Own The Weekend: Coleman Camping Trip, Utah

When Coleman USA digs what you’re doing, sends you a whole bunch of gear, and asks you to take a trip using it…you call up your best friend, pack your shit, pop some bubbly and laugh from sun up ’til sundown in the Utah desert.

“Ain’t life so fancy, ain’t life so fun?
Fine if you ask me, yeah it’s all love
Plenty opinions, but I keep it hush
I don’t say nothing, cause nothing’s enough

Don’t speak your mind, be a good girl, baby
Momma told me tie my hair back all the way
Bubbly lives, better sit real pretty
Momma told me tie my hair back all the way
I’d rather be reckless, too young and dumb
I’m old Dirty Harry…”

Song of the Day: “Dirty Harry” by Grace

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We have arrived

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After rolling into Utah well past midnight thanks to insane traffic along 70 in Colorado, we crashed at Dewey Bridge Campground along the Colorado River for the night

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After waking with the sun and enjoying some delicious camp coffee, we hit the road for Moab
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Breaking momentarily to capture mid-air splits and pretty flowersotw3

And when there are tons of roadside flowers ripe for the picking, you pluck a couple and put them in your hairotw4

Once in Moab, we took a brief spin through Arches National Park and then hit up Potash for some prime sightseeing and offroading adventure
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But first, we spent a little time running down the nearby train tracksotw6

Giggling like two little girlsotw7

But then shit got all adult like when we made those train tracks our own personal roadside tavern and enjoyed some refreshing Pumpkinhead beerotw8

And although we always have reason to dance…otw9

…a slight buzz does (shockingly) add to the effect
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So we danced and gazed out at the Colorado Riverotw11

And enjoyed views of Dead Horse Pointotw12

And after cruising along Potash for a while, jamming to sweet tunes and singing “Mmbop” at the top of our lungs, we finally entered Canyonlands National Parkotw13

Where we found a nice shady spot to set up a picnicotw14

Once our obnoxious energy was restored, we made the final ascent up Shafer Trailotw15

Where we made that windy, cliff hugging road our b*#$% like only two Courtney’s canotw16

The next morning we woke up atop Muley Point

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And drank coffee as we watched the sun light up Monument Valley
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And when our bellies started a rumblin’, we cooked up some sausage and laughed relentlessly about god knows what…otw20

And believe me, the breakfast cooking didn’t go down without a fightotw21

So this is the look you give when your camp stove is being a mother*#$%*$ and takes two hands and a foot to light because you’re not used to doing any of the cooking and coffee making thanks to Bearded Guy’s early morning efforts and mad skills
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And when times are hard, you pop the bubbly…
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…add some OJ
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…and take on the rest of your morning like a bossotw25

And by boss, I mean enjoying the scenery with the raddest chick in the world (aside from yourself)otw26

And laughing your a$$ off…otw27

…While polishing off the last of the prossecco and OJotw28

And then putting that other rad chica to work doing our pretty red dishes
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So once breakfast was all said and done, we packed up and made our way down Moki Dugway and through Valley of the Gods, where we ran like hell through the desert sand for no apparent reasonotw30

And climbed atop the Subaru for a quick best friend portrait
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And when mother nature calls for a pit stop, you each take turns snapping scenic photos so as to not feel awkward while the other is peeing behind a bush only a few yards away
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Next must-see was Monument Valley, where the attitudes got real thanks to hoards of people and terrible drivers
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But at least there were a few moments of life affirming delightotw34

And pretty things all aroundotw35

And to keep with tradition when the red sand is soft and oh so warm, I got out to runotw38first

Cruising past Camel Butteotw36

Getting a peek at the beauty between Rain God and Spearhead Mesa
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Brief pause at Artist Point to see Monument Vally from above
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Where both our minds were officially blown by the colorsotw39

And as we headed out, Forrest had to get out for a jogotw40

After a day full of trail blazing and a$$kicking, we popped a couple of tops, shot the sh*# like real women do…
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…and ended up with front row tickets to a insanely beautiful sunset showotw42

before encountering the meanest looking spider either of us have ever seen
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When Coleman requests that you take an inexperienced camper on your trip, and you subsequently do…you can’t get upset when that inexperience lands you with a tent on your head
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And as if sunset the night before had not been enough, the sunrise simply out-did itself
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Morning sun lighting up the valleyotw45

And coffee ready to be brewed

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There is simply nothing better than standing somewhere beautiful with a warm cup of coffee in handotw47

Even chores are better outdoors (and with your best friend)

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Once the campsite was packed and the Subaru loaded down, we hit up Goosenecks State Park for one more adventureotw50

And then hit the road home for Colorado

Special thanks to:

My best friend, for flying all the way out to Colorado from North Carolina to not only see my face but to go on this epic adventure with me. You really are the Tina to my Amy, she to my nanigans, and soul mate of a sister #ahyea.

