I believe in traveling in my camper because it opens my eyes to the world that surrounds me. When I finished eighth grade my family decided to go on a road trip,.. for about eight months. I was switching schools from middle school to high school, and my sister was going from elementary to middle. My mom had just retired from being a teacher, so she decided that we were going to take a long trip in our camper. My dad stayed at home for work, so it was only the three of us. We set out on July 26, 2014 without really having a plan of where exactly we were going to go, only that we would be doing whatever we felt like, day by day. We headed north deciding to go into the warmer weather while it was still summer. I did not want to go on the trip at all. I wasn't happy about having my mother as a teacher, I wasn't going to have any friends for nearly a year, I had to leave my dog at home, and I didn't like idea of spending my life sitting in a car. The original idea had been to travel for just a few weeks and be back for school but somehow my mother managed to change it to a multiple month ordeal.
But, as the beginning days went by I started to enjoy it more and more. I would love to tell you about the entire trip in detail but that would take me hours so I’ll do my best to keep it short.We traveled up through Wyoming, spending two weeks in the Grand Teton mountains and Yellowstone. From there we traveled east through part of Idaho, and then up into Montana for another two weeks. We went to Flathead Lake and I spent one of my days snorkeling out to an island. We visited some old family friends of my grandmothers, and I got to ride their three time world champion quarter horse. We went up to Glacier National Park for a day, and then headed east once again through Idaho and crossing over the North Cascade mountains in Washington. We made our way to Seattle and spent several nights there. My mom’s old friend that lives there took me kayaking in Elliott Bay which is surrounded by the city. I couldn't believe that I was getting the opportunity to see all these amazing things. We headed south, stopping at Mount Rainier, and then continuing on down into Oregon. There we traveled along the coast stopping only at beach camping sites, and going tide pooling almost everyday. When we got to California it was about September 15th and we ended up spending about a month a half there. My Dad flew out to meet us for his birthday and while he was there we visited the house in Crescent City that he grew up in as a kid. We also went for a drive in the Redwood forests and marveled at the size and the beauty of the nearly prehistoric trees. My dad flew home again after a week, and we continued on. We visited the Capital building for a tour and learned about the train systems that started in Sacramento and connected the coasts together. From there we stayed at Yosemite for a week and even did an overnight backpacking trip through the sequoias at the north end of the park, which is a shorter and wider type of tree than redwoods. It was by far my favorite national park that we visited. Afterwards we headed for San Francisco. We toured Alcatraz and Angel Island and on other days we spent in visiting the California Academy of Sciences which houses the largest Planetarium on earth and features a rainforest habitat complete with live animals. I was delighted to know that I was seeing and learning all these things about places and people and that meanwhile all my friends were sitting in classroom back home. We finished up our time in California spending a few days in San Diego. On our way to Nevada we spent a couple days in Death Valley and Joshua tree. In Nevada we didn't go to too many places, it was early November and was pretty cold, but we did go to Las Vegas for several days. After that we went into Utah and went to the five National Parks, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, and Arches. After that we went through New Mexico to The Grand Canyon and from there we went home pretty quickly.
We stayed at home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then we were off again. This time we headed straight down into Texas, and then East through Louisiana and Mississippi. We didn't stop a lot through here, just did whatever we wanted. During this time I found out that back home my dog had been hit by a car and that made me really sad for awhile. But we moved on, going through Alabama and Georgia and making it down the western coast of Florida. We went out to Key west and spent a day scuba diving when we reached the end. We traveled back up the other side, straight through the states above till we reached Virginia beach. There we spent some time not only at the beach but also in the historic triangle, Jamestown, Yorktown, and Charleston. From there we went even further north to Maryland and spent a couple days in DC seeing all the sights and monuments. After that we took an almost direct path east back towards Colorado. My grandfather passed away while we were gone so my grandmother flew out and met us in Tennessee, and traveled home with us from there. We stayed in the Great Smoky Mountains a few nights then drove on to Arkansas and Oklahoma. In both of those states we saw family that we hadn't seen for very long. We also got a puppy to take home with us!! We got home late in May and we were relieved to finally be back in our beds again.
Although the trip was really really long especially for being stuck with my mom and my sister the whole time, but I really loved it on the whole. Even if I hadn't really liked the idea of the trip to begin with, I would do it over again in a heartbeat. I learned so much about our country and the people in it. It really taught me that even though to me my life and the things I have to deal with are really big, in reality I’m one of millions of people in our country alone.In total we were away from home for seven and a half months, visited thirty-nine states, and twenty-eight national parks. It was a huge eye opener for a fourteen year old kid. Traveling will always be something that I believe in. It is a very large part of my life and I look forward to doing it a lot more in the future.