PHOTOESSAY: View from the Road

My girlfriend and I enjoy being in the car and also camping so we decided to spend a lot of time in the car and see some pretty incredible places. We drove 3,645 miles and saw eight national parks over nine days. No, we did not do any of these parks justice, but we brought our dog (George) so our ability to move around the park was limited to roads (per national park rules).

Our route

Our route

Things to bring:

  • a car
  • camping gear
  • cooking gear (sticks are fine if you don’t mind eating hot dogs and marshmallows for days)
  • some clothes
  • some extra clothes in case you fall in a lake
  • a map
  • someone who knows how to read a map (feel free to pick me up)

Things you don’t need but are fun:

  • a camera
  • a slackline
  • a dog

Things we left on our stairs in LA:

  • all the toiletries
  • all the dog’s belongings

Day 1 : Los Angeles, California -> Wells, Nevada

Hitting the road.

Hitting the road.

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After about 13 hours we arrived at a small campground near Wells and it was beautiful. Apparently there was a big storm and I was rained on but I slept through it.

(Before the storm)

(Before the storm)


Day 2 : Wells, Nevada -> Ketchum, Idaho (where I spent many summers and winters as a kid)

Morning traffic

Morning traffic

On the path I grew up riding

On the path I grew up riding

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We rented a yurt at Galena Lodge outside of town.

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and I learned how to chop wood

I learned how to chop wood

to keep our furnace lit because it was cold AF

to keep our furnace lit because it was cold AF

Also yes, George and I do have matching pajamas

Also yes, George and I do have matching pajamas.


Day 3 : Ketchum, Idaho -> Glacier National Park (Montana)

We hit the road early to trek up to Glacier National Park — the drive was pretty incredible.

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We got there just in time to set up our tent before night.

Me, actually prepping for the rain this time

Me, actually prepping for the rain this time


Day 4 : Glacier National Park (the only day we didn’t drive to a different campsite)

We woke up early to explore the park.

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Me with a daisy

Me with a daisy

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We also kayaked

We also kayaked

and then I made an incredible s’more with circus animals on the inside

and then I made an incredible s’more with circus animals on the inside

Our campsite

Our campsite


Day 5 : Glacier National Park (Montana) -> Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

We headed south to Yellowstone on a beautiful drive through fields.

George decided he was over my driving

George decided he was over my driving

Me and some cows

Me and some cows

Yellowstone

Yellowstone

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Dinner

Dinner


Day 6 : Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) -> Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

In the morning we continued exploring Yellowstone.

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And then headed down the road to Grand Teton.

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We took a break from exploring…

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…and watched the sunset on the lake.

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Day 7 : Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming) -> Moab, Utah

Our plan was to drive the 6.5 hours to Provo, Utah and then push down to the Bryce Canyon area in the morning but we arrived by 2pm and it was 100 degrees and the campground was scary so we made a call to instead drive out of the way to Moab to see a few more parks because why not.

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We got there just in time to see Arches National Park at sunset.

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Day 8 : Moab, Utah -> Cannonville, Utah

We woke up at sunrise and headed to Canyonlands National Park, which was absolutely incredible.

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And then hit the road.

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We went to Capitol Reef National Park (which I didn’t know existed) and it was unbelievable and I highly recommend it.

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Also, they have pie.

Also, they have pie.

The route from Capitol Reef to Cannonville takes you on one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever experienced.

A narrow road above the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

A narrow road above the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

We drove that.

We drove that.

And ended the day at Bryce Canyon.

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Then we headed to our campsite at the Kodachrome Basin State Park, which, yes, I did pick because it’s named after a type of film, but it also turned out to be the best campground I’ve ever stayed in.

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Day 9 : Cannonville, Utah -> Los Angeles, California

George was over everything.

George was over everything.

We drove through Zion on our way out. Unfortunately, we could only see a little of it this trip because most of it requires riding the shuttle (and hiking) during peak season.

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We found a small park outside of the National Park for George to run around before heading home…

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…and with that, we were LA bound.

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Molly Adams is an LA-based photographer. You can find documenting life from Afghanistan to Standing Rock to the LA queer nightlife. You can also find her on Instagram.

Molly has written 68 articles for us.

23 Comments

  1. oomph. I’ve been dreaming of road trips and national parks ( just check my tumblr feed for proof!) and this was a wonderful way to whet that appetite further. Just gorgeous, calming and yet provocative in that way that only nature can be. Thanks for sharing, Molly.

  2. Your photos are GREAT, and they took me down a wonderful memory trip of the time I was in grad school at the U of Utah. I explored many of the parks in Utah as well as Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. The canyon lands of Utah are magnicent and beautiful . So many days I spent roaming their arid wind driven sculptures, and tiny pockets of water or desert flowers, while playing hooky from my studies.

    But what I remember and hold most dear about Utah was the fun of exploring and finding such beauty hidden in its desert lands.

    I hope all of you can go and explore and camp under a canopy of a kazillion stars in the desert sky of southern Utah!?

  3. what a great trip! dog lover here to say thanks so much for respecting the rules and not taking george on park trails- so many people take their dogs where they shouldn’t in national parks & it can be really harmful to wildlife… not to mention pups- a black lab died on a trail at joshua tree a couple of months ago… there are good reasons for these rules.

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