Final Day on the Road

After 3 weeks, 6 states, and over 3,000 miles of driving today is the second time we have seen rain. The first was last night as we camped in the Redwoods of northern California, and today a storm is pummeling the Southern Oregon coast as I write this huddled in the van with an awesome view of some rough surf. We have been lucky to experience different stages of fall throughout the west with beautiful weather! Today’s storm not only welcomes in the month of November but marks a decided change in the season. We will be home this afternoon, so this is my last “official” blog post from the road. I will definitely be posting more photos after we have settled back in and I can get to editing all of the 1700+ images we have!

To see our route, drag and zoom the map above. By my calculation (and google’s), we will have traveled about 3,500 miles in the last 3 weeks. We have really enjoyed the relaxation and sense of discovery that the road provides. Below is a small list of trip highlights we compiled while driving yesterday:

  • Early fall snow on Steens Mountain, OR
  • Spontaneous cattle drive on the highway
  • Listening to Coyote’s howling under a full moon in Nevada.
  • Hearing the hoot of an owl outside our tent bouncing off canyon walls at dawn.
  • Clear view of the milky way and other stars at night in Utah & Arizona.
  • L-O-N-G Arizona sunsets (including over the Grand Canyon).
  • Sunrise hike through Bryce Canyon.
  • Finding and soaking in a hot spring in a ditch in the Nevada desert.
  • Finding numerous ancestral puebloan ruins on a dayhike, and scrambling over slickrock ledges to get a closer look.
  • Seeing a herd of wild burros and horses.
  • Driving the winding road through Jerome, AZ at dusk.
  • Fall colors in Oak creek near Sedona, AZ.
  • Cooking various meals over the fire, such as polenta with mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers and buffalo sausage; fresh picked corn on the cob; and fire-roasted chiles.
  • Lots of seafood in CA and OR: scallops, fish tacos, sturgeon, smoked tuna, calamari steaks.
  • Dodging a falling tree branch after a wind gust blew through our camp under the redwoods.
  • Almost stepping on a rattlesnake while wearing sandals. (mere inches–no joke!)
  • Visiting old friends and soaking up the sun in Southern CA.
  • Beachcombing anytime we were close to the ocean–finding a bunch of minature sand-dollars was Joelle’s favorite.
  • Driving the Big Sur coastline very slowly at sunset.
  • Seeing Stella run, jump, climb, and explore every area we visited.

Of course, what would a trip log be without the obligatory road-trip self portrait? Here we are at Bryce Canyon.

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