Southwest Road Trip 2020
We are on Coronavirus lockdown and I am getting some time to reflect on my trip in early March.
I want to start by thanking my incredible wife, Ali. She graciously took care of our three kids for 10 days while I was gone. I am constantly blown away by the sacrifices she makes for me and our family. I love that girl so much! Secondly, Cullen from Powers Media House and Powers4x4 went with as my driver, BTS shooter, insider information and friend. Cullen is so talented and his Tundra took us places we literally would not have been able to go if we would have rented a car like I did last year.
One of my goals this year was to spend more time off of the coast and so this year, we were able to drive south through the interior of California instead of the 1. Highway 1 is my favorite road in the world but I was interested in seeing new places I haven’t been before.
A personal highlight for me was driving up the road to Barker Ranch (where Charles Manson was eventually captured by the FBI in 1969) and then camping in Alabama Hills looking at Mt. Whitney.
- Day 1: Flew into Salt Lake City, went out to eat and went to bed
- Day 2: Engagement photos around Salt Lake City at sunrise with Matt and Jenna. Hit the road and drove to the salt flats, through Reno and all the way into San Fransisco
- Day 3: Woke up well before sunrise to pick up Nolan and Michaella and get far enough south of San Fransisco to hit the cliffs at sunrise. Worked our way down to Big Sur. Ate lunch at Nepenthe. My friend Jake Hukee was in SF and drove down and met up with us. Drove back up and ate KBBQ at YakiniQ.
- Day 4: Woke up and met up with Grant and Sarah and drove out towards Goat Rock Beach for their session. After their session, drove down to Turlock, CA for a family session with my friend’s the Geikens. Shot their family photos in the almond trees. Drove after dark to Bakersfield where we crashed for the night.
- Day 5: Slept in a bit finally. The entire Bakersfield area is in bloom and the city smelled incredible. We stocked up on food and water knowing we would be heading in to Death Valley. Drove through Coyote Canyon up to Mengle Pass. The trail cut right into the mountain and was one of the most narrow passes I have ever been on. We were about 2 hours out of cell phone service. The trail was amazing. Came out at sunset and drove through the dark to Lone Pine where we stayed.
- Day 6: Slept in again and went in to Alabama Hills to scout a camp site then drove up to find hot springs. Ate at an amazing deli, don’t remember the name but it was so good. Just dipped my toes into the hot springs because the water was nasty, it was hot outside and I didn’t have the right clothing. Set up camp in Alabama Hills and saw some guys photographing their van so I ran over and we met @keoniglory and @blaine_scinta. The weather was absolutely perfect for camping. Ate reconstituted lasagna for dinner.
- Day 7: Woke up and hit the road to make it through Death Valley before it got busy. Worked our way over to Las Vegas. Made it early enough we went to the Hoover Dam. You will have to ask Cullen to recount the story but since we had a drone in our possession, we were denied entry to the dam so we went back to Vegas. Once Tyler and Morgan flew in, we went out to Best Friend for dinner.
- Day 8: Made our way out of Vegas in the morning to Seven Magic Mountains before hitting Mojave. Cullen suggested the cinder mines and the lava tubes which both far exceeded my expectations. Once we were done, we drove over to Phoenix.
- Day 9: Relaxing day around Phoenix before heading to Corral West Adventures at White Tank Mountains where we ran around with Cait.
- Day 10: Flew back home.
This is my 3rd year doing this trip and if it looks fun, I would love to have you next year!
All photos by me except the ones that I am in which are shot by Cullen.