Tag Archives: Capitol Reef National Park

Road Trip to the American Southwest

Last month we loaded the family van and drove across the United States for an adventure in the great outdoors of the American Southwest.  I planned a circuitous route with our ultimate destination being the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

All told, we spent 15 days together and drove 5000 +/- miles. 

“Grand Canyon or Bust”

With apprehension-inducing thoughts of National Lampoon’s Vacation running through our minds, one 4:30 AM morning we bravely set off with our three children, a 50-quart cooler, travel provisions and enough outdoor gear to outfit a field battalion.  We drove across Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado to reach our first High Southwest “basecamp”—a motel room—in Durango.

We experienced some seriously fun times, some true adventure, some not-unexpected “meltdowns,” and all of it through tons and tons of incredible scenery.  Then, abruptly, we turned around and trucked back to Virginia via a southern route across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. 

Safely back home, we were a bit worn out, but have indelible memories. 

In due time, as work and other commitments allow, I am going to write a series of articles about the trip for Abingdon Outdoors.   

To get started, I’ve put up a first gallery of photos from the trip.