Rocky Mountain Cooking

The Ultimate Summer Road Trip

The Ultimate Summer Roadtrip

This picture pretty much sums up The Ultimate Summer Road Trip! Backroads and stunning views throughout the beautiful United States of America! We are all so lucky to have this. You just need to get out and see it for yourself! I hope this photo tour inspires you to do so!

First off! I’m home and ready to get back to my normal routine of writing recipes, posting on my blog, walking the dogs, tennis and oh yeah.. my day job selling houses! Four weeks away is forever especially with the limited cell phone and internet coverage! It’s all good though. I learned that the world doesn’t fall apart and that it’s actually kinda really awesome not knowing what is going on… I’m in a peaceful state of mind for sure.

Secondly, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how grateful that I am that I can just take off for a month and for the awesome opportunities that seem to present themselves to me. I know that I am very lucky and I don’t take anything for granted. I say “thank you” every day and feel extremely blessed.

So this June, a favorite person in my life bought an older model RV with very low miles and in great shape with the intention of checking out the Pacific Northwest and do a little business along the way. Not knowing the RV we thought easy as pie. Well, truth be known big machines built in the early 1990s don’t move to fast and 250-300 miles a day doesn’t get you very far too quick. So our trip ended up with zero plans, no reservations, and a different location every night. We were totally “winging” it and quite honestly I wouldn’t have wanted the first trip to be any different. So 4000 miles later we ended up doing The Ultimate Summer Road trip!

The ultimate summer road trip took us to 7 states, 5 national parks, 2 national monuments, countless national forests, state parks and miles upon miles of amazing views and experiences.  Of course, I can’t write everything down so I’ll just give you a snippet of the travels. There are a ton of pictures below (I seriously took over 2500 pictures and narrowed it down to 150, I picked out my favorite ones for this post) that you can see the amazing things that we saw and maybe inspire you to take a big road trip as well!

We traveled through Utah, southern Idaho, Oregon, Northern California, back to Oregon and up the coast, Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, back to Utah and ended in Colorado via backroads with only an occasional jaunt on a major highway. I’m telling ya, this is the way to really see America. The family farming, all the irrigation, the vastness of scenery, the clouds, the peacefulness of being in the middle of nowhere, the wind farms, all the rivers and lakes, crystal clear skies, millions of stars,  mountains, trees, wildflowers, all the fascinating people, OMG, I can’t stop and could go on forever about how awesome it is to get off the beaten path.

If you are interested in learning more or if you want good trip ideas, I’d be more than happy to discuss it with you. I highlighted the map book (yes we used “real” maps for this trip) and made notes along the way! Fun last thought. While taking the backroads, we ended up following the Lewis and Clark trail for a majority of our travels. This was neat because it enabled us to stop and look at historical markers along the way. Very fascinating and we learned something too!

Enjoy the photos and our journey to the Pacific Northwest and the Wild Wild West!

The Green River inside of Dinosaur National Monument. A perfect view for a lovely walk. This part of the country is stunning!

A neat picture showing all the layers of rocks inside Dinosaur National Monument. I love all the colors!

This is taken in Glenn’s Ferry, ID. It’s where the Oregon Trail crossed the Snake River. There was a man named Glenn who started a “ferry” business to get the pioneers over the river. It’s a cool place to visit for sure. This park also has a beautiful museum as well. If you look closely, you will notice a well-irrigated farm, more windmills, and an airstrip! PS. There is a beautiful winery next door!

We had to get on the highway for a few miles in Idaho. I had to include this picture of the storm cloud. It was quite a sight and believe it or not, we didn’t run into that storm!

This classifies as one of the oddest things I have ever seen. At a campground in east-central Oregon in the middle of nowhere on some river, we came across two lovely women and their goats. We stopped for a chat and to pat the girls and wondered how on earth did the goats get there. Notice there is no animal trailer in sight. Curious minds need to know so we asked… see the next picture. You will be speechless too! I love stuff like this! hahaha!

The nice ladies that we met, transport their goats in the back of their SUV! I was speechless! Is that not one of the craziest things that you have ever seen? Good for them and their ingenuity on getting their goats from point A to point B!

