Out West

July 2017


4 girls and 1 Land Rover...

I called up Courtney around noon on Friday. Devin, Allison and myself were set to leave for Colorado on Saturday morning but we were scrambling to find one more person.

After a short 5 minute phone call, which took no convincing, Courtney jumped in her car and headed on an 8 hour drive from Raleigh to Chattanooga. By 11 AM we were pulling out of Birmingham and on our way west.

We had no set plan, except to drive through the night and reach Colorado by morning. Past that, we were just up for an adventure...


First Stop // Colorado

Breckenridge. Granite. Buena Vista. Ouray. Silverton.

After a day and a night of podcast, Spotify, baby naps and gas station walkabouts -- we arrived in Colorado.

Our friend Katie was kind enough to host us in her family's summer lodge in Breckenridge that morning. We were greeted with fresh coffee, a morning feast, warm showers and the best place to rest our head for a quick morning slumber.

By noon we were on our way to Granite to meet our friends who had been spending their summer as raft guides in the area. They welcomed us with tasty Mexican food, beer and some grand mountain adventures.


Our first few days in Colorado were glorious. No plans. No commitments. Just friends, mountains and time to kill. Most that time was spent either soaking in views or eating to-die-for cheddar rosemary bread from Buena Vista. We slept in our cars and abandoned general stores, the simplest way of living. Colorado has always held a special place in my heart and this trip brought me back to that place.


After pouring some morning coffee and saying goodbye to our friends, we hit the road to go further west. Flowers were blooming everywhere and we kept finding ourselves awestruck at the mountains surrounding us.

After many side-of-road stops and small town leisure walks we finally made it to the San Juan National Mountains. Our goal was to go hike up and camp at Ice Lake, however some gnarly storms rolled in and so we settled for an afternoon at Clear Lake.

Around 4 PM the clouds cleared allowing us to have quite a lovely day. 


The night following our day at Clear Lake began with "Neapolitano" pizza from Avalanche Brewing Company and ended with a monsoon pouring into our tent from midnight to morning. It was horrible and hysterical all at the same time.

We woke up drenched from head to toe, tied up our soaked campsite to the top of the Rover and headed out of town. We were heading to Utah next and all we wanted was some warm coffee and hot showers.

About 45 minutes into the drive we stopped for gas. We all ran out to use the bathroom real fast when to our grand surprise the bathrooms had SHOWERS in them. We felt like we had just won the lottery. I had never seen four girls so excited about showers in my life. To even add to the goodness, we found out the shop had complimentary coffee!

So with clean hair and fresh hot coffee, we jumped back in the car, jammed to some "Miracles" from Princess Diaries (of course) and headed straight for Moab.


Second Stop // Moab, Utah

We arrived in Moab around 2 PM and went straight to set up camp along the Colorado River. After a quick lunch of avocado toast we went on a hike close by before heading into town to find ice cream. If you ever find yourself in Moab and in need of ice cream, go to the Garage Company.

Afterwards we had planned to go to Arches for the rest of the day, but the weather told us otherwise. We ended up letting a storm pass through before going in search of a waterfall Allison had been to before. 

We found it and ended up spending the rest of the evening there until sunset, when we returned to our campsite for summer sausage jambalaya and Nutella pretzels.


Thursday morning we woke up a little later than we had planned. We packed up the car and got a late morning's start to Arches.

In the park, we went straight to Double Arches and hung out there for a few hours before making quick tuna sandwiches and heading on the road for Arizona.

We treated ourselves to a Safeway run for Starbucks iced coffee and then it was open roads for the next few hours. 


Last State // Page, Arizona

In Page, we headed straight for Antelope Canyon. The slots were beautiful — filled with vivid colors of orange and red rock. Definitely worth it.

We hopped back in the car around 6 PM and headed straight for Horseshoe Bend in order to make it before sunset.

Arizona heat is so real and we were very hot, so afterward we treated ourselves to some Mcdonald’s frappes while we let our camera batteries charge.


By the time we left Mcdonald’s the sun had set and we had still not found place to camp.

We settled on Lake Powell and got there in the pitch black. The beach was packed and cars were stuck everywhere in the sand. Luckily a sweet family felt sorry for us and asked us to set up camp with them.

That night we laughed under the stars with our new friends and tried our hand at astro photography for the first time!


The next morning we woke up with the sunrise and listened to Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day” before jumping in the lake for summer morning swims.

Afterwards we caught up with our new camp friends while they packed up to head back home. They left us with sweet treats and chocolate milk.

Around 9:30 we drove to our favorite place — Safeway (of course), to get some coffee, charge phones, and pick up some food.

My dear friend Molly met us there. She had spent the summer working in Zion National Park. We had all planned to go explore some more slot canyons, but it was too hot so instead we opted for spending the day on the lake.

For our last night camping, we decided to make Allison’s favorite meal, “stew” aka just a hodgepodge of soup thrown together in one pot. We sipped on some local craft beers and watched the sun go down. 

Our new camping neighbors had some left over grilled chicken and turned our average dinner into a feast! With full stomachs, we crawled 5 deep into our 4 person tent and reminisced on the week.


Saturday morning we woke up and packed up, said goodbye to Molly and set off on the road to head back home.

Our road rhythm continue; podcast, Spotify, and baby naps.

Sunday we arrived in Birmingham around 2 PM and the “ACDC” road trip had come to an end.

Below are list of podcast we listened to as well as the playlist that accompanied our trip. 


Podcast //


Locked Up Abroad

Up and Vanished