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Big Bend National Park

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 We had an awesome time exploring Big Bend National Park in South Texas. It was a bit of a detour on our trip, but we decided that seeing it in the winter was the best time, and not during this coming summer as originally planned. We’re so glad that we visited, and had an absolutely gorgeous day, driving from one end of the park to the other, taking in all the different areas of the mountains and basin. The highlight of our day was probably our hike through Santa Elena Canyon, which took us up along the Rio Grande River our first time), right on the edge of the Mexico border. 

Alamo, CA to Benson, AZ to Marathon, TX

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We took about two days to drive from Alamo, California to Texas. The first night we stopped in Benson, Arizona, where we hit a Loves truckstop, after arriving late, around 10 PM. It works great for a quick overnight stay! The next morning, we got up and headed out bright and early to drive to South Texas through El Paso. It was extremely interesting to see the Mexican border literally on the other side of the highway as we drive through El Paso! We arrived in Marathon, Texas, in the afternoon that day, and got settled in at the RV park before sunset. What a gorgeous sunset it was! First day drive from the Bay Area Morning sunrise outside Tucson, AZ Mexico border from the freeway in El Paso Middle of Texas Marathon, TX, our home for the night...

WHAT. A. RIDE.

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WHAT. A. RIDE. 10,800 miles. 30 states. 14 National Parks. 8 Naked Cliff Jumps. 5 Lost Teeth. 8 BBQ Joints. Infinite mosquito bites. 2 Great Lakes. 3 Destroyed Bikes. Countless moments of struggle & sweat, happiness & joy. There are endless stats for this trip, really. But what I know we will always remember, at least what I HOPE we will always remember, is that you can never fail when you take risks. That NOTHING is an impossible dream. To have seen our country this way has been the most incredible gift under the most difficult of circumstances. We return home GRATEFUL.

PETRIFIED FOREST NATIONAL PARK & PAINTED DESERT & METEOR CRATER NATIONAL LANDMARK, ARIZONA

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Our last official stop before driving the rest of the way home was at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.  After spending the night in Holbrook, Arizona, we woke up early to tackle the park before it got too hot.  As we arrived in the parking lot of the visitor center early that morning, a park ranger came over as we were getting out of our RV, saying, "Ummm, I think there is something wrong with your bikes on the back?" Running to the back, we came across a busted bike rack (thankfully held together by our rigging in Dallas), and three busted bikes.  We gave them a proper burial in a dumpster by the Visitor Center, and Justin disassembled my bike and his, and we stowed them under the RV for the trip home. WHAT A MORNING!  We then headed out to explore the park, and did three hikes that day - Big Logs, Blue Mesa, and the Rim Trail.  It was hot, but not as brutal as we had expected.  What a gorgeous park!  Heading out that afternoon, we then stopped at Meteor Crater Nat