South Sister Mountain in the Cascade National Monument. Clearly an old volcano! Quite impressive.

A jaw-dropping view of Crater Lake. You can’t even imagine how big it is until you see it for yourself! Wow!

The shoreline inside of Crater Lake. It’s so steep!

Wizard Island sits in the middle of Crater Lake! Oh, what fun it would have been to camp out there! Only in my dreams!

Check out the odd movement in the water. It looks like some strange creature is lurking below!

Just a random forest with really BIG trees! Redwood National Park is a special place for sure!

Sitting amongst giants. A great place for a picnic and a beautiful walk through the woods with the dogs.

Looking up the back end of a redwood tree! Wanna feel really small? Lay on the ground and look up under one of these beauties!

Check out the kelp beds. Oh, and the color of the water too…

Just a view from a walk that we took. It’s incredible what you see when you look down!

The Roque River was a great place to camp. This was about 6 miles from where the river dumps into the Pacific ocean. We went for a skinny dip, I washed my hair and Tommy dog went for his first swimming lesson! Fun place for sure!

Somewhere on the Oregon Coast… too bad it was so cold!

Another beauty on the Oregon Coast.

An eerie view of the Columbia River Gorge. We were lucky to be able to see this view as the scenic highway portion was closed to repairs. This river is impressive. On a positive note. We got to see all the locks and dams on the river. Sheer power is generated here!

Pretty sunset over Lake Sacajawea in southwestern Washington. This lake is a result of a dam below on the Snake River!

This was a beautiful site that we saw quite often. If I say we saw thousands, I wouldn’t be lying! Really neat!

The Clearwater River near Orofino, ID. We followed this river all the way LoLo Pass into Montana. It’s part of the Lewis and Clark Trail and was used for timber delivery back in the day!

The first view of Flathead Lake in Montana. If you ever get a chance, drive around it. It’s beautiful and has lots of charming towns surrounding it.

There are no RV’s allowed in the park so we took the free shuttle up to Logan Pass on “Going To the Sun Road“. This is a picture of the Little Matterhorn. You wouldn’t believe the snowstorm that hit us when we got to the top! Crazy mountain weather!

This is Highway 2 which connects the west to the east side of Glacier National Park. I’d almost say that it was a prettier drive than inside the park. Even better, no crowds!!

The drive into Many Glacier at Glacier National Park in the morning! Wow! Incredible view!

We tried to avoid the crowds in Glacier National Park and headed over to the East side. It was still packed with people but the abundance of wildflowers made up for it! I was in my happy place!

A beautiful cloudy morning driving up Many Glacier within the park. This picture makes me so happy that I had to include it twice only with one less mountain! LOL!

Well if this isn’t a cool picture, I’m not sure what is!

Another pretty sunset on top of a mountain above Helena, MT. It was a very chilly night. You should have seen the bonfire that we stoked that evening! It was a beauty!

One of two bison that we saw in Yellowstone. You should have seen the traffic jam that this guy caused. Then you should have seen the idiots who got out of their cars to get really close. I shot this picture with my telephoto lens from the RV.

Yellowstone was a bust because it was so crowded… I snapped this picture as we were driving! At least we saw a buffalo and I got one good picture from the park!

I’d say that this picture sums up how beautiful the Grand Tetons really are!

Three Cathedrals. Excuse me so I can pinch myself!

Check out the ranch below in this picture! I can’t even begin to imagine how cool it would be to have this in my backyard! I’d say those are some pretty lucky folks!

Jenny Lake inside Grand Teton National Park. A beautiful place to take it all in!

The view from our campsite on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. I love cool rock formations… Just sayin’.

Seeing the Flaming Gorge was the most incredible unexpected surprise of the trip. We stopped in Jackson Hole, WY and had to take a different road home. Highway 191 brought us this way! It added another day to the trip, but I’d say it was worth it! This reservoir is in both Wyoming and Utah!

I’d be amiss if I didn’t include a picture of the boys. The front seat drivers. The dogs had the time of their lives on the trip. Lots of new things to smell, lots of walks, seeing the Pacific Ocean and lots and lots of swimming!



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