Team name: The Trail Chasers
Starting in California, The Trail Chasers will stop at as many National parks as they can through Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon and back through California.
Gear that got them through
Being from San Diego, Ryan had his local spots in mind starting with Yosemite and the Sierras. Spots that he has been going to since he was a child. Nothing beats the Sierras and the endless dirt roads surrounded by glorious mountains and warm sunsets. However this time of year, the morning air was frigid. 21
Degrees F to be exact. So if you're planning on being there in the fall, be prepared with a 0 degree sleeping bag and tons of hot cocoa!
Continuing north we made our way into Big Sur where we were greeted with the warm,refreshing California coast. Miles and miles of winding highways along the cliffs of Big Sur.Be sure to fill up your tank before getting into Big Sur or else you'll be forced to pay over $5 a gallon like us. Wasn't too happy about that. Oh also, watch out for tarantulas! Not sure if this is a normal sighting but I don't remember seeing any last time I was here.
Up next was northern California and the Redwoods. Such a magical place full of wanderlust and serenity. Pretty sure we saw a few Ewoks running around the forrest. You can spend hours just walking through the Redwoods feeling so small and being humbled by the sheer size of these trees. Camping was a bit tough but we took our chances and camped along a river which seemed to be relatively safe. Definitely an experience we will never forget
Where do we even start. Oregon has endless amounts to explore within just a small state from the coast to the pristine lakes and mountains full of the freshest air you can breathe. Although it was relatively wet, it made for some epic puddles! Lake Trillium was a beautiful sunset as always and there are forrest roads all over to explore and camp at. We even got to see a bald eagle cruise over the lake!
I've always wanted to drive on the beach and was never able to in San Diego. So we took our chances in Oregon... but that didn't go so well. The tide was high and so was our morale, until we got down by the water and realized how soft and deep the sand was. Yes, we got stuck right next to the water. But luckily we had traction boards and were able to get out before the water reached us! As soon as we got un-stuck, we got out of there quick!
While in Seattle, we met up with a group of friends to stay in an air bnb for the weekend. It was refreshing to to sleep in a warm home and live like a civil human being after weeks on the road. Though we relaxed a bit, we still hiked a total of 20 ish miles to see the jagged peaks of North Cascades National Park. Along with that we explored around Seattle and various parts of Washington.
This is where it all started. Where Chris and I met over the summer. However this time around, the experience was a bit different.
Snow and larches. Never have I seen such a beautiful bright yellow tree like the larches we saw in Montana. During the summer we spent our days hiking for miles and miles in Glacier National Park. However it was closed when we arrived in the fall. We were still able to explore some forest roads around the area. It was amazing to see the change in weather and to experience my first drive in the snow.
Eager to get into Utah, we arrived in Moab full of excitement to hit the trails. We first stopped in arches National Park to see delicate arch. We then spent the next couple days exploring the roads in Moab as well as trying out a few trails nearby. We were expecting the weather to be a bit warmer, however that was not the case. It was about 30ish degrees during the day and 20s in the night. This made for some slushy river crossings! Nothing beats Moab
And just like that, 33 days and 6000 miles later we arrived back home in San Diego, CA. What an amazing experience we had on this trip. From the sunny California coast, to the miserable bone chilling cold snow storms, to mobbing around the red rocks of Utah. When we first met in Montana, we would have never thought we were going to spend a month on the road together. This trip brought us close together and formed a bond that can not be broken. Living on the road challenges you physically and mentally and through those experiences we are built into better people. Humbled by this world we live in