Cross Country Road Trip #1

by Last updated Aug 22, 2019Road Trip, South West, USA9 comments

On August 3rd, 2019, I packed up my car in Northern Virginia with my little brother, Jadon, and began an epic 2 week cross country road trip to Tucson, AZ.  I’m heading to the University of Arizona to pursue a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Before classes start I wanted to have one last big trip and see some parts of the U.S. I’ve never seen before. This is a photo essay of all the stops along the way

First stop was at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.  For some reason this is one of the only photos I have from here.  Jadon and I both though it was pretty lame and did not deserve the title of National Park. 

The next stop was Indiana Dunes National Park near Chicago.  We arrived at night so could barely see anything but I’m still counting it as a National Park visit on the quest for all 61.

Sioux Falls, SD

Pit stop in Madison, WI for brunch with Hannah and her roommate

Badlands National Park

Mount Rushmore

First time seeing American Bison at Custer State Park in South Dakota!

Basically what every road in the midwest looks like.  Always an epic skybox though!

Toadstool Geological Park in Nebraska.

Hiking in Boulder, CO with our cousin, Nikos.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Double Rainbow all the way across the sky! So Intense!

After a week of road tripping it was time for Jadon to fly home out of Denver.  However, my friend Hannah flew in from WI for the second half of the trip. She’s a big donut lover so first stop was this donut shop in Glenwood Springs called Sweet Coloradough.  They’re some of the best donuts we’ve ever had so if you’re ever in the area, stop by!  Btw, free alcholol with every purchase on the weekends?!

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park


Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. I wanna stay in this Yurt someday.

Capitol Reef National Park

Temple of the Sun and moon.  The sunrise and sunset hit it perfectly.  The Persied Meteor Shower was also going on and we saw a few bright ones while camping out on the nearby BLM land.

Spooky and Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyons in Grand Staircase Escalante. These were super fun,  super skinny, and much more adventurous then similar slot canyons like Antelope Canyon.  Antelope might be a lot more photogenic than these, but these are a lot more fun to navigate through. Oh, and no crowds! 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Waterfall in the Desert? :O

Soldier Pass trail in Sedona, AZ

Secret Cave in Sedona

Drum Circle at Cathedral Rock waiting for the Full Moon to rise.  Some guys also brough digeridoos and once the moon rose over the rocks they played them and it was such a cool soul quenching experience. 

On August 16 I made it to my new apartment in Tucson after 14 days on the road. This was my first cross country road trip and it was a lot of fun.  I hope there are many more to come!  

Road Trip Stats:

3,968 Miles
14 Days total
4 nights in a tent
Coldest Temperature: 48F
Hotest Temperature: 110F
12 states 
11 National Parks 
2 travel companions 
2 car problems
Hiking every day

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