Staying in hotels still has that lingering childhood charm for me. Every check-in is like xmas. What will the room look like? Where’s the pool? Will the wifi work? When is breakfast?
Breakfast. “The most important meal of the day” that I regularly succeed in ignoring completely. That is, unless I’m staying in a hotel. Two words: waffle maker.
Over the course of our 10-day trip, grandpa and I would eat a total of 16 free continental waffles. Our morning in Grand Junction, Colorado, was among them. The Clarion offered the best breakfast spread we’d see in the West — eggs, sausage, yogurt, pastries. And, of course, two prep-your-own waffle machines. We each drank a cup of black coffee and downed a waffle next to some eggs, before taking a second cup to-go and loading up the truck.
The day continued with our drive into Utah. I have to say, Utah has some of the most amazing roadside views I’ve seen. If we’re ranking states on what you see from the highway alone — I say 1) Oregon, 2) Utah. The gorgeous red earth jutting toward the sky looks like another world altogether. And, while everyone had enjoyed their fill of rocks by the time we crossed into Nevada, we all agreed that it was truly beautiful.
We wove along the Colorado River as the sun flooded the valleys to reveal even more of the rich red rock. Every curve seemed to introduce a view more unbelievable than the last — each one worthy of a postcard.
The views explained perfectly why I love road tripping. We hadn’t even made it to our first actual national park yet (on a trip of national parks) and yet we were seeing pieces of the world that so many people miss. Tip-toeing through the weeds for the “right angle” to steal a shot, I took a deep breath in the heart of nowhere, held my camera by my side and simply looked around. Intentionally.
Moments later, I snapped my mountains and turned back to the truck. Looking up, the cliffs towered around us. Boulders tumbled near the road and, here we were in a giant truck, looking as minuscule as could be. I was in awe.