Road Trip III: Denver to Death Valley // Travel

Road Trip III: Denver to Death Valley // Travel

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I thought the trip might lose  its magic the third time around.   Especially with the pandemic. But it  didn't. There are still these moments. I can focus on what's  happening right before my eyes. My worries disappear. Time feels as if it slows down.

It’s perfect. Even if just for a second. You want Cooper in the shot? Come here...

Welcome to our living room, we're going to  tell you about our vacation. This is the third   road trip, our first road trip... February of  2017. We had jokingly found a music festival in   Tucson Arizona called Gem and Jam. Then in  2019 we went on road trip 2 driving down   from Washington state to California, but we  started with the music festival. Road trip  

3 ... covid. So we planned a socially distanced  vacation. But with that void kind of ever-present   it was important for us to try to find additional  things to work into the road trip to making it   meaningful, because it was really trying to find a  way to put a spark of adventure and joy in a year   where that's been really tough to find  and on top of it try to push that towards   people that we care about. My brother had never  been really out to the western states at all.   Queue Nathan and Shannon. So we left on a  Thursday and took an early flight out to Denver,   got to watch the sunrise in the plane which was  pretty cool. It was made cooler by the fact that  

Nathan has not flown a lot so this is all  pretty new to him. Worth noting that lauren made   itinerary? itineraries? Yea itineraries for every  day. They have the areas for every day, they're   pretty amazing, you're gonna see a shot of one  later in the video. So Nathan and Shannon had no   idea what they were doing until each day. Nathan  didn't know where we were going i think until the   day before, so these itineraries kind of had gaps  where they had previously answered these cryptic   questions that we'd asked them then we  texted them at like midnight every night,   which they had unknowingly planned portions  of the trip and this was the reveal of what   they had planned. About a week before I called  this Voodoo Donut's place and made like a $40   doughnut order that was epic, we had  no idea what we were getting into.

We hit up a brewery and then  went to the hot springs,   these are naturally fed hot  springs which is pretty cool.   The water is supposed to be good for your skin,  it has minerals and what-not although it kind of   dried us out I think. It was very pretty though  it's got fiddle leaf fig trees and banana trees   and basically all the tropical everything that you  could ask for in a very cold Colorado. Yeah it was   nice to take a warm swim during the winter time,  it was our first time in a hot springs like that. We then went to Colorado Saki Company which we  learned is 1 of 11 international sake houses   that meet some sort of standard of in-house  sake quality, I'm not sure exactly, but this   nice Australian lady was the owner and she  took good care of us. We accidentally ordered   way too much Sake, get a half  pour if you do the tasting.

The escape room here was bartender themed,  after we had just been at the sake bar aaaand   turns out we smashed it, we got  a record. We did, we got a record   which was awesome. It's always nervous  going into escape room with Nathan because   Nathan's just the legend of escape rooms.  I know that Nathan's mood for the next  

24 hours will be based nearly solely on if we  escape the room or not. We stayed at a cute air   airbnb, we did a lot of airbnbs we  thought that might be a little safer. We went to Garden of the Gods which Lauren has  been to three times now, this is my second time,   still pretty glorious. We took the middle trail through the park  when we were there. It basically shows off   all of the rock features throughout the  park. It's a fairly easy hike in my opinion,   yeah you gotta hike around, it's not very  much hiking but it's cool to get up there.

This is one of those parks that  the trails are more concise,   as in there are a lot of parks that we went to  and you'll see on here that kind of allow you to   wander off trail, it's more encouraged  because there are really no trails   there but this one is very specific  about the places [that you hike]. But it was fun, Nathan and Shannon  had never been here of course.   So it was kind of fun to get goofy and run around.  It's nice to stretch the legs, Garden of the Gods   is good though for things like rock climbing,  they issue climbing permits and have different   sections of the park that are kind of in place  specifically to just allow you to scramble.   You can actually see Pikes Peak from Garden of  the Gods which is pretty cool because we headed   there next. I feel like there's a lot of shots  of Shannon approving the food *laughs* there are.

