As my last post mentioned, road trip planning is in full swing over here. Every day I organize, re-organize, tear apart, and settle for a disorganized something. There is so much that I would like to do and to prepare, but I know that at some point, all of the extra planning is just silly. I will figure most of it out along the way, I'm sure!
A friend asked me the other day, in the middle of my overly detailed planning, what the five things are that I am MOST excited for on my trip - to see, do, or check off my ever-lengthening bucket list? I thought it would be fun to share my answers with you all:
I know that this one is going to be a bit of a love/hate sort of journey for me. I don't often enjoy frequenting areas that are largely populated or that get really busy and sight-see-ey. In fact, I tend to avoid them. Alas, I am hitting a lot of my stops on this trip in the busy season. Here's hoping I can acclimate by the time I get to northern Arizona though, because I am SO PUMPED. Marble Canyon, Antelope Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs... there are just so many things on my list. I expect to experience a bit of what I'm coining as "landscape shock" (like culture shock, get it??). I've grown up in the northern Rocky Mountains. I'm used to seeing a sea of greys, blues and greens. The desert is on the complete other side of the color wheel. It's also on the opposite end of the spectrum from the cold (snow) and humidity that I'm used to. I'm looking forward to seeing something new and kind of foreign!
Paria Canyon in Southern Utah
I am reeeeeally crossing my fingers tight for this to work out. It's something I have stumbled across on my hunt for hikes and back country excursions. I don't love back country camping solo, but for one reason or another, it keeps calling me back. This 14+ mile off-the-beaten-trail maze of desert beauty will be a whole new experience for me. I am so ready to be immersed. The canyons are calling, and I must go!
A night or two in Basin & Range National Monument
It's a relatively new designation, this monument. From what I've seen and read, it is a wild and remote landscape, largely under-traveled, un-serviced, and just so different from what I'm used to. I'm looking forward to a little... profound silence. Also the change in scenery, and a little extra me-time. There's a part of me that finds so much romance in being completely alone. Chances seem good that I will find some of that there.
Waterfalls in Northern California
There are three or four postcard-worthy looking waterfalls in Northern California that I am dying to get out to. I'm thinking about making something fun out of it: "four waterfalls in four days" maybe?? One of said waterfalls potentially requires a little bit of stealthy trespassing to get to, so... I'm pretty pumped about the challenge!
Disperse camping under the Milky Way
I mean, really, need I say any more, here? Some of the darkest skies in North American can be found deep within the parks and monuments of the USA. Growing up in a big city, being able to see the Milky Way with the naked eye is a thing of my dreams. I have vaguely made it out once or twice, but I'm really looking forward to the opportunities afforded to me on this trip. I absolutely love the night sky.
I think I'll set myself a reminder for when I get back - to make a list of the five most memorable parts of my trip. Then I can come back and compare that list with this one. It will be so neat to see where my heart settles within it all.
If you are on a road trip right now, you're also planning something exciting, or you just like to dream big - shout out to me on Instagram with your big, bold plans! Or, you know, if you have some tried, tested and true things I should add to my list, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you!
Photos are my own. Please do not reproduce without my written permission.