There’s something therapeutic about road trips. Yourself, music, the open road, a friend to talk to. When it’s you and hours to go, there’s nothing to do but think and feel all of the things that get drowned out by the bustle of day to day life. Lately, I’ve been needing a road trip to clear my head and process some huge life changes. I’ve also been craving a solid chat with someone who gets it (there’s no better place to deep dive into a life talk than in the car). Last weekend, Toyota generously provided the perfect experience for just that, a road trip like none other along the Million Dollar Highway.
My friend and fellow photographer, Halle, and I began our trip in Denver in the Toyota Tundra. Growing up in Maine, I learned to drive stick in a truck, so I have an affinity for driving them to this day (something about them makes me feel like such a badass). My favorite way to create content is to let it happen organically. This means stopping whenever I see a mental picture in my head and turning into an actual photograph. On our way to Durango, we stopped along the road at our leisure, snapping photos in the most picturesque of places and exploring things we may not have had the chance to otherwise.
Once we arrived in Durango, Toyota had a tour of a local winery set up for us to enjoy. Four Leaves Winery was generous enough to let us take over the majority of their space where wines were available for tasting – my favorite part was learning how to bottle our own wine! Once we had successfully bottled about a case of wine, we walked down the street to Derailed Pour House for dinner and socializing.
Following breakfast the next morning at Jean Pierre, Halle and I switched into the Toyota 4Runner and made the trip to Silverton where we met up with the rest of the crew for a tour of the Old Hundred Mine. I’m typically a very claustrophobic person but I was pleasantly surprised by how at ease I felt in the mine. Our tour guide was an authentic miner and clearly knew his facts and was passionate about sharing them with us, making the tour better than expected. He was a little unamused that JJ, a fellow Colorado influencer, brought his adventure cat Simon, but Simon was a champ and explored the mine with finesse! From the tour, we had some time to spend in the town of Silverton and Halle and I didn’t waste a second. We wandered around the streets of the town and stumbled upon the most perfect setting for the photos we were envisioning. Just around the corner from an amazing tin wall was an upsidedown bathtub – that bathtub coupled with the wall and the overcast lighting made for the moodiest, coolest Fall photos yet.
After exhausting our photo backdrops in Silverton, Halle and I switched into our final car, the Toyota Rav4 and made the final leg of the trip to Telluride. We checked into the Peaks Resort & Spa and gathered as a group one last time for a gondola ride up the mountain to Allred’s Restaurant for dinner and a stunning view. Not only was dinner absolutely delicious, but I appreciated the intimae setting and a chance to connect with the other influencers on the trip. Once we had rested and fueled up ourselves and our cars the next morning, Halle and I made the pilgrimage back to Denver, but not without a few more photo shoots along the road home. I now truly know why they call it the Million Dollar Highway, it truly has some of the most scenic and beautiful views I’ve ever seen.
A huge THANK YOU to Toyota for organizing such an incredible experience. Every detail was thought of and it was such an honor to be included in such a detailed partnership with a great brand. Halle and I needed this road trip to escape a little bit, but to also connect and create together. We had so much fun chatting and singing and belting out our favorite songs in the car, so we also made a special road trip playlist to share. I hope you enjoy!
*This is a sponsored post – all opinions are my own*