Ah yes, here it is, the last post from my trip. I cannot believe how fast 6 weeks flew by! Over 11,000 miles driven, a month and 2 weeks, hundreds of dollars in gas money spent, different climates, scenery, weather, what an incredible adventure!
To see some more photos go follow me on Instagram @jennbakos or search the tag #JBOnTheRoad
After a great few days in the Bay Area, spending time with my Aunt and Uncle and my old internship bosses at Cao Studio, I headed south and then finally began the journey East. After Seattle I began to realize I was running out of time, which was a huge bummer because I knew I would have to skip a lot of places I wanted to go to. I had to accept that hopefully I would be able to come back someday to see them and accept that maybe I wouldn’t be able to…who knows. It was certainly frustrating. Some places I skipped because of the abundance of forest fires and heat. After driving through the “dust bowl of California”, I can say I don’t really want to go there again haha. Luckily I was able to spend a few days in Utah, which was seriously amazing! Definitely a place I need to go back and explore more.
I started in Zion National Park and was able to do a couple hikes. The first one was a hike up to Observation Point. I had started a little late and wasn’t sure I’d make it all the way, but I pressed on and it was definitely worth it! It was an insanely gorgeous view of the whole canyon and the textures and winding turns and scenery on the way up made it really interesting. The heat was killer but I had a lot of water, sunscreen, and some food. It was probably one of the hardest nights to sleep though due to the heat and being covered in sweat and sunscreen (no showers). The next day was a relief because I hiked the Narrows – a river hike through the canyon – so cool! You walk through the water most of the way, which was nice on the feet after the day before, and you get amazing scenery along the way. This hike is great as long as there are no threats of flash floods, which is a very real thing out there. I headed back early that day because I knew storms were coming in that afternoon. I did end up getting out of the canyon right before some big thunderstorms rolled through and sent my phone buzzing with flash flood warnings. Not something I ever want to experience!
After Zion I headed toward Bryce Canyon which ended up being a washout, but the scenery was still really neat due to the rain and fog. Hopefully I’ll be able to return someday and hike through the canyons there.
Arches National Park was next. I dealt with another hot day and closings from the rain the day before, but was able to hike a bit to see some of the fascinating formations there. Seriously, how cool is it there?! I need to go back!
After Utah, I hit the road and really began the journey back East and started my 8 hour driving days up again. It was really hard not to stop and stay a while in some places, but I managed to plan my days so I could see some cool stuff. The Aspen trees were so beautiful and intense with color, which made me really start to miss New England a bit!
As a last hurrah on my trip I decided to take a hot air balloon ride in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was something I’ve always wanted to do and it was soooo neat! I really enjoyed it and I met some great people. I have to say that town was one of my favorites, maybe because it reminded me a bit of Western Massachusetts, but it was gorgeous and we got an amazing view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as hundreds of miles of farmland.
After that, I started to see signs for Dunkin’ Donuts and I knew I was headed in the right direction!
It feels weird to be back home, kind of like I never left, and yet, I can definitely feel a change within myself from the experiences on the road. I feel like I have a clearer sense of what I want out of life, more patience, and a new appreciation for where I live. I am more in love with camping than ever, and I’m already excited to plan more trips in the future! I just hope I will be lucky enough to be able to keep traveling as long as I live. I seriously can’t thank everyone enough for their support and their lack of support – the amount of times I’ve been called crazy for doing this alone is pretty high, but it totally ruled the fire and desire to get out there. I do however hope I can bring some people with me on the next road trip!
Now it’s time to get back to the grind!
The GoPro was great since there weren’t people around to take my picture a lot of the time. Proof I was actually there! Haha.