterfall-goodness at Yosemite and finally a hot shower and meal at a local inn.
  • Day #12: A 4-hour drive to San Francisco, where we Ubered from the Golden Gate Bridge to Haight-Ashbury for some hippie fun times, then to the Painted Ladies a.k.a the Full House houses (S/O to you 90s kids on that one) and finally stopped at the oldest bar in the city, Northstar Cafe.
  • Day #13: A tour of Alcatraz, some fish and chips at Fisherman’s Wharf and a massive hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli Square (followed, of course, but some bun-burning hikes to the Mrs. Doubtfire house and Lombard Street).
  • Day #14: A grueling 13-hour trip to Idaho Falls on our way to Yellowstone National Park, where we crashed hard for the night in a hotel.
  • Day #15: A 2-hour drive to Yellowstone National Park, where upon entrance saw two bison babies with their mothers and a grey wolf. We also made stops at all the hot springs we could handle for the day.
  • Day #16: On our way out, we made a quick stop at the Grand Prismatic Spring and waited patiently for Old Faithful to erupt. As we passed through Grand Teton National Park, we saw two grizzlies and a black bear.
  • Day #17: We arrived home, exhausted but inspired from fulfilling part of the American Dream.

Hope that’s provided you with some inspiration for entering the planning stages of your next trip #WestwardHo! Stay tuned for profiles of each stop, packing tips and tricks and where to camp along the way.

Bye, Bye, Bye,

Erica

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