30 May

Bruno’s Got The Travel Itch

He’s adopted a sedentary lifestyle for the past year and made an asphalt driveway his home. He’s hauled lumber, rocks, mulch, and our sorry asses around town, but Bruno the 4Runner hasn’t gone more than 450 miles from home in over a year. He was proud to roll us over to the Women’s March on Washington back in January, but we didn’t even camp! All Bruno’s dreams are about to come true, as we pack up to leave NorCar for the summer.

The house has been rented out and we’re excited to be getting back on the road. We’ve packed up Bruno pretty similarly to when we left Costa Rica. We plan to cover 3,500 miles / 5,650 kilometers over one glorious month. It’ll be fast. We’ll be moving every 2-3 days. I haven’t seen much of the US interior and this will be a whirlwind tour of the best it has to offer.

Why the short timeline? Early retirees normally revel in slow travel! As quick as we’ll be moving in that first month, we will actually be away from home for over two months. Couldn’t have done that with our 9-to-5 jobs. The first month on the road has Calgary, Alberta as our destination. Calgary is 90 minutes from Banff National Park, along with incredible hikes, lakes, and rocky vistas. As much as we love our winter sports, we’re stoked to be going in the summer for once!

The second month is the whole reason for the Canadian destination – my classy little sister is getting married and the resulting bash is going to be epic.

We’ll make a couple quick stops in Tennessee, then spend a few days in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Travis really enjoyed this part of the country when he zipped through on a motorcycle trip a few years back. After that, we’ll make a beeline for New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment”. We’re going to spread the Airbnb love and stay with locals in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. As big fans of Breaking Bad, we may even treat Bruno to an A-1 Car Wash.

Travis is pumped about returning to Utah and I am jazzed about the small parts we’ll see of SW Colorado and NW Wyoming. We have an America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass and are going to hit up all the big name National Parks: Canyonlands & Arches, Bryce & Zion, Grand Teton & Yellowstone. We’re also visiting little-known places that have been recommended to us: Pagosa Springs, Colorado; the Coyote Gulch area of Utah; and a stop into Missoula, Montana.

We’ll camp a total of 24 nights out of 30 at an average cost of $12/night, splitting between National Park and private campgrounds, interstate rest stops and free BLM campgrounds. We will also be celebrating this guy’s 33rd birthday in wild and crazy Salt Lake City. Recommendations welcome!

While Travis turns 33, Canada celebrates 150 years of independence this July 1st. To celebrate both events, Canada is gifting us all with free admission for the entire year to National Parks, Historical Sites, and Marine Conservation Areas. So if you can get up there, you should!

More tales to come from the road!