Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns NP, Big Bend NP and Austin.

Polaroid Suitcase.

From the alien’s of Roswell to feeling like we were on another planet at the 750ft underground at the Carlsbad Caverns, the final stages of New Mexico continued to astonish us with it’s diversity. Over the border into Texas and we soon learnt everything from the National Parks mountain-scape to local’s personalities really is bigger in Texas (including me on leaving after participating in Matt’s Magical Meat Tour, amongst various other “animal style” fast food combinations and getting down and dirty on 6th St). When your allocated days in Austin double in wonder and intrigue, you know you’re having a wild time… and perhaps a small love affair with texas barbecue brisket. Continue reading

Arches NP, Fort Collins, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain NP and Santa Fe.

Polaroid Suitcase.

Week five allowed us to lay a little lower and catch our breath as plenty of driving was involved. We left Arches National Park’s divine (and easily accessible) rock formations and headed to Fort Collins, Colorado just in time for Tour de Fat – a “larger and more outrageous than Halloween” community event involving road bikes, live bands in front yards and plenty of fun. The temperature dropped drastically as we headed into the Rocky Mountains, via Estes Park (our first experience of smores definitely aided in the climate transition) requiring the first use of thermals for the trip. Contrary to the weather, Colorado felt warm and homely not only as a state, with its luscious greenery and wide suburban streets, but catching with friends old friends and feeling as though no time had passed. Another long drive South and we found ourselves in Santa Fe, New Mexico, possibly the friendliest, sleepiest town we’ve visited thus far, where local customs left us working out Santa Fails and recovering from Santa Feasts. Continue reading

Zion National Park to Moab via Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Navajo National Monument, Monument Valley and Four Corners.

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“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey.

After the shock to the system that was Las Vegas we headed back to nature hiking through Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon National Park. The scenery in each left us flawed with its diverse beauty. The weather changed as readily as the time zone as we weaved between predominantly Arizona and Utah, cheekily touching base in Colorado and New Mexico at Four Corners. Re-enactment of John Wayne scenes from old westerns were attempted (and failed) with Monument Valley’s afternoon sun reflecting from the statuesque red rock. This country’s natural landscape is so divine and surreal, it’s hard to believe we’ve only just begun to experience it. Continue reading

Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park and Las Vegas.

Polaroid Suitcase.

Upon leaving the chaos of America’s largest county, Los Angeles, the road trip continued east bound. After walking with the world largest dinosaurs West of Palm Springs, we opted to find refuge amongst the tree-sized yuccas at Joshua Tree National Park, often described as figments from a Dr Seuss book (whimsical and oasis like), rather than expose ourselves to the stark, hellishly hot Death Valley. Little did we know, J-Tree provided little refuge from the incredibly warm beating sun. Needless to say, after escaping from the desolate, rock clad national park, the dazzling lights of Las Vegas appeared like a mirage… via a desert storm and subsequent road flooding, just to shake things up. Continue reading

Yosemite National Park, Monterey, Berkeley and California Highway 1.

Polaroid Suitcase.

“Soon it got dusk, a grapey dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the colour of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the colour of love and Spanish mysteries.”

Jack Kerouac in reference to California (On the Road).

Volume two of the retrospective United States itinerary for those playing along at home…

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