DADOA: The Final Post

Friday after a great hike in Glacier National Park, we left Whitefish and drove to Sandpoint, Idaho to pick up Justin. We got a phone call from Liz’s mom informing us that there might be a problem with our housing and we had to wait until Monday to find out. 

Saturday, we drove to Spokane, WA and spent the weekend with my brother and sister awaiting the news. We had our second Thanksgiving, watched movies, played with dogs, ate lots of junk food, drank beers, and played games. 

Monday, we got bad news: our housing in Minnesota fell through and we’d all have to go our separate ways and end the trip in Washington where it started.

I am disappointed that our trip ended early, but I’m so glad it happened. We drove through Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho. We went to The Redwoods, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, The Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, The Colorado National Monument, and Glacier. We played with so many dogs and cats, got stared down by a Bighorn, watched free roaming Bison graze in the fields, watched a badger eat bird seed, hung out with some ravens, and spotted some grey foxes. We walked through the woods, played in the ocean, stared at the stars, worried about the future of our country, made some new friends, had slack jaw dance parties, drove on Route 66, partied in Las Vegas, saw the Mojave National Preserve, watched the sun rise, watched the sun set, laughed our heads off, cried a bit, and generally had the most fun imaginable. 

As of today, Justin and I are in Seattle, Liz is in Minnesota and Flaherty is in Bellingham. I am sad we’re all apart, but can’t wait until we’re together again. I love you guys, from the bottom of my fart. 

DADOA: Day Twenty One to Twenty Two

Wednesday we left Dillon, Montana.  We drove through a lot of snow, we blasted jams, and we zipped a lot of horses, (ask me about that later). We made it to my friend Jessie’s house in Whitefish and made preparations for Friendsgiving. 

Today we baked, drank, danced, feasted, laughed, and played. From all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving! 

DADOA: Days Eighteen to Twenty 

Sunday, we headed towards Moab and spent the day visiting Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. This was our last stop on the Colorado plateau and our last stop in the desert. We drove the scenic routes and took a couple quick hikes. 



Monday, we left our campsite and made our way to Salt Lake City in the pouring rain. We explored downtown a bit, but didn’t linger as the weather kept getting worse. We headed to our campsite on Antelope Island State Park. The rain stopped, but the wind threatened to blow our tent away many times. Once again, we arrived after dark and weren’t quite sure what was around us. 

Tuesday, we woke up to beautiful views of the Great Salt Lake. We explored the beach, drove past free-roaming Bison, and saw our first Badger! 

DADOA: Day Seventeen 

Today we were headed to Moab, but we missed our turn and decided to go visit the Colorado National Monument instead. I came here back in 2015 and it is just as beautiful as I remember. We saw some cute little lizards, a few rabbits, and a coyote. We’re actually going to go to Moab tomorrow, stay tuned! 

DADOA: Day Sixteen 

Today we left our motel in Panguitch, UT and drove to Capital Reef National Park. I feel like this is a very underrated park, most people I know have never heard of it and there were very few people around. We took the scenic drive past incredible red rock cliffs and strange sandstone formations. We hiked out into Grand Wash and played on the rocks, yelled into the echoing Canyon, and climbed into holes. It was a beautiful and super fun place to explore. 

Petrogliphs from 300 AD!

DADOA: Days Twelve to Fifteen

Day twelve:

Monday morning was a slow start for us in Vegas. We didn’t get to bed until four, so we slept in, got some breakfast, and spent a little time poolside in the sun. We then started our journey to the Grand Canyon with a brief stop at the Hoover Dam. We enjoyed views of the dam and Lake Mead, got to stand in two time zones at once and the staff made sure there was no shortage of dam jokes. We arrived at the Grand Canyon fairly late, but enjoyed the super moon before going to bed. 

Day thirteen:

Tuesday, we woke up early and spent a few hours driving around the Grand Canyon and visited many of the incredible viewpoints. In the afternoon we started making our way to Zion.We drove through some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen including the Vermillion Cliffs. We arrived at Zion after dark, but the moon illuminated some of the towering mountains surrounding our campsite. 

