On July 19th 2021 we embarked on our third “Epic Road Trip” out west with our camper. This one was 19 days long. By now we are getting to be old pros at this! Here are a few questions we get a lot about these trips –

  • What kind of camper do you have? – A 27 foot Keystone Outback camper which is 32 foot with the bed extended. We pull it with a Ford F150. The camper has bunk beds for the kids, and a queen size bed for us.
  • Where do you sleep on the road? – In our camper! Walmart, Cracker Barrel and Cabelas/Bass Pro allow overnight camping in their parking lots.
  • Where do you shower? – Our camper has a very functional shower in it. We have learned how to get wet, turn off the water and lather up, and then rinse off. It takes very little water!
  • Where do you cook? – Our camper has a microwave, range and even an oven. We never use the oven! We also have a very large fridge and freezer.

It might look like we were hopping around to a lot of destinations in a short amount of time, which we were, but I never felt rushed or like we didn’t have enough time to see all that I wanted to see. I think the stops were planned out just right!

I’m going to include a link to a blog post on each of these destinations. There are too many things to discuss and pictures to show to do each location justice!

On day 1, we made it far enough to see this cool town in Casey IL. “Big things, small town”. Such fun items! After that, we spend the night at a Cracker Barrel. Although it was conveniently located, it was too close to the expressway. It was a bit of a rough night sleeping with the noise. Such is the life on the road!

On day 2 we visited the Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis MO – this was our first stop en route to our true vacation plans.  Did you know this is now a National Park?  We did not, but since we were going there it was cool to add another National Park to our list of visited parks! By the end of the day we were in Kansas, crashed for the night at Walmart.

By the afternoon on Day 3, we arrived at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mosca CO.  (Days 3 & 4) The first place we landed was here in southern Colorado.  The land here is quite remote with a huge sand dune!  We spent two nights at this destination.  We learned how to surf on sand dunes, which was a little more tricky than we expected being expert skiers!  The dunes were also quite hot which added to the challenge of surfing.  (learn more about this stop here).

Day 5 – Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde CO.  Our next stop was for just one night as we passed through this area.  I wish we would have been able to schedule a tour of the cliff dwellings.  I found them very interesting.  What a life that would have been!  (learn more about this stop here).

Days 6 – 9: Zion National Park, Springdale UT.  We were able to settle down for 4 nights at this destination.  This park has some amazing sights and hikes.  The most notable were our hike of Angels Landing and the Narrows!  LOVE this park! (learn more about this stop here).

Day 10 – 11: Capitol Reef National Park, Fruita UT.  Two nights were spent at this location.  This park is a wealth of rock formations with bands of colors and layers which appear out of nowhere.  The early settlers imagined they were a “reef” which blocked their journey, much like an ocean reef would block ships.  One of the formations looks like the Capitol building, hence the park name.  (learn more about this stop here).

Days 12 -13: Arches National Park / Canyonlands National Park, Moab UT  Although we only spent two nights here, we were able to tour both parks.  Canyonlands has amazing views from the top of the park, which look very much like the Grand Canyon.  “Massive” is my best description of the ginormous rock formations in Arches.  Beautiful arches carved into the rock, delicate yet strong.  (learn more about this stop here).

Days 14 – 17: Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes CO.  We finished off our trip with this beautiful wilderness.  We spent four nights up in the mountains, and hiked many trails.  Our favorite hike was to Sky Pond where we climbed up the side of a waterfall!  Breathtaking!  (learn more about this stop here).

Days 18 – 19: Driving back home! Too bad these wonderful parks are so far from our house in Ohio! It took us 28 hours of driving to get back home, split into two days. Along the way we stopped at the store from the American Pickers TV show (one of our favorite shows!).

We also stopped at the world’s largest truck stop. It’s huge!!

And an interesting fact, we played the license plate game and never saw any plates from West Virginia. We even saw Hawaii and Alaska, but no West Virginia!! what the heck?

I hope you have enjoyed this recap of our trip and maybe it has inspired you to visit one of these wonderful places!! Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

6 thoughts on “Epic Road Trip recap, 2021 v3!”
  1. AAAAAHHH!!! Utah is literally at the top of my wishlist for places to visit. Your pictures are incredible (as are all pictures that I see from these areas!) It sounds like an amazing trip- what a great bonding experience before your daughter starts college. Thanks for posting!

    1. It really was a memorable trip. So many beautiful places! The great thing about Utah is the close proximity of the “Mighty 5” parks. It would be a great trip to fly in and see for a week!

  2. I couldn’t comment on the individual posts so here are my thoughts on the individual parks… 🙂

    Great Sand Dunes National Park – I’ve not visited this park, but we did visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Kanab, Utah.

    Mesa Verde National Park – We visited Mesa Verde in 1983, and like you, I was fascinated with the cliff dwellings!

    Zion National Park – We visited Zion in 1981 and again in 2019 with our kids. We didn’t hike Angels Landing, but we did have lunch under the historic tree! Unfortunately, The Narrows was closed when we were there because the water was a fraction of an inch over what they consider safe (so close!).

    Capitol Reef National Park – Capitol Reef is the only NP in Utah that we haven’t visited. You mention not seeing big horn sheep, we saw them in Zion!

    Canyonlands and Arches National Parks – We visited Arches in 1981 and 2018 and Canyonlands in 2018. Did you hike to Delicate Arch in Arches? We did both times, but the path to get to it had changed and we came in from a totally different direction. Moab had changed from a very poor tiny town in 1981 to quite the tourist spot in 2018. We took mountain biking lessons there on or second visit.

    Rocky Mountain National Park – We’ve not been to this park either.
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…A Summer Worth of Runfessions Just in Time for FallMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.