Back in fall my husband got the offer to transfer his job from Maryland to Washington State. We didn’t have to think too long about it and went for it. He grew up in Oregon and went to College in Washington. You could probably say that he is married to the Northwest. While I was excited to be closer to family and friends I wasn’t so sure if I could handle the weather. It also meant that I would be further away from my family and that a trip home would become more difficult and expensive. But for now I want to focus on all the positive things this move brought with it. It’s the great Northwest! There are waterfalls everywhere, big forests, a dramatic coast and wilderness. Those are such great backdrops for photo shoots and landscape photography. Yes, I am a little excited about that.
We moved ourselves and took Route 40 to avoid the snow up north. That turned out to be a smart decision because of all the snowstorms that went on up there. We were driving for the first few days and only stopped for food and when we got too tired. When we reached Arizona and Utah we took some time to check out Painted Dessert, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. It was so worth it! I will blog individually about these places.
We were renting a Penske truck for our big move and I can highly recommend this company. They were over $1000 cheaper than U-Haul. We left our apartment on December 15th.
That night we stopped somewhere along Route 81 between Roanoke and Knoxville.
On our second day we made it all the way to Little Rock, Arkansas.
The following day we were driving through Oklahoma City and made it all the way to Amarillo TX. Gas reached a low of $2.83 per gallon. That’s one good reason to move to Texas. On our 4th day we drove through Albuquerque and made it to Arizona. We spent the night in a small town called Holbrook, not too far from the Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Forest wasn’t on my list of things to see down there but my parents said that this is one place we must see. I didn’t care all that much about petrified trees. They explained to us that there is more to see than petrified trees. Painted Desert is part of this National Park and absolutely breathtaking. I’m so happy I listened to my parents this time :)
We got up really early that morning to be at the park right after sunrise and so that we would make it to Monument Valley in time to see the sunset. It all worked out perfectly.
We stopped at the Blue Mesas Trail and went on a little walk through the rock formations. It was so beautiful.
The drive from Painted Desert to Monument Valley is very interesting. There is lots to see on the way and I had my camera in my lap the whole time. You are driving through Navajo land which makes it even more interesting. My post about Painted Desert.
After a quick subway lunch stop at Kayenta we entered Monument Valley. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy when we got there. And the sun wasn’t really shining that much on the rock formations.
We stayed at The View in Monument Valley. A Navajo run hotel which has a spectacular view over the Mittens. That’s the view from the Restaurant terrace:
The Restaurant is really good by the way. I had the Sheep Camp Mutton Soup which was amazing. First I had to look up what Mutton means. I stayed up a little longer to photograph the moon and stars. The next morning I got up super early to photograph the sunrise. Problem was there was no sun. I woke up to snow and fog which was pretty amazing. Click here to see more images of Monument Valley.
And then we drove to Page, AZ, had the best Mexican lunch and decided spontaneously that we want to pay the $35 per person to go on a Antelope Canyon tour. We went on the 3pm tour which obviously was already pretty late to take gorgeous photographs but I was allowed to bring my tripod to the tour which is usually only allowed on the photographic tours which are way more expensive. We went to Upper Antelope Canyon with Chief Tsosie Tours. More pictures of Antelope Canyon.
Can you see the bear?
After we were done we went straight to Horseshoe Bend to catch the last light. Got there right in time. My post about Horseshoe Bend.
That evening we made it almost all the way to Salt Lake City. It was snowing heavily when we got there. The next morning we slept in a little and started our last stretch of the journey. Stopped in Boise to do some Christmas shopping. Some snowy mountains along Route 84:
And then we got to Oregon/Washington and guess what?! That’s right fog and rain :)