Payson, AZ / Tonto National Forest
We got to visit my grandfather, Baba, in Payson, AZ (about an hour and a half from Phoenix and more mild weather). Payson is in the Tonto National Forest which has a lot of stuff to see / do, and the landscape is beautiful -- lots of cacti and big rocks. I love it! Payson is a small, quiet town, and it was very peaceful. We drove south from Payson to visit the Tonto National Monument and cliff dwellings of a group of people known by archaeologists as the Salado. We were only able to visit the Lower Cliff Dwellings because the Upper ones are only open from November - April. The Upper ones are more intact and larger, so maybe someday we'll get to visit those.
Sequoia National Park, CA
We saw the largest tree in the world, General Sherman. This sequoia tree is about 2,200 years old; weighs 1,385 tons; ; is 275 feet tall; and has a circumference of 103 feet. It's not the tallest or the widest living tree, but it has the most volume and weight which makes it the "largest" living tree in the world.
Yosemite National Park, CA
Yet another amazing national park. Yosemite has a lot of waterfalls and big rocks - both of which I love. We did the Mist Trail hike to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You DEFINITELY need rain gear this time of year because with the snow melting, the waterfalls are just gushing. We got soaking wet! You can shorten the trail and only go to Vernal Falls, but since we did a pretty long hike, I got to 30,000 steps!
Yellowstone National Park
I had heard of Yellowstone before, as I'm sure most of you have (even if you haven't been). I knew it was supposed to be super impressive, but I really didn't know why. Colin was so excited for me to be surprised that he wouldn't let me look at pictures before we went (cuuuuute, I know). So, I'll tell you right now - you need to visit.
Jackson, Wyoming (Grand Tetons)
There's something so majestic about snow-capped mountains. It's probably just because I'm from Florida, so I think we're going to have to spend the next part of our life in the west. Otherwise, I'm going to have to keep taking pictures every time I see a mountain...
Zion is breathtaking. Just look at this view! You definitely need to visit Bryce Canyon as well.
Moab, UT (Arches & Canyonlands)
I had honestly never heard of Moab before Colin told me we should stop there on our road trip. And if you Google "Moab" right now, the first things that pop up are actually about MOAB, the Mother Of All Bombs that was dropped in Afghanistan. That's not where we are -- we are in Utah. There are 2 national parks that are pretty close to Moab, UT: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park (pictured above). They are both insanely beautiful! I'm surprised that I've never heard of them before, but add them to your list of places to visit RIGHT NOW.
Maine was my favorite spot so far! The weather was gorgeous (it was the first good weather they've had this year, so we got super lucky!), and the people were lovely.
Hi, I'm Sara Monica Patton. I love animals, traveling, and eating. Read more about me in my first blog post here.