Sorry for the Buzzfeed-like title, but I wanted to start this series of posts in a striking way. As Mathilde is in her Jomo time, I’m taking control of the blog to share some of my favorite pictures. I wanted to re-explore all the images that we’ve made since we live in the United States. I chose as a first theme: landscapes with a road. It should have been a Top 10, but I got carried away… All aboard!
Since we fell in love with road tripping in the US, our trips have become long journeys in search of the next national park or geological wonder we want to discover. But these checkpoints are not an end in itself, the road itself is worth the trip. The first image of this post (above) is a perfect example: lost in the middle of nowhere, the road goes through the plains of Montana, bordered by mountains, and where one could think he’s a cowboy with his ranch and horses. Throughout this article, we drive from the mountains to the sea, on the plains or in cities! For animal lovers: special selection of photos at the end.
Mountain roads: dizziness and stiff neck
Bottom section of the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park (Montana). In the distance we can see from left to right the Garden Wall, Mount Gould, and Haystack Butte.
On the way to Hurricane Ridge, an amazing place to watch the misty mountains of Olympic National Park in Washington State .
Cascade National Park (Washington). The road turns and goes down the slope along the path carved by a glacier. In all immodesty, I think this picture is really nice. I contacted Ravensburger to make a puzzle. I am also speaking with Geo.
The dizzying part of the Going to the Sun in Glacier National Park. Memorable! We went through it several times, but the sunset is undoubtedly the best time to appreciate the shapes and colors.
We didn’t have time to explore Grand Teton National Park, but the mountain peaks along the road (and who gave the name of the park) are magnificent.
Our local favorite, Acadia park in northern New England. The climb to the top of the (small) Cadillac mountain for the sunset is an unforgettable sight! Especially when you think about the good lobster that awaits you down in the valley …
Pacific surf, turquoise water of Florida or quaint East Coast
Moonlight over the Seven Mile Bridge. This bridge was built in the early twentieth century to connect the keys to replace the railway.
Despite the cars sharing the road with us, the bike ride through Martha’s Vineyard was a great experience. Beautiful Landscapes with meadows and boats on the ocean.
Quiet afternoon at the small beach of Little Compton , Rhode Island. Here lawns are neatly trimmed, houses are white and the ocean is rather chilly.
The dramatic coast of Big Sur. It’s a great show with suspension bridges, large rocks and waves of the Pacific! Taking this photo was perilous.
Road along San Francisco bay. In the distance and hidden by the fog, the famous Alcatraz prison . From here, it seems not so difficult to swim there. But beware of the freezing water of the Pacific coast!
A section of the old railroad that connected the Florida Keys. It is now a pedestrian and bike path parallel to the major highway linking the islands together.
Ah … The sunsets of San Diego over the Pacific have amazed us. Everything is there: light, color and waves! On the picture, a small bridge along the Torrey Pines State Beach. We went surfing every morning and then did yoga on the beach eating kale chips … Just kidding.
Between sea and mountains, desert, frozen or green plains
Time of loneliness and extreme conditions … The Death Valley is wedged between several mountain ranges that block the clouds and rain. NB: the car is not broken.
Massachusetts countryside is much more serene and green. We loved the bike ride around Ipswich (north of Boston), even if we discovered at the same time the terrible black flies, aka biting flies! Again, a picture for which I risked my life.
Backcountry road of New Mexico. I’m not sure that our rental car enjoyed the expedition as much as we did. We understood that the prohibition to shoot on the road signs was not a joke: Some were riddled with bullets along this road!
Yellowstone National Park is like a nature theme park. It smokes, it explodes in all directions. But nature takes its course, the forest grows around the geysers, bisons roam in vast herds and sunsets that blend with thermal fogs are amazing. This summer, geothermal activity was so strong that some roads began to melt …
Montana, again and again … You need a lot of hay to feed the animals. But here people never do things small, hence the huge truck that is about to crush Mathilde into pieces. Luckily she threw herself heroically in the ditch. True story, according to the scenario I imagined finding this photo.
Death Valley makes you sweat? Imagine this frozen plain of Vermont, it’s 10 degrees F outside and there is a strong wind that pierces your clothes. Welcome to New England during the winter. Fortunately there is always a small coffee shop around to enjoy a hot latte, or a farm to taste some local cheddar!
Roads through towns
Left, the very photogenic Brooklyn Bridge overlooking the Freedom Tower, which replaces the Twin Towers. On the right, the Empire State Building, one of the symbols of the city. We plan to stay again in New York very soon.
Typical street of San Francisco, with its hills covered with small houses. Subsidiary question: look for the American flag.
Bourbon Street in New Orleans is correctly named. To celebrate and enjoy decadence, this is truly a place to visit! We enjoyed the special atmosphere of the city (although not specially this street) thanks to the music anywhere, the tropical heat, ancient history, and all religious beliefs and voodoo! Thank you scientific conferences to show us the country.
Boylston Street in Boston was in the headlines following the attacks during the weekend of the marathon. It was a sad day especially since the city is celebrating this race. 26 miles of non-stop cheering.
We loved the city of Seattle, and its location at the edge of the ocean has played in its favor. The coastline is deeply indented with many islands to visit and water that cuts the city in neighborhood. Here a drawbridge raised to allow an old sailboat to pass.
During our visit to Albuquerque, we crossed a small section of the road 66. How can we not mention this legendary road in this post! I confess that I do not have an incredible memory of that place. But it definitely has a special atmosphere, with many motels along the road (some, like the one on the picture, are quite old). It makes you want to know more about the history of this road, and also to explore other sections, more wild and isolated.
Danger ! The other wanderers of the road
You should not forget that in most national parks protected animals are numerous. That’s their homes! So you really have to be careful, especially when driving in the dark. During our last visit to Acadia, a deer jumped in front of the car just before us, and the driver could not stop. Watch your speed!
It is in the great prairies of Montana that bisons grow! We really enjoyed the surprise visit of National Bison Range , although it felt very uncomfortable when one of the “bison leaders” (as we called them) which was higher than our small car looked at us with a very suspicious look. Bison are like cows, they look stupid and you can’t figure out what they think! But they’re big and strong, so respect!
One of the bison leaders hesitates to let us pass. Or maybe he just forgot what he was doing. So he waits there. For a long time. (Sorry for the poor quality of the image taken from a video).
I did not know there were antelopes in the USA! This one was walking around National Bison Range. We wanted to be friend, but there was some disagreement in its blank stare.
The problem with tourists is that they don’t always clean nicely their wastes. So some animals figured that out and by the end of the day come on the parkings to find things to eat. That night, in Glacier National Park, a small group of magnificent bighorn sheeps ventured on the road in search of a snack. They came very close to us, it was pretty impressive, but also sad to see how little wild they were in such a vast national park.
Bonus: Souvenir from the vacation in France
During our tumultuous stay in France last Christmas, we had the opportunity to take a mini French-style road trip. I particularly liked the central regions we crossed when we came back from southeast of France to Paris (with a stop in the lovely town of Bourges).
Have you had a chance to enjoy some of these roads? What are your best memories? My list is likely to expand after our next road trip in late August. More mountains and canyons!
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