Solo Travel: American Southwest and Pacific coast
Pretext: Young Lousiana male selects Computer Science as field of study based on parental request. Works three years in field of choice. Pays off student debt and builds savings. At the age of 24, while creating a “time budget” sees that selected Job, while financially rewarding, does not provide true return on time investment. Decides to quit job and reevaluate work/life balance while traveling.
Text: I love camping so I have decided to take a half a year and travel through the National Parks of the American Southwest and Pacific coast spending anywhere from a few days to a month at each park. The current path is: Big Bend> Guadalupe Mountains> Carlsbad Caverns> Petrified Forests> Canyon lands> Bryce Canyon> Zion> Grand Canyon> Sequoia> Yosemite.
I want to know other people opinions on what I should expose myself to while on the trip
Books to bring (preferably non-fiction/self development)
Music to listen to (I tend to lean into Acoustic/folk/singer song writer music)
Non National Park locations worth experiencing.
Anything you think worth mentioning.
Also if you have a personal travel experience about self discovery you want to share, I would love to hear it.
Million Thanks for anything you want share.
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@ijesuschrist, If you’ve ever seen characters on the show ‘Lost’ have a flashback, that’s what I imagined happening at the end of your first reply, haha. Anyway, that seems like quite the experience, just traveling on your own like that.
You NEED to see the Hoh Rainforest, but its all the way in WAshington state. Its so amazing, and stopping at california?! Oregon is beautiful! Washington too… I would cut out half your trips and substitute in a few in washington and oregon…
I solo travelled in washington and oregon for a couple weeks, it was really… interesting. I didn’t have as much money as I wanted (only about 1500$ spending for 3 weeks + travel is low). You need to put aside all your inhibitions and talk to everyone you see. The people in parks are usually interesting, especially also if alone or with friends (couples and families are boring).
You can probably hitch hike if you’re a bigger guy… I did it three times and met some amazing people. One guy let me in, talked like a father to me, told me I could work for him if I needed money (didn’t do it though).
It was really worth doing, not for the site seeing, not for the self-improvement, but something else. It was just a thing I had to do. I needed to do it…
@tgary4, I took a 2 week road trip last year through the southwest and california. I drove from northern california down to albuquerque and made this big loop. We were on highway 1 going up the coast of California, the road is really windy and crazy, it’s a fun drive. Anyways my son (he’s 3) throws up as were driving through big sur. I pull off to the side of the road and clean him up and we see this litle trail going down the cliffside so i throw him on my shoulders and we go on a walk so he can get some fresh air and calm down. Within like a half mile we found this tunnel that cut through a hill and on the other side was this crevice in the cliffs that the waves would crawl back into and crash in huge explosions. It was an amazing spot, and was just tucked down away off the side of the road. Big sur’s got alot of secret spots like that and i regret not stopping there to take it all in. I’ll definitely be going back to visit, and i recommend you add it to your list as well.
Also point reyes national seashore, it’s just above san francisco. Once you get further back in you won’t see all the day visitors, it’s a pretty amazing place as well.
And if you go to Yosemite, go up to Tuolmne Meadows it’s about an hour and half drive once you’re into the park. If you make friends with the workers or the locals up there ask them to show you the big granite waterslide. There’s a smaller pool on top you can chill in and let a tiny waterfall pour over you and then it’s a about a 60 meter trail of water down this slab into the big pool at the bottom. It is amazing.
Carlsbad Caverns is amazing, definitely keep it on your list.
Check out Blake Mills album Break Mirrors, and Neil Young’s album On the Beach. I’d imagine you would be into them. Have fun man!
Sounds like an awesome trip! Yosemite is fucking rad. Check out Ansel Adams. His photography of the place is perfect.
Some music I like listening to in nature: Explosions in the Sky, Bon Iver, Conor Oberst, City & Colour, Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, Frank Turner, Deerhunter to name a few
@ijesuschrist, Redwood and Olympic was on the original path. I could probably kick Canyon lands and Petrified forest (or just stop for a day or two) and make it further north. should be well into summer by that time so It might be a better Idea to balance our the spring desert and summer pacific coast.
how did the planning out sleeping situations work out with Hitchhiking? I’ve been biking 50+ miles a week for the last couple of months and imagined maybe doing at least some of the trip on bike. The bike is definitely making the trip with me but i figured it would be better to have my car as a place to sleep no matter where I end up.
downloading a sample of it all now. :)
@tgary4, I slept on the side of the road twice, once was under a bridge and woke up to a guy pissing over my head (not on me, just right next to me)…
it was an experience.. I really did whatever the fuck I wanted to. I wouldn’t necessarily endorse it, but don’t be afraid to do anything. Seriously. Have the time of your life, you’re alone in new lands and if bad shit happens, who cares, nobody knows who you are. If good shit happens, awesome – make sure to keep in touch with them and take pictures and memories :)