We’ve hit the one-week marker on our U.S. summer road trip, and I’ve already got ambitious dreams of visiting each of the 49 states we can reach by car. Do you think we can do it? I do! But to start, here’s a photographic overview of our first week on the road.
You can get an overview from each week here on the blog, but we’re posting almost daily updates of our cross-country U.S. road trip on Facebook.
- Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, CA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Valley of Fire State Park, NV — Diana’s favorite
- Lake Mead, NV
- Hoover Dam, NV + AZ
- Grand Canyon National Park (AZ) — Ian’s favorite
- gila monster sighting (video on Facebook), plus a desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, elk, a kangaroo rat, and various other wildlife
- shooting Milky Way photography with a smartphone
- star photography with a new friend, Patrick, from Switzerland
- an engine thermostat problem that led us to Vegas and cost us an unexpected $250
- active snow at the Grand Canyon
Watch for photos of future highlights on my Instagram!
We’re camping our way around the U.S. Want to know what gear we use? Check out 5 of our summer camping essentials here.
Notes and Insights
- Lake Mead was super duper windy. We almost left because of it, but we toughed it out. Once we had the tent up, it wasn’t so bad.
- Hoover Dam is cooler (and bigger) than I thought it’d be. Ian thought it would be even bigger.
- You can camp at the Grand Canyon for ONLY $12 per night! (at Desert View Campground)
- There are a disproportionate number of dead pigeons in Nevada vs. other states. I saw 4.
- Mushrooms can grow in the desert. I saw it at Kelso Dunes, where we also saw furry wingless bees running around on the sand.
- The 4HB diet isn’t that hard on the road. I think it may be even easier to stick to! We just seek out all the Mexican food we can find.
- Freddy’s is delicious. We randomly went here in Arizona, attracted by the “frozen custard” their name advertised. I’m from St. Louis, and it’s basically a Steak ‘n Shake and Ted Drewes rolled into one place. It was especially awesome to visit on cheat day.
Week Two Preview
- The Grand Canyon is a cold, dark place. Like REALLY dark.
- Canyon Lake, Arizona
- Montezuma Castle and Casa Grande National Monuments
- Cacti that actually look like the pictures you drew when you were a little kid
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
- Texas and maybe New Orleans!
I hope you enjoyed our week one U.S. road trip re-cap! Have you road-tripped to any of these U.S. locations? Tell us about your trips in the comments.
Until next week, follow us on Facebook for the latest news and photos from our trip.
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.