I wanted to get lost. I wanted no set plans. I wanted freedom to change direction on the whim or stop at any unique roadside attraction. I wanted to relax, have fun, explore, and do it all with the great company of A. So naturally, we threw darts at a map as one of my 30 Things to do Before 31.
A few things to consider when planning, or not planning, a road trip based on the luck of a dart:
This is not for control freaks
Choose your partner(s) very wisely
Pack for all types of weather and adventures, indoor or outdoor
Bring along some water and snacks as you never know how long of a stretch you’ll go before seeing a gas station
Only having five days, we needed someplace within a days drive, so we printed out and created our own map that consisted of CO, WY, UT, AZ, and NM. We agreed to throw three darts in the event that two land in Denver or the surrounding areas. Then…we threw. First dart landed in the Bridger-Teton National Forest just outside of Grand Tetons National Park! Awesome first throw. Second dart landed in Grand Junction, CO…ehh not much there. And the third dart landed smack dab in the middle of Canyonlands National Park. Overall, a lucky success.
Now we had to decide between heading north to the mountains, or passing through the Western Slopes and into Utah. We decided to knock out two darts with one trip and jumped in the car to Utah. There was one catch to this trip, we were already planning on camping along the Poudre River in Northern Colorado so it made sense from there to drive a large loop to Canyonlands, back through Grand Junction, and home.
Day/Night 1: Camped with my brother, sister-in-law, and adorable nibling along the Poudre River. Gorgeous landscape with Elephant Mountain in front of us, great company, good conversation, and delicious food. What better way to start a road trip?
Day/Night 2: Headed West into Utah and stopped in Jensen to check out Dinosaur National Monument. Our nerdy selves came out as we learned about the various dinosaurs that roamed our country including the Allosaurus (T-Rex), Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus), and my favorite, the Stegosaurus.
Day/Night 3: Made it into Moab where we hiked through a labyrinth of rock formations, touched dinosaur tracks, and lazed in the Colorado River – a natural swimming hole! That night we couched surfed with a friend in Moab after unwinding at Moab Brewery.
Day/Night 4 & 5: Fell in love on Gemini Bridges and explored the steep dirt roads and red trails of Canyonlands National Park…more to come
On our way home, we did swing through Grand Junction, CO for dinner. Everything else was closed, so we headed back home to Denver.
I will leave you with a picture of my newest favorite place…