The Great Escape 2016

I’ve been incredibly stressed at school lately–I’m not sure if it’s the new coworker, the homesickness, or the fact that there’s even more to do during the second half of the year than there was during the first half.  Either way, I’ve got a lot going on and I’ve found myself spending more and more of my free time thinking about the one thing that I really want to do: travel.  I definitely got bit by the travel bug when I moved to Venezuela, and it seems like I just can’t stop, won’t stop with the Pinterest travel planning.  Although I’m looking at several trips for 2016, the largest-scale one is definitely this summer’s road trip.  Right now, I simply know that I’m spending about three weeks driving from Maine to Illinois to pick up my best friend, then cruising around the Mountain Time Zone area as much as possible.  I have tons of places pinned on Google maps, but instead of posting all of the possible locations I might go today, I’m going to post the ten that I’m most excited about (obviously except Simone’s house.  Simone’s is the #1 place I’m excited to go, since it will have been a year since I’ve seen her).

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 8.16.29 AM

  1. Arches National Park, Utah — I can’t wait to see some of the amazing arches that I’ve seen all over the internet in person.  I’m also hoping to do some serious stargazing while we’re there.
  2. Yellowstone National Park — for a variety of reasons, but especially for the iconic Old Faithful, the multicolored geothermal pools, and the wildlife watching.
  3. Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota — For some reason, I’ve always been interested in these giant presidential heads carved into a mountain.  Don’t ask me why.
  4. All of the stops in Montana — Those who know me very well know that if I were ever to pick another place to live in the U.S. other than my beloved Maine, I would probably pick Montana.  I’ve never been there, but for some reason Montana just speaks to me.  I’m also considering going to graduate school for literature there, so I’m hoping to spend a day meeting with someone about that.
  5. White Sands, New Mexico — Have you ever seen a picture of white sands?  No?  Well, here you go.  You can bring your own sled and slide down sand dunes.  Who doesn’t want that?
    dunes_as_white_sands_nm
  6. Garden of the Gods, Colorado —  The formations here are incredible, and my third-grade self who loved rocks and wanted to be a geologist so bad is definitely excited to go here.
  7. Hamilton Pool, Texas — I think that I’m driving most out of my way to go to this attraction.  It’s a beautiful natural pool that was created when the dome of a river collapsed thousands of years ago.  I’m essentially planning to drive across Texas to get to it, so I’m hoping that it’s as lovely as I imagine it to be.
  8. St. Louis Arch, Missouri — We drove by this on our way to the Luke Bryan concert last year, and it was incredibly cool.  I wish we had had time to get up close and personal with the arch, climbing to the top, because it was fascinating.
  9. Great Smoky Mountains — I’m excited to drive through the Great Smoky Mountains because they are supposed to be beautifully scenic.  After all of this driving, to still be able to see beautiful sights would be amazing.
  10. National Civil Rights Museum, Arkansas — Since Arkansas is such an intense place (when it comes to Civil Rights, at least) in this country’s history, I’m excited to be able to learn even more about Civil Rights at this museum.  There are a couple of other art museums on my list (if I decide I want to venture into some cities to enjoy them) but I have a feeling I’ll make it a point to go to the Civil Rights Museum, whereas I might skip the others.

 

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