Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico (6/15)
After seeing Organ Cave in West Virginia, in which we had to duck down / crawl through parts, Carlsbad Caverns' size was definitely a surprise-- they were as tall as a football stadium in parts and spanned miles, all hundreds of feet underground.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas (6/15)
Right after seeing Carlsbad Caverns, we headed over to McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park for a cool hike along some streams.
White Sands National Monument (6/16)
White Sands is probably my favorite park we've seen so far on the trip... It was like a sweet beach, except between mountains instead of ocean.
Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah (6/17)
Monument Valley was definitely a challenge to visit, mostly because the MonsterVan isn't very good at driving in general, and is even worse at driving on hilly, pothole-filled dirt roads. We somehow made it without getting stuck but it wasn't easy. The views were cool I guess tho
Antelope Canyon, Arizona (6/18)
The monks followed us to Antelope Canyon which was super awesome. We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in the uniquely carved caves in the middle of a desert.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah (6/19)
We decided we wanted to experience Bryce Canyon in a different way from the repetitive national park hiking so we rode horses to the rim of the canyon and back, which was definitely pretty cool. We also happened to be there during the annual Astronomy Festival, so we got to see a bunch of constellations through their telescopes. I don't think I've ever seen as many stars in the sky as I saw that night, and I tried to capture them with some long exposure photos.
Zion National Park, Utah (6/20)
Zion was Sean's favorite park and the way we saw it was as cool as the park itself. We hiked in one of the rivers up and down a canyon, so we were able to see it from a different vantage point than all of the other hikes in the park. I didn't bring my camera because of the water so these were all taken on my phone.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (6/21)
The Grand Canyon was obviously something we had to see on this trip because of its' reputation as one of greatest natural parts of America, but I don't think either of us were as impressed with it as we were with Zion or even Bryce Canyon. It might have been partly because we were so tired after hiking deep down into the canyon (the easy part) and back out during the heat of the day.
Las Vegas, Nevada (6/22)
Nashville, Tennessee (6/11/2015)
So we finally got to Nashville really late after the van got stuck and broke down (see first post). We had the entire next day to explore the city, and the Country Music Awards happened to be going on, so Nashville was packed and there was a lot of cool stuff going on. We tried to do as much as we could during our only day there, which included Nashville Shores (a water park), fishing, The Parthenon, watching some free concerts on the streets, and visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame. Also a big thank you to Justin and the Yoons for letting us stay with them!
Memphis, Tennessee (6/12/2015)
While Nashville seemed like the country music capital of the world, Memphis was the city of soul and blues music. Beale Street (the main street downtown) was packed with cool stores and restaurants, and the street art and museums were other highlights.
Dallas, Texas (6/13 & 14/2015)
Not gonna lie, Dallas wasn't one of the places I was most looking forward to on this trip, but it might be our favorite stop so far. We owe a huge thank you to the Minigutti's who let us stay with them for the two days and took us to see my first rodeo! (Sean's second lol)
I spent my last night in Dallas with a really dope photographer from the area, Danielle Ellis (check out her magazine here). We walked all around the city and she showed me the coolest spots to shoot there, from a town called Deep Ellum, to rooftops in downtown Dallas. It was so much fun and I got some really cool shots!
to be continued... (next stops: Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe National Park, White Sands National Monument...)
The Beginning (6/7/2015)
I've always wanted to take a road trip across the country, and as long as our car doesn't break down, my friend, Sean Deery, and I will be able to accomplish that this summer. I wanted a way to document the trip, so I'm going to try to capture it as well as I can through this photo blog. We left Boston on Sunday in a 1988 Ford Camper van, praying it would survive the ~3500 mile windy route to LA over the course of three weeks. It got off to about as bad a start as we could have imagined, as we got rear ended by a car on our way to our first stop, East Rutherford, New Jersey (home to the Hot 97 Summer Jam, a concert with artists like Big Sean, Chris Brown, Childish Gambino, etc). There was a mob outside the stadium and fights were breaking out, so they refused to open the gates to anyone... so we never got in. Our night ended dramatically as we were walking back to the van and got teargassed by the police trying to break up a fight.
Went and checked out the Philadelphia Zoo. It was turnt.
Atlantic City, New Jersey (6/8)
Atlantic City was crazy... the boardwalk was sweet but tbh it was pretty sketchy and was basically a trashier, sketchier version of Vegas.
Ocean City, New Jersey (6/9)
A cleaner, more mild version of Atlantic City, the cool stores, beaches, and abundance of crazy mini golf places (shown below) were definitely highlights.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (6/9)
It extended our drive from Ocean City to West Virginia by like 2 hours but it was definitely worth it to see some sweet views and a freakin black bear.
Organ Cave, West Virginia (6/10)
Organ Cave was definitely the peak of the day. The stalagtites / stalagmites were awesome but what followed was pretty mizzz... we had an 8 hour drive to Nashville, got stuck on a hill, waited an hour for the tow truck to help us, the car kinda broke down (suddenly couldn't go above ~50 MPH), so we took it to a car mechanic, waited another hour for him to tell us he couldn't fix it, and then continued to drive at 50 mph on the highway until the car magically fixed itself... but we finally made it.
To be continued...