This summer I am road tripping it with my kid- you would think we would wait until she was in 4th grade and would get the free entry into the National Parks with their Every Kid in a Park Program, but no, we couldn't wait, so we set out on a 5 week, 17+ park adventure and thus far, it's been an absolute blast. We've stayed in everything from Historic Cabins in Santa Fe to Hiltons. We've had weather from rainy monsoons to 106 degrees, we've seen forests and deserts and wildlife ranging from Elk in Arizona and deer (who were far too domesticated in Mammoth Caves), to snakes and lizards. We've had the opportunity to kayak and hike and explore cliff dwellings. Needless to say 12 days into the adventure and we've seen a lot of stuff!
I see this trip a lot like a survey class. Like in college where you touch on a lot of topics and you use that knowledge to hone in on the things that really interest you. I've always loved Yellowstone and the Tetons (we'll be there soon!), but without a trip like this, we'd never know how awesome Tucson is, or that there are herds of wild burros outside Phoenix or Mountains that rival the ones back home in Arkansas. We wouldn't have had a chance to experience Meow Wolf in Santa Fe or see amazing street art in Fort Smith, AR.
The first leg of the trip took us from New York to Arizona and along the way we visited several National Parks and made stops at as many National Forests and National Monuments as we could find. Sometimes this meant we took accidental road trips out of our way and in one case made a 1 hour loop that swung us backwards 35 miles, but was worth it, because on that road we got to walk in a Volcano flow and visit an amazing Pueblo that would wouldn't have found if we hadn't hung a left into the park when we saw the National Monument sign from the road. www.nps.gov/wupa/index.htm
So where have we been so far? (In general order)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Mammoth Caves National Park
Hot Springs National Park
Ouachita National Forest
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Bandelier National Monument
Valles Caldera National Preserve
Grand Canyon National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Wupatki National Monument
Up next we are off to Utah and Colorado and then home to Yellowstone and the Tetons before making our way back across the country to New York. Until then, head to my instagram for regularly updated pictures of our adventure!
(eventually this page will be updated with picture galleries- but it's not working right now- So instagram is the place to go!)
Home of the ramblings of an avid reader. In my spare time I also run, ride, teach, go on adventures and get into shenanigans.
Find me here: