My favorite place we went in Ecuador was the park surrounding Cotopaxi, an active volcano. We were only able to go for one day, but Sarah and I totally want to go back and spend more time camping and climbing. Even in the one day we spent there, we saw some incredible landscapes. There was the peak of Cotopaxi itself which would occasionally peek out from behind huge clouds and all around were other jagged peaks with vast flatlands in between them. It was a magical place.
Once Sarah and I left Los Angeles, the goal was to get back to Chicago as quickly as possible. Despite not wanting to get back to the worst winter in Chicago in decades, we had a job to get to in New York. We decided to fly rather than risk getting stuck in the snow with Timmy so we had to drop him off in Chicago first and make our flights. The last several days were longer with an average of 8-10 hours of driving a day, but we did manage to stop at a couple of cool places like The Salton Sea and Petrified National Forest for picnics and photos.
Sarah and I had far too little time to spend in Death Valley National Park on our recent cross country trek. Sarah and I plan to make another trip there dedicating an entire week to it. We stayed at Furnace Creek Resort where we enjoyed having a drink at the bar and chatting with fellow travelers. It was here that we learned that the winter weather and road conditions were going to prevent us from making it to Yosemite. We only had time for one early morning at Zabriskie Point and a leisurly drive through the valley. On the drive we stopped on the highway for 10 minutes watching two coyotes that were strolling alongside of the road. At one point I had Sarah let me out of the car so I could run several hundred feet up hill to photograph the valley below and Timmy the Trailer driving through it. Sarah subsequently got yelled at by the park rangers for stopping on the highway, so she had to keep driving down the road leaving me in the dust. I was out of breath running to catch up with her. Worth it.