On Friday we begin our next adventure, a cross country road trip that will hopefully last a month and a half. This is our first blog post about our road trip, inviting you to look into our plans and excursions, and if you have visited any of these places and have suggestions for hikes, places to camp, eateries, scenic drives, vistas, museums, anything at all let us know!
Friday, October 18th – We leave Roanoke Rapids, NC and head to Asheville, NC where we are planning on exploring a city we missed out on while hiking the Appalachian Trail. Then, that night we are heading to Mount Mitchell State Park where we will spend the night, the next day and the next night. We are planning on hiking the Deep Gap trail and summiting Mt. Mitchell on Sunday morning. Mt. Mitchell is the highest Mountain in NC, in the Appalachian Mountains and on the East Coast at 6,684ft. We are hoping to see some amazing fall colors, climb some mountains, and have some great nights in the tent.
Sunday, October 20th – We leave North Carolina and head to Shelbyville, TN to visit Kyle’s sister and spend Sunday and Monday tooling around TN and Nashville. Then we head to Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana for five days.
Saturday, October 26th – After spending five days with Kyle’s wonderful Indiana family we will head to Chicago where we will visit his friends, celebrate Halloween and visit some museums and art galleries.
Tuesday, October 29th – Leaving Chicago behind we head to Milwaukee, WI for a lunch break and museum tour and then on to Madison where we will spend the next three days hanging out with friends and continuing our Halloween celebrations (I love Halloween, Kyle is not so sure).
Friday, November 1st – We leave Madison and, weather permitting, make for Myre Big Island State Park where we are hoping to do some car camping and check out the lake.
Saturday, November 2nd – We continue on to Mitchell, SD to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle for two days of family time at the hunting lodge. Who knows, maybe we will even get to do a little hunting ourselves.
Monday, November 4th – Moving on we drive down to North Sterling State Park in Colorado to spend the night on the lake and do some quality car camping.
Tuesday, November 5th – We wake up early to head to Lory State Park, just north of Fort Collins to take a short morning snowshoe trip. Then we head down to Fort Collins to visit my Grandparents and frequent some of those famous Fort Collins breweries.
Wednesday, November 6th – Saying goodbye to the Grandparents we are going to head to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs to do a very popular hike and then on to Rifle Gap State Park to spend the night by the reservoir.
Thursday, November 7th – Waking up early we head to Moab. This is when the real fun begins because for the next six days we are planning to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks before heading to Monument Valley on our way to Flagstaff. We will be doing a few hikes and hope to see Chesler Park and Squaw Canyon, as well as some of the incredible archaeological sites in Canyonlands.
Wednesday, November 13th – Finally arriving in Flagstaff we will have two days to hang out in our favorite city, head down to Sedona for a day hike and hit up some of our favorite bars.
Friday, November 15th – Off to the Grand Canyon for a two night backpacking trip down Hermits Rest trail. I will finally get a glimpse of the Colorado River up close while we are camped right on its banks!
Sunday, November 17th – We surface from the canyon and head towards Reno, stopping at Gold Strike Canyon for a quick soak in the hot springs located in this beautiful slot canyon.
Tuesday, November 18th – After spending some short, but sweet, time with friends in Reno we head to Yosemite to spend two nights in the park, hiking and camping.
Thursday, November 21st – We stop and visit a friend on the way to San Francisco and end up in San Francisco for two days where we will tour Alcatraz, explore the city and maybe even do some surfing!
Sunday, November 24th – Saying goodbye to the Foggy City and heading up the coast we plan on stopping and camping in the Redwoods and hiking on the Lost Coast for a day or so.
This set us up to arrive in Olympia right in time for Thanksgiving. I personally can already say I am thankful that Thanksgiving came so late this year because it gave us so much more time to explore and wander. You may be thinking, isn’t it a little late in the year to be doing all this traveling and camping? Well, Kyle and I are no strangers to bad weather and have actually purchased some new gear in order to prepare us for colder weather. Now that we are outfitted with snow shoes and new down jackets, not to mention my mom sent us our larger fully enclosed tent and our zero degree bags. We are excited for a little snow and cold. But, just to calm my mothers frayed nerves we have been constantly checking the weather and the snow conditions and are prepared to change our plans at the drop of a hat, or snowflake. But overall I am keeping my fingers crossed for some beautiful fall days, especially in the Southwest. I am excited to see all the friends and family our crazy plans take us to.
P.S. We used an awesome website, roadtrippers.com to plan our road trip. It has all sorts of guides and maps to help you find accommodations, food and attractions. It calculates distance and time between destinations and gas mileage and it lets you add new destinations on a whim. It even has an iPhone app… check it out.