For many of us taking the Great American Road Trip is on the top of the bucket list, but it is easier said than done. The USA is a huge country, so jamming it all in one adventure requires time, money, and long preparation. Many travelers at first explore the country in smaller sections and postpone the epic journey to after they retire. This is exactly what I did, but now is the time. I am embarking on a big adventure to revisit some of the previously seen sites and to explore areas that are still new to me. I hope you can follow me along as I tour the American West with its numerous national parks and other fascinating destinations.
The trip starts tomorrow, March 18th, 2021. We will be traveling for 3 months. Our map shows 11000 miles to cover, but it will be more than that with the side trips. Follow our journey on my Facebook page and/or my Instagram. (like the pages to follow)
I knew that the USA would be my favorite travel destination way before I arrived in this country. With each western movie I saw in Poland, I fell deeper in love with the American West. So when I finally arrived here in 1987, I could not wait to start exploring.
For over 30 years now, I slowly uncovered many regions of the country, including the vast majority of national parks. I have already visited some of my favorites multiple times, but I am drawn to them even more, and I plan to revisit them on this trip.
Still, many lesser-known destinations call my name, so I decided to answer this call and put them all on one amazing cross-country trip. And I know without a doubt, that is the right time for me to do it.
What we are going to See
The main part of the trip starts in Texas, with Big Bend National Park being the state’s key destination. After that, we will continue through the desert in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
We will be visiting most of the national parks of the area, including The Mighty 5 in Utah – Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonland, and Capitol Reef. We are also planning to explore lesser-known national monuments and state parks.
From there, we will move to California and visit Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite, and Redwoods. We will take a leisure stop in Lake Tahoe.
The next state on the list is Oregon and its stunning coastal highway. Depending on time left, we may complete the coastal drive all the way to Seatle.
REASONS TO TAKE THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP
The USA is stunningly beautiful
I did not see all the countries in the world, but I know what is out there, and I claim that the USA is the most beautiful country ever. The wealth of natural wonder, often protected by the national and state park system, is unmatched.
Being old sucks
My body tirelessly reminds me of that. Almost every day, a new pain shows up and refuses to go away. I can clearly see that what I could do even a year ago today is a struggle. I have no idea how much longer I would be able to hike.
Tomorrow is never given
Unfortunately, life proves it way too often. The year 2020 was a horrifying example of that.
Covid-19 pandemic took a year of my life
I think I handled the social distancing rather well, but when you live with cancer, a lockdown seems just like another punch in the stomach. Now, Norman and I are fully vaccinated and we are ready to take another adventure.
You can’t beat the scenic drives in Utah!
Nothing keeps me home
My son is on his own, and my mom, who lived with me, passed away last summer. For the first time in my life, I do not need to report to anyone or watch over anyone.
It is a rather strange feeling, but I am slowly getting used to it. I like the idea of not rushing to come back.
Things do no make me happy
I have no desire to buy things just to have them. I do not feel the need to remodel my house, even though it could use some updates. A new TV or a new car do not excite me. Traveling is what makes me happy, so whatever little money I have, I want to spend on experiences.
Traveling makes me happy. Here we are at Yellowstone National Park.
I need better pictures for my blog
I visited many of the western national parks so long ago that in some cases the only pictures I have are on paper! Even the ones I visited rather recently are from before my blogging days, and they do no meet my new standards. I have to go back to retake them!
Also, when my computer crashed last summer, I lost a chunk of my half-decent pictures. I learned my lesson. All my pictures are now stored in Google cloud and in the external disc.
Planning The Great American Road Trip
Let me tell you, planning a three months itinerary is overwhelming. I had to calculate the best time of the year to visit, hours of driving between the stops, private tours, off-the-beaten-path side trips, accommodation, etc. But now it is all done, and hopefully, everything will go smoothly.
Packing for three months on the road
The plan is to stay in hotels, but we will travel through some remote areas of the country. As usual, my imagination forced me to get ready for any possible “just in case”. We are taking all the camping equipment and even a generator!
As far as clothes, no break there either. We will be crossing through a hot desert, high mountains with snow on the ground, and eventually following the Pacific coast. It pretty much means packing for all seasons.
For me, things are even more complicated. I pack not only for the weather but also for the scenery. Since I never know what exactly I would like to wear at each destination, I bring a lot of options. Way too many!
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