From Portland to Portland: Ben and Becky’s Great American Adventure

Meet Ben and Becky. After graduating from college this spring, these two friends decided to spend 40 days crisscrossing the US on a “last adventure prior to entering the real world.” They left Maine with a tankful of gas, a trunkful of L.L.Bean camping gear and a spirit of adventure.

Ben and Becky

Guest Bloggers Ben and Becky

Their planned route, which will take them from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, and back to West Virginia, spans over 10,000 miles, 34 states (plus one Canadian province) and 25 campgrounds. They’ll visit dozens of national parks, monuments and other attractions, both natural and man-made.

Throughout their voyage, Ben (who is the son of a long-time L.L.Bean employee) and Becky will be sending us periodic updates from the road. As guest bloggers on our Trail Mix blog, they’ll share stories of their adventures, photos and travel tips they’ve learned – sometimes the hard way –  along the way.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Hey everyone, this is Becky & Ben. After dodging tornadoes and windstorms throughout the Midwest, we have landed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. If you guessed that it’s freezing here still, you are far smarter than we who drove up in T-shirts and shorts with snow still on the ground. Don’t worry, it didn’t hinder our excitement!

Selfie of Becky and Ben

During our afternoon at Rocky Mountain National Park, we took a scenic driving tour on Fall River Road, which circumnavigates the entire park up to the tallest peaks. As we steadily climbed over 12,000 feet, we were awestruck that we were passing through layers of clouds. We were on top of the world! To our surprise, as we ascended the road, we found more and more snow. Naturally, a quick June snowball fight commenced.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Our L.L.Bean gear kept us cozy and warm during our stay! Between our dome tent and down sleeping bags, we didn’t even notice it was snowing outside. We stayed in the Aspenglen campsite, which afforded us a flat space for the tent, picnic table and bearproof box. Using our propane stove, we prepared a luscious pasta dinner. Looking from our site, we saw massive rock faces suspended from the side of the mountains. A memorable campsite to say the least!

Tent site

And what would camping be without making friends with the neighborhood animal population? Herds of elk roam the entire park and graze on the fields in front of you. If elk don’t strike your fancy, you can watch bighorn sheep climb the Rocky Mountains or see hawks fly above you as you hike.


That’s all for now! As we continue our forty days and forty nights from Portland to Portland, look for highlights of our adventures here on the L.L.Bean blog.

Travel Tip: If there’s snow on the ground, it is never a good idea to hike in sandals. Even if you grew up in Maine, your feet can freeze just like everyone else’s.

 Leave a comment below to wish Ben and Becky good luck on their adventures!

  1. Sam Easley | June 23, 2013 | 11:16 pm

    Hey Ben. This is awesome man. Good luck and enjoy yourself!

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