This is Lauren and I's second attempt at Pikes  Peak, on road trip one we tried to go up and   there was a road closure because of the  weather, which I guess happens quite frequently.   That makes sense after driving up it, I completely  understand, you would not want to drive up it   with too much snow on the road  because there's some exposure.   As per tradition Zach drove up and I drove down.

Yep. Safer that way. What? The aggressive driver drives  up, and the safer driver drives down.   You don't want anyone going  too fast on the way down... So there were only two hang-ups on our way to  Pike's Peak. One, of course was the construction  

at the top, which i'm sure after it's done can be  amazing yeah, but you won't see any footage from   up top because it's definitely a construction site  currently. That should be done in a year or two.   The second was altitude sickness. So   it's like 14,000 feet or is around there,  I can't remember but it's high enough that   you might get lightheaded. Yeah I think Nathan  was the only one that really got lightheaded   and as we came down he got better. That's true. You could see for miles. It was  gorgeous. Yeah that was special. So we hopped out of the car for a little bit  and kind of kept falling into these little   pockets of snow, which was hilarious because it's  like kind of icy on top, but then snowy beneath,   so if you break through that ice then you'll  fall like a foot into it. Which was hilarious.

Oh then we stopped and kind of scrambled up  there. It's actually called the Boulder Trail?   Yeah there was a tiny trail off to the side so  we we went up that of course, took some more   goofy photos, watched the sun set a little bit  more and determined that we needed to head out   and get some dinner. This spot is unique  because that is where we have our classic   car photo. Yeah my old Volkswagen on road  trip one, it was a beast. Colorado Springs   actually has several natural springs in the area  so they actually have a kind of a walking trail   that connects you to several of these springs  where you can see the natural spring water   and some of them are carbonated, this one was  maybe the slightest *sarcasm* bit carbonated.

And then the next day we were headed  towards Alamosa to rent sand boards and   go to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Yeah  you can actually sandboard on the dunes. Naturally as soon as we got into sand dunes we   realized we forgot the boardwax  and had to walk back to the car. It's really interesting   how big the dunes are but you don't realize how  big they are. When you see somebody on the dunes   they are like a black speck in infinity and then  you walk like a mile and they're still like an ant   and you just keep walking and walking and walking  so we'd actually hiked nine miles that day. I can't remember what our elevation  gain was, like a couple thousand feet? But either way it was exhausting we all ended up  ditching our shoes because sand was everywhere   and we decided to take the most direct route up  the dunes in hopes of saving time which completely   backfired. Yeah if you're going for speed hiking  up a sand dune we actually learned that you should   do switchbacks up, well not even the steepest  part, just go to the most shallow uphill spot   you can otherwise the sand dunes will turn into a  treadmill which is absolutely what happened to us.  

It's crazy how much energy you can use on  going up a short steep sand sandy hill. We kind of tested the board as we went up on  smaller hills. I think we all picked it up pretty   quick. We did, Nathan is really the only one that  did board sports previous to this so of course   Nathan was the rock star.

My difficulty was trying to keep the board  straight, maybe I leaned back too much but I kept   just twisting. That's the thing i couldn't get  a hang of. I'd say it's a lot like snowboarding,   yea? I've never been snowboarding this  is the first time I've ever done a board.   It felt a lot like snowboarding  to me because I think that was my   issue with snowboarding as well as  that I kept getting turned around.

We drive way too long without  food and then stopped at a winery   got a sip of wine and then I  don't know if this is fast food?   El Parasol? I don't know it was super  good. They made... Navajo bread I think? It's very good. Yeah, we were starved  but it definitely hit the spot. And our last day was Albuquerque, well last day  with Nathan and Shannon. Yeah I'm glad that we   didn't actually show any of these itineraries  because that one was just a straight lie.  

