The American West is different than “back East.” That’s the phrase Westerners use when referring to anything on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The West is 11 states: western portions of three: Colorado, Montana and Wyoming and; the entirety of another eight states: Arizona, California, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.
The Intermountain West and Pacific Rim are filled with places of amazing grace and beauty. The area has a multitude of geologic strata, active volcanos, and every climate zone except the Arctic.
This summer, plans are in place to see American the Beautiful from Desert to Rain Forest. “Live” daily posts will be shared from Traveling Dad and Traveling Mom. Twitter feeds will be broadcast, photos posted to Instagram. Stories run on Facebook.
And a near-daily journal on TravelingDad.com. “Near daily,” because several places along the road have no internet access or cell service.
Beginning June 17, this 3,900 mile road trip unfolds. A 24 day mix of lodging and camping exploring and sharing the journey through America the Beautiful.
The Expected Route
Over the nearly four weeks, the trail meanders through six states before a final-day mad dash, almost 700 miles, back to Arizona. Over the next few articles, share the planning as the trip is finalized, travel arrangements locked into place, and the excitement grows.
Starting in the northern reaches of the Arizona Sonoran Desert, the road first climbs onto the Colorado Plateau. From there, several days will be spent zigging through mountains, traversing the Great Basin and climbing to Lake Tahoe. North towards Oregon visiting volcanos and lava flows, weaving through the Cascades and landing in Port Townsend, Washington, the half-way destination.
On the homeward bound side of the trip, it’s a visit to the rain forest in Olympic National Park and then the coastal highways all the way south to San Francisco. Stops include the world’s best clam chowder at Mo’s in Newport, Oregon, Redwoods National Park, and the artist colony of Mendocino, California. From there, it’s San Francisco and then back to Phoenix.
The trip will evolve over the next week as plans are finalized. Join us on a month exploring America the Beautiful: From Desert to Rain Forest.