Coleman USA for reaching out to us via Instagram and sending us all kinds of goodies that not only made this trip possible, but made it great. We truly did #OwnTheWeekend

Muley Point, Utah

Took full advantage of Labor Day Weekend and hit the road for Utah. Found a spot up on Muley Point and spent the next few days doing absolutely nothing. It was perfection.

“So why don’t you come away
With me my love
We’ll do what it takes
I’ll keep you safe

Why don’t you stay by me
And when the time comes
We’ll escape”

Song of the Day: “Escape” by the Kongos

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Well someone is ready to hit the road

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Passing by Mt. Garfield

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Soaking up the desert heat as we crossed the Colorado/Utah line

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Wilson Arch

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Getting closer

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Setting up camp

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Celebratory National Camping with Dogs Day Photograph

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Swigs and Smiles

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Looking down on John’s Canyon

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Sinking sun

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Very few things are as intoxicatingly beautiful as a Utah sunset

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Muley Point Magic Hour

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Waking up above Monument Valley

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Morning rays and Boomhauer Smiles

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Cup ‘o Joe

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How breakfast should be spent

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Bed head and brew

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Cliffside chillin’

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All smiles in the warm desert sun

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Perched up on a big mound of rock

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Guard dog extraordinaire

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Spotted this little guy running around

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Sometimes you just never know what you’re gonna get when you pass by the back of the bus with camera in hand

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Up on the ridge

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John’s Canyon Road

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Barefoot in the desert with beer in hand

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Life is short. Drink beer. Play with your dogs.

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Evening plans consisted of sitting by the edge and watching the sun go down

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Pearl girl soaking in the sunrise

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Family portrait

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Monument Valley in all it’s morning sun drenched glory

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Wide open dirt road driving

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Moki Moki here we come

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Making our way down, taking in panoramic views of the valley

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Cruisin’ the Dugway

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and kickin’ up dust

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Headed for home

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With everyone in their assigned seats

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Taking the long way home with New Mexico off in the distance

Castle Valley and Moab, Utah

It had been rainy and cold in Colorado and for someone with piss for blood, I needed warmth. So Wil surprised me for my 26th birthday and drove us all the way to Moab, Utah. My only responsibility- pack the bus while he was at work so we could roll out as soon as he got home. Once on the highway and obviously heading West he finally told me where we were going and I could not have been happier. Warm desert sand, heat on my skin, and gorgeous scenery all around. Who the hell could complain about that?

“Look at you
I am attracted to you like the sun
To the moon and i feel sweeping when i touch your skin
Shake your soul into the wide open space and leave
the restricting area so that that you can see
How we explode like the lights in the dark
And how we glow
Like it will never be the truth of the minds that we forget
So let me tell you what i know if I can
you know i try
I never want to leave the bubble we’ve made,
what we create”

Song of the Day: “Sweet Sun” by Milky Chance

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Heavy fog on the morning of the seasons first camping trip is a good omen, right?

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Westbound on I-70

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Flying down the highway at a whopping 50 mph

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Gorgeous view of Mt. Garfield

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Sunset on the road

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After driving through a handful of campgrounds along Route 128 North of Moab, only to find them all completely booked, we took refuge in the only available spot we could find…a handicap spot by the river.

And before you go and judge, it was 11:30pm and we were running out of options. We stayed less than 6 hours before hitting road ahead of the sunrise.

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Hoping to get a jump on some open campsites, we cruised up Sand Flats Road early that Friday morning

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U T A H

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As we made our way up Salt Flats Road we scouted out every campground along the way only to find them all packed full with OHV and Mountain Biking campers. We continued up through Salt Flats BLM until we crossed into the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Ended up turning left off the forest road and heading up to Porcupine Rim

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Where we ended up scoring a campsite with this view

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Our setup

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Took a walk along Porcupine Rim Trail and caught some pretty incredible views of the La Sal Mountains

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and Castle Valley

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Pretty springtime cactus buds

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The Pearl perched up on the cliff

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Hunkering down on the bottom bunk as temperatures sadly dropped and it briefly sleeted on us

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Cold and wet, but still happy

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Watching the rain make its way across the canyon

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The next morning we woke up to a beautiful skies and much needed warm coffee

