Our summer roadtrip took us through 13 states: South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa. Whew!
Emma and Olivia visited 7 states for the first time: Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
Braden and I visited 4 states for the first time: Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah.
We visited 1 National Memorial: Mount Rushmore (SD).
We visited 1 National Recreation Area: Golden Gate Bridge (CA).
We visited 1 National Wildlife Refuge: Haystack Rock (OR).
We visited 1 National Scenic Area: Multnomah Falls (OR).
The girls became Junior Rangers 14 times.
Mixed in with all that we visited friends, went horseback riding, went to a rodeo, went whitewater rafting, went to an art festival, visited family, got a stomach virus, went to a county fair, went to another rodeo, experienced our first mudslide evacuation warning, visited more family, went to a slot canyon, went to sand caves, went UTVing, and much, much more.
(1) Almost 2 months is entirely too long for a summer roadtrip. It was inevitable that we would get on each others nerves after living on a 40 foot bus and sharing 1 bathroom for this long. We're all a little bit excited to sleep in bigger beds and see our friends.
(2) Our family unanimously picked Utah as our favorite state on this trip. Montana is a very, very, very close second. Sorry to all the other states.
(3) Hotdogs. If you know... you know. 🌭
(4) We wish would have spent less time in Yellowstone and more time in Glacier and Utah. We could have easily spent weeks in Utah if it was at the beginning of our trip and not the end (see takeaway #1).
(5) Las Vegas is HOT in August. We do not recommend visiting then.
(6) It is really confusing when a state doesn't follow daylight savings time, but all the states around it does.... especially when you're staying near the border of two states and going back and forth every day. We're talking about you Arizona!
(7) Most of the national parks have lots of signs about bears. You would think with how many signs there are that bears are walking around everywhere. Lies. We didn't see a single bear, and it was the one animal the girls and I wanted to see.
(8) Emma needs more biker shorts.
(9) All the national parks are so different, even ones that are in the same state and 30 minutes apart. We all ranked our top 3 from this trip:
Olivia: (1) Arches, (2) Zion, (3) Glacier
Emma: (1) Arches, (2) Glacier, (3) Zion
Erin: (1) Glacier, (2) Zion, (3) Arches
Braden: (1) Glacier, (2) Yosemite, (3) Yellowstone
(10) Know before you go. Some national parks have special entry requirements and you have to do some research to find out which ones require a timed entry reservation.
(11) Where are all the Delawarians?, Delawarans? When we left home in July we started a license plate game and crossed off each state we saw a license plate from. Less than a month into our trip and we saw 49 out of 50. Almost 2 months into our trip and we saw 49 out of 50. Yep even Hawaii and Alaska! We saw multiple license plates from both those states. A big fat goose egg for Delaware. Apparently people from Delaware don't travel out west much. Fun fact for Austin - People who live in Delaware are called Delawareans.