Did you know that Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most popular times of the year for travel in the US? If you are reading this and saying to yourself "Yes, bitch. Everyone knows that (insert eyeroll here)" then you have obviously been one of the poor souls to venture out into the wild on a weekend when every person leaves their hole and decides to go exploring. I, wrongly, assumed that most people traveling during Thanksgiving weekend were just going to see family/friends/etc. Apparently what they are doing is going to every damn place I want to see and inviting tourists from other countries to come along.
I was on a road trip from San Diego to Austin starting on Thanksgiving Day, meaning I was one of those people clogging up roadways and being a tourist. As it turns out, once you get past Las Vegas there are lots of off the beaten path ways to get from one destination to another.The drive through Arizona to New Mexico is gorgeous and it is very cool to watch how the terrain changes. It made me wish I had paid more attention to my geology classes! If you are curious about the route I took, shoot me an email and I'll share it with you.
Here's what I saw on my road trip:
1. The Grand Canyon- I'm sure there have been a million things said/written/professed about the Grand Canyon. I'm not the miracle writer capable of putting it's splendor into words (shocking, I know :P). But if there is any part of you that would like to see it, then go ASAP. It is 100% worth whatever trouble it takes you to get there. I have a dedicated a post to it here if you want to hear more about the visit. I was only able to spend about an hour and a half there (it was getting dark) but here is the best photo I took:
2. The Hoover Dam- I have a million dam jokes that I will spare you (dam it!) but in all seriousness the Hoover Dam is still a feat of engineering. You can take a tour through the power plant (there was a HUGE line so I skipped it) and there is a skywalk to look over the entire thing. I did the shortest of all of the things: drove in, took like 5 pictures and left. It is worth a detour if you are in the area or obsessed with dams in general but if neither of those things is true for you it is not worth going out of your way. I did have a dam good time while I was there (sorry, I couldn't resist haha).
3. Antelope Canyon- Antelope Canyon is a little over 2 hours north of the Grand Canyon in a town called Page, AZ. I'm sure you have seen photos of it on Instagram or out in the world. It is an insanely photographable place. I have dedicated a whole post to it here. I intended to go to Horseshoe Bend which is only a few miles from Antelope Canyon, but there was a 20 minute traffic delay to get there. No thanks. Here's a pic I took of the canyon:3. Palo Duro Canyon- I had never heard of Palo Duro until my friend asked if I intended to visit. It is about 20 minutes outside of Amarillo, TX. The canyon itself is lovely and if I were the camping type I imagine it is super easy to do there. They have lots of facilities and a nice road throughout so you can get into and out of the canyon easily. They also have a really great visitor's center that explains the canyon's history (both people and animal). It is totally worth a visit if you are in the area. This was my favorite shot:
The rest of the trip was mostly eating/driving/sleeping. I made a quick stop at the Cadillac Ranch but didn't get any good photos. I also got some amazing queso at an Italian restaurant in Lubbock, TX. Under ordinary circumstances I would NEVER have ordered queso from an Italian restaurant, but the restaurant was specifically recommended by a good friend and it was the first place we stopped that had queso on the menu. It turned out great! That's my favorite part of road trips: random things you don't usually see/experience and would never have known about unless you drove through the place. What are some of your favorite road trip spots?