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Hands down the most beautiful place we’ve ever eaten breakfast

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Castle Valley and Cacti

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The forecast called for more rain and possible snow up on the rim, so we opted to head down into Moab for some warmer weather

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Decided to spend the day cruising through the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park

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Perfect day in the park

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Spring in the desert

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Checking out Pothole Point

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Breaking rules and taking names at Big Spring Canyon Overlook

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After a beautiful afternoon cruising The Needles we headed back into Moab

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Where we cooked dinner

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And took in the views

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Bring on the Blue Cheese, baby

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On the menu: Cranberry Kale Turkey Burgers and Beer

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Chow time

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Our perfect little spot at Ken’s Lake

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Morning views of red rock and waterfalls with Pearl

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Enjoying our morning coffee curled up on the couch in the bus while it warmed up outside

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Morning ride through Arches

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Watching snow and rain roll over the La Sal mountains

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Two of the most well traveled hands around

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Taking a break in Arches to take in the views

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This bearded guy has seriously got it going on

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Avoiding crowds and getting the distant view of the arches

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Breezing past Balanced Rock

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After a brief pitstop back in Moab for gas and beer we took 191 north of Moab and made a left onto Potash Road (U279)

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Where we found more blooming cacti

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and some pretty incredible views of red rock and the La Sal Mountains

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Had to break for a family photo

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Open range cattle and their babies

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Stopped along the road to get a closer look at the Colorado River

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and then continued to ramble on along the rim of the canyon

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The Pearl in all her desert glory

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Goose Neck and Dead Horse Point

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High clearance 4WD recommended our ass

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White on red

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These two may keep us off of trails, but they make the trip so much sweeter

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Now this is how you should enter a National Park

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Waving goodbye to Potash Road as the road turned into Shafer Trail Road in Canyonlands National Park

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Nothing but long dirt road and canyon walls

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Pearl girl getting pumped to start our climb

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Looking down on the valley from Shafer Trail Road

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Made that steep winding road our bitch

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Wil, proud and smiling after taking on Potash and Shafer Road Trails like nobody’s business

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The second handsomest male in the family

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Perched atop The Pearl, happy and warm

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Handsomest damn VW driver I’ve ever seen

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Final stretch along Shafer Trail Road

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At the top we stopped for lunch and made a toast to someone special that we lost a few years ago. This toast has become tradition anytime we find ourselves in Moab

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Staying so fresh and so clean clean

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To say that this girl loves the desert is an understatement

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Hanging out by the waterfall near Ken’s Lake Campground

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One final romp in the desert sand

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Thanks for having us Moab, we had a nice time.

For additional information on the Potash-Lower Colorado River and Other local scenic byways: http://discovermoab.com/byways.htm

Heading Home, Colorado to North Carolina

We decided on I-40 as our route home. We rolled on through a small corner of New Mexico and into Texas, settling in at the worst campsite we had the entire trip. It literally smelt like shit. We swear to god the park ranger must have something against VW people because he assigned us the worst available spot, smack dab in the middle of the camp road and in between the garbage cans and overflowing porta johns. It was simply disgusting. A literally skipped dinner, suffered a sleepless night, and rose before the sun to head for Arkansas.

Luckily, our campsite in the Ozark National Forest of Arkansas was much more pleasant than the previous nights digs in Texas. In fact, we had the entire place to ourselves for only $3.00 a night! Enjoyed our last meal on the road, got a quick nights sleep, woke before the sun and then hauled ass through the heat and humidity for 18 hours before finally crossing the Tennessee/North Carolina state line and arriving home.

“Long drive, long night
The best night of my life,
With you riding, your hand on my hand.
The thought of arriving, kind of feels like, dying.
I don’t want, to go home and be, alone.
Could we, stay out?
Could you, drive a little slower, don’t matter where we’re going,
As long as I’m with you, we could take the long way”

Song of the Day: “Long Drive” by Jason Mraz

 

Goinghome

Our arrival in the Lone Star State

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Cruising past wind turbines

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And making a pit stop by the most disappointing attraction ever

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What we thought would be iconic and cool was merely a dump

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Still had to get a picture though

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Arriving at Palo Duro State Park

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Site of the worst camping experience ever. Proof is in the picture

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The stunning sunrise made it slightly better (sort of)

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After driving clear across Oklahoma, we finally arrived in Arkansas. Our final night on the road

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Enjoying our last meal on the road in the Ozark National Forest

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Crossing the North Carolina State Line

“It’s like a long book that you never want to end and you’re fine with that because you just never want to leave it”

-Pam, from The Office