With the Wind: A Summer Roadtrip Series [PHOTOS]

Posted on July 27, 2015

5,800 miles, 16 states, 3 National Parks, 4 National Forests, 1 Wilderness area, a handful of BLM areas and more pigging out on America’s yummiest food than I care to admit. Tanya and I did it all in 15 surreal days, and I’m just now catching my breath to share a few images from our adventure.

We picked our main destination, Lake Tahoe, did a little planning, loaded the car with gear, grub and tunes to last us for a few weeks and set off. It really was that simple. No minute-to-minute itineraries or cross-terminal sprints. Every method of travel has its own flavor of shenanigans–however, I prefer the spontaneous do-whatever-the-hell-I-want kind of shenanigans that make road trips memorable.

It’s not for everyone–our lack of planning would drive most people up a tree. In fact, the majority of our trip was unplanned–guided purely by mountains, wonder and where we wanted to camp. And food. Lots and lots of delicious food. Here’s a small taste of what we saw and experienced.


A golden sunrise hits the valley east of Grand Teton National Park.

Teton mornings are the best kind of mornings.


Desolation Wilderness' Lake Aloha at sunrise.

Aloha, Lake Aloha.


Lake Aloha under a stary summer night.

Headlamps make for great pens in the night.


Pacific Crest Trail meets the Tahoe Rim Trail for 50 miles. From just north of Carson Pass, up through Desolation Wilderness and splitting at Twin Peaks.

Pacific Crest Trail marker on the Tahoe Rim Trail.


Overlooking Echo Lake in Desolation Wilderness, with California's Crystal Range in the background.

Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail/Pacific Crest Trail through Desolation Wilderness. Headed NOBO from Echo Lake to Lake Aloha.


Hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail near the California + Nevada border.

Hiking the TRT, just past Kingsbury Grade South & the Heavenly Resort ski area into California.


Morning at our campsite near the Kingsbury Grade South trailhead on the Tahoe Rim Trail.


Campsite on the Tahoe Rim Trail, near the Kingsbury Grade South trail-head in Nevada.

Setting up our first campsite along the Tahoe Rim Trail.


Hiking along the California + Nevada border via the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Hiking through thick forest cover on the Tahoe Rim Trail.



All smiles along the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Smiles for miles.


Grand Canyon cliff at sunset.

Taking in a cool desert sunset high above the Grand Canyon.




Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim on a warm summer morning.

Take a seat along the Rim Trail of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Plenty of views to go around.


That395House, a dilapidated home near Yosemite National Park and Mono Lake.

#That395House, an abandoned structure on California’s 395, made popular by Instagram travel photographers.


Yosemite National Park's Porcupine Flat campsite on a chilly summer morning.

Yosemite mornings are great for reflecting on how lucky we are to have our National Parks.


Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park provides a picturesque backdrop for a little hammock time.

Hangin’ out on Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park.


Perfect campsite in California's Desolation Wilderness, along the Tahoe Rim Trail and Lake Aloha.

Home is where you stake it. (How I wish that were a more permanent statement.)


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