A 7634 mile journey through the western United States, with one minor hiccup

Earlier this year I was on a Northern Arizona road trip with fellow travel blogger Archana Singh of Travel See Write. We were setting up camp in a remote area not far from Lake Powell. Off in the distance we happened to see two people walking in our direction. Given the remoteness of the area, it seemed to be an odd sight. As this couple got closer, they attempted to say something, but the high winds that were plaguing our attempts to set up a tent, also prevented the sound of their voices from reaching us. When we could finally hear them, we discovered that their vehicle had become stuck in the sand and were in need of assistance. They happened to see us drive by and noticed the 4×4 truck, hence the reason they walked the long distance through the sandy terrain to ask for help.

Asolo tent set up near Lake Powell

I told the couple (Will and Cat) that I just needed to secure our tent and I would drive right over. Moments later I was in the truck and at the spot in which their camper van had become immobilize. While I was retrieving and attaching a tow strap to the two vehicles, I asked Will and Cat where they were from as I had noticed an accent.

Will and Cat on road trip around America

We’re from London on an epic road trip around western America,” Will said.

I too have road tripped all over the western part of the U.S., so I asked about some of the spots they had visited thus far.

After a few months of meticulous planning and research, we left London on the 28th of February. We flew to San Francisco and started the week off at an Airbnb, before renting a car and heading north to Portland, Oregon. We then headed to Seattle, before getting the Amtrak to Vancouver. We then spent 12 days snowboarding in Whistler, BC, before taking the Amtrak all the way back down to San Francisco, where the road trip aspect of our trip began in early April. 
 
We started our road trip by going to Napa, then Lake Berryessa, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Death Valley, Vegas, then into Utah—visiting Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Moab, Canyonlands and Arches National Park. We then drove for a couple hours in a very contrasting climate in Colorado, where we didn’t actually stop much due to the weather conditions and a lack of time. We went to Grand Junction and cut east to Glenwood Springs, then headed South to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, where we went sandboarding. We then visited Durango, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley and Lake Powell, which is where we stupidly got stuck in the sand despite the warnings we read online from previous victims! We tried to dig and place flat stones beneath the tires to give them some grip, but unfortunately we only made it worse when we tried to accelerate out. Then, thankfully, we saw you drive by and followed you on foot to ask for your help.
Van stuck in sand

We chatted for a spell as I had been to nearly every place Will and Cat had just been. I had a smile on my face thinking of all the cool places this couple had just visited. I was also impressed by their adventurous spirit and was glad to have made their acquaintance. After I had their vehicle free from the sand, I told them the only thanks required was to follow me on social media, everywhere at @MikesRoadTrip.

I heard from Will a few months later and he share with me the rest of he and Cat’s road trip around the west.

After we left you near Lake Powell, we headed to the Grand Canyon—where I surprised Cat for her birthday by blindfolding her, driving to the airport and taking her on a helicopter ride over the Canyon! The next day we saw it at ground level by hiking into the Canyon, turning back at the 3-mile resthouse. We then headed to Flagstaff, Petrified Forest, Red Rock, Montezuma Castle and Salton Sea/Salvation Mountain. Our last stop out of the van was two nights in San Diego. We then got back on the road and headed up the coast to L.A., where we spent a week at an Airbnb. We then had an Airbnb in Malibu for three nights, before we got back on Highway 1 for the final leg of our trip back to San Francisco over a six day period.
Helicopter ride over Grand Canyon
 
In total we passed through 7 states, not including our dip into Canada.”

During their epic road trip adventure, Will and Cat documented everything in video and produced this wonderful short film.  Have a look:

Have you ever been on a road trip around the western part of the U.S.? What was your favorite sight/part/experience? Please share by leaving a comment below. If you’d like to see more of Will’s work, you can visit:  www.movingglass.co.uk. 

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Mike Shubic

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Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

4 Comments

  1. Wow, what a story. You might have saved them from a tragic situation. I’ve read a lot of horror stories about vehicles breaking down in the desert.

  2. My favorite experience in this part of the world was going to the grand canyon just before Thanksgiving a few years ago. My husband and I lucked out. First, we saw very few people at this off time. Second, we didn’t like our first lodging and were able to snag a room at the El Tovar lodge, located right on the South Rim. Finally, we took a last minute donkey ride down the canyon, which was a lot of fun. We discovered rocky, desert scenery and that donkeys are smart, wily animals. Plus, the snow came on the day we were leaving!

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