A photo summary of our favorite times on the 9 week park-hopping journey. The memories we made on this trip are once in a lifetime and worth every moment of temporary joblessness and homelessness post-adventure. Like the designer Stefan Sagmeister, I highly recommend injecting a few years of retirement into your younger years. It completely reinvigorates creativity and appreciation for everything in our great big world.
Before heading to St. Louis, we visited Clyde’s Uncle Al and Aunt Chrissy in Fayettville, Arkansas. We had a delicious barbecue dinner, went on a tour of Fayettville, then played some euchre. But I didn’t get any pictures!
In St. Louis, we got to spend a day in the life of the newlywed O’Connors! As our trip started a few months ago, I was sooo excited to spend time with Jon and Nicole. But as our visit drew closer, the more and more depressing it became—this was our last stop! We didn’t want the adventure to end, but we had to face reality eventually, right? :)
Fate (and bananas) brought us to New Orleans! Because we didn’t want to camp or Walmart in the Big Easy, we were either going to skip it or just breeze through NOLA on our new southern route. BUT Chiquita happened to have a tradeshow there, so we lucked out and got to see some old friends! My college friend, Christian, was there, too — we were in the right place at the right time! Clyde loved his first visit, and I suddenly remembered how the sludge-lined cobblestone streets ruined a pair of boots on my visit for the Sugar Bowl 4 years ago. :/
We had tons of fun over the weekend in Denver, Colorado! Didn’t get pictures with our friend, Doug, but had a great time with him and friends at dinner. The newly engaged couple, Natalie and Stu, met us for breakfast in Denver before we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park.
While we didn’t do all that much in the park, we wanted to get there since it was open. There was a snowstorm brewing while we were there, but at only 6,000 feet elevation, it wasn’t nearly as unbearably cold as 8,000 feet in Yosemite. :) The Rockies are so majestic!
State Route 190 goes through Death Valley National Park in California, so luckily Clyde and I got a quick glimpse of it on the way to Vegas.
Not to choose favorites, but I’m pretty sure Kevin Frye is the most awesome former co-worker a gal could ask for. (Except Laura. She wins.) Kevin gave Clyde and I the grand tour of Vegas — we explored the city that never sleeps until the wee hours of the morning. The people-watching was unforgettable. We saw some stuff. And heard some stuff.
The reason we met Kevin in Vegas: he was there for a baking industry trade show in which Chiquita participated. Luckily for Clyde and I, Kevin shared some spare badges for us to tour the trade show. (Hooray for international bakery samples!) From the looks of things, Chiquita had a very successful booth — Kevin had a non-stop flow of potential customers. It’s safe to say he rocked Vegas.
Thanks for an unforgettable introduction to Las Vegas, Kevin! We had the best time with you!
It was so great to camp and hike with Leslie and Pam! After all, their inspiration is sort of the reason we’re on this trip. They’ve now inspired us to invest in more backpacking supplies so we can camp with them in the back country next time.
We camped for a night in the Hoh Rainforest—one of the largest temperate rainforests in the US. It was hard for my brain to process fall + leaves on the ground + Rainforest. Not the typical tropical rainforest, but it definitely rains a lot. We hiked in a thunderstorm. Then we headed to Third Beach after Snow White, I mean Clyde, fed some birds from his palm. Some older ladies really had to talk him into it—he was pretty skittish at first. :)