Growing up, experiencing the US via only the films and TV that reached the fair shores of Britain, it was my belief that the road trip was the most fundamental of American traditions - a type of pilgrimage that everyone must do at least once.
I've lived in the US now for five years, and in that time the longest drive I've done was a return trip to Crater Lake from San Francisco and back again. You can do it in a day each way if you really must, but I took three just to make it a little more relaxed. It's definitely a road trip, but for some reason any drive that finishes where it started doesn't quite feel like a proper road trip.
This year, though, my and my boyfriend learnt with some surprise (and not quite enough notice) that his job was moving to Denver - as he'd requested, since it is his hometown, but a year or two earlier than we thought the transfer would come through. I'd been in San Francisco for five years (four more than I originally planned) and so I was more than happy to follow him here.
Many people's first reaction to learning that I was moving to Denver was knowing that it definitely existed, but being somewhat unsure of where it is. That's fair enough, because it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere - nestled alongside the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, with nothing but plains and mountains surrounding it.
If California is the end of the American Wild West, then Colorado is arguably the start. Everything in between is a stunning collection of wild, harsh environments, and it would be doing a disservice to merely fly over them, as I have many times before.
Given this, it was almost a certainty that I would want to drive from my old home in San Francisco to the new one in Denver - and drive we did.