Miles driven: Badlands National Park to Greenwich, CT (with stops in middle-of-no-where, MN and Detroit, MI with Lily and John!) – 1,777 miles
Welp, after 23 days of driving 8,431 miles across the U S of A, Randi and I pulled into Greenwich in one piece, and we’re not even sick of each other!
1. 8,431 miles is far and means lots of time in the car. Worst part of the drive: the three consecutive days of 10+ hours of driving to arrive back in Connecticut. The reason it was so bad? We both have to return to work in a week. (I know, I know…the non-educators out there don’t feel sorry for us, but it’s a tough reality to accept after such an epic adventure.)
2. While we drove through 27 states (I counted on the map 3 times…I could be off with this statistic), we’re saying that we truly visited 10 of them. In order to be considered a visit, we needed to spend the night and do some sort of significant activity native to the area (we’re not counting our night in Minnesota because we legit Googled a hotel near I-90 in a not sketchy area – yes, this is what I put into the search engine – and our only activity there was watching TV and sleeping).
3. Serial Season 2, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, and countless Spotify country playlists passed the time in the car quite well.
4. My Google Maps app needs a break. It’s embarrassing how many locations I’ve looked up in the past month both before and after this trip. Best update to the app? The search tool. We were floored when we searched for Chick-Fil-A and discovered 5 along our route just south of Chicago. I highly recommend both the search tool and Chick-Fil-A to all of our loyal followers.
5. Top 5 Moments of the trip (in no particular order):
Ellen says, “Hike to Delicate Arch, Angel’s Landing hike (I’m enjoying it was more looking back on it since I didn’t fall off a cliff and die), sunrise at the Grand Canyon, going to the rodeo, and seeing all the friends we met up with along the way.”
Randi says, “Angel’s Landing hike, Cannon Beach, rodeo, waking up in the Redwoods, Narrows hike”
Previous to this trip, the farthest west I had traveled was in third grade to Arizona with my family (sporting my bowl cut). Needless to say, I was due for a trip out west. When I initially brainstormed this idea of a road trip, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I knew it would be an adventure. I knew it would push me out of my comfort zone. I knew it felt a bit daunting to plan, and I feared what hiccups we’d run into. But, I also knew it had the potential to be epic and an unforgettable experience. As I’ve had a few days to reflect, this trip far exceeded expectations. From the amazing landscapes, the unforgettable experiences, and catching up with friends along the way, I can’t think of a better way to spend 23 days.
This trip felt like a survey course in college. We packed a lot into a short number of days. Now that we’ve gotten a taste of how amazing road tripping is, we’re already planning our next adventure where we can focus on one specific region and spend more quality time there. We’ll likely fly into this location because neither of us would like to drive back through Kansas again.
Thanks for coming along on this wild ride with us!
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