Essentially everything in Albuquerque was  closed. Yeah Albuquerque disappointed a bit.   Our main thing was trying to go  and see the musical road that no   longer exists [apparently]. Yeah they paved  over the singing road. I was disappointed. And then Lauren and I did what we do best...  drive insane distances. *Laughs* That's true.

Yep so the first place we stopped was El Malpais,  we went specifically for La Ventura Arch,   so if you route to the visitor center  then you have to drive like another   hour or 40 minutes. Like an hour and a half  round trip, right? So be careful with that. After that we pretty much  just drove into the night and   got a little Airbnb and then went to Monument  Valley, the park itself is closed but   you can really see most of it from the road.  We did not [need to] get out of the car much. Forest Gump Point it's actually called that,   at least on the Roadtrippers  App. [Promo code in description]. Yeah this is the classic view,  I don't know if it's entrance or   exit really depending on which way you're going. There was some really good art  all along the Utah/Arizona border.  

It was kind of a reminder of how hard  Navajo Nation was hit by covid. It was   cool to see the art, but also you know,  you wish it was different. Absolutely. Yeah there you go. You can see him standing  directly in front of Horseshoe Bend. Turns out this day was fried chicken day.  We got fried chicken twice [that day]. Yes,   we accidentally had themed days, I gotta say  Champs Chicken was actually really good. We had   it at like seven in the morning at Monument  Valley and ... covid, so ate in the car.

The entrance in the Zion  was beautiful because it was   sunset when we drove in, oh man it might be my  new favorite national park. I don't blame you.   Previously [was] Grand Canyon, this might be my  favorite. Zion is amazing. Because it was winter   we somehow again just got extremely lucky,  there wasn't bad weather, the hiking was   gorgeous, and thankfully there was really almost  no one there. Kind of worked out in our favor. They had mule deer [out West]. They look like  deer [out East] except they have big ears,   that's really like the only difference. Their  tails are different. *Laughs* Yea, the tails  

too. We did three hikes in Zion, we did Canyon  Overlook and then Observation Point and then   Lauren is pointing down to Angel’s Landing  there, which was the third one we attempted. This is kind of going around  the ridge of Angel's Landing. This was my test of my fear of heights that  we do every road trip. The first road trip it   was the Grand Canyon, the second road trip  we went skydiving and this was the third.

So at about this point... There's a lot of exposure to your  right, but where that guy is,   the exposure opens up on your left as well.  I completely freaked out. He did fine.   I freaked out a lot and then I  realized my shoes weren't that grippy   and we had to turn around, Lauren  could have easily done it but   if you're scared of heights then it is very real.  You'll find out really fast if you can do it.   Yeah it won't it won't take long, you likely are  not going to get trapped too far out to get back   if you're truly scared of heights, I don't think  you’ll hike up to that [tough to get back] point.  

I would say the hike is short but strenuous.  It was a great hike, it was good exercise.   So we ended the day with 13 miles  of hiking which was pretty cool. We did not plan to do 13 miles hiking that day,   but we just kept going. We got  a shower midday [which helped]. Then we drove to Vegas to just sleep this night.  Stayed at Circus Circus, you got anything to  

say about Circus Circus? No. Circus Circus,  uh, was probably a cool hotel at some point.   Circus Circus has a great entrance for  instagram. Yeah the lights are very cool. I was just trying to be nice to Circus.  I guess i'm gonna give it a thumbs down.   The wall outlet was a huge electrical  hazard. Yeah that was pretty bad.

