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Princeton

40°20' 37" N 74°39' 6" W Princeton

Dec 18, 2014  –  by Maeva

So we were driving from Philadelphia to New York and took smaller roads in an effort to avoid expensive tolls. And at one point, I look outside the window and see this huge and incredible rock building. And I think: “This looks familiar. It looks like the University in the movie A Beautiful Mind – where did Nash study again? Right, Princeton!” And sure enough, we had randomly ended up on the Princeton University campus! Well, if we had gotten the chance to study in a place like this… We were pretty jealous as we gazed at the amazing Hogwarts like building. When we randomly spotted statues of animal heads, we juste couldn’t resist.

Maeva in front of statue
Maeva in front of statue
Animal heads statues in Princeton
Animal heads statues in Princeton
Steph in front of statue
Steph in front of statue
Steph jumping between two statues
Steph jumping between two statues

Lake Powell

37°2' 51" N 111°17' 56" W Lake Powell

Nov 21, 2014  –  by Maeva

Lake Powell is close to our previous stops and we went for a drive there close to the city of Page. Wanting to get off the beaten path, we decided to venture North to find more remote spots, following the park’s map. We ended up driving there for a couple of hours, taking the wrong road more than once!

We finally found ourselves on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere. We must have driven for 3 or 4 hours without seeing even one car – not the kind of place you want to have a car breakdown in! We felt as though we were Mad Max in no man’s land between rocks, desert, sand. After hours of wondering where the hell we would end up, we got to the end of the road. According to Google Maps,we were in the water already.  And this is when we realized that thanks to the drought, there was no more lake there… There are many spots at the north of the lake but not many points of access on land (only through very few and very rough roads.) The best way to explore it is by boat.

By the time we got back to the city of Page it was night time and we had to continue going. Clearly it was a bit of a fail because we didn’t even get photos while it was day time.. guess you’ll have to stay tuned for the video!

Death Valley

36°30' 19" N 117°4' 46" W Death Valley

Nov 15, 2014  –  by Maeva

After waving our goodbyes to California and selling our surfboards (no Steph didn’t cry) we took the road towards Nevada. This is where the endless roads in the middle of nowhere officially began – and it was quite a change after getting so used to California. After a quick sleep on a rest area by the highway in the desert, we drove to Death Valley!

Now this is where you want to make sure you have enough gas because we probably crossed 1 car every 50miles/80km. We took the scenic road of Badwater, feeling the heat increase by the minute as we got closer to the desert. After passing by a cute little fox and lots of driving in an incredible Mad Max like setting, we reached the desert of Death Valley at Badwater basin. This location is all the more impressive when you realize it is the lowest elevation point in North America: 86m/282ft below sea level. Totally inspired by the location and the imposing scenery, we walked in the middle of the white and dry soil for a little photoshoot! Absolutely ideal to show off our brand new rounded sunglasses! Don’t you think?

Death Valley desert
Death Valley desert
Maeva portrait in Death Valley
Maeva portrait in Death Valley
Steph and Maeva selfie in Death Valley
Steph and Maeva selfie in Death Valley
Steph's crazy jump in Death Valley
Steph’s crazy jump in Death Valley
Maeva's jump in Death Valley
Maeva’s jump in Death Valley
Maeva in the desert of Death Valley
Maeva in the desert of Death Valley

We then took a quick walk in Golden Canyon under an indescribable heat, which then led us to a well deserved stop at the visitor centre of Furnace Creek. A quick tour around the museum, a good lunch and a bit of chilling outside and we were back on the road towards Las Vegas. On our way, we stopped at the Twenty Mule Team Canyon to observe the pudding like dunes spread out in front of us. We then continued on the endless and incredibly scenic roads under a colourful sunset. Now that’s my kind of road: large, empty, straight and with incredible views – one of the few where Steph isn’t too scared to let me drive.

Steph in Golden Canyon
Steph in Golden Canyon
Steph and Maeva selfie in Golden Canyon
Steph and Maeva selfie in Golden Canyon
Twenty Mule Team Canyon in Death Valley
Twenty Mule Team Canyon in Death Valley
Death valley endless road
Death valley endless road
Maeva driving in Death Valley
Maeva driving in Death Valley

The colours of Big Sur

36°10' 37" N 121°41' 52" W Big Sur

Oct 21, 2014  –  by Maeva

We continued our drive down Highway 1, one of the most beautiful and scenic road we’ve ever taken. We discovered the two colours of Big Sur on the way: orange and turquoise. And just like every night for the past two weeks, we caught another incredible sunset on the Pacific cliffs. We may get used to this.

Steph and Maeva on the scenic highway in Big Sur
Steph and Maeva on the scenic highway in Big Sur
Cliffs in Big Sur
Cliffs in Big Sur
Steph and Maeva in front of sunset in Big Sur
Steph and Maeva in front of sunset in Big Sur

As night time was approaching, we started looking for a campground and the only two in the area were completely full, so we followed other travellers’s advice and went up a dirt road to find several cars and tents doing the same thing. Improvised camping is the best kind of camping! Definitely another amazing spot to stay at, as we caught the last colours before dusk over the ocean and were offered a spectacular starlit sky letting us perceive the milky way.

Stars and milky way in Big Sur
Stars and milky way in Big Sur

In the morning, we went to check out the waves on potential surf spots, and although the swell was big, no one was in the water so we kept driving!

Waves in Big Sur
Waves in Big Sur