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Jason, Amber, and I just got back from an epic 2-week road trip.

I took a lot of photos. Buckle up or scroll at random.

Pre-trip art

The kitchen will probably never be this clean again

Last shot of the piano before it goes away while we’re gone…

Our stuff crammed in the Scion

First super-exciting stop: GAS

Crazy head removal device

First actual stop: Ames, Iowa to visit Amber’s friend Teagan

Windmill arms are HUGE

Jason is crazy for POTATO OLES

After driving for an entire day through Nebraska, we reach Colorado and I may have gone SLIGHTLY MOON-CRAZY

We crashed near the “Catastrophe Restoration”. Fitting. We also ate apples for breakfast from their trees.

“Tank n’ Tummy” just seemed like a weird name for a gas station. Also notice the car wash with SOFT WATER.

Stickin’ the camera out the window at a huge Colorado sky

First glimpse of the GREAT SAND DUNES

“Why is there water in my peanut butter and sand in my nuts?”

Yaaaay sand

We hike our way out onto Tatooine

That’s a lot of sand

Neato sand beetle! (Click to make it huge, these photos turned out WAY COOL)

Bowl of sand in the mountains

Sand made me kind of crazy (crazier?)

Jason went rolling down the hill, and Amber followed

Sky and sand


Distant hikers for scale

Sand stances

Jason trying to take a picture of the bottom of his foot for some reason

A storm rolls in across the miniature desert

Amber’s ear the next day

Stopping at some random scenic spot in the Rockies

Climbin’ over some rocks that were supposed to keep us out of trouble

The view out onto the lake

Something was hilarious


Leaving some temporary rock art

Colorado sunset

Then, we reached Utah the next day.

Photographer in the frame:

Dwarfed by some arches

Fun with sandstone

Things that grow in the desert


Staring at the signs

Lizard pals


Hiking up into the arches

Another gecko friend

A neat tree and Jason’s method of protecting his neck

Through the window

Hiking onward!

There were a lot of rocks

And quite a few other tourists…

Approaching the big arch thing whose name I can’t remember

On the way out

Jason pulls over at the side of the road in Utah to try to gather some gypsum crystals

Immediately after this picture he threw them out the door, voting them NOT COOL ENOUGH

What it is like in the back of the Scion

Cleanin’ dem bugs off

Dinosaur keeps watch

Stopping for an amazing sunset when we reach Nevada

Cameras just couldn’t capture this

Getting a better vantage point

The next morning, driving on into Nevada

I am easily fascinated by the sky

Like I said, easily fascinated

Up the pass into Yosemite

Stopping for some pictures in the starkness of Yosemite

Outside the grossest gas station restroom in California, some pretty flowers

Kind of a blank spot here where Jason and I went to Gavic’s wedding and I forgot my camera. Have a few blurry shots on my phone that I am too lazy to paste in here. It was up in the redwoods and super lovely to see everyone.

Trying to find a parking spot in Santa Cruz, Jason drives around the block and I get to capture the Scion in Action Mode:

The next day, Jason deposits Ryan’s book at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City:

And meditates under the bodhi-like tree

After we sat for a bit outside the center, a friendly fellow whose name I painfully cannot remember had us in for a tour of their space:

Passing through San Fran’s finest concrete abominations

Grafitti in the park

Hiking through the park to meet up with SF friends

AND SUDDENLY, Grateful Dead tribute band and tons of hippies. Yup, San Francisco is pretty predictable sometimes.

The hill over the city

Deep chats in the forested park

Cool Mexican place we ate at

Jason for some reason needed this picture:

The place we stayed at in Berkeley was lovely

Over the Bay Bridge into SF proper

We did not have time to stop so we rolled on through…

To the Golden Gate

And into the redwoods



Loving the trees

There are neat other plants too

Heading into the hills above the redwoods

Hot hike

Driving down the coast

Stopping for some pictures and fresh air

Hittin the beach

After driving a while, it got pretty cold by the ocean but we still wanted to try to camp on a beach.

So we set up behind a nice rock wall where there didn’t seem to be any no camping signs

Click to make this one bigger and notice warnings 3 and 6

BUT THEN we unfortunately got kicked off the beach by a park ranger. Living the hippie dream was denied us and we had to go to a lame campground.

Exhaustion after setting up the tents, tearing them down, and finally setting up in another crappy campground instead of the beach.

