Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West

I always thought it would be fascinating to explore the west & pacific northwest. After moving from Ohio to Texas in November 2016, the west had suddenly became closer, and it was calling out to me. If anything, I at least wanted to visit Colorado.

On July 10th 2017, I loaded up my truck, and set out on a roadrip. I didn’t have any reservations or set plans about where I was going, how long I would be gone, or when I would get back.

I had loaded up the bed of my truck with a Contico Pro Tuff tool bin that held my tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, Coleman stove, and cooking gear. My truck bed also contained my spare tire, shovel, ax, 5-gallon water can, 5-gallon can of diesel fuel, charcoal grill, fire wood, and my bed box that housed my tool kit and on-board air compressor.

The back seat of my truck held my Coleman 12-volt cooler, and (3) smaller bins of food and utensils.

But MOST importantly, the backseat was also home to my traveling companion – Marley. Marley is my 4-year old Labrador that I’ve had since he was a pup.


Where We Went:

This trip lasted 21 days. It went through 13-states, and numerous National Forests and tourist destinations including:

  • Cadillac Ranch – Texas
  • Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum (home of the bus from the movie ‘RV’) – Texas
  • Bishops Castle – Colorado (Yes, we visited a castle)
  • Yankee Girl Mine – Colorado
  • Ouray, Silverton & Telluride – Colorado
  • Pacific Coast Highway & Beaches – Oregon
  • Dodge City – Kansas
  • Eureka Springs – Arkansas

We also visited National Parks such as:

  • Golden Spike National Historical Site – Utah
  • Mount Saint Helen – Washington
  • Mount Rainier – Washington
  • Glacier National Park – Montana
  • Mount Rushmore – South Dakota

We passed over some beautiful mountain passes such as:

  • Monarch Pass (Continental Divide) – Colorado
  • Million Dollar Highway – Colorado
  • McKenzie Highway – Oregon
  • Going To The Sun Road – Glacier National Park – Montana
  • Beartooth Pass – Montana & Wyoming
  • Bighorn Pass – Wyoming

During this trip we slept in rest areas, truck stops, campgrounds, and (3) motels.

We passed military bases, and even nuclear missile silos.

We saw a lot of beautiful mountain views, rivers, wildlife, and even managed to not get eaten by a bear, although there was one lurking outside our tent one night!

Marley and I saw a lot, and I took a lot of photos. We broke the trip down in to individual pages below. We hope that you’ll check them out so we can share our adventure with you.

First – Some Roadtrip Music:

We need a little road trip music to set the mood… (click the video to play):

Bob Seger Roll Me Away Live YouTube play

Roadtrip 2017 – The Adventure Starts Here (click the titles or photo):

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Days 1 and 2 – July 10th & 11th: We hit the road and set out towards Amarillo Texas. We spent the first night sleeping in a rest area, and visited the RV Museum and Cadillac Ranch on the second day. The second day ends at a campground in Colorado with beautiful views.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 3 – July 12th: We hit the road north to tour Bishops Castle, cross the continental divide at 11,312 feet at Monarch Pass, stop at a store overloaded with antlers and stuffed wild animals, and finally find our way to Ouray Colorado.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 4 – July 13th: On day 4, we explored the Million Dollar Highway, Yankee Girl Mine, and the towns of Ouray and Silverton.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 5 – July 14th: Day 5 took us to Telluride Colorado, on a hunt for the Crystal Mill, and in to Utah.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 6 – July 15th: Day 6 took us up to the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit above the Great Salt Lake. We also discovered a rocket / missile museum, and made our way in to Idaho.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 7 – July 16th: On day 7 we stopped in Twin Falls Idaho and saw Snake River Canyon, Evel Knievel’s jump site from 1974, followed the Oregon Trail, made our way in to Oregon, and discovered it’s against the law to pump your own gas in Oregon!

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 8 – July 17th: What a day! From the Beautiful forests, mountains and lava beds along the McKenzie Highway, to the beautiful beaches along US 101 Pacific Coast Highway.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 9 – July 18th: Another day of exploring the pacific Coast Highway, working our way in to Washington, and a bridge to Hawaii??

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 10 – July 19th – Part 1: After spending the night in Washington, we head out to explore Mount Saint Helens, appreciate it’s beauty, and reflect on it’s turbulent past.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 10 – July 19th – Part 2: After visiting Mount Saint Helens, we headed north to visit Mount Rainier and it’s beautiful settings.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 11 & 12 – July 20th & 21st: We finally made it to Montana and visit Yaak Falls, Osprey Landing, Ross Creek Giant Cedars, and the Kootenai River.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 13 – July 22nd: Today we went to Glacier National Park in Montana!

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 14 – July 23rd – Part 1: Hey, is that a nuclear missile silo by the road??? Ya, you just never know what you’re going to see driving across the west.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 14 – July 23rd – Part 2: We continue across Montana to Red Lodge and the Beartooth Highway. We cross Beartooth Pass and the Beartooth Highway, and end up on Dead Indian Hill Road. But engine problems arise, and we still have to get over the Dead Indian Pass.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Day 15 – July 24th: After getting the truck serviced at a Ford dealer, we leave Wyoming and head for Mount Rushmore.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Days 16, 17 & 18 – July 25th, 26th & 27th: We work our way down in to Colorado, visit Fort Collins, and then make our way east to Dodge City, Kansas.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Days 19 & 20 – July 28th & 29th: We spend 2-days visiting the Eureka Springs area of Arkansas.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Days 21 & 22 – July 30th & 31st: We spent the last 2-days of our roadtrip camping at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park just outside of Mena, Arkansas.

Roadtrip 2017 – Exploring The West – Favorite Photos: Of the numerous photos that I took, here are my favorites without the story.