The End.

We have now been back in Denver for one week. This is my third attempt at writing this final post, I’m not quite sure why the words won’t come. Maybe its because I don’t want it to be over. Maybe its because once its over it means reality is setting in again. Maybe its because there aren’t words to express the experiences Topher, Kenzie and I had.

Our trip came to a close much as it started; an energy drink filled all nighter. We had two more weeks before it was time to move into our new place, but none of us wanted to string the trip out just for the sake of taking up time. We were tired and dirty and a little homesick. We found ourselves in northern California where it was hot day and night and decided last Wednesday at 4pm that it was time to go back to Denver. Stat.

We took turns driving through the night and pulled into Denver at 2 last Thursday…22 hours straight! It was a crazy, magical last push of our journey. We watched the sun set over Eastern California, gazed at the stars over the Nevada desert and watched the sunrise over the mountains in Salt Lake.

As I let the reality of being back soak in, I’m remembering pieces of our adventure and it feels like a lifetime ago. We saw so many amazing things and places, had so many experiences. We were really and truly spontaneous. 90% of the time we had no idea where we were going to sleep, what adventures the next day would hold, if the car was going to overheat, where our next shower would be. When we started out, we were headed to Canada. Though I’m a little dissapointed that particular adventure didn’t work out, we changed directions spontaneously and had an amazing trip. We explored the streets of Seattle, canoed on the Olympic penninsula, watched the sunset parked on the beach, stood under a waterfall, rode a ferry, saw wild horses, ate blackberries from our campsite and saw every small town in Montana and Washington. We saw bison and mountain goats, golden eagles and osprey. We got to be in the company of family and revisist places from our childhoods. We saw geysers and lava rock, snow capped peaks and temperate rainforests. We wore down jackets in frigid campsites and swam in mountain lakes. We watched sunsets and sunrises. This trip made me realize what I’m capable of, what we’re capable of together. It made me realize that adventure is continuing on even when the plans fall through. It made me love Denver even more. It made me want to travel even more. It made me realize how far we can get when we put our minds to it. It made me never want to eat hummus again. It made me realize how much I love the guy I get to spend the rest of my life with and our sweet dog. It made me love life just a little more.

I’m struggling being back. Its nice to sleep in a bed and shower regularly and wear clean clothes, but I miss getting up every morning and having to boil water for coffee. Having to pitch camp every night. Having a new adventure to look forward to every day and a new view to wake up to every morning. I miss listening to Watsky on repeat and staring at the views out the car window. I don’t really want to job hunt or move into a new place. But everything’s an adventure, right? Or at least, we return to reality, so we can continue to plan new adventures.

Thanks for following along and for your supportive words along the way.

Much love,


Author: mikaelaruland

I'm a twenty something living the wanderlust life in Colorado with my boyfriend and dog. During the week, I'm a Marketing Manager but when the clock hits 5, I'm an adventurer, a traveler, a hiker, a climber, a skier, a blogger, a photographer. Live the adventure life, you won't regret it.

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