The road trip plan for this summer comes with both exciting and sad news, all rolled into one event: the Adventure Prius is leaving me. After hundreds of thousands of miles, rolls of packing tape, dozens of zip ties, it’s time to say goodbye. She’ll be going to a happy home, where she truly belongs; my cousin will be taking her to college in Vermont where she can live out her retirement. Never fear, I will be getting another Prius, a much newer, 2008 model that already has about 240,000 miles on it. The exciting news for the road trip is that it cuts out the process of driving back through Texas at the end which opens up a much longer one way distance. So I’ll be driving up to Seattle, dropping the Prius there, flying across to Vermont to pick up the Prius my parents are getting rid of, and then driving down the east coast. Meanwhile my cousin will drive my old Prius across the country to Vermont from Seattle. It’s just a whole big Prius Vermont switcheroo situation.
The big change for packing is that I’ll be flying out of Seattle, so I can’t pack the car as chock full as usual, and I can’t bring a cooler. This will just mean bringing more dehydrated food and maybe making a grocery stop on the way so I can still have fresh fruit and vegetables (scurvy is an ever present fear ever since I played Oregon Trail II as a child).
It also means I can hit all of the big West Coast parks, which I’ve never had time to do in a road trip before! I learned my lesson from Yellowstone last summer, popular parks fill up their campsites fast, and when I’m driving an 8 hour day I can’t get there in time. Yosemite definitely merited a reservation, as did Redwood and Olympic. In fact, I got the last reservable campsite in Redwood National Park for that date. Unlike my last two trips I’ve also got some backcountry camping and backpacking planned out, including in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Emigrant Wilderness, which will be a great way to experience the Range of Light outside of zoo that I’m sure Yosemite will be. And hitting Guadalupe at the beginning of the trip I’ll have the energy to give it the attention it deserves instead of driving in after 10, sleeping in my car, and leaving at sunrise like I did last summer. Here’s the plan:
Houston, TX→ Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX→ White Sands National Monument, NM→ Catalina State Park, AZ→ Saguaro National Park, AZ→ Joshua Tree National Park, CA→ Sequoia National Park, CA → Kings Canyon National Park, CA → Yosemite National Park, CA → San Francisco, CA → Emigrant Wilderness, CA → San Francisco, CA → Redwood National Park, CA → Crater Lake National Park, OR → Olympic National Park, WA → Seattle, WA
I’ve been watching the Ken Burns special The National Parks: America’s Best Idea for inspiration, but I’m also looking for hiking recommendations since I’m heading to such massive well travelled parks that I have no experience with. If you have any recommendations for any of the parks (especially Catalina, I’m having trouble finding maps) please comment or send me a message! I also have to give a quick shout out to Arizona for having such a great state park website and online reservation system, no offense Texas, but it was a lot nicer than I’ve been used to.
And hey Toyota, I’m ready for a Prius sponsorship when you are!