I’m breaking my one word title with this post. I just feel you can’t say anything else but “road trip” for this adventure as it’s the longest I’ve ever been on the road.

We started our road trip in Oregon and ventured down to California to visit family. From there we went to Arizona. We detoured a bit from our route to head up to Sedona. I’ve heard such good things, why not take the detour. I must say that it was well worth it. Such a beautiful area. And the church in the cliff — so awesome! I’m such a huge fan of architecture, especially when it bucks the norm!

From Arizona we went to catch Route 66 and headed through New Mexico to Texas and hit a diagonal down to Austin. I must say that West Texas is really unfriendly. It’s harsh terrain and hard to find a public restroom make it a very unfriendly place for a tourist. They don’t even have rest stops, they have “picnic areas”, which constitutes picnics tables with shade and a trash can. I’ve seen better, Texas, I must say.

Also, I have to tell you that Route 66 needs some better way to show it’s monuments. “Historic marker next exit” just doesn’t do it for me when I don’t know what it is or where it is after I exit. It’s just not well marked and you can’t even Google the good stuff. Sad. Someone needs to fix this problem, stat! I don’t want to have to order a printed map when I’m on the road, that’s useless.

We explored Austin for a few days as it was high on my to do list in the US. Austin isn’t quite as weird as Portland even though they’ve also claimed the saying “Keep — weird”. I’m not sure they quite have the title. For Texas, they might, but not if they really compare themselves to Portland. Portland wins, hands down! But Austin does have a great live music and art scene. They also have a very active community. Lots of river activities along with biking and running trails. Love this! And if you ever wondered where Whole Foods started, it’s here. They have quite a large store with several stories for parking. It’s a bit crazy in downtown Austin, especially on the weekends.

From Austin we headed North through Fort Worth because there was no way I was traveling through West Texas again. Went into Oklahoma and saw the wonderful rock formations. And also headed into Kansas that had rolling green hills, much to my surprise. Dodge City was quite cool. But we ended the day in Colorado. Such a beautiful state. We sampled the local beers and also headed to Mesa Verde. Such a great piece of history.

From Colorado we headed into Utah to see Moab and Arches National Park. What a great time we had there. I wish I had planned to say a week. You would need a week just to do all the hiking, biking and sightseeing there is in the area. You may even fill two weeks. It was so wonderful. It’s a photographers paradise. Everywhere you turn there’s a picture to be taken. Except between the harsh lighting hours of 11 to 3ish. Such a great natural wonder! Next time we go I plan to rent a four wheeler, hike and kayak. I also plan to see Canyonlands.

From Moab we headed North to see the great Salt Lake. We didn’t really get a good view of it because it’s surrounded by wetlands. The wetlands are beautiful with the wild foul and plants but not quite what I was expecting. For a fee you could go out on the island but we didn’t want to pay just for a quick visit.

From Utah we went into Idaho. In Idaho I saw the most beautiful sunset I have ever scene in my life. There was color and clouds and mountains with fog. A picture could not even capture its beauty. It was just one of those memorable moments.

In Oregon, I’ve never been East of Bend so it was about time I saw the rest of the state. It was a lot more forested and hilly than I’d heard about. This was a pleasant surprise. And so were the painted hills. They are nothing like the hills or rocks in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado or Utah. They are exactly as they say, “painted” hills. They look as if someone painted them with a giant water color brush. They are red and green, gold and yellow. They have splotches of black that run down as well. This was more than I ever imagined they would be. Such a beautiful site to see.

Sometimes I forget the beauty we have in the states. We may not be as old of a country but our Earth is just the same age as everywhere else in the world.

What amazing places I have right at my back door.

Road trip stats: 5500 miles, 10 states, 2 weeks — bringing my state count to 24!