Fisherman's Corner is a small campground right on the edge of the Mississippi River, dividing Illinois and Iowa. We were set to stay here three days before heading off to another campground in the southern part of Illinois. While we had a blast, fate had other plans for us that cut our Big Trip a bit short. But we'll get to that!
Heading straight east on Rt. 90 from the Badlands, we eventually made our way into the land of Vikings. We were camping on a little island in a lake in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and boy were we glad to finally see some trees and shade! It was a long time in the desert.
It was a long drive from North Dakota to Interior, South Dakota — and there definitely wasn't much to look at. At least until we got to our destination... We were on our way to the Badlands! Which was the third and final National Park visit of our Big Trip, as well as my personal favorite. And there were plenty of adventures in store for us here in South Dakota.
What's there to do in North Dakota? Well, nothing really. But it did make up a big milestone for one of the members of the Camera Couple. Upon crossing the border, I (Cameron) have officially been to all 50 states in the U.S.! Cheers!
There's really only one road across Montana, and Rt. 90 was where we spent our time for the next three (really, two and a half) stops on the trip. It was interesting to watch the landscape change from the characteristic mountains Montana is known for back into flat rocky desert. And as you might have imagined, there were several more adventures in store for us in Big Sky Country.
I've seen pictures of Glacier National Park plastered all over social media for years, and every image looks too pretty to be real. I just had to see it for myself. And as it turns out, Glacier doesn't need filters or editing to drop jaws on social media (or in real life). It's absolutely gorgeous!
We were sad to leave Idaho, but I was very excited for the next few stops on our trip. I went on a road trip through Montana with my Dad years ago, and it instantly became one of my favorite places in the entire world. I couldn't wait to get back, and it certainly didn't disappoint! We had some of the best times of the entire trip.
It was exciting to leave the memories of Oregon and Washington behind and head back into our favorite state of the trip. But this time, there was no more desert or scorching weather. We were in Northern Idaho — and it was gorgeous!
Do you like following rules? What about listening to lengthy presentations about camping guidelines? Do you consider 1,000+ word warning signs quality decorations? If so, then the Pacific Northwest might be for you!
After a brief stint in Wyoming, we were on to the next state of our ridiculous cross-country journey. On to Idaho! And what do you know; it's not just potatoes. In fact, far from it! Idaho turned out to be the surprise favorite state of the entire trip. And this was only part one...
We didn't spend long in the squarest of the square states, but we had a blast visiting Wyoming. It's definitely being added to the "must come back" list.
As a lover of any vehicle with big knobby tires and four-wheel-drive, I've always wanted to visit Moab, Utah. It's the place to be for anyone interested in going off road! There are tons of trails weaving through the canyon rocks that any lifted vehicle would love to traverse. Well, this was the chance! We were on our way to Utah.
Out of the flat and finally into the mountains — or so we thought... Colorado was one of the main destinations of our out West trip. Neither of us had been there before, so it was a new state all around. Of course, that also meant we didn't know what to expect, either. We were set to visit six different campgrounds scattered all over the state, so we were going to get a taste of everything. It was just going to take a little while to get to the stereotypical view of Colorado...
We finally were off to a new state that I had never been to before. Iowa! What's there to do in Iowa?! Well.... honestly not much, but we did have a great time here. We stayed at Sandy Beach campground on Coraville Lake, but I wouldn't say our campsite looked like a sandy beach...
After a fun stay in Tennessee, we were westward bound. The next stop was Missouri, and this was the first new sticker for the map on the side of our trailer. We were very excited, but didn't really know what to expect. As it turns out, this would be one of our favorite campgrounds of the whole trip!
First stop on the "Big Trip" was Tennessee. We shipped off to Knoxville, and in just a few hours, we were well into our fist state change of the trip. The campground was on a nice little lake nestled into the mountains: a perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend.
We've spent years (okay, one year) planning this trip, and the time had finally come. It was time for our massive cross-country, state-visiting, mountain climbing, sand dune boarding, canoeing, National Park-exploring camping trip. And what a trip it was!
After a great adventure in the Windy City it was time to take our trip back down south. Since we were ahead of schedule it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sneak in a few more states and collect more shot glasses. Cameron and I decided to make our way to a small country town in Kentucky where Sundy Best was performing at a fair.
Our last day on Rt 66 had two major cities in its path: St. Louis and Chicago. Everyone knows that I love driving in cities so obviously I was very excited about the day's adventure. St. Louis wasn't far once we got out of Kansas.
Well we landed halfway on 66! Adrian, Texas is the exact middle of the Mother Road. Cameron and I had a fun trek through New Mexico back into Texas. Like everywhere else in the West we hardly saw any cars traveling along 66. When we got to the midway point there was not a soul in sight at first. It was so empty that I was able to play in the road and take pictures of the 66 painted on the pavement!
There is just something about Arizona and New Mexico that I love.... and I know exactly what it is, the beautiful rock structure. Anytime Cameron and I hit Arizona or New Mexico all we could talk about was how beautiful the rock formations were. When you drive out west and have no buildings, service or other cars...how can you not enjoy the scenery!? It's absolutely breathtaking.
Finally leaving the land of the traffic we got into the more remote areas of Rt 66 which is exactly how we liked it. Arizona Rt 66 was the most scenic and fun to drive area of the entire road.
We did stop right over the border for gas but our first official stop was in a little western town called Oatman. The main attraction in Oatman, aside from the fact it's a cute western town with a dirt main street and lots of little shops, is that there are dozens of wild donkeys wandering around the town! They just kind of roam around asking for food from all the tourists.
After our two week vacation within a vacation in Hawaii we had to fly back to continue our original vacation on the mainland. We landed in California around midnight which didn't leave much time for anything but sleep. We got back to the hotel and expected to have a car fiasco the next morning based on the numerous phone calls and the experience we had getting the car parked. Luckily everything went relatively smoothly. There was some waiting involved in the crazy hotel we parked it at but the car was still in one piece and they didn't charge me anything extra. I'll call that a win! Then we started on the trip back home.
He likes pizza.