7 States in 9 Days

September 8, 2019


Alexandra Welsh

From Pine Magazine
This article was originally published in Pine Magazine. Pine is a Yama publication featuring people, places and products that will ignite your inner adventurer.

To most this would sounds like an unachievable task, but to Elena and Claude it was the summer roadtrip they've always dreamt of.

Elena & Claude Customer Feature

We couldn't have been more excited when Claude, Co-Founder of 2C Studios reached out to us about taking Christopher Wallace on a trip. Claude is friend of ours and brilliant photographer, which made it a no-brainer to feature their epic adventure. The next few pages enclose details of their road trip and Claude's stunning photography.

Who are you?

We’re Claude and Elena. We met about five years ago and have been dating for the last three. We love being outdoors, hiking, biking, snowboarding, exploring new places, both within our backyard (the Rocky Mountains) and around the world. We both seriously love road trips and genuinely think driving through a country, province, state - whatever - is one of the best ways to explore and try new local things. When it came time for planning this vacation, Christopher Wallace was a top contender as our mode of transportation.

The Most Epic Route

Officially we had CW for 12 days but the real road-trip part of our vacation was only 9 days as we spent the first three hanging out with friends in Crawford Bay, British Columbia. Our route from BC led us into what seemed to be like the longest drive in the world through Idaho, Washington, Oregon, back into Idaho and finally into Arches National Park, Utah a whopping 20 hours later.

From Arches National Park we drove through the Moab to Monument Valley where we spent the night overlooking the famous “Forrest Gump Point.” From Monument Valley we began our drive towards the Grand Canyon stopping along the way at Horseshoe Bend and a few other roadside viewpoints.

5796 KM
7 States
6 National Parks

After the Grand Canyon, we began heading north towards Zion National Park through Marble Canyon. This was probably the best drive of the entire trip, going from red Mars like cliffs to lush green forested areas, back into massive red rock formations. From Zion we zipped to Bryce Canyon, which were cool red hoodoo like formations, found a little waterfall in the area and breaker for lunch.

That’s when we pulled an audible and decided to start making our way north, basically a day ahead of schedule, in order to take the scenic route through Wyoming and Montana. Our goal was to make it from Bryce Canyon that afternoon, to Jackson Wyoming the next day by noon. Eager to check out Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, we decided to go for it and we’re very glad that we did.

"Everywhere we parked, we had an incredible sunrise and sunset. We got to enjoy every moment of it sitting on top of the van"

10/10 Would Recommend

The highlight of our trip was the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park, which we STRONGLY recommend. The hike was so amazing, especially if done at 6 am. By the time you get to the top, the sun comes overtop of the canyon which gives incredible views of the valley at the bottom.

Our impromptu scenic drive back through he Grand Teton’s and Yellowstone was also highly memorable. The one stop we are incredibly happy we didn’t miss was the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was well worth the 5 hour drive it took to get there. We were blown away by it, its vastness and the amount of wildlife that we were able to see.

"Travelling in the van allowed us to be a little rebellious. We didn't book any campsites and parked along the way in the places we wanted to spend the night"

What's on the radio?

Our go to road-trip song whenever we were anticipating coming into a nice part of the drive was ‘Intro by The XX’ and our favourite audiobook (between Dare to Lead and The Trillion Dollar Coach) was The Hard Thing About The Hard Thing. Ben Horowitz had us both howling with his rap lyrics chapter intros - and it was a really unique, insightful story about his experiences in life and business.

Alexandra Welsh

Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Yama Vans