Atlanta, Georgia

Made it into Atlanta for the last stop of the trip. Relaxed and got to tour the Braves new stadium Suntrust Park.

The stadium and whole new area around it were great.

Got some food and coffee, then headed back to the park for the game. Braves didn’t play great, but I had an awesome time.

Got in the car and headed home. Got back in RVA a little before 6:30, and found my apartment cleaned, stocked with food, and filled with welcome back posters.

The trip was better than I had hoped, but it’s nice to be home. Can’t wait to spend some time with family and friends.

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Memphis, TN and Vicksburg National Military Park

Checked out the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

The museum was nice and it was a little eerie seeing the exact spot where he was shot and the view from across the road where the shot came from.

A trip to Memphis would not be complete without another king. I didn’t make it to Graceland, but did find this statue.

Memphis was a cool city with lots of music and a fun area called Beale Street.

I love civil war history so I had to go to Vicksburg, Mississippi. This is where the union was able to take complete control of the Mississippi River. The battlefield was pretty with a ton of information.

Now it’s onto the last stop, Atlanta, Georgia.

OKC and Little Rock

Headed out of Texas and into Oklahoma. The weather was still ridiculously hot, so tried to find something to do indoors. The museum of osteology would do just fine.

After a Kona Ice break, I found this little park. Monuments for native Americans and the people who raced in here to claim land when Oklahoma became a state.

Got to Little Rock and visited the Bill Clinton presidential Library and Museum. It was interesting and fun to see.

Surprisingly, there weren’t any sections in the museum dedicated to Monica Lewinsky. There was a nice park next to the library though.

Dallas, TX

Made it into Dallas, home of America’s team!

They were working on the field, but it was still awesome!

Got to check out Jerry’s room, the locker room, and the cheerleaders’ locker room.

It is hot here, so took a little break for a couple of days.

Got to see a Rangers game.

And one last view of the eighth wonder of the world.

Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks

Got to see Mexico as I entered Texas and managed to NOT accidentally drive into it.

Went 800 feet below the ground in New Mexico to see Carlsbad Caverns.

Lots of bats live here and you can watch them all fly out at dusk on their way to get dinner.

These were the only wildlife I saw.

Camped in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and hiked to Guadalupe Peak in the morning; the highest point in Texas.

It was a rocky and tough hike, but worth the views.

Gilla Cliff Dwellings and White Sands National Monuments

Drove on one of the craziest winding roads I’ve ever been on to get to the Gilla Cliff Dwellings. Native Americans have been in the area since 8,000 years ago, but these were built and lived in around the 1400’s.

They think around 60-70 people lived here trying to avoid fighting that was going on.

Made it over to the White Sands National Monument where part of one of the Transformers movies was filmed. Got to walk around for a while and saw a lot of people sledding down the dunes.

It was really cool to experience and if I ever get turned around in a desert like this, I’m done. It is really easy to lose your heading, but luckily they had the trail marked.

It was a good day with a lot of driving.

Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Parks

Theodore Roosevelt said every American should see the Grand Canyon, well, I’ve done that now.

It was pretty cool to see. It really is quite grand!

Did a long hike from the Bright Angel trail to Plateau Point. When hiking, I prefer to go up first and come down second, but this was in reverse.

Which meant the first 6 miles were easy, not so much the second 6.

Made it back up though, and hopped on the shuttle for some more views.

Stopped by Phoenix the next day and it was HOT! So I checked out their art and science museums, then called it a day.

Went to Saguaro National Park and it was nice, but not that exciting.

You know what they say. Once you’ve seen one saguaro cactus, you’ve seen them all.

There were some other plants and some petroglyphs too.

Made it into New Mexico which is state number 17.

Zion National Park

Got to Zion and, wow! This place is amazing. The pictures don’t do it justice.

Did the Angel’s Landing hike and it was great. A lot of switch backs for the first half and a lot of holding onto the chain trying not to fall off on the second half.

The next day I got a chance to check out the Narrows. The trail is the Virgin River and the canyon closes in on you. A good amount of close calls, but stayed on my feet the whole time.

This place is very beautiful with good tough hikes.

I will miss this place and all of Utah. What an unbelievably scenic state. Grand Canyon next!

Bryce Canyon National Park

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Bryce Canyon, so I was excited when I got here. To keep traffic down they encourage you to use their free shuttle. So I did.

What a view!

Had a great trail that lets you walk on the rim of the canyon.

Started to rain a little bit, but checked out other parts of the park before calling it a night.

Got up early the next day to take in a sunrise.

Found a waterfall just outside the park.

Then headed on a trail to the bottom of the canyon.

Very cool place. Heading to Zion tomorrow!

Arches National Park

Entered Utah for my first time and was greeted with 85mph speed limits, woohoo! Easy drive to Arches, and really enjoyed this park.

Beautiful park filled with, can you guess it? Arches!

Did a tough hike to Delicate Arch. Little warm.

Got to see some petroglyphs on the way up.

Not much wildlife, but a gorgeous park.

Got to camp next to the Colorado river.