The stupid bird that woke me up

Tents in the grass

Amber’s tetris job is pretty impressive

For some reason a peacock lived at this campground and came up to us

Me kicking at the peacock so it doesn’t give me a peacock disease

Wooo nature

More crazy ocean shots

The goofy tree you can drive through

Jason liked the pond nearby and its frogs

And then yes, we did drive through the dang tree

That night we camped in the redwoods

And did a bit of hiking and staring up at the trees

Driving hilarity (and mess)

Still love the sky

Are you mindful?

Long road

Witty political commentary on Ayn Rand at the rest stop

Did I mention we did a LOT of driving?

Anyone want to buy a gas station?


Jason bought a Powerball ticket

Down a scary night trail in Glacier

The next day, hiking up and over the ugly mountain north of Lake MacDonald in Glacier

Proud of grapes

Not even 10 minutes on the trail and we spot a black bear.

Jason was leading, and his nonplussed “There’s a bear on the trail guys” cracked us up pretty good. Also we didn’t get eaten. Yay!

Couldn’t get a very good photo though, time to play Where’s Waldo:

Continuing onwards

Farting with focus

Can I eat it???

Branchy tangles

Hike on, and on, and on

Lots of trees

Self portrait of a tired hiker


Somehow my pack is not soaked through with sweat yet

Jason saying “FML”

But he hikes on nonetheless, the promise of pretty lakes ahead!


Jason is dead

Recovering at the side of the trail

We finally reach Trout Lake



Onward, yet more!

Okay seriously this place is big


Hiking hiking hiking hiking hiking hiking hiking hiking

OK sheesh break time

The sun is starting to set

Down to the mountain stream’s shore to get some water

Through the valley of green

Reaching Arrow Lake, our destination, just at dusk

The totally amazing knot that holds our food up in the air where only flying bears can get it, and the very proud knotters

Weird tree by our site

Waking up in the morning

Shadows on the lake

Pretty decent place to wake up

Coffee and breakfast (beef jerky is an important food group)

Jason is a tree

More postcards of the lake before we leave

Along the shore

Self portrait and sky

Self portrait and peace

Morning meditation by the lake (disturbed by chipmunk)

Flowers n’ bugs

The last shot of Arrow Lake

Hiking back out through the Valley of Green

I took a picture of some rocks?? I don’t know

Jason pointing towards the better water


Tired feet

Stopping at Trout Lake for a swim


By the lake (we saw a black ferret here but I failed to get a picture of it)

Goodbye Trout Lake!

Hike on!

Awww garsh

Does this mountain ever end?



Jason dropped his energy bar and made a poop joke

And then we kept hiking WHAT A SURPRISE!!!

Okay, now, this next one you may need to click on to see. There’s a bear face down there! A grizzly bear face!

The grizzly moving off

Still not off the mountain

Burnt desolation and flowers

WE MADE IT BACK. Time to write something!

Fancy hiker hair

This one I was trying to take a self portrait of exhaustion and captured Amber in a moment of SERIOUS

Okay, no really, we’re happy…

Heading up the Going-to-the-Sun Highway


Ridiculous mountains

Ridiculous roads (and amateur white balance problems, these photos are actually chronological but they look like they are from different times of day because I have no idea what I’m doing)

We had to catch some amazing mountain air

Can’t capture the wonder of this

No campgrounds in Glacier are open, so it is time for the trusty towel

How not to sleep in a car

The Scion just keeps tickin

More hikes, this time up to Iceberg Lake

Warning: skinny white nerd chest



Walking into beauty

Crossing some snow

Then some shots standing in front of the mountain stream and pasture

Seriously, we were standing RIGHT HERE. WHAT

Flying up the mountain

Rounding the corner to ICEBERG LAKE. They are not joking with the name:

Cameras cannot capture it

I waded in to grab some ice

We ate lunch on a trail near the shore and got bothered by this little cutester who wanted our food


Sunlight in streams

Writing by the ice

Jason is really pleased with this rock

What it looks like if you don’t look at the lake

I decided to dunk my head in


Weird KOA “Tent Village” setup

The “scenic view” past the trees at the Great Falls KOA

Welcome to Roundup!

Butterbean is happy

Dogs at the dog ranch

Surveying the fire damage at Sandy and Warren’s ranch

Sleeping bumblebee in the hollyhocks

Field of sunflowers in North Dakota

JET BUS SAYS: “Jets are hot! Drugs are not!” ????

Passing five thousand miles


Abstract car sunset

3AM: We’re finally back in Madison with 5,470 miles under our belt. Plus about 50 more because we started the thing late.

WHAT A TRIP. My head is still spinning.

Here are some unsorted uncommented photos from Jason also:

categories: photos