Last week I posted about 8,000 photos of my trip to Croatia, but I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: America is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. In the spirit of Good Old Fashioned American Pride, I’ve decided to post a photo tour through the Great US, as seen by my brother. In case you didnt know, I have a very cool brother. When I posted the “Wanderlust” post that so many of you loved, Ray was starting out on a journey across America and his journey inspired my post. He was moving back home after two years in San Fran and driving across the country with everything he owned in the back of a Jeep. I was home with my two kids and I was deeply jealous. Jealous of the freedom to be anywhere and nowhere all at the same time. (If you have kids, you know, you can never just disappear again. There is no such thing as off the grid.) But now seeing what he did, I really dont know if I could have handled it. (Hard for me to admit it, but true. I once read an article about being a Yuppie that said that about 25 your “Sheraton Gene” starts activating at which point you can no longer crash on friends floors. At about 30-35 your Four Seasons Gene starts kicking in, at which point you can only handle ***** joints. Ha.)
He purposely chose a Northern Route that almost coincides with The Oregon Trail, and hits a ton of major national parks along the way including Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the US, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, Lake Michigan, Niagara Falls and Acadia National Park in Maine – where you can see the first sunrise in the entire US.
My husband and I were placing bets: How many beds do you think Ray slept in along the way? How many showers did he take? Whats the most he spent on a single meal? Well, our never-left-NYC brains could never have guessed that he would sleep in ZERO beds along the way, take ZERO showers- not including dips in some of the world’s most famous lakes, we never heard of a WAG BAG (you so dont want to know) and we actually were surprised that he found an Applebees and spent a whole $25 on a meal. I was guessing 15 max on any one meal.
The pictures are phenomenal. We hope you enjoy them, they are everything I thought they could be and more.
San Francisco, the artists paint on our roof.
Mount Whitney- hiked to the top of the tallest mountain in the continental US, MT Whitney. 14505 feet. 2 days 22 miles
Ancient Bristol cone pine forest- slept beneath the oldest living organisms on the planet, 5000 year old trees! The oldest tree is called Methuselah, named after Noah’s grandfather who lived to the age of 969 (the longest mentioned lifespan in the bible).
Great Basin National Park- climbed the second tallest mountain in Nevada, Mt Wheeler at 13065 feet
Grand Teton National Park- admired the iconic range, hiked around Jenny Lake
Yellowstone National Park- watched wild American bison, geyser basins, steam vents and Old Faithful, hiked Mt Washburn in high snow and strong wind, 10223 feet.
Mt Rushmore – saw the American generals and conquerers, branded into the native Americans holiest site, The Black Forest
Badlands National Park- envisioned myself crossing these parts on a stagecoach, vast, endless, lifeless, colorful, beautiful
On the open road.
Indiana Dune State Park at Lake Michigan- a well needed bath and rest after an 18 hour marathon of driving across the great plains and prairies. 100 degrees and delicious water blue and cool.
Niagara Falls- imagined myself with French explorer Samuel de Champlain, sharing his amazement upon discovering such a place in 1604. What other wonders, treasures, riches, adventures, barbaric natives and wild beasts does this new world, America have to offer!? Let us explore!
Acadia National Park- visited the only national park on the east coast, saw the first sunrise in the nation on july 4th, from the tallest mountain on the east coast The beach at home in Deal, New Jersey.
At Walden Pond.
All photos by Ray Falack.