California part 1!
Driving from Denver to LA
Our original plan was to leave Colorado early Saturday morning, but we were too excited on Friday so we decided to just pack up and drive to Grand Junction and knock 4.5 hours off of our drive. Waking up at 6:30 and getting on the road at 7:30 was much more pleasant than the 3:30 am wake up call we had planned.
Our route took us through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. I fell in love with Utah five minutes after driving through it - look at those views and those mountains! I've already started planning a trip to Arches. We were only in Arizona for about 30 minutes but we drove through an incredible canyon that popped us out right on the Nevada border. We wanted to play a game where we counted all the casinos we saw, but it was only 4 so it turned out to not be that much fun. Since we were headed to Death Valley instead of directly to LA, we didn't go through Vegas, but around it on some of the weirdest back roads ever.
But California finally appeared! I made Logan pull off for some photos, but we wanted to find some good photo spots for the Super Bloom before it got too dark so we kept going.
This is where the highlight of our roadtrip out there begins for me. I was so giddy driving into the park!
I was getting pretty bummed out because a storm had come through 3 days before we got there and wiped out most of the blooms at lower elevations, so we decided to park the car and go for a walk. We walked a short distance to Zabriskie Point and got all of these gorgeous panoramic views of the badlands. It made me feel better and helped remind me that even if I didn't get to see the Super Bloom, I was still in an incredibly gorgeous National Park.
Besides, 15 more minutes of driving brought us to this:
Wandering through the fields of the Super Bloom was so surreal. Partly because I wasn't totally sure we'd be able to find it because of the storm, but partly because Death Valley is one of the hottest, driest, and lowest places in North America and seeing so much life and growth on the valley floor was incredible. It was also a little strange to have park rangers encourage visitors to leave the road and just walk off the trail, but they're right, that is the best way to experience the bloom. We wandered as long as we could, but we still had a long drive ahead of us so we had to get going.
We left Death Valley right at sunset and had 5 hours left to go to get to our hotel. We filled up with gas in the park and turns out that was the right decision - gas on the road out of Death Valley was $8.00 a gallon (!) because it was the only gas for 100 miles.
Logan got us into LA at around 10:30, but because of daylight savings we lost an hour that night. We spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in DISNEYLAND! We rode every ride we could, ate lots of churros, and held hands most of the day. Neither one of us had been to Disneyland before and, if you know Logan, you know how much he loves Disney so this was a blast. (We even saw some celebrities, whaaat?)