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United States of America

See America First

In keeping with the popular slogan of the early 1900s US National Park Service campaign, we have chosen to “See America First.” We have visited more than half of the United States in the last year.

Things to See in the United States

Watch the bison wander through hot springs in Yellowstone, Wyoming
Boondock on BLM land
Raft with the sea otters in Morro Bay, California
Get your kicks on Route 66
Watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean
Wander the Superstition Mountains, Arizona
Camp on the beach of South Padre Island, Texas
Watch the sunrise over Grand Teton, Wyoming

50 Nifty United States

Let Me Break It Down For You

It's hard to consolidate the attractions of a country spanning 3,531,905 square miles. It has prolonged coastlines along the Atlantic and Pacific. It is bisected by the Appalachian, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. It rises to the arctic circle in Alaska and flirts with the equator in Hawaii. And while I may attempt to draw broad generalizations from our years of exploration, perhaps you may want to delve deeper into a single state.

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United States

Click through to explore a specific state.

Boondocking

12 destinations

Boondocking or "free camping" is staying over night in informal campsites such as undeveloped campgrounds, parking lots, or driveways.  This can mean drastically different camping styles depending on the individual.  We have had our share of secluded nights in the wilderness and noisy truck stops.  The common thread through all of these? We didn't pay a cent for the site.

Camping

8 destinations

Hiking

22 destinations

Kayaking

1 destinations

Overlanding

12 destinations

Sailing

1 destinations

Visiting Parks in the United States

Be it National, State, or regionals parks, the United States are chalk full of amazing parks.

  • Some things we take for granted: death, taxes, and titles that are descriptive of their content. When we headed into the wilderness of Pennsylvania truck stops and Amish Walmarts, it was with the understanding that this detour would conclude at Niagara Falls. Yet, this was not the intent when we left Tennessee. I had left my passport in the Volunteer state along with other assets that we considered unnecessary for this leg of our trip. Thus, it was important that we stay on the US side of the falls. In hindsight, I know that that would have given us such a limited experience of the falls.
  • Tennessee

    We are taking a mini road trip for a few days in the mountains. After visiting some museums it was dark.  Too dark.  The kind of dark you get when you are driving on a heavily forested road without street lamps and only very small and infrequent road signs.  A rational person—upon discovering that the only thing poorer than the road markings was the cellphone reception—might have concluded that any hopes of camping should be abandoned.  Instead, we decided to drive on.

  • Tennessee

    We may have been rather rash when we assumed that visiting the Smokey Mountains on a weekday would be simple. Possibly, because this was a weekday when the leaves were changing. Fortunately, we only needed a spot for Wednesday night, because Thursday was booked solid.

Hiking in the United States

Mountains, desert, remote, or urban.  There are hiking trails all over the map.  Here are some of our favorites!

  • Washington

    There are four gun batteries in Fort Ward. One is along the main paved path that most visitors stroll by when exploring this military outpost come public park. The other is concealed by massive trees, elevated well above the main area of the park and accessible from a relatively discreet dirt path. This is where the troubled teens and would be graffiti artists find some solitude to blow off steam and deface historic structures.

  • Washington

    We had heard tails of terror about visiting Obstruction Point. It was a perilous route, in story. In reality, this six mile road is the best groomed single lane dirt trail we have ever driven. Even small cars like a Honda Civic seems to travel the road with little issue. The perilous part is the immediate cliff that we travel along resulting in accelerated heartbreak and some of the best views in all of Olympic National Park.

Camping in the United States

Be it RV parks, BLM boondocking, developed campsites, truck stops, or Walmart parking lots, there is a wide range camping options out there and we’ve had our share of it all.

  • California

    After our hike, we were exhausted. Fortunately, I had already done the preparation work for tonight's dinner that morning. Now, with my dogs barking and my calves screaming, it was time to set up the fire and sit down to chop apples for another round of experiments in campfire cooking.

  • California

    It's hard to believe that just a few days ago we were sweating it out in Death Valley. Now, we are perched above June Lake, with a view that takes reservations to procure, and a smug sense of satisfaction. The only down side with the picturesque Oh! Ridge Campground, though, is the wind. It sweeps over the lake and hits us with a ferocity that I though was reserved for a response to the dozens. I haven't said anything mean about June Lake's mama, but the wind is certainly fierce.

  • California

    With the fire behind us but on our mind, we were extra conscientious campers today. We headed due west for Mendocino. The drive spanned the temperature gamut: from 100 degree golden rolling hills, spotted with oak, to 56 degrees in the Redwoods, overlooking Fort Bragg. Our destination was Russian Gulch campground. Apparently, it was the destination of many, because the grounds were filled by the time we arrive. Fortunately, the ranger not only advised us on where to go instead but called ahead and arranged for the last spot to be held for us. We arrived in MacKerricher State Park campground 15 minutes later and happily paid for out camp site.

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Lexi lives in a truck camper down by the river.