The summer of 2020 was a stressful time for most people. After returning home from a longer than expected rotation overseas, my family and I were itching to take a long overdue vacation. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic most of the travel plans we had made were cancelled and left us back at the drawing board. So, after some collaboration and extensive planning, we decided to pack up the car and hit the open road. We had no idea how much fun, awe inspiring, quality family time, and of course driving we had ahead of us.
As we left our home in Augusta, GA we started up the east coast with the first stop in West Virginia. As luck would have it, it began to rain just as we pulled into the camp site. If you haven’t pitched a tent in the evening while trying to wrangle three little children in the rain, who have been stuffed in a car for 9 hours, I highly recommend it. With that being said, the rest of our time in the smokey mountains was followed by beautiful weather and scenery.
From there we made a quick stop in Ohio to see family before we started the big adventure out west. Some of the more notable places we visited included Pactola National Forest in south Dakota, The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Arches National Park. During the month-long journey and multiple campsites, my wife and I went from taking a couple hours to unload the car and pitch the tent (we did not pack light) to getting everything unpacked and set up in an hour flat. This vacation was a blessing in disguise as we had such a great time that I fear would have been missed if it were not for the pandemic forcing us to rethink our family trip.
When looking back at the pictures of our trip we are still in disbelief of how beautiful and memorable the time together was. Although the photos do not come close in giving nature its due credit, it’s the best we could do. Whether you are the outdoors type or not, I would highly recommend taking advantage of all the beautiful national parks our country has to offer. They will not disappoint!