It’s hard to believe that two weeks on the road have already gone by. Sure, there are moments when it feels like we’ve been driving forever, but then there are others when we realize we only have a few days left together. It was together that we made big decisions and together that we began our new chapters, we both know how hard it will be to part ways.
Fortunately, we still have until Friday, and even though the end is drawing near, we’ve made some pretty incredible memories, especially this past week.
Edwards to Moab
This was one of the most scenic stretches that we drove. After three days in the mountains of Colorado, we made our way through Glenwood Canyon and on to Utah. The drive was a beautiful contrast, as the red rocks of Utah immediately replaced the green trees and mountains of Colorado. As much as we thought we would miss the mountains, they quickly became a distant memory replaced by this new beauty.
Moab to Vernal
After two days in Moab, including one spent exploring Arches National Park, we headed on the road toward the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Since we had a long drive ahead, we decided to pick a destination that was about halfway between where we were and where we wanted to be, that meant Vernal, Utah. This area is full of dinosaur discoveries and fossils, but we didn’t explore too much, although I’d consider heading back one day. We did a quick drive by of town, ordered Chinese food, and settled in for a good night’s sleep.
Vernal to Alta
This was a drive that we had no expectations for, but it took us completely by surprise. First, we drove through Dinosaur Land, a series of state parks that are loaded with fossils and other dinosaur discoveries. As we drove on US 191 North towards Alta, Wyoming, we found ourselves on a self tour of the parks, as signs marked the way explaining what dinosaurs used to live in the area, from raptors to stegosaurus. If anything, it made the almost six hour drive a bit more entertaining. Then, we found ourselves in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, which includes a reservoir, dam, and sweeping views of natural beauty. For most of the drive, we also had endless views of the Grand Tetons from miles away, and the snow capped mountains appeared to be clouds. But as we got closer, we could see just how majestic they were. Of all of our drives on the trip, this day was probably my favorite.
Alta to Big Sky
In Alta, we were a little less than two hours from the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park, and even though we got up early, it took us a while to get moving and get in the park. We grabbed lunch in West Yellowstone and visited an animal rescue center before finally entering the park in the early afternoon. Although we didn’t have that much time, we did see plenty of elk, bison, and geyers, including Old Faithful. Then, we had an hour drive to our accommodations in Big Sky, Montana. While we were disappointed that we were unable to find a hotel closer, we were excited to stay in a cabin on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, making the drive well worth it.
Big Sky to Idaho Falls
After a morning of horseback riding on the ranch, we decided to head back to Yellowstone to explore the northern loop. Here, the scenery was even more beautiful than what we had explored the previous day, as it included Gibbon Falls and Mammoth Springs. We also were lucky enough to see a bear and her cub, in addition to more elk and bison. Satisfied with our second day, we headed two hours west to Idaho Falls for the night.
Idaho Falls to Boise
This day was all about driving, so I don’t have much to say about it. We drove through Idaho, and although we could have taken the route through the Sawtooth Mountains, at this point, we are taking the quickest route to Oregon. That meant driving through the Snake River Valley, where there are a lot of pretty views, but also a lot of farmland and cattle ranches. At this point, these are no longer exciting, although there were points on our journey that matched up to the Oregon and California Trails. We rested up in Boise, and today we’ll cross the border and reach our fourteenth and final state of the trip: Oregon.
We have just about three days left on our adventure, and I’m already getting sad that this trip is coming to an end. America has taken me completely by surprise, and I cannot believe it has taken me thirty years to see the majority of it. Many of our days have been filled with driving, so we haven’t been able to explore some of the stops as much as we would have liked. I do know that one day, I’ll return and spend more time in many of the places we’ve seen; I’m looking forward to exploring more of America in the future.