Epic Road Trips, Gypsy Trip, Road Trip, South Dakota, South Dakota
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The Journey of a Lifetime

The Journey of a LifetimeNew Gypsy Trip TagThere isn’t much to say about our last couple of days on the trip. After we left Yellowstone, we stayed in Deadwood, South Dakota in the nicest cabin of our entire trip. The next morning, we saw Mount Rushmore, and drove into Minnesota to sleep before leaving early this morning to come home.  Everything kind of ended slowly, with all of us sorry to see the trip end, but looking forward to sleeping in our own beds, with our own showers and real food. Not something from a gas station microwave or out of the cooler.

We traveled a staggering 7,500 miles on this trip. We covered 17 states in 13 days and 12 nights. We visited two UNESCO World Heritage sites, eight national parks and monuments and as much Pacific ocean as we could squeeze in. We camped in the tent four nights, stayed in cabins three nights and bunked with my aunt and uncle one night. We stayed in hotels in Hannibal, Mo., Manhattan Beach, Calif., San Francisco and Las Vegas. The Paris Hotel at that.

We started the trip eating only from the food we brought, but halfway through the trip we couldn’t stomach any more hot dogs or turkey wraps. That’s when we started living off the land, and by land I mean gas station food. (I really don’t recommend this.)

We did all of this without one time getting into a fight. Without much disagreement about where we should go or what we should do. And we stayed pretty well within our budget. Between the three of us, we completed this trip on approximately $3,000.

I’m trying to think of a more interesting way to end this chapter of my blog, but I’m really just in awe of what we just completed. I don’t think I’ll ever willingly cover that much ground in such a short time again, but there is nowhere we went that I don’t want to return.

SerendipityThat being said, I think everyone should do a road trip like this one. You need to camp. Setting up a tent in the dark in the rain isn’t as bad as it sounds. Just get you a bright lantern and it goes right up. You need to experience new things and see new places.

You need to rent a car and beat the tar out of it. Sailor Moon has no tire tread left and needs about two oil changes. Naming the car is also a must. You need a GPS that will get you lost and that has a split personality. And you need to take your closest friend with you and test the bounds of your friendship.

There’s nothing about this trip I would change. There’s a lot of things I wish I saw more of and more places I wish we had time to visit. I wish I had more photos of Sacramento. I wish my camera hadn’t died on day two and I didn’t end up with a $40 cheapie from Wal-mart. I wish I had more memory on my computer so I could store more media. I wish I could have made it through the trip without getting walked in on in the bathroom, or mistaking a urinal in the men’s room for a fountain. But all of these things were just part of the adventure. They’re part of the stories we will tell for the rest of our lives.

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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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