6000 miles across the United States 

 I think everyone can say that they have dreamed of an epic road trip with their friends across the U.S. It is normally on a bucket list but when people want to do it, when they’re younger, they either don’t have money, can’t find people to go with, or can’t find time. 
Well, a roadtrip has always been my dream. I had time. I had a far enough destination. I had 4 friends willing to do it with me. And somehow I made it cheap enough to afford it. So that dream of mine became a reality this summer. 
My first roadtrip was with my best friend from home and spending 6 days, all day and night together was a reminder of the good old days of high school. In almost 3.5 years this was the first time we spent this much time together and I wouldn’t have done it with anyone else. 
The road trip out to Berkeley last 6 days, covered 9 states, and had a bit too many peanut butter banana sandwiches. I was able to drive the longest I ever have, which was 10.5 hours. Until we got past Santa Fe, the drive was boring – except for the company and conversation.
But the highlights of this trip were:

A tex mex restaurant with 102 different margaritas in Santa Fe.

  
Durango, CO and all its beauty in the mountains.

Chimney rock, Mesa verde and four corners monument. These were all so beautiful and unique

  The south rim of the Grand Canyon. I always dreamt of going to the Grand Canyon and finally- I have

Hoover dam and marveling at its engineering capabilities

  
Las Vegas and pretty lights

Death Valley and feeling like you’re experiencing death 262 feet below sea level (and from the heat) 

  
Yosemite and my first glance at half dome.
The southern trip was very consolidated at the end of the trip. So much we missed in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and more. But it gave me the itch to travel south west again. And remember-even though an atlas says it’s a town doesn’t mean it has gas.

The road trip back home to Chicago was longer and has a filled car. Traveling with 4 people for 8 days was… Interesting. But we had a great time together and became better friends.
The trip started off with a bang once we got to Yosemite. We climbed 3200 feet in 4 miles, hiked 17.5 miles, almost got bit by a rattlesnake, and saw a bear in our camp ground. Successful first day. 

  
Started the next day seeing wild mustangs. We then saw Salt Lake City, and the great salt lake. Apparently many places have amazing great Mexican food as we had that there as well. 
  
From there we saw just how beautiful Idaho is. The grand Tetons were incredibly grand. And even if they say it’s an 8 miles hike around lake Jenny- it’s longer.
Yellowstone was the highlight of the trip. So many hot springs, magnificent colors, canyons, falls, bison, and more bison. Yellowstone was huge, old faithful was indeed faithful, and we saw so many different terrains. 

  
We then trekked go South Dakota where he scenery isn’t as gorgeous. Mt Rushmore and crazy horse were the first things we saw that weren’t natural- slightly underwhelming but awesome to see he history. And badlands national park looked like a dessert in New Mexico, not a park in South Dakota. But the highlight here was staying in a tepee where we had massacre the guard goose, gorgeous night stars and shoot stars as well as a lightening show our last night.
  
The 14 trek home was not fun. I lost my sanity quickly. But the trip will be something I never forget. 
Go on a road trip once in your life. Your car may hate you, but it’s worth to see as much as you do. 

Sorry for the delay- I need to keep living in summer now that school starts. 

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