I drove 2,000 miles in 6 days. I saw six National Parks and a fair chunk of the southwest. I crossed three of the country’s major climatic regions and traversed coastal, arid, karst (or cave), and mountain landscapes. Wandering these beautiful parks plus driving more than thirty hours gave me a lot of time to think.
Many people have the impression that the United States looks the same everywhere, with the same strip malls, superstores, and fast food joints. Sometimes that certainly feels true. And I can testify that, to an extent, many towns across the country do feel similar.
But venture out of the way just a little bit, and you'll surely find parts of the country that are truly unique and enticing with awe-inspiring biodiversity and geology available nowhere else in the world. I loved discovering the wonder of Carlsbad Caverns that was hiding underground and the colorful beauty of Saguaro just outside Tuscon.
Each of these parks was unique and had something I never expected to find, from cool geological features to interesting wildlife. If you’ve ever wondered why anyone would live in this or that part of the country, I’ve had the same thought. And road tripping across the U.S. answered my question. Take a drive out of the familiar, be open and curious, and you’ll find your answer, too.