Select Page

The Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip

When COVID-19 sidelined our international vagabonding adventure in March 2020, my husband Daniel and I came up a new plan: let’s tour the United States in an RV. A motorhome will not only transport us to new and interesting places, it will also enable us to avoid other people. We can use our own bathroom, cook our own food, and sleep on our own bed.

So we took the plunge and bought our first recreational vehicle. We are now the proud owners of a 2000 VW Winnebago Rialta 22HD. Although we encountered some challenges when purchasing the Rialta, the vehicle is in great working order and we couldn’t be happier.

Before leaving on our trip in July 2020, we spent some time customizing it and turning the Rialta into home. After 9 months of living without a permanent home, it was nice to have a place to call our own again.

Our 2000 Rialta 22HD on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

The Socially Distanced Road Trip Plan

Daniel and I decided to begin the road trip by crossing the country along Interstate 90, hitting National Parks and roadside attractions along the way. World’s largest strawberry? Yes please. SPAM Museum? Indubitably. Glacier National Park? Absolutely.

These plans were all rather tentative, however, depending on the spread of COVID-19. We knew that some of these locations could be closed or too crowded to safely visit. In those cases, we decided to content ourselves with simply driving by from a distance.

Daniel and I take the Coronavirus seriously and don’t want to inadvertently spread it to others.

“Masks are terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing the in the future.” -The Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride

If things got too dicey, however, we planned to change course to avoid hotspots or shelter in place for a while. This ended up happening over the winter months, in fact, so we spent some long stretches of time in South Padre Island and at Joshua Tree near the end of the trip.

Socially Distanced Road Trip of 2020 – Blog Posts

I updated my blog frequently as we traveled across the United States. This page includes an index of all the blog posts from socially distanced road trip so you can follow along.

Washington and Idaho

Day 1: La Conner to Lake Easton State Park
Day 2: Lake Easton to Riverside State Park
Day 3: Idaho, We Hardly Knew Ye

Montana and Wyoming

Day 4: Welcome to Montana
Day 5: Welcome to Glacier National Park
Day 6: Rocky Point Nature Trail
Day 7: Avalanche Lake and Polebridge
Day 8: Going-to-the-Sun Road
Day 9: Garnet Ghost Town
Days 10 & 11: Boondocking Near Yellowstone
Day 12: Welcome to Yellowstone
Day 13: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Day 14: Lazy Day by the River
Day 15: Too Many People
Day 16: Hello Grand Tetons
Day 17: A Long and Bumpy Road
Day 18: Lizard Creek Campground
Day 19: Jenny Lake Hike
Day 20: Sunset at Grand Prismatic Spring
Day 21: Wildlife Fiesta
Days 22-25: The Middle of Nowhere
Day 26: Bear’s Lodge (Devil’s Tower)
Day 27: Joyner Ridge and Red Beds Trails

South Dakota and Iowa

Days 28-29: The Beautiful Black Hills
Day 30: Custer State Park
Day 31: Wall Drug Store – A Kitschy Paradise
Day 32: Backpacking in the Badlands
Day 33: A New Time Zone
Day 34, Part I: Keeping it Corny at the Corn Palace
Day 34, Part II: Porter Sculpture Park: A Quirky Roadside Attraction along I-90
Day 34, Part III: Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption

Minnesota and Wisconsin

Day 35: Spam, Glorious Spam! A Visit to the SPAM Museum
Days 36-42: Duluth Interlude
Day 41: A Jaunt along the Superior Hiking Trail
Days 42-26: Rest, Research and Repairs in Woodbury
Day 46: A Visit to the Twin Cities (HmongTown, George Floyd Square, Lake Minnetonka and lots of Sculptures)
Day 47: Flat Tire at the World’s Largest Six Pack
Day 48: The Case of the Elusive Rialta Tires
Day 49: A Disappointing Day in The Dells
Day 51: Hiking the Ice Age Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park
Days 52-54: Stuck in Portage: The Crossroads of History
Days 55-77: An Unexpected Madison Vacation
Day 74: Losing my Momentum: The Car Trouble Edition

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio

Day 78: Our RV Finally Has a Name
Day 79: Indiana Dunes: The National Park You’ve Never Heard of
Day 81: A Lazy Beach Day at Warren Dunes State Park
Day 82: There’s No Breakfast Like Trail Breakfast
Day 83: Crossing the Mackinac Bridge: Gateway to the Upper Peninsula
Day 84: Falling for Fall Foliage at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Day 85: A Rainy Autumn Day in the U. P.
Day 86: North Country Trail: Sand Point to Miners Castle
Day 87: A Long Travel Day Across Michigan
Day 89: The Pandemic Dilemma: Traveling across America during COVID-19
Days 90-93: Cuyahoga Valley National Park: A River on Fire

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia

Day 94: The Great Lakes Challenge
Day 95: One day in Niagara Falls: A Visit to America’s Largest Waterfall
Days 96-101: Sidelined by Illness in Buffalo
Days 102 & 103: A Quick Tour of the Office Shooting Locations in Scranton
Days 104 & 105: Liberty Harbor RV Park: Urban Camping in Jersey City
Days 106-109: A Quick Visit to Huntington, West Virginia

Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana

Days 110 & 111: Hiking in Mammoth Cave National Park
Day 112: Touring Graceland during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Days 113 & 114: Visiting Hot Springs Arkansas, America’s First National Park
Days 115 & 116: Marilynn’s Place, Hurricane Zeta and other Adventures

Texas and Arizona

Days 117-128: Keeping Austin Weird: Fun things to do in Austin
Days 129-133: Visiting San Antonio: The Alamo, River Walk and Mission San José
Days 134-164: A Relaxing South Padre Island Vacation for What Ails You
Days 156-158: Mars or Bust: Watching the SpaceX Starship Launch from South Padre Island
Days 169-185: Christmas in Tucson – Pandemic Style
Days 172, 182 & 184: Saguaro National Park Itinerary: 3 Days in the Desert
Days 174 & 176: Two Easy Sabino Canyon Trails near Tucson, Arizona

Joshua Tree, California: Days 182-243

The Best of Joshua Tree:

Individual Hikes:

Utah, Arizona and California: Days 244-266

The End of the Road Trip

In April 2021, Daniel and I officially ended our road trip. After we got our vaccinations and international travel restrictions began to ease up again, we parked our RV in storage and made preparations to leave the country again. After spending some time in Eugene and Seattle to visit family and friends, We flew to Lisbon, Portugal on in July 2021 and are currently exploring some new location around the globe…

This post includes some of the highlights from our year on the road: Inspiring Winnebago Rialta Photos from a Year on the Road


Hello from Joshua Tree National Park in California!