Viewing entries tagged
road trip

The "Utah Quickie"

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The "Utah Quickie"

Holy shit! 4 days left in Arizona! I'm going backpacking in Colorado 2 days from now, then I return for 2 days before moving to Oregon! What a crazy schedule. I just finished editing the photos from my road trip to Horseshoe Bend, Zion, Bryce and Arches National Parks. I still have to edit Havasupai, but it's looking like I won't get to that until I make it to Oregon on the 31st. 

That aside, let's talk about my quick road trip with Rachel Pulice to Utah! Only 1 of the 4 places we went was new to me, but I got to explore a little more so it was totally worth it - plus I had a decent camera with me this time! We made a pit stop at the famous Horseshoe Bend and I'm glad we did! The lighting was the best I've seen, with scattered clouds leaving a cool impression on the scene below.

We made it to Zion with enough time to do just about nothing. We found a parking lot to sleep in and passed out. After eating breakfast the next morning, we hopped on the first bus to hike Angel's Landing at sunrise. The weather was perfect! Warm and clear skies. It started to get hot by the time we made it back down, but it was time hit the Narrows so it was perfect. The famous canyon is about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the valley. The Virgin River keeps you cool as you hike through the gorgeous canyon with narrow walls rising 1,000 feet on either side of you. This was just as amazing as I remember. We went a lot further than I did last time and it was totally worth it! We found a beautiful waterfall and stopped for a snack before hiking back.

We found a place to camp outside the park, slept in the car under the stars and reached Bryce Canyon around 10am. We snagged a campsite and headed out to explore! I was fairly unimpressed as we drove from one viewpoint to the next, so we returned to the camp for some lunch and a nap. I slept for a couple hours despite the loud music blaring from an adjacent campsite. I finished a book, ate a snack and woke Rachel to get some sunset pictures. With the sun lower in the sky, the park suddenly came alive with color! We hiked around and snapped photos until the sun went down. Then we waited in the car for 3 hours while listening to one of my favorite podcasts. When the sky was sufficiently dark, we strapped on the headlamps and hiked down into the canyon for some night captures. The sky was unfortunately cloudy, but we made the best of it.

Instead of returning to the campsite, I drove us 4+ hours to catch the sunrise at Arches. At the time, it felt like a mistake. And it didn't stop feeling that way until we arrived. As if she knew what I did to see her, Mother Nature put on a spectacular show! We arrived at one of the most stunning sunrises I've ever seen without a minute to spare. After snapping some shots, Rachel and I explore a couple of the arches. Then I passed out in the car for a couple hours.

I woke up around 10am after a quick nap and drove us home. 

What a trip! I still can't believe we crammed all of that into 4 days! Havasupai photos and story coming after I move. I'll post a few updates on my travels before then.

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Last Adventure of 2015

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Last Adventure of 2015

You don't need an elaborate plan or a lot of money for a great vacation. This one certainly didn't have those. Thanksgiving dinner was over and people gathered on the couch to watch dogs play and offer sincere compliments to the various chefs. I was wondering if it would be acceptable to eat a fourth slice of pumpkin pie when Andrew, without prompt, said "I have five days of PTO I need to use." Temporarily forgetting the pie, I allowed a faint smile and asked, "where are we going?"

I'm not fortunate enough to have PTO, but that's hardly going to stop me. We discussed possible locations before deciding on a few. Having driven to Alaska and back in 19 days, I felt confident we could visit several places and play the details by ear.

A month passed and there was still no real plan, even as we crammed the bikes and gear into his Jeep. There were three destinations: Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Red Rock Canyon. We had a time frame: 5 days. For some, that may have been stressful, but it was plenty for us.

We reached Joshua Tree around midday, found a campsite, rock climbed by moonlight, slept and rock climbed some more the next morning. On our way to Death Valley, we took a scenic detour through Big Bear Lake hoping to get a quick ride in. Unfortunately, it was already covered in snow. We briefly discussed driving up the Highway 1, but decided to stick to the "plan". After hammocking that night in Death Valley, we drove all over - modifying the itinerary after every stop. The two of us set foot on the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, biked to a waterfall, explored sand dunes and watched the sun set from the eastern rim. We made Vegas by nightfall and crashed at my cousin's. The next day was spent entirely inside of a harness at Red Rock Canyon. The last day was saved for riding the trail Allarah died on in September that year.

Suffice it to say the trip was amazing. Until next time! I'm not sure what I'll do this weekend, but I'll figure something out :)

Happy adventures!

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Photo Gallery Update!

I finally editing my favorite photos from the trip and posted them. The dashcam video is coming soon! I went on a snowy mountain bike ride in Flagstaff yesterday too so I'll post some photos from that soon! Tips and more cool locations to see coming soon!

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Putting Things into Perspective. Literally.

