Frietz Photo | AN AMERICAN ROADTRIP
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AN AMERICAN ROADTRIP

AN AMERICAN ROADTRIP

After planning for months, and not having a solid plan, Caressa and I only had two days before taking off on a month and a half road trip. What little plan we had was to start our trip with a friend of ours but at the last minute he cancelled on us. Caressa furious, and for good reason, and I was in a loop because I did not know what we were gonna do and how we were going to finance the trip. With one day left Caressa came across a great deal on a car rental and we just left. 8 Sates, 2 Countries and 33 days later, we made it back home from one hell of a trip. We started in Phoenix and planned to drive up through Vegas, hit California, follow the coast up to Canada, then loop down through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and finally Arizona. This became our first roadtrip longer then a week. On the morning of day one I had a dentist appointment, so after having a drill in my mouth for an hour we grabbed our bags and took off. Two hours later the pain meds were wearing off and my mouth was throbbing but hell, I was on the roadtrip of my life, searching for adventure.

After driving all night, this wasn’t the only all nighter I spent driving on the trip, we got to Death Valley National Park. After the sun had risen it wasn’t longer before it got hot… unbearably hot. Think of it this way, I grew up in Phoenix so I know a few things about heat, but it was hitting 120 degrees by noon and there really isn’t much shade out there. We drove, we sweated, we explored. That pretty much summed up Death Valley. I’d say one of the best parts were the two hours we spent in the air conditioned visitors center sleeping in the theater. Most of that next night I spent driving again while Caressa slept. At some point in the early morning I finally pulled over to rest my eyes. 

“Two hours later the pain meds were wearing off and my mouth was throbbing but hell, I was on the roadtrip of my life, searching for adventure.”

Day 3. We were far from Death Valley and the temperature was 40 degrees cooler as we drove into a forest of giants, Sequoia National Park. Now listen, everyone talks about the Red Woods, and not to take anything away from them, but Sequoia was something magical. Words don’t fully express how amazing those trees are, and just how small you feel standing next to them. Sequoia was just the beginning. That night we left the forest of giants and drove down to pick up a friend of ours named Trey then headed towards Yosemite National Park. We arrived the following day just after sunrise and after breakfast and a trip to the visitors center, we hiked up top the top of Yosemite falls. the hike was brutal, filled with steep switch back winding up the mountain just parallel to the falls. After reaching the top we continued onward until we found a quiet lookout where we could set up camp. Trey didn’t have any gear so to stay warm that night so the three of us got quite cozy in a two man tent. I guess you can say we had a threesome? Just kidding, don’t take me seriously. The weekend before we arrived it had rained, and snow was in the forecast that night, so needless to say we were weather nervous. We went to bed that night, stacked on top of each other in my two man, and when we opened the tent door that next morning there was nothing like the view in front of us. On a cliff over looking all of Yosemite valley and with the infamous half-dome perched right in front of us, we crawled, one by one, out of the tent. That morning we hiked back down and spent the rest of the day chasing more waterfalls before having to drive Trey back home. We crashed that at his place that night then at 4am the next morning, we were off. Before the sun was in the sky we had made it all the way to the Golden Gate bridge. We sent the morning there appreciating the view San Francisco and the bridge that I had longed to see ever since I was a kid. About two hours after sunrise we continued our drive up the golden coast and onto our next adventure.

Later that same day we met up with Caressa’s best friend Kallie further north in the Red Woods. After wandering around the world’s tallest trees I decided to take my drone out to get some video of Kallie skating down a road. Things were going great until my drone took an unfortunate turn and crashed right into one of the massive trees. It was hard to get over that, I loved my drone, but I did. We stayed with Kallie that night in a campground and the following day we made our way into Oregon. First on our list was Crater Lake. It was a bust in a major way. It was the middle of June, which in my mind makes me think of 100 degrees, and there was a full on blizzard ravaging the area. The park was mostly closed but hey, we played in the snow. After that plan fell through we kept driving and slept in the parking lot of salt creek falls. The next morning with frost on our windows and at 36 degrees we got out and began our day. Ill never forget that day man… Never have I seen so many waterfalls. After salt creek we kept going. Proxy falls and a variety of other falls scattered across central Oregon flooded our path. By the end of the day we were exhausted and we passed out on on random stretch of the Oregon Coast. The next few days after were similar to that one; we drove up the coast, of course hit Canon beach, the hiked to more, and more waterfalls. Trekking to chest deep freezing water, hiked 12 miles to tunnel falls, and many, many more. It was actually a relief when we were able to leave and make it up to Washington to meet Caressa’a brother Camren and his girlfriend Kayla.

