Katie LeCoq at Grand Canyon National Park

Travel Journal: Road trip to the Grand Canyon

Seen through the eyes of: Katie LeCoq and Ashley Twigg

We went because: We were talking about how we will never get this time back in our lives when we have money saved up and don’t have a job with limited vacation days, so within a week we hopped in the car for a two-week road trip.

How our plans changed because of COVID: Because some things were closed, we had to change plans as we went. The road to Monument Valley was closed, but we ate our Subway on the side of the road and drove around while the sun was setting, which might have been even better. Also, our original plan was to go to White Sands National Park in New Mexico but that was closed, so we just spent the night in Las Cruces, New Mexico, before heading into Texas.

LeCoq on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Special items we took in order to stay safe or isolated: Hand sanitizer, face masks and our own car.

LeCoq at Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo

Where we stayed: We started in Baton Rouge and hit the northern parts of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona then circled back around to the southern parts on our way home. Austin was our first stop, then Amarillo to Santa Fe to Grand Canyon to Phoenix to Las Cruces to Terlingua to San Antonio and back home. We had many pit stops in places like Waco, Madrid, Monument Valley, Sedona and Marfa.

Where we ate: Magnolia Table in Waco, The Shed in Santa Fe, The Hudson in Sedona, Diego Pops in Phoenix, The County Line in San Antonio, and the most underrated place of them all, Cracker Barrel! We also brought snacks in the car to save money.

Favorite restaurant: Guero’s Taco Bar in Austin

Favorite historic landmark: The Grand Canyon

Attraction worth a drive-by: Cadillac Ranch right outside of Amarillo

Twigg and LeCoq outside their glamping tipi in Terlingua, Texas

Fun experience off the beaten path: We went “glamping” in a tipi near Big Bend National Park in Terlingua, Texas.

Worth the splurge: Shopping at Magnolia Market at the Silos. I’ve always been a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show on HGTV, Fixer Upper.

Not worth the splurge: Expensive places to stay. We were only staying a night or two in each place, and we woke up early to hit the road and explore, so we tried saving our money the best we could when looking for hotels and Airbnbs to stay at. We stayed with friends where we could, which helped save money too.

How this vacation differed from others pre-coronavirus: We wore masks everywhere we went and some shops and places were closed, but we still made the most of it.

LeCoq and Twigg outside the iconic “Prada Marfa” art installation by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset in Valentine, Texas

Something surprising we learned on the trip: There are miles and miles of windmill farms in Texas.

Advice for traveling during a pandemic: Be prepared to change plans as you go and don’t get upset if something isn’t open. There is always so much to explore around you.

We would suggest this trip to others because: It’s a great, cheap way to see a chunk of sights on your bucket list all in one trip! It also allows you to take a step back from the fast-paced life we are used to and open your eyes to how big God’s creation is!