I love road trips, like really love road trips. In 2016 I think I logged a little over 4,500 miles driven. The last road trip I took last year was with my husband. We decided that if we were going to go back to southern California to see our families for the holidays that we would drive there so we could see some new things and go on an adventure! Oh the new things we saw...
Jordan and I had never been to New Mexico and we were ready to book it to the heat as we had just gotten six inches of snow two days prior to our departure. We stopped first in Roswell for the aliens, of course. We were surprised by how small the town actually was and how little alien gear there really was. First stop, was the UFO museum which we enjoyed walking around and seeing some of the artifacts. Although I will admit we both found there to be a LOT of reading that one would have to do. Sadly because it's a smaller town most things were closed, but we did get to indulge in some stellar Mexican food ( burritos and chiliquillas are my weaknesses).
Our next stop was Carlsbad Caverns. Jordan had grown up hearing about the caverns from his father. We understood why his father was so in awe of them after our trip. Despite having only minor freak outs about our mortality and being under the earth some 750ft (we come from California, land of the earthquake), we really enjoyed our time there and I don't think we've ever said "wow" so many time out loud. We also really lucked out going on the Monday before Christmas, although a little cold and windy, the crowds were minimal and we didn't have to wait for the elevator to take us back up to ground level.
From Carlsbad Caverns we camped at our first KOA just outside White Sands National Monument. Despite having more than a few malfunctions we did end up eating some bomb.com bbq and got to enjoy a proper campfire (that I built without the aide of lighter fluid)! We got up early, packed up and drove the hour to White Sands. Neither of us was sure what to expect so when we first started driving through the park we were in awe, the deeper we got the more massive the sands really were. I think that this was one of my favorite places along the journey.
From White Sands we headed into Arizona. Jordan had never been so we hunted out a few spots around Tuscon to drive through (all those saguros) including one of the best gem and rock shops we've ever been to. From Tuscon we headed west to Yuma and stopped at an old silver mining ghost town.
We didn't want the trip to end despite being a mere four hours from our final destination so we took a pause in the desert of eastern southern California just outside of the Salton Sea, another spot we both had grown up hearing about but had never been to. The sea was disappointing as we couldn't wander much through the thick, rain-soaked red clay, but we stumbled across Salvation Mountain and the town of Slab City, home of East Jesus- one of the most unique art experiences I've had the opportunity to see. Slab City was original a dump site, but the folks who live out there without running water or electricity have cleaned it up, using the trash to make art. The community was something unlike anything we've ever seen and it was really a neat experience to have before getting to San Diego.
On of my favorite parts of this trip was actually our road trip playlist. We wanted to collaborate on what we were going to listen to, but we wanted there to be an element of surprise. How did we do it? Well we made a collaborative playlist on Spotify, but promised that we wouldn't look at what each other had added, we would just blindly add song. Once we got on the road we turned our playlist onto random and agreed that there would be no skipping of songs. Here's what we came up with: Listen In