We were tired, dirty, and stinky. We were grateful to be taken in by Camren and Kayla. They stayed in the heart of Seattle. After much needed sleep in a real bed the following day we took a walk around Seattle. It was me, Caressa, and her brother. I had never spent any time with him before, man after strolling around the city Ill say he’s a cool guy lol. After our city walk we met up with Kayla, had lunch, and of course, went to a waterfall. Its a given if you’re around me you’re going to have an adventure. Anyways, that following day we were back on the road. We met up with a friend of ours named Jaden and hike up to Colchuck Lake. After the hike Jaden offered us to stay at his place for the night. Stoked to have another bed for the night we accepted. 2hrs on a hwy, 30min on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, then getting into a 4×4 to get up a hill we finally made it to his house. We slept in a garage house with no power on a hay bed. I didn’t know whether to be grateful or be worried I would be murdered in my sleep lol. No offense to Jaden, love that kid, he’s the best, bad that was a hell of an experience lol. First thing in the morning we said bye and got out of there. We hiked to another lake that day then drove back to Seattle where we stayed with an old friend of mine named Nessa.

“2hrs on a hwy, 30min on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, then getting into a 4x4 to get up a hill we finally made it to his house. We slept in a garage house with no power on a hay bed. I didn't know whether to be grateful or be worried I would be murdered in my sleep”

At this point we were two weeks in. We drove that morning to Olympic National Park. You drive all the way up to a lookout where you are surround by snowcapped peaks in all directions. After that, further down the park we made it to rainbow falls and drove all the way to the Washington coast. I had an image in my head of the coast for sunset. I pictured a beautiful coast hike with breathtaking views, but I was wrong. I drug Caressa on a cold, muddy hike in the middle of nowhere. She was literally crying as we trekked through pools of mud. At one point, off to the side of the trail, I saw some sun peering through the trees. I decided to go off the trail to towards the light, well I first say it wasn’t a good idea lol. We bush wacked until we made it to the cliffs edge. Caressa, tears and all, made it there where all her tears were worth it. The sun was setting and right on the coast was a sight Im sure very few have seen. We hiked back that night with our headlamps, again, tired and dirty, but after that sunset, satisfied.

Next, was Canada. We met up again with our friend Jaden and drove into BC. Our first few days we did some hikes, one was a waste. We hiked up to a glacier lake which was completely frozen over! Its almost July! How does that even happen?! Anyways, disappointed we drove out to Alberta. Now that wasn’t disappointing at all. We went all the great spots, Morraine Lake, Lake Louise, Johnson Canyon, and a bunch of other places. After 5 days in Canada we made it back to the US and into Glacier National Park. In Glacier we did the road to the sun and another pretty amazing hike, but in all our time there was short. We continued on down to Wyoming where we spent a day in Yellowstone and the Tetons. After that we crossed through Idaho and made it into Utah. We stayed at Caressa’s sister Kristian’s place for a night then I drove out to meet my friend John in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake. Me and John hiked to 5 lakes and 2 waterfalls pulling in around 16 miles that day. Mean while Caressa got some good walking in hanging out with her mom and sister. We met up with Caressa later that evening and from that moment on everything started going fast. We spent a week in Utah. We almost died from heat and mosquitos in Moab, did slot canyons in Kanab and Escalante, and even camped on top of angels landing in Zion. We had epic dinners at the Creer home, swung off 20ft rope swings, and did miles of mountain off roading. Utah was fricking awesome.

Our trip finished in Arizona. We drove down through Flagstaff and Sedona. Our final stop was slide rock in Sedona. The last thing we did, and Caressa did this too, was jump off a 40ft cliff. I wouldn’t think she would do it but even Caressa leaped off that cliff. Of course, it was because of that that she got hurt and messed up her ears but man I was still proud of her lol. We made it back to Phoenix on a Saturday making our trip 33 days long, the longest road trip I have ever been on. Below is a video that Caressa made of me throughout our travels, I think its pretty good so give it a watch! And thanks for taking time to read about some of our travels 🙂

David Frietz
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