Creative Highways: The Last Leg

We are sad to have our road trip come to a close. We have seen many joys and beautiful things and people; we even had our endurance tested to a certain extent, living out of a Honda Fit for a month. It was surprisingly easy and simple. The simplicity of it all is something we will take with us back into domestic life. Paired-down meals, living quarters, and belongings have reminded us that living with only the bare necessities can enrich our lives and teach many lessons. We are better able to live in the present moment, without being bogged down by petty busywork and material items that we really don't need. This is just one of the many gifts this trip has bestowed upon us.

Here is a selection of images from the last few days of our Northwestern road trip for the summer of 2009:

Sadie has now settled in to her spot in the car. She naps as we drive for hours, occasionally poking her head up front to check in. She's a seasoned traveler, and knows when it's time to rest, and when it's time to play.

A stop at Shoshone Falls State Park in Twin Falls, Idaho to meet up with our friend, Katie. It was blazing hot down on the Snake River plain in Southern Idaho, but it was great to see my old roommate and friend (though I'm still kicking myself for not getting a photo of the two of us!).

Elegant Aspen and Lupine greet us on our way through the Manti-La Sal National Forest and Joe's Valley in central Utah.


Joe's Valley also affords fun bouldering opportunities along the San Raphael River. Ryan makes a move on this river-side boulder. The water was the coldest of all the Northwestern creeks and rivers we visited. As desert-hot as it was that day, we couldn't manage to get in past our feet.

Larissa traverses another boulder down the way.

At our bouldering spot, Ryan performs our ritual of car cooking that we did so many times during the month. Just pick a spot along the road, pull out the camp stove, and go to work. On the menu that morning: Migas, a Tex-Mex concoction of eggs, corn tortilla, salsa, and cheese.

Along Highway 70 in Utah - not how rest stops look in Pennsylvania.

Then, it was on to Colorful Colorado! We drove over Loveland Pass, one of the highest paved drivable passes in North America at 11,990 feet in altitude.

In Boulder, we completed our long-lost search for a sushi roll we ate 9 years ago, when we were first dating and Ryan was attending Colorado Mountain College. We found it at Sushi Zanmai: the Green Hornet Roll - still the most delicious roll we've ever had. We were extremely pleased that our memories had preserved the experience of eating that roll so precisely. We had a grand time drinking Katana sake and talking with our friendly sushi chef. Larissa also had a delicious sake cucumber martini. We finished the evening with live reggae down the street at the Draft House. It was our last big hoorah on our amazing trip.

Larissa and Ryan savor the last moments of their road trip trail running and hiking near Loveland Pass in Colorado. See you next time, Rockies!
All photos © Chace + Smith Photography

Coming up: Closing Remarks from our grand American tour!