The Vermillion Cliffs :

The Grand Canyon:

Day fourteen:

Wednesday we finally got our first layover day and had the entire day to explore Zion. We hiked all three of the Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, and visited The Court of the Patriarchs.

Court of the Patriarchs

Emerald Pool


Weeping Rock

Day Fifteen:

Today we woke up before the sun to hike the Canyon Overlook Trail. It was quite possibly the most beautiful view I have ever seen. Zion is a truly spectacular place and this will not be my last visit. We left Zion and made our way to Bryce Canyon as the temperature plummeted and snow started to fall. We saw a herd of Bison on our way out which was pretty magical. By the time we reached Bryce, the temperature had dropped to 3°, but it didn’t stop us from visiting all of the viewpoints and getting in a quick hike. 


Get a load of this view   


“Natural Bridge”

The Silent City

DADOA: Days Nine – Eleven

Day Nine: Friday we said goodbye to Imperial Beach and went to visit the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. We then headed up into the mountains to YMCA: Camp Marston in Julian, CA. We spent the night at a friend’s house where we got to cuddle three dogs and two kitties. 

Day Ten: Saturday we left Julian and drove to the Salton Sea. I’ve been wanting to go to the Salton Sea for as long as I can remember, it was just as strange and beautiful as I thought it would be. We visited Salvation Mountain and Slab city and watched the sun set over the hills. 

Day Eleven: We left our camp site at the Salton Sea to make our way to Las Vegas. We drove through Joshua Tree National Park and then accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up on route 66, which was awesome. Our wrong turn also took us through the Mojave National Preserve and the drive was absolutely beautiful. We watched the super moon rise above the mountains as the sun was setting. We then drove to the Golden Nugget, checked into our room and then went to check out Fremont Street and downtown Las Vegas. We ended up getting the full Vegas experience: we played the slots, drank beer outside, had a rooftop dance party, ended up in a limo, drove the strip, and spent some time in the biggest strip club in the city. We did Vegas right and we did it well. 

This is bat country

Outside beer!

Is this real?

Limo party!

DADOA: Days Seven and Eight 

​Wednesday we left LA after a hard night of watching the horrors unfold on TV. We drove to San Diego where we had some much needed puppy therapy, beer, and some Catan. Today we drove down to Imperial Beach to visit a friend at YMCA: Camp Surf. We walked along the beach, watched the sunset, and had amazing beer and food at Coronado Brewing Company. 

Dog friend

Our gracious host

Sunset fun club

DADOA: Day Six

Tuesday we left Monterey at 7:30 in the morning and drove down the coast. We drove through Big Sur, visited the sea lions and Hearst Castle, stopped in Malibu to meet up with a friend, passed through Santa Monica, and finally reached Los Angeles 12 hours later. It was a beautiful drive through sunny, 80° weather. 

Our evening, however was tense and heartbreaking. We watched the election results unfold with our host and her housemates with disbelief and heavy hearts. Driving through this country, I truly believe it is one of the most diverse and beautiful places on this planet. Geographically, I truly believe this is the greatest country on earth and I feel privileged to live here. Politically, I think this country is in serious trouble. I am scared for myself, scared for my friends, and I’m scared for many I’ve never met. We’ve made a lot of progress in this country, with a lot of help from The Obamas and a lot of hardworking Americans. I’m afraid we are going to lose a lot of that progress and a lot of people will suffer. I will keep fighting, my friends and our allies will keep fighting and I hope we can keep progressing and becoming better, kinder people and stewards of our beautiful planet. 

This one’s for Drumpf

DADOA: Days Four and Five

Sunday, we left the Bay area and drove to Yosemite National Park where we camped for the night. Today we woke up with the sun, hiked through Yosemite Valley, went to Mirror Lake, saw Yosemite Falls, and stood in the meadow taking in the majesty that is El Capitan. Yosemite is definitely one of the most grand and beautiful places I’ve ever been and I hope to come back soon and stay for at least a week. We set out from the park and drove to Monterey, CA where we are now enjoying the Seahawks game over margaritas. 

We made it!!

Half dome view from tunnel view

El Capitan

Half Dome aka “Domey”

Yosemite Falls

Mirror Lake

The big ass Raven