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Maine-California in 8 weeks - Conclusion

10,000 miles! Snowflake and I crossed 20 states in 8 weeks! such an amazing experience. So many stories.

It is not possible for me to write a single article describing my experience at all of these places thus decided to break the experience down into several articles talking about places and learnings (keep checking my blog for more info) and focus this summary on a review of my goals for this trip, did I accomplish them? what are the key learnings?

Goal #1: Get to California in one piece.

I am so thankful that, aside from a small knee scratch during a hike, one flat tire and snowflake's missing toe nail, we made it safely, on time, and without a single road kill! (bugs do not count.) I was just a bit worried about traveling alone into places I had never been and so far from home. My family was terrified, too many road dangers for a mid-age female.

To mitigate the concerns, I paid extra care to my communication and chose my stops wisely where to stop for rest, which hikes to take, who to talk to on the road. I have to say that ALL people I got to interact with in this trip were very nice people, at no moment did I feel unsafe with them but it never hurts being extra careful and aware of your surroundings.

Goal #2: Landscape Photography

My dream for this trip was to come out with a solid portfolio of epic images from the most amazing locations, in particular night sky. I am thankful for all the beauty I got to enjoy though not always the conditions (or my own creativity) were there to capture the desired images. One key lesson that might sound basic yet takes time to understand and embrace is that each landscape requires its own approach, photographing desert is very different than photographing waterfalls. I didn't get many epic photos however, I enjoyed so much beauty and learned a lot about myself as a photographer.

My ONE recommendation to give, which can make your own trip more successful, is FLEXIBILITY. There are many tradeoffs needed not just in terms of accommodation (camping tent vs hotel) but also to deal with weather, crowds, car issues, injuries, side distractions, etc. Avoid frustrations by building some contingency and backup plans in your schedule and/or just be flexible and adjust on the fly - with no regrets.

While planning, keep in mind that rules and conditions at each location vary. Here a some basic things to consider;

- Not all locations are open 24 hrs. Some parks do close gates overnight

- Not all locations allow pets - at all.

- Not all parks have food for purchase available inside the park

- All parks have limited or no cell phone reception

Below are some photos I took during this trip. I hope your trip is fun and gives you and your family long lasting memories.

Do not forget to check my blog for more information and photos! Follow me in FB and IG for more stories and tips!

Please drop a line in the comments and let me know where you are going or where you went. I always am looking for ideas for a road trip!



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