A Most Excellent Adventure, Summer 2016
Again liberated from the shackles of corporate bondage, yours truly and his other took 2 months off and made a grand voyage south along the West Coast and across the Southwestern US just in time for monsoon season. After an exhaustive tour in which we bore witness to an endless expanse of coastline, forest, desert, sandstone and pavement, we set our sights on more rarefied climes and zig-zagged our modified VW T4, which we dubbed Ellen after the town in Central WA where we purchased her, north through the Colorado Rockies. We visited old friends living near Aspen and climbed a few 14'ers along the way (Mount Sneffels, North Maroon and Longs Peak). We eventually made our way to Jackson, again staying a few nights with friends before resuming the northward journey to the Disneyland of the north a.k.a. Yellowstone. After a couple days of sightseeing in the park and rather lengthy soak in the Boiling River, we reluctantly began the long drive back home.
All told, our journey encompassed 7k+ miles in 61 days, 22 national parks and monuments, 20 State Parks, 21 Mountain Passes, 10 breweries and untold numbers of local brews, 2 weeks of daily thunderstorms, a 110-degree heatwave followed by monsoon rains, snow and everything in between. Days and nights were consumed by immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds and smells of the Great West and included countless hikes, scrambles, kayaking, biking and yes unavoidably also lots and lots of driving. En route we celebrated an important birthday milestone and discovered the hidden happiness in the simple life of a modern nomad. Simply put, it was exactly what we needed and a most fitting start to a new beginning.
Details of this trip and others, chronicled in far too many photos (and far too few words) can be found here, or by clicking the various States links: OR, CA, AZ, UT, CO, WY and MT.