I’ve never really been entirely carefree. I’m not going to get in depth about my childhood, but I don’t know that this trip would have meant as much to me if my life had been different, and I wouldn’t change anything.
Something changed. we were driving for only 5 hours and were somewhere in Pennsylvania when I remembered how much I loved exploring while I was a kid. I would get lost around town, or in the woods near my aunt’s house in the Poconos. I remember feeling so free every time I would discover something new. In a lot of ways it was my escape from the things I probably shouldn’t have been worrying about at such a young age.
We kept driving, hours went by and Ohio seemed to last forever. We drove through the night and Missouri didn’t seem any shorter, but when we witnessed the sun rise behind us and hit Kansas city with a warm morning glow, creating a contrast with the stormy dark blue Kansas clouds behind the buildings, I was once again hit with that excited feeling of exploring something new. The first quarter of Kansas was unlike anything I’d expected… full of beautiful green rolling hills and wind farms that seemed to go on forever. When Kansas got flat and boring, (for an entire eight hours) Steve and I spent that time talking about ourselves, our marriage, and our plans for the future.
We spent the first two hours driving in Colorado making bets on whether the white outlines we saw in the distance were the Rocky Mountains, or just clouds… we were both wrong, several times, but when they finally came into view we were both in awe. The closer we got to Denver, the bigger the mountains became and the more I felt like a kid again, ready to explore. With Purple Haze playing through our rental car stereo, (Hendrix is a road trip must) We felt out 30 hour road trip was finally coming to an end, yet our trip was only just beginning.
And wow Colorado, just wow.
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The top is the route we took on the way out, and the bottom is the route we took home.
While we were driving out west, we decided to just skip sleeping somewhere for the night and instead to drive straight through and enjoy an extra day while we were in Denver… Then we loved it so much that we decided to stay an extra day and forgo sleep again on the drive home. In total we spent about 60 hours int he car driving across the country. Considering how the drive brought us even closer together and allowed us to add another crazy thing to our list of crazy things we’ve done, it was all worth it.
We booked our first hotel while at an iHop somewhere in Missouri. It was last minute and we paid $5 to be upgraded to a Rocky Mountain view. Being from the East Coast we were expecting it to be a let down but were pleasantly surprised when we walked into our room and saw that they weren’t lying.
I climbed to the top of this rock by myself. I didn’t take my camera with me, instead I took a mental photograph of the view. It was completely silent, and in front of me were mountains that went on forever, and to my left was the edge of a cliff where it dropped off and I had a perfect view of the neighboring mountain. It was so beautiful, and its burned into my mind forever, and no one can see it but me.
Air bnb rocks.
Once again we drove through the night. We were in the car for sunset the first night and for sunrise the following morning. When the sun rose we were just a few hours away from home, and from our Rexy who just couldn’t wait to take a selfie with me…
Most of the photos in this post were taken with our Fuji XT-1/35mm, Some were taken with a 6D/200mm, and a few were with our iPhones 🙂