Wildest Southwest Road Trip (& Stuck at Bonneville Salt Flats!)

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still;
…They roam the world at will,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.
-Robert W. Service

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

It was hard to describe the look in his eyes. We were driving slowly as we were leaving the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, when I turned to look at my boyfriend.

“No.” I said, knowing just what we he was thinking. “NO!”

Suddenly he swerved to the right.

“Noooooo!!!”

But it was too late. We were driving on the salt flats, and he was as happy as a kid. But it was short-lived, because in a matter of ten seconds, we were stuck.  Dead stuck.

***  ***  ***

The night before, we pulled into the rest area sitting next to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The flats were glowing under the moonlight like snow under a cold winter night.  And I couldn’t wait til morning!

I also couldn’t wait to go to the bathroom.

Have you ever seen dragonflies the size of mini-helicopters?  Welcome to Utah.  Ok, maybe not the size of a copter, but big enough to sound like one.  And big enough to make me run out of the bathroom with a full bladder at 1AM.  I’m OK; I’ll hold it.

But by morning, THIS.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

It was also my birthday. I celebrated yet another year around the Sun, full of growth, wisdom, and love. How lucky are we (you and I alike) to experience this Life thing?

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

The salt flats were as magical as I imagined them to be. This place was perfect…

Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville-Salt-Flats-11a

…Perfectly flat, perfectly white, perfectly flawless, perfectly salty.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville-Salt-Flats-24

***  ***  ***

It was also here that we met the raddest couple on the road, Megan & Matt.  Our SUV was stuck in the salty mud, and we weren’t moving an inch.  Megan & Matt initially drove by and noticed we were stuck. Shortly afterwards, they turned back to lend a hand…

…In their very fancy 1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper 8 Sedan!  We were so thankful for their help.  And embarrassed.  Haha!  

They were both touring as part of the Auctions America Henry B. Joy Tour from Detroit to San Francisco.  And one by one, part of their group slowed down as they drove by to take photos of our little fiasco. Hehehe.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Auctions America, 1947 Packard Super Clipper 8 Sedan

We couldn’t thank them enough!  The only thing Megan & Matt asked of us was to give them a shout out on Facebook; they were so proud of their ride :) 

Thank You, Megan & Matt, truly! <3

——————————————

When we decided to go on this road trip, it was really just a random idea.  My birthday was approaching and it was the excuse we needed to request vacation days off work.

Because we can’t sit still!  If we are not wandering mountain peaks, we are hiking local trails.  If we are not hiking trails, we are resting our bodies at home.  And if we’re not doing any of that, we are twiddling our toes and wondering why we haven’t already sold all of our belongings to trade it for a life on the road.

Life goals.

So a midsummer road trip was our way of feeding our restlessness.  And in return, it fed our soul.  Have you ever felt the need to pack and take to the empty road?  Everything may not have planned out perfectly, but we experienced moments we would never have experienced otherwise.  And that makes it all worth it.

Thank you for stopping by, wild hearts! Below are more road trip details — from our stay, to the gear we packed, places we visited, and how we made it all happen — if you’re curious :)  You can also find #WildestSWRoadtrip on Instagram for a compilation of photos from this road trip.

Love & Adventure,

Denise

——————————————

Wildest South West Road Trip

The idea was to live out of our car for ten days while exploring the Southwest. Prior to leaving, I gathered a list of locations I wanted to explore. It wasn’t until we were on the road that I began to map those locations, hoping that they would all be within a short distance of each other.

Some places mapped out perfectly, while others did not.

Where Did Our Wildest SW Road Trip Take Us?

From Seattle:
Roadside Stop #1Cathedral Gorge State Park:

Cathedral Gorge, Moon Caves, Nevada 1.  Grand Canyon National Park:

Grand Canyon, North Rim2.  Antelope Canyon:

Lower Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona 3.  Horseshoe Bend:

Horseshoe Bend, Page Arizona
4.  Lake Powell

Roadside Stop #2Toadstools at Grand Staircase-Escalante:

Toadstools Grand Staircase EscalanteRoadside Stop #3 – Moqui Cave (below)

5.  Bryce Canyon National Park:

Bryce Canyon, Utah6.  Zion National Park:

Zion National Park, Angels Landing, Utah
Roadside Stop #4 – Bonneville Salt Flats

And back to Seattle!

By Day 9, we were back in Washington. We thought about taking a detour to spend Day 10 exploring Palouse Falls, but decided that a day of rest sounded so much better before having to go back to work. But mostly we were eager to come home to our kitties, Paqs and Gio.

The Logistics

The SUV – We rented an SUV that was originally quoted at over $800 (for ten days). After trying to find a better deal, we finally accepted that there was no better deal. Oh well, money comes and goes, right? Just when we had given up, a family friend mentioned she could get us a discount. We paid about one-third of that quote. Deals!

The Gear – We packed our multi-day backpacks in case we backpacked, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, Jebtoil, two 2-gal water packs (because desert heat!), a tent, travel blankets, and one small duffle bag of clothes each. We haven’t yet backpacked. Hahaha. But our Jetboil was the best decision ever!

The Food – We discovered how great freeze-dried food is. Really! Our fave? Mexican Rice & Chicken from Mountain House. Our dinners on the road were that much more amazing. Of course we also packed college students’ favorite go-to gourmet food, Cup Noodle! In case we got desperate, hahaha. And lots of snacks. We made some stops at fast food joints. By the way, those Minute Rice boxes are great on the road when paired with a Jetboil! Who know? Ha!

Our Sleep – Basically we pulled over for the night wherever allowable place possible, put our back seats down, and made our beds in the back of the SUV. Sometimes nights were hot, sometimes nights were cold.
And by the end of our trip, we were thankful for Rest Areas. On Day 6, we couldn’t pass up staying in tipi heaven, Ruby’s Inn. And at Zion Nat’l Park we were forced to pay an overpriced motel room because there were no available campsites or rest areas nearby. And everything was ‘No Parking Zone’.

The Hygiene – I know you’re curious. Most of the national parks (and everything in between) were mostly traveler-friendly. Meaning, there were showers and even washer/dryer facilities available pay-per-use, just for travelers! We used both. But facial cleansing wipes also exist, and they come in handy on the road :)

The beauty of opting for a road trip is that you can expect to see the unexpected treasures of the road. Like this cave in Kanab, UT…

MOQUI  CAVE

Moqui Cave

Probably the most unique museum we have come across. And they had a great collection of really cool bioluminescent rocks :)

 

***

Know an adventurer that would love this post? Don’t be shy to share!

And of course, comment below to let me know your opinions or simply share stories.  If you have any suggestions or would love to see other content on Of Wildest Heart, let me know!

Want to see more photos, recent travel updates, and inspiration? Check out my Instagram! Interested in working with me, or simply want to meet? Email me at ofwildestheart[at]gmail.com

Stay curious, wild hearts!

***

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11 responses to “Wildest Southwest Road Trip (& Stuck at Bonneville Salt Flats!)

  1. Pingback: Chasing Sunflowers & Being Human | Of Wildest Heart·

  2. Hey! Great pictures of the salt flats – I didn’t know there were salt flats in the US. The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia has always been on my bucket list but for a closer alternative it’s good to know there’s Utah :)

    • Thank you, Deb!

      The salt flats in Bolivia are also on my list of places to visit! They look incredible.

      Bonneville was dry when we went during summer, but I’ve seen other photos and they also look amazing as a mirror! :)

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