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PNWHat!?

When the text came in from Drew while I was in a meeting, "Houston, we have a problem," it somehow didn't bring a wash of grief and stress over me. I wrapped up my call, went inside and expected the worst - which was accurate. He had lost his passport. We were just hours from heading to the airport for our long awaited trip to Canada - something I've been building up and preparing for, for MONTHS! You'd think I'd be devastated, I simply wasn't. We still have 10 days of PTO ahead of us, why would I spend time sulking about it when we could just plan a domestic trip that is just as epic. It took us less than 15 minutes to decide we'd head for Olympic National Park.
I pulled up Roadtrippers.com and began plotting our path, after the first 1500 miles racked up I was definitely concerned - could my car handle something like this? Here's hoping it does!
Below you'll find our "plans" for the trip outlined. We'll see if we stick to it, as I'm writing this there's already been 10 changes. More detailed stories for each day/park/experience will be linked below as well!

Day 1

Left Idaho Springs to race for Arches National Park - then decided Arches was too much fuss, so we headed toward Dead Horse Point State Park instead. Except, then we realized I left my Mia Melon coat I was way looking forward to wearing, so we promptly turned around only 2 hours in to grab that + 10 other things we had forgotten in our effort to get moving. We'd be back on the road by 8pm and made it to DHPSP around 1:30am. We used some BLM land just a couple miles before the park to sleep overnight & woke up to the most beautiful sunrise.

Day 2

After experiencing an incredible sunrise, we knew we had a long day of driving ahead of us, but we also knew we'd be checking off another item on the bucket list: the Bonneville Salt Flats. We threw the JetBoil together so I could make some keto-friendly coffee for us with our Know Brainer ketogenic coffee creamers. I don't know why, but I've dreamt about them for a long time. I hate the sun, you'd think that a desert-type environment would be abhorred by me. But for some reason, they've been calling my name. We'll stop there then continue on for several more hours until we find a dry spot to camp. Ultimately, Winnemucca would be where we "camped." 

Day 3

Early rising, we'd leave Winnemucca for a 7-hour dash to Umpqua National Forest where Umpqua Hot Springs resides. The Toketee Campground would be our host for the night, amidst large mossy trees and incredible waterfalls. If you didn't know, there's basically nothing between Winnemucca and Umpqua. I wish I was kidding. We drove through absolutely beautiful desert, but after hours of driving my laptop was dying and trying to edit photos was turning into a serious issue. Remembering the MyCharge can actually charge a 3-prong device (like my laptop!) was a life saver. It's kept us powered this whole trip and I'm really impressed by its output.

Day 4

After a night of camping, we have a 5 hour drive to Bagby Hot Springs, then another couple hours to Haystack Rock before we head to the Hall of Moss and lastly - Olympic National Park where we'll be backpacking to Olympic Hot Springs & Boulder Creek Campground. We slowly packed up, enjoying the beautiful forest in our final moments there. I made us a couple mugs of hot chocolate and we broke out the Mountain House breakfast skillets to keep us from spending money on extra food. First time we tried the skillets and gotta say they're pretty incredibly delicious.

**Trip Update** - We sort of fell in love with Oregon and decided that spending an extra day in the area would be well worth it. We hit Bagby, then headed to the Columbia River Gorge to hit what waterfalls we could. It was so worth it. We found an Airbnb for the night nearby, #TheGreenCabin.

Day 5

Day 5 we'd rise early, hike out from our cabin and hit the road for Olympic National Park, with a few stops along the way we would arrive at the Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rainforest. A friendly ranger let us know that our eventual destination, Olympic Hot Springs, had been washed away. Ever flexible, we decided to backpack the Hoh River instead. It. Was. Magical.

Day 6

After hiking out, we'd be starting our incredibly long drive to Yellowstone, stopping in Helena to make sure we didn't get too sleepy driving. This was probably the most boring day, but we were left with such incredible memories from the Hoh. 

Day 7

We arrived in Yellowstone around 10:30am, I had my list of trails ready and camera in hand. A good deal of the park was still closed and inaccessible, boo. Luckily, most of the steamy spots were still available and I tell ya - we hiked them all! Our trip to Yellowstone filled the whole day, we were excited to hit a trail on our way to the cabin but was thwarted by piles of snow. The cabin, however, was an amazing reprieve.  

Day 8

Today we would drive back out to Yellowstone for more adventure, this time taking the northeastern corridor to see what Roosevelt had to offer - only our hopes were once again dashed when they decided to randomly close the road for construction. BOO. We hooked it left and headed for Lamar Valley to hopefully catch some wildlife - which we did.

Day 9

Grand Teton - here we come! From our Airbnb we could see the iconic peaks, it was like they were begging us to visit! We made our way into Jackson where we bought the coolest bison skull before heading into the next national park...which was primarily closed. Haha! To be honest, we didn't do enough research before we hopped in the car and rolled out. We just sort of assumed things would be thawing out. We drove to the parts we could, basically as far down any road as possible. We picnicked, hiked a little bit and met some fellow Texans!

Day 10 would be spent driving back home to Idaho Springs, about 9.5 hours. It was a long drive, but we made it home safe and sound. 

A quick shoutout to ALL my product sponsors for this trip. We wouldn't have been well-fed, well-protected, well-charged, well-balmed or warm without them! 
  • Body Glide
  • Case Knives
  • Deka Lash
  • Know Brainer
  • Mia Melon
  • Mountain House
  • MyCharge
  • STABIL Gear

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