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Road Trip: Florida to California

Road Trip: Florida to California

After finishing flight school in Pensacola, Florida I found out I was going to be stationed in San Diego, California.  I couldn’t be more excited for this news because it presented me with an amazing opportunity to road trip across the country while I drove to my new home.  I did quite a bit of research on the hot spots I wanted to hit along the way and the following itinerary is what I came up with.

DAY 1

My sister and packed up my Jeep with everything the movers didn’t take.  Her, Rufus (my shiba inu) and I then set out to explore this amazing country!  We left Pensacola and drove through Mississippi and into Arkansas for our first destination: Hot Springs, AR.  This was our longest day of driving, but after nine hours we arrived in Hot Springs.  We crashed for the night so we could get up early the next day to explore.

DAY 2

We woke up and went straight to Bathhouse row.  We decided to do the tour of the museum in Fordyce bathhouse.  The history was very interesting, and the place looked kind of like a torture house!  In the 19th and 20th centuries, people would come from far and wide to get healed and get some R&R at the bathhouses on bathhouse row.  They had hot baths, cold baths, steam chambers, gyms and more.

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Bathhouse row

Then, we walked up the hill behind bathhouse row and explored the trails in Hot Springs National Park.  The views from the top were beautiful.

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Viewpoint Tower in Hot Spring National Park

For the afternoon, we decided to explore Garvin Gardens.  It was absolutely beautiful and the glass chapel was stunning! A must see!

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Garvin Garden Glass Chapel

After a packed day, we drove five hours to Oklahoma City.

DAY 3

We didn’t want to spend too much time here because our major trip destinations were still to come.  We just walked around the city a little bit before hitting the road for our eight hour drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Oklahoma City

We checked into our hotel then took the Sandia Peak tramway up 10,378 feet to the top of the mountain.  It was amazing!

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View from the top of the Sandia Peak tram

DAY 4

We woke up early this morning so we could hike around Sandia mountain with Rufus.  We were shocked when we got to the top and there was snow!  There are some short, easy trails around at the top, but there is a major trail from the bottom all the way up.  We didn’t have the time to hike this, but we ran across a couple guys who had just hiked all the way from the bottom up over 10,000 feet to the summit then planned to ride the tram back down.  If you’re looking for an amazing workout with a killer view there’s an idea!

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Hiking Sandia

Then, we continued our road trip for our four hour drive to the Four Corners Monument.  This had been on my bucket list for a while so I was really excited.  (tip: you need cash to get in and there isn’t ANYTHING else around so make sure you get cash somewhere first!)

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Being in Four States at Once!

After getting our totally touristy pictures we headed a quick two and half hours to our favorite destination: Moab, Utah!

DAY 5

Today was the road trip stop we were most exciting about because we were going hiking in Arches National Park!  We dropped Rufus off at doggy daycare (because this was the only location on our roadtrip that dogs are NOT allowed) and headed for the park.  I chose Karen’s K9 Campground, and was very please with the facility, highly recommended!  We stopped at the visitors center to get more info and decide what trails to hike.  The trail we decided on were Windows trail (easy), Delicate arch viewpoint (easy) and Landscape arch in Devil’s Garden (moderate).  We decided not to the whole Delicate arch trail (hard) due to time constraints and heat concerns.  The trails we chose were perfect for our day.  The views were beautiful! TIP: If you are not used to higher altitudes you can get altitude sickness (which my sister experienced).  Make sure to bring LOTS of water because even in the springtime, when we went, it gets very hot during the day with little shade on the trails.

The windows trail was just a flat loop, but with multiple arches to see.  Parking here was pretty packed because it’s the first trail along the road going into the park.  The parking lots at farther trails were much less full.  The delicate arch viewpoint trail is short.  We just wanted to see the famous delicate arch, but be aware if you choose the viewpoint trail rather than the full trail you will need a good zoom lens to get good photos because it is pretty far away.  The Devil’s Garden area was really fun! There are multiple offshoot trails where you can scramble over boulders and climb around.  It was like an adult Jungle Gym!

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Window Arch

We then picked up Rufus and hit the road for Arizona.

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Wild horses on the side of the road in the Indian reservations of Arizona

DAY 6

Today we drove to the Grand Canyon to explore with our final road trip destination: Phoenix, AZ (where I was born!)

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Grand Canyon

DAY 7

Today, our final day of driving, we drove five hours to my new home of San Diego, CA!

 

On this road trip, I learned there is so much beauty to be seen and explored across the USA.  I find myself constantly searching for new and exciting places and rarely looking for those places in America.  I’m so happy I got the opportunity to see so many places and experience it with my sister and my pup!

Now get out there and explore America!!

**For more pics check out my Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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