At the end of June, Andrew and I set out on a 4.5 week camping/AirBnBing trip cross country. We planned stops across the country at various national parks and big cities. I was beyond excited, because prior to our honeymoon, the farthest west I’d been was Indianapolis.
We packed up our converted Element with our camping gear, clothes for a wide range of environments, some books, and our bikes, and headed west. We stopped in Michigan first to visit Andrew’s cousin. We toured Bells Brewery, which is apparently a big deal in craft brewing. I don’t know, I don’t drink beer.
After Michigan it was on to Chicago for a night! We did a tour down the Columbia River, which was fun! There was a lot of vegan food to be had, too. Before we left Chicago, we biked along Lake Michigan up to the Bean, which was my favorite part of our time in Chicago. So pretty!
After Chicago was a looooong stretch through Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Wyoming is probably one of the two prettiest states we saw on our trip. I now understand “Big Sky Country.” We spent a couple of days in northwest Wyoming, first at Grand Teton, and then at Yellowstone. Both were stunning beautiful. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, prepared me for the stench of some of those geysers, though. DAMN. On an especially smelly hike, we encountered a bison blocking the way. We were about half way through the trial and didn’t really want to turn back, but also didn’t want to risk anything crazy. We decided to cautiously wait out the bison from a safe distance… but that safe distance happened to be right where the wind blew the sulphuric stench off of a muddy pit and into our faces. I debated puking one or twice, I won’t lie. Eventually the bison moved off the path far enough that we felt ready to move on. I said a quick little prayer to the bison and then started back up the trail. Obviously we survived but it was definitely one of the more alarming moments on our trip!
After Wyoming, we headed over to Washington State! I was especially looking forward to the PNW on our trip. We stopped in Spokane for a quick lunch at the cutest vegan cafe. At our AirBnB in Seattle, we had the most hospitable feline host. Twixie was so sweet and affectionate! Seattle was a lot of fun. We ended up getting late night sushi our first night there, and our waiter was super personable and helpful, gave us lots of helpful tips and info about Seattle. The vegan food in Seattle was endless. The food highlight was probably Frankie & Jo’s all vegan ice cream shop! Y’all know I like ice cream. We checked out some Seattle icons (like the flagship Starbucks store!) but we also spent some time exploring some shops I follow on Instagram and wanted to see in person! Seattle Seed Co and NW Crystals were both fantastic stops. And a west cost sunset? You really can’t beat that.
After Seattle, we headed out to Olympia! Andrew is far more traveled than I am, because ya know, he’s so much older than I am (he’s not really, but I like to tease him). Olympia was one of the few national parks he hadn’t been to yet, so it was fun to experience it for the first time together. I love Olympia because there’s so much diversity within the park! We spent a couple of days there, exploring each of the regions within the park. We hiked through the Hoh Rainforest, and went tide pooling at Rialto beach. The tide pools were incredibly cool, and worth the early, chilly start to our morning.
Next week I’ll be sharing more about our trip down the west coast and over into the desert!