Also it was kind of on the edge of the ghetto.   No it overlooked the ghetto ...  *laughs* I see what you're saying. Electrolyte beverage, yeah we decided we should be   sponsored by Electrolit ... oh I don't know  how to pronounce it but i hope it's electro-lit   i hope so badly it's electro-lit because that  would be hilarious, especially considering that   we used one of the Electrolit bottles  to eventually house the leftover sake. This one was particularly difficult. Yeah we were  pretty worried about taking the rental vehicle   so far off-road, into well *interrupts* it  wasn't off-road *sarcasm* they looked like this   to clarify yeah. Definitely not off-road,  we definitely wouldn't have took the rental  

car off-road *sarcasm*. I try to make  it a point to always pick up trash,   one piece of trash as I leave wherever we are.  I don't know why people throw trash out there,   come on guys, but yeah feels good [to pickup].

So the Goldwell art museum actually started  with the first image. Oh my *laughs* Like that tells them anything. Here is Death Valley, it's a National Park  in California. So Corkscrew Peak, you can see   into Badwater Basin from Corkscrew  Peak’s base. We didn't get very far up   before sunset unfortunately, but it still  turned out to be beautiful. Really cool spot.

Then we woke up for sunrise on Badwater  Basin. Death Valley I think is probably,   if not, my favorite national park in the  US. Because of the strange diversity,   I mean it's not like normal diversity where you're  seeing different trees and things like that.   Wasn't diversity an old wooden ship? The different rocks and sand and   yeah it's i mean it's it's crazy how  much it varies just even a mile apart. So that little white point up there is where  sea level is, which is pretty cool you are   literally below sea level. Artist Palette is one of those places that's  supposed to be the most beautiful after a rain   so we weren't really going there expecting too  much out of it. We were kind of expecting it to be  

dull but I think it was gorgeous. It was  still really cool. The camera definitely   doesn’t it just I’ve. All of the  different colors streaked through,   what feels like a slot canyon, is amazing. This is a Zabriske Point, pretty cool little  hiking trails around there, it just looks unreal. We went to see the pupfish only to realize you  can't actually see the pupfish from devil's hole,   which is good for the pupfish of course yeah.  My goal is to get in there. Lauren does scuba.

I surprised Lauren with a helicopter tour. We got  this really cool pilot named Justin and he was the   chillest guy. He'd have to be. This was one of two  major helicopter tours places i could find. This   one had smaller helicopters, it was like three  people I think. So i paid a little extra to get a   private tour which was two people in this  case rather than the three. And then it was   only a little extra to get the doors off,  so I was like “why not, that's awesome”.

A good tip that I read online that is that if you  want the better view on most of these helicopter   tours of Vegas is [to sit] on the left side  because for whatever reason they always fly   counterclockwise around the city, assuming that  is because there's I guess multiple helicopters   at once sometimes or maybe  it's air traffic control stuff?   Flight patterns? I don't know but they were  correct on that so I put lauren on the left side. Now this was the last hike yeah,   we didn't take the rental car off  road at all to get there *sarcasm*. This was some black diamond  hike we found. A black diamond,  

you didn't tell me!? I figured we'd get  saucy and try try a challenging one first.   With it being winter time the days were kind of  short though so we got we got a little cut off.   We figure we'll go back and hike Mack’s  Point and Corkscrew. Exactly. We figured   our social distanced activity that we could  do in Vegas was to just kind of walk around   the strip. We stayed at the Paris Hotel they  somehow have some link to the High Roller,  

which is, I don't even know you call it.  It's like a ferris wheel but it's enclosed. It was really cool they  actually cleaned the whole thing   in between people going in there. It was  amazing. I mean it was a fantastic setup,   it turned out to be awesome and kind of turned  out to be the takeaway of the trip for me and why   I'm glad I traveled during covid even though it  was tricky, because I can't imagine something   like this ever happening again. We got these  tickets on a whim from staying at this hotel,  

and then chose to go there because we knew that  it was socially distanced, and got to share   the view of the city in one of these things by  ourselves. It was awesome to end the trip on that. Then yeah, woke up and scrambled  to the airport and flew back. Thanks for watching. That was a pretty  lengthy one, lengthiest one I’ve   ever made. See you next time   on our next adventure. Cooper,  you want to wave goodbye?

2021-02-23 08:53

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