Wyoming · Montana · Utah · Arizona · New Mexico · Colorado
March 13, 2022
Completely exhausted, I twist the last tent peg into the cold sand. For more than two miles we have hiked with 25-pound backpacks over huge dunes. Now it is dark. 'm about to sit down when I look up at the sky and instantly stop in mid-motion. Across the velvety blue firmament, millions of stars pour out like an overturned saltshaker. And right behind our tent, the Milky Way rises vertically. We are in the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado and on the last leg of our month-long camping and road trip through the southwestern United States. I'm taking you to a cave so impossibly huge you could sink the entire Empire State Building in it, a white gypsum desert, the largest sand dunes in North America, and a full-blown blizzard that trapped us in a log cabin for two days.
January 2, 2022
We are standing in a landscape full of craters and cylindrical towers of white rock. The golden-orange evening sun looms slightly above the horizon, darkening by the second. Powerful disks of blue clouds begin to encircle us from all sides, just like the oversized spaceships in Independence Day.
As if on an island, we stand next to our small red and white tent, whose rainfly is already shaking like dry leaves in a rising wind. We are in the middle of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, one of the most remote places in New Mexico. No houses, no running water, no electricity, no cell phone reception.
In the second part of my travel report about our month-long road and camping trip through the Southwest of the USA, I take you to places of wild weather forces, a meaningful toilet at the Grand Canyon, and one of the biggest balloon festivals in the world.
November 7, 2021
We're on a 3,000-mile road trip through the southwestern United States. For a month. From Wyoming through Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. With a tent and "off-the-grid" equipment.
Ahead of us are national parks, nature preserves, deserts, canyons, stars, endless roads, hot dust storms, and freezing nights.
In this first part of our trip report, I take you to dark red rock giants in Capitol Reef National Park, to thousands of orange hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park, to dancing dust in the surreal Lower Antelope Canyon, and to a breathtaking sunrise with stars in Monument Valley—in an open-topped, off-road vehicle with Bulldozer Harry.
October 3, 2021
In front of us, the Grand Teton, the highest mountain in Grand Teton National Park, looms over us at 13,770 feet like an imposing wall. Gray like a burly elephant. I swear, the silly chunk of rock is laughing at us. Over 11 miles to three lakes we want to hike. With 3,300 feet of elevation gain the first day. On a trail where last time I had twenty-three and a half blisters on my feet and stomach cramps to boot—and that was with only a light daypack.
So, the first thing I do is sit on a log and tape my feet prophylactically. Then we're off. To a circular paradise of water and stones, to bear boxes, to a turquoise glacial lake, to sweat, curses, and gigantic boulders—and to the most beautiful and perfect reflection in the world.
September 19, 2021
I always wanted to go camping for real. In the mountains. In the wilderness. With a fat backpack that makes me look like a female version of Sir Edmund Hillery on Everest. With a small gas stove cooking under the stars, listening to an owl hooting eerily in the nearby forest .So, this fall, my boyfriend and I decided it was time to stock up on some good quality camping gear and head out into the Wyoming wilderness.
But backpacking in the wild north of the Rocky Mountains is no picnic trip to the City Park. I have this revelation the moment we walk the first few feet into the National Forest, with our backpacks weighing over 25 pounds, and a squirrel jumps out from behind a dead tree trunk with a throaty chitter. Ahead of us are seven and a half miles of pathway, an elevation change of 2,000 feet, and a cold night by a lake. With moose, food in a tree, and lightning on the mountain.