Just got back from 9 days with four of my best friends in four of my favorite states: Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho. Our goal was to explore the west, do some hiking, some camping, and just hit the open road for a while. A fantastic trip all around, consisting of only one day of paid camping, a wide variety of driving experiences, and a sporty-looking red Pontiac G6 packed to the brim with way more camping gear than could realistically be considered to fit.
Our first day we flew out to Salt Lake, where we have friends, and which also served as our beginning and ending point. Thanks to the time difference, we were on the road by 2 p.m. mountain time. Wanting to spend the evening with said friends, we spent an afternoon exploring Antelope Island State Park.
It was, as you can see, a pretty cool place. Lots of photo opportunities. We explored the ranch on the island, went all touristy and learned how to lasso, dipped our toes in the very scummy salt lake, chased a buffalo (don't worry, we weren't actually that close). The basics. Then we headed to our friends for the evening for dinner and Olympics viewing and began the daunting task of packing four backpacks, two tents, a cooler, and a pile of camping gear into a midsize car. Thankfully it was a midsize -- we had rented an economy but they were out and had to give us the next size up.
Our rental worked out really well. We inspected it beforehand and got the desk worker to mark off every inch of it as dinged or scratched before we left (because, well, it was). She was annoyed with us -- said, "You're being way too picky" -- but I wasn't about to pay for something I didn't do. My one friend said as we drove away, looking at the marked-up sheet, "Well, I think we can do just about anything to this car except drive it off a cliff."
Coming up: We sit for 15 minutes at a construction stoplight in the middle of nowhere, and seek out our old stomping grounds from 2006: the Cleanest Bathroom in the West.
P.S. The name of our trip came from the recent Little Big Town / Sugarland live cover of "Life in a Northern Town," which was also our theme song. It's country all the way on our road trips, baby.