Ten States, Ten days, 7 National Parks, 4331 Miles. Why?
Last year we made a commitment to some family to check out their home in Graceville, Minnesota. We discussed flying. We discussed pretending to be sick (kidding). We decided to make a road trip. The trip itself started as a straight route drive. However when we looked at the mileage (about 1600 miles each way) and started to see what was on the route and the trip began to evolve.
As a couple, we looked up things on our own as possible stops and destinations on the way. We originally wanted to spend several days in Graceville, but after seeing how small the community was it was decided that a full day would be plenty to soak it all in.
Next, taking time off work is never easy. How much time could we take without causing ourselves too much grief when we return. We came to the conclusion that we could work with 10 consecutive days in a row (6 vacation days).
So having a time frame and a wish list of places we wanted to visit, we began to plan. I must use the word,”plan” very loosely. We had ideas and possible destinations, but what was realistic? The questions began to arise: how far could we drive each day, where to sleep, how about food, can we really see something in a very short time frame? Questions, Questions, Questions…
We came up with a plan, we posted our map on social media, and something amazing happened. We were confronted with the normal feedback: “it’s too many miles”, “you need to take more time off”, “you are trying to force too much in”, wow people are negative! But, we were contacted by a friend that had an option.
Our friends, we will refer to them as #Rubberhoboadventures , contacted us stating that they would be in Yellowstone National Park the entire week that we would be on our trip. These friends have been a regular part of our annual camping and hiking trips for several years. (Last year we hiked Subway, in Zion with the same friends) This was the first year in several that we had no plans to camp out together. All because last year, while at Zion we discussed that we already had the commitment of going to Minnesota.
So the week before the trip, everything changed.
Here is what we knew:
The date we wanted to leave
The date we wanted to be in Minnesota
The date we wanted to be in Yellowstone
The date we needed to be home
We had a list of possible destinations between here and their.
So I must give a shoutout to the tools we used:
The free National Park handout maps
Rand McNally Road Atlas
Oh and Lisa (the Navigator)
This is the short list of where we went and when. I will try to add details to each location at a later date, but wanted to start with summary of the entire trip. Please keep in mind that as we were driving the trip was still evolving. We did realize on a few occasions that we could have saved a lot of time and miles if we did things different, but that’s part of the fun of the road-trip.
August 11th 2018 (Saturday)
Both of us had to work in the morning. After working a full day we jumped in the truck and started our trip. (Left at 4:08 PM)
Start of trip – Havasu Lake, CA
Slept – Mesquite, Nevada
August 12th 2018 (Sunday)
Slept – Lusk, Wyoming
August 13th 2018 (Monday)
Badlands National Park
Arrived at our primary destination Graceville, MN
Slept – Graceville, Minnesota
August 14th 2018
Stayed in Graceville, Minnesota (for the entire day)
Slept in Graceville, Minnesota (2nd Night)
August 15th 2018
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Slept – Hardin, Montana
August 16th 2018
Slept – Grant Campground Yellowstone
August 17th 2018
Stayed in Yellowstone National Park (for the entire day)
Slept in Yellowstone
August 18th 2018
Grand Teton National Park
Slept – Springville, Utah
August 19th, 2018
Capitol Reef National Park
Escalante (Grand Staircase)
Bryce Canyon National Park
Slept – Bryce Canyon
August 20th 2018
Dixie National Forest / Red Canyon
Slept – Desert View Campground (Grand Canyon)
August 21st 2018
Drove home as quickly as possible.
There it is. Ten States, Ten days, 7 National Parks, 4331 Miles
It was a lot of time on the road perhaps some of you saw us.
I will try to post info and photos of our destinations. It will take me some time as I have thousands of photos and hours of video.
We were very tired when we got home. We were a little dehydrated but still dreaming of the roads and what we saw. Both of us had to work the next day, yet our minds were still in the gorgeous parks and destinations that we saw the days before. I can’t wait to get on the open road again.
If you want to donate to our permanent vacation email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