Now that I'm back from my out west roadtrip, and have started to catch up on things since I've been back I suppose its about time I start sharing a field report!
Here's the planning thread to see where things started.
Long story short, From July 13 to July 31, My family did a trip that totaled 5530 miles, covering 15 States, and stops at 8 National Parks/Monuments, and 1.5 baseball games. The trip was done in a 2001 Mazda Tribute SUV that started the trip with 243,000 miles on it, fully loaded with camping/cooking gear, for a trip that was done with the aim of keeping it as cheap as reasonably possible and still having a completely enjoyable time. This was also the longest single trip I've taken in a very long time, as typically work and other commitments make it difficult for me to get away for more than a week-10 days at a time.
The final route looks a lot like this:
Day by Day summaries to come, but some early thoughts:
Yellowstone was by far my favorite stop, and having visited a large number of National Parks, its probably my favorite of all of them. I went there expecting to enjoy the park, but I really did not have an appreciation for just how big, beautiful, and unique the park is. I also was impressed that nearly all of the negatives I'd heard about the park really weren't an issue at all, the biggest one being traffic. Despite being there on a weekend right in the middle of July, I didn't find the crowds to be a problem at all.
A close second was Canyonlands, and that is certainly a place I need to spend more time exploring. Natural Bridges was also much more interesting than I had been expecting, especially since it really was only added to the itinerary because it was in the neighborhood of some other things I wanted to see.
Biggest disappointments were Arches and Monument Valley. "Disappointment" is perhaps too strong of a word, as they were still nice places that I was glad to visit, and Arches is a place I'd still like to go back to and spend more time, but in the context of all the other amazing stuff, I just had higher expectations for those.
And of course, there were dozens of things along the way that were discovered that I could have never planned for, which of course is why a roadtrip is the perfect getaway experience in my book.