After 7+ months of posts from our 900 square foot apartment in Massachusetts, you might be ready for something different. We are too!
As trees begin to bud and flowers bloom marking the transition from winter to spring, there is a natural desire and feeling to get outside and to explore again. While most folks are smart enough to just walk to the local park, Jessica and I are taking that feeling to the extreme with a cross country road trip! *High five!
The mountains are calling and I must go”
– John Muir
We are taking the northern tour of the United States with stops in New York, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Michigan. Google Maps has a limit of 10 stops you can include on a route, so I broke our trip into 5 segments. Here is where we are going!
Part 1 – Go West My Friend – Massachusetts to Boulder, CO
This is by far the most brutal stretch of driving on the trip. We are trying to get out west as quickly as possible and that means 29 hours of driving in 2.5 days. While I am excited for the trip, I am definitely a little nervous that I might be single by the time we reach Boulder.
Driving Time: 29 hours
Key Attractions: Niagara Falls, The Corn Belt, and Highway (and lots of it)
Part 2 – The Pacific Northwest – Boulder, CO to Oregon to Washington to Jackson, WY
When we first began discussing/planning this trip 2 years ago we quickly realized we wanted to spend some time in the Pacific Northwest. We are considering moving there sometime in the distant future, and we wanted to check out as many cities and sites as possible.
This part of the trip is a real whirlwind tour. We are stopping in Park City, Crater Lake National Park, Bend, Portland, Olympic National Park, Seattle, Mt. Rainier National Park, and finally Jackson–getting a mix of city and country.
With the exception of Jackson, we are only spending 1 or 2 nights in each location, so we are going to get plenty of practice setting up and dismantling our tent. Wait…did I forget to mention that we are sleeping in our tent many of the nights? More on that in a future post!
Driving Time: 49 hours
Key Attractions: Crater Lake, Smith Rock State Park, Columbia River Gorge, Portland, Olympic Peninsula, Mount Rainier, and Seattle
Part 3 – Jackson, Wyoming
Part 3 of the trip is an extended stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jackson has always been a special place for me. I am turning 30 this summer and using my birthday as an excuse to rent a house in “the hole” with some friends. After a number of weeks on the road, I am sure we will be looking forward to having a real bed and a home base (no, the Prius does not count).
Driving Time: 0 hours!!!
Key Attractions: Grand Teton National Park and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar
Part 4 – The Old West – Wyoming to South Dakota
This is a part of the country Jessica and I know very little about but is directly on our route home. With so many famous sites within a few hours of each other, it seemed crazy not to add a few stops to our route.
Driving Time: 13.5 hours
Key Attractions: Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, the Badlands
Part 5 – Dakota to
The long road home. Compared to driving to Boulder, we plan to work our way home a little more slowly. Still this will be about 30 hours of driving packed into only a few days. As excited as we are for this trip, I think we will both be looking forward to returning home at this point.
Driving Time: 28 hours
Key Attractions: Great lakes, Chicago, Michigan Peninsula (maybe)
We will be posting a ton from the road. In an attempt (most likely failed) to stay organized, we have put together a page with links to all of our road trips posts. We will be updating it as we go. You can get back to that page at any time by clicking on the fancy new graphic on our home page as well.