This is the third and final blog post from this amazing trip! Below is a video Bryan put together highlighting all of the places we explored with our sweet Bjorn, we hope you enjoy it! <3
15th Stop: THE REDWOODS
Bryan had been to 47 states before this trip, but somehow California wasn't one of them. He was so excited to see the Redwoods and wow were they incredible. We drove through a number of epic Redwood forests but the coolest was the Avenue of the Giants area. We squeezed Whipley (the RV) through some tight spaces and had a blast exploring. Redwood forests are so different from what we are used to, it almost feels like being indoors. We could have spent months exploring this part of California!
We were exploring early morning on a Thursday, so we had pretty much the whole place to ourselves.
The scale is still hard to wrap my head around.
I have a feeling that we are going to be back here a lot.
16th Stop: SAN FRANCISCO, CA
We drove across the Golden Gate bridge and straight to Los, Gatos for a lovely dinner with our good friends Jack and Katherine, who we were very excited to see.
17th Stop: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
I have always wanted to visit this park, and it was stunning! We got there in the evening so we immediately found a campsite inside the park. We set up a campfire, made dinner, and Bryan practiced more of his astrophotography. The next morning we drove into the valley and decided to go on a hike. The hike was way harder then we were expecting but totally worth it. Next time we go I want to check out Glacier Point, I'm bummed we didn't get to go there this time because it looks absolutely insane.
We made a point of cooking our dinner over the fire and it was awesome! The stars were also about the most striking we have ever seen. We could not have asked for better weather during the entire trip.
Astro photography is about as satisfying as it gets.
This hike kicked our asses. It somehow managed to be uphill the whole time both ways.
Yosemite is another place we will have to come back to for a month.
18th Stop: DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Death Valley National Park may seem like a simple enough concept: it's the hottest place on earth. Cool. In reality, it is one of the coolest places we have ever shot. It is full of so many awesome features like badlands, huge salt plains, sand dunes and super-colorful canyons. It is a photographer's dream park.
We were here on Bjorn's second birthday!
Eight pounds of adventure.
Completely out of focus and I don't care because look at Bjorn's smile!!!
I am occasionally accused of being salty...
See sea level?
Probably the prettiest dirt we have ever seen.
Unleashing his inner Walter Mitty (but Walter Mitty never had to skate back up his epic hill, haha)
19th Stop: ZION NATIONAL PARK
Zion was absolutely breathtaking. The park has so much epic beauty in a relatively tiny area. You can drive through the entire park in an hour. We liked it so much that we parked the RV and went back through again on the scooter. There is a long tunnel cut into the mountain that was particularly cool to drive through. A quick hike brought us to one of the most scenic viewpoints we saw on the trip!
All of the parks in the West had so much natural beauty, we could pull off anywhere, climb around the rocks like a bunch of kids, and get fun shots!
I'm obviously into bad boys.
20th Stop: BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Bryce Canyon was not on our original itinerary, but as we were making our way back east from Death Valley, we made the very good impulsive decision to check it out. We didn't have a lot of time to spend and people told us that the park was small, and there was no road through it (only into it), so we conquered Bryce Canyon on the scooter. We did an early-morning ride in and out that only took about 90 minutes including stops. The vistas were awesome!
The area right outside the park had probably the coolest non-park rock formations we saw, so we took the drone up and got some good photos and video. As annoying as it is that you can't fly drones in national parks, it is probably less annoying than having five hundred drones constantly bumping into each other above the country's most beautiful places....
I figured we wouldn't run into people we knew, so I allowed Bryan to wear those finger shoes in public, as long as nobody was around.
Final Stop: CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
Our last stop was also unplanned. Bryan had heard great things about the park and when we found that changing our route to drive through it wouldn't add much time. This was only a few hours after leaving Bryce Canyon. Again, we weren't disappointed in our decision. The colors were unreal and the rock formations were some of the most striking we had ever seen. It was definitely a good last hurrah for the trip.
Look at Bjorn's cute smile!!! Bryan and I are so happy we got to take Bjorn on this epic adventure. He was such a little trooper, always down to explore, he would snuggle on my lap in between adventures and just brought Bryan and I so much happiness. Looking back on this trip brings back the best memories and I'm so grateful for that. We love you so much Bjorn. <3
I hope you enjoyed following our trip. Next month I will put together a post with details on where we stayed, more things we did, and tips and tricks for taking an extended road trip.