It was 5 am. We were packing into one of our mom’s SUVs, preparing to spend the next 36 days living out of it. Things were checked and double checked, goodbyes were said, and by 5:30, we had departed. The first day was spent getting west. We camped at a friends place in South Dakota and spent the following day at the Black Hills. Our adventure took us next to Grand Tetons National Park in Montana. We spent 2 days backpacking and camping in the canyons of the park, getting up close and personal with some Marmots and even a real big moose.
After leaving the park, we drove through Yellowstone (because who has time for all of those tourists) and spent the night in Bozeman, MT. We woke up the next morning refreshed and right as we were about to get on the interstate, our alternator gave out. We dropped the car off at the shop and spent the rest of the day boarding around town, getting dirty looks from the older folks out for a nice dinner. Armed with a new alternator and a full tank of gas, we hit Glacier National Park the next day, hiking 6 miles straight up to see a glacier.
We spent the next few days exploring Seattle, and then headed out to Olympic National Park. We hit some sick hills at sunset after all the cars had left the highest part of the park and made it back down to camp that night. Over the course of the next two days, we hung out on the coast, dodging rainstorms and cars as we skated through Southern Washington and into Oregon.
Although Portland was a wicked cool city, our views were stained when someone smashed our window, stealing three of our boards and most of our food supplies. While we managed to track down one board and some of the supplies in the surrounding block, the damage had been done, and our morale was low. We spent the rest of the day and evening outside of portland at the Columbia River Gorge, savoring the boards we had left, skating some awesome winding hills in the beautiful valley.
Our journey kept us moving, through Bend, OR and down into California. After another smashed window (nothing got away this time) in San Francisco, we loaded up for Yosemite. Another one of those backcountry hikes took us to one of the most beautiful views of the trip. A short drive led us down to the great city of LA, where we hung out the beach for a few days. As our trip began its fourth week, we began to head back east, stopping first at Zion in Utah. 110+ degree temperatures forced our days to include ample swimming. With just a few days left in the trip, and right after we finished one of the most difficult hikes in the national parks, one of the guys broke his foot.
Leaving Zion, we skated through Monument Valley and headed up to Arches and over to Colorado. The higher altitude brought a much needed break in sweltering temperatures and gave us a bit of down time before we headed home. The day before we left, some of us made the ascent of one of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado, checking off one last bucket list item of summertime adventure. Despite car trouble, theft, injury, and conflicts we had the best summer of our lives; after all, they say adventure only begins once something goes wrong.
Here’s to more of those adventures.