Here's a cool perspective on my path of travel for the trip. The total mileage ended up being just over 9,000. It still seems a little crazy to me that I actually did it. For no good reason really - which is perhaps the best reason ;)

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Phoenix to *Anchorage* (AND BACK): DAY 19

I finally made it back home! Almost 9,000 miles and 19 days later, I arrived home greasy, tired, and unbelievably stoked. It doesn't feel like I just spent nearly 3 weeks away from home - not in the least. In some ways, it feels like it was already a lifetime ago. I had a lot of time to explore, enjoy, and think. I really appreciated the last of those three. I have some really cool plans for the future of the site and really want to give back by providing information on cool places to go, how to get there, and ways to get into the adventure lifestyle! Anyway, my last leg of the trip was pretty rushed due to weather, but I still thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! I spent some time in Jasper and Yellowstone national parks - as well as a few others. All in all, I estimate that gas was more than 90% of my cost for the trip. Food was cheap and I never paid for lodging. I slept in my car, stayed at a friend's, and couch surfed for every night of the trip.

A rock did shatter my windshield and I got a speeding ticket in Canada, but my insurance will cover the glass and the speeding ticket was super cheap so this ended up being very affordable considering that I was gone for almost 3 weeks! It really reinforced the pursuit of my passions. It proved that you can do anything you want if you just commit yourself to your dreams. It sounds corny, but it's true.

Locations and trips coming soon! For now, enjoy these pictures from the last leg of my trip home! Much love.

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Phoenix to Fairbanks (and back): Day 17

Funny, I never actually went to Fairbanks. I ended up staying in Anchorage the whole time (which was an extra 2 hour drive so don't give me shit). I'm 8 hours away from home and ready, but not all at once. It rained me out of Alaska and I planned to spend some time at national parks on the way back, but the weather followed me. I'm okay with that though. The only place I'm skipping as a result is just a day's drive from my home anyway. No major loss. 

I'll post a proper update tomorrow with pics once I get home, but I just wanted to say how excited I am for a shower and sleeping in my car above freezing temperatures for the first time in almost two weeks!!! 😍😍😍

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Phoenix to Fairbanks (and Back): Day 10

What a trip this has been so far! The first 5 days were absolutely incredible! Unfortunately, things didn't quite follow the plan after that... By the time I reached southern British Columbia, my sleeping pad was flat, I was out of cooking fuel, the temperature dropped below freezing, and many private gas stations were shut down for the winter already. Towns and other cars became increasingly rare sights. By the time I reached Yukon on the 6th night, I had decided not to spend any more time in Canada than I had to. I made excellent time that day so I decided to head to bed early and finish the remaining 16 hours in the next day. I got up at 5 AM and reached the capital, Whitehorse, by 10 AM where I changed my oil. Stopping only for gas and occasional pictures, I pushed on to Anchorage and arrived shortly before midnight.

My couchsurfing hosts are insanely amazing, kind, and hilarious! The last three days here have been rainy so I haven't managed to explore much. Today is still cloudy, but I'm taking the opportunity to see what I can! Wish me luck!

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Summer 2015 Mountain Bike Highlights

An update on my 24-day road trip is coming, but here's this video I forgot to post until that's ready! I bought my first mountain bike in early 2015. I've had a blast learning to riding it and pushing my limits over the last several months! This video highlights some of my favorite moments!

Locations: The Whole Enchilada Trail, Moab; Cave Creek Cactus Classic, Cave Creek; Hawes Red Mountain Trails, Mesa; Slim Shady, Sedona; Los Burros, Pinetop

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Phoenix to Fairbanks (and back): Day 4

A lot of people have been requesting pictures. I will upload edited versions later, but here are some temporary ones to keep you at bay. It's the end of Day 4 for my Phoenix to Fairbanks (and back) trip. I spend the first day driving to the coast and reached it just as the sun set on the Highway 1. I got up before sunrise the next morning and drove up the coast to San Francisco and spent some time at the Golden Gate Bridge and surrounding area. Then I drove up through central northern California until I reached my friend's place in southern Oregon and passed out for the night. Yesterday I woke up and drove to the Redwoods, drove through a tree, spent a little time at the beach, then quickly drove over to Crater Lake just in time for sunset pictures. Today, I woke up drove straight through Washington and made it to Canada with enough light to check out a really cool waterfall just off the coast.

Tomorrow, it's back on the road as I head to Anchorage, Alaska. I should be there by the night of the 7th.

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Off to Alaska! See you in 24 days.

I've been planning this trip for months and it's almost here. Many people signed up and expressed interest, but it looks like it's just me. I get it; three weeks is a long time. I knew this was a possibility and I'm not turning back now. Before the sun rises tomorrow morning, I'll be on the road to Fairbanks, Alaska. The trip will take 24 days and I'll see amazing things on the way there and back! Your loss, suckas! ;D

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