To kick off the summer, we ventured out of the golden state and took a USA road trip across the country. With two paddle boards, an electric skateboard, several pairs of hiking boots, a giant bag of coffee, yoga mats, a medley of fruit snacks and energy bars and a fully rigged out camper-friendly Mazda 3, we set out on our trip. The initial itinerary was a bit intimidating. For the first time, we had planned to drive through nine states in eight days, with the final destination of New Hampshire on the horizon. Given that Austin and I hadn’t seen so many parts of this beautiful country that we call our home, we were so unbelievably excited. There is always the element of uncertainty that arises when going on a grand adventure, but we were prepared.
Our friends were waiting for us in New Hampshire, so we had to keep a tight schedule. We had many paddling adventures planned upon arrival. Austin and I left Los Angeles at 6:00am, and the adventure had begun. We pressed play on Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone on audiobook, and we were off!
CA – UT
6 hr / 381 miles
600 Leave CA
1200 Arrival in St George, UT
Stay at Snow Canyon Campground
Our first day of driving was easy. We made it to St. George in the afternoon with plenty of time to hike and explore the area. See photos below for our adventure in the campground. At this point, we had finished our first audiobook and were wrapped up in all the fun of our adventure.
St George – Moab
5 hr / 339 miles
600 Leave St George, 1100 Arrival in Moab
Moab Brewery, Arches National Park Hike, Skate along CO River @ Sunset
Stay at Red Cliffs Lodge
Arches National Park was something out of a dream. I felt like I was on another planet walking up the steep cliffs and Mars-like atmosphere. There are so many hikes left to explore in that place, and I can’t wait to be there again soon. We got some chips & salsa at the Moab Brewery and then headed to Red Cliffs Lodge for the night. Our room gave us a perfect view of the Colorado river, sunrise to sunset.
UT – CO – NE
Moab – Glenwood Springs – Ogallala
3 hr / 200 miles, 5.5 hr / 317 miles
600 Leave Moab, 900 Arrival in Glenwood Springs
1100 Leave Glenwood Springs, 1700 Arrive in Ogallala
Stay at Lake McConaughy Campground
Driving through Colorado was pure magic. Nestled in this massive state is the most gorgeous collection of mountains, rivers and untouched terrain that is only a stone’s throw off the highway. Certainly a stark contrast to the rocky arches of Utah.
We were blessed with the most beautiful sunset when arriving in Ogallala (try saying that city five times fast). The campground was secluded and serene, with only a few families rolled up on the beach enjoying the summer day.
Day 4 & 5:
NE – IA – IA
Ogallala – Des Moines – Davenport
6.5 hr / 461 miles, 2 hr / 120 miles
700 Leave Ogallala, 1400 Arrival in Des Moines
1500 Leave Des Moines, 1700 Arrival in Davenport
Stay at hotel
IA – IN – OH
Cadar Rapids – Chesterton – Perrysburg
7 hr / 486 miles
600 Leave Davenport, 1730 Arrival in Perrysburg
Stay at hotel
Days four and five were dedicated to driving, and we had planned to stay at hotels. Sometimes its necessary to take a break at a Holiday Inn and enjoy the wifi, breakfast buffets and showers (most importantly) that they have to offer. We traversed through many, many miles of farmland in Nebraska and Iowa until we reached the meeting place of three cities along the Mississippi. In this cute little town, Davenport is lively and fun with a lot of personality. We checked out some of the local breweries along the water and had a lovely night to wind down after several days of camping. The Great River Brewing Co and Front Street Brewery were two of our favorites.
These two days were filled with quite a bit of rain as well, which quite honestly made it hard to get good photos. We had cleared past the halfway point on the trip and knew that the next stop was to see some of our closest friends up in Buffalo, NY.
Day 6 & 7:
OH – NY
Perrysburg – Buffalo
5 hr / 308 miles
700 Leave Perrysburg, 1200 Arrival in Buffalo
Hang out with Kevin & Christian & paddle!
Stay in Buffalo for 2 nights
On the road again! We got to Sunset Bay and couldn’t believe that this perfect paradise exists in upstate NY. Kevin & Christian are our paddling friends who run SUP Erie Adventures, a multi-sport service and recreational guide serving all of Buffalo and Western New York. Our first night in Buffalo was one of my personal favorite nights of summer so far. We had some drinks at the cutest restaurant on the beach, made vegan curry for dinner, and had a bonfire until the stars came out.
The next morning, we slept in and then went for a paddle along the shores of Lake Erie. Paddling here is such a special experience — we were followed by eagles around the cliffs on such a beautiful and sunny day. We then took a hike to Zoar Valley which was another other-worldly experience. I felt like I was in another country. The pure beauty that exists here was unbelievable. After hiking and a quick paddle at Sunset bay, Austin and I skateboarded around the neighborhood before dinner, and then went to sleep early to prepare for our last day on the road.
NY – MA – NH
Buffalo – Portsmouth
7.5 hr / 505 miles
500 Leave Buffalo, 1330 Arrival in Boston, 1800 Arrive in Portsmouth
This was our longest day of driving, although it was somehow the easiest. By now, we had our routine down with the occasional stops at Subway, gas refills and stretch breaks, and driving trade offs between the two of us. Immediately after arriving in New Hampshire, we grabbed some food and then went for a beautiful evening paddle. Our trip had come to an end, but the adventure was only just beginning. Austin and I are now paddling every day and working at a surf shop on the beach. Currently planning the next trip, so stay tuned!