Thanks to their roles as National Geographic Photographers, Corey Arnold and Sofia Jaramillo both have traveled to incredible wild places around the world. Yet, each says their most memorable journeys are road trips where they can experience nature with their families. Recently, both photographers took such trips: Arnold to northeastern Oregon with his fiancé, Aly; son, Wolfie; and their dog, Nooka; and Jaramillo through Central Idaho with her brother, Lucas.
WATCH: Epic western road trips
WATCH: Epic western road trips
Before hitting the road, Arnold and Jaramillo each enrolled in KnowYourDrive® from American Family Insurance, a safe-driving auto discount program that lets users control what they pay for insurance. Follow along on each photographer’s adventure to explore breathtaking wilderness areas, find inspiration for your family’s next epic road trip, and learn more about KnowYourDrive®.
Seeing Nature Through a Child’s Eyes
Corey Arnold’s road trip took his family into the heart of Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, a photographer’s paradise dotted with alpine lakes and meadows, glaciated valleys, and bare granite peaks, the tallest rising up to nearly 10,000 feet. While Arnold was awed by the endless scenic views along the drive, he says what inspired his photography when they arrived at their destination—the remote Eagle Cap Wilderness—was the curiosity and wonder of his young son, Wolfie.
National Geographic Photographer Corey Arnold, his fiancé Aly, son Wolfie and dog Nooka explored trails and wild places in the Wallowa Mountains.
“We try to not give him too many boundaries but always keep him safe,” says Arnold, who toted Wolfie in a child carrier backpack on the family’s initial eight-mile hike from the Two Pan Trailhead to their campsite near Mirror Lake, and then up to the 9,572-foot summit of Eagle Cap. “Put a big boulder in front of him and he’s going to start climbing it.”
For Wolfie and Nooka, who wore her own dog backpack on the trail, the forest, rocks, and water surrounding the campsite created a nature-made playground for exploration. “Being outdoors, he can really learn and adventure and not feel that we’re holding him back,” explains Arnold, who chronicled his son’s discoveries with his camera. “My hope is that Wolfie develops a deep connection with nature and hopefully he can pass that on to his kids someday.”
Taking a toddler and a dog on a road trip takes extra planning and preparation, one reason why Arnold says, he especially appreciates the Travel Peace of Mind package that comes with KnowYourDrive®. The package helps road trippers deal with the unexpected, such as accidents, flat tires, or vehicle breakdowns, by providing coverage for essentials like Emergency Roadside Service, Road Trip Accident Accommodations, and more.
Fortunately for Arnold and his fiancé, their road trip rolled along smoothly, but it was good to know they were protected if they needed it.
And, based on the success of this adventure, which included a stop at Carman Ranch where Wolfie made some adorable animal friends, Arnold says his little crew will be hitting the road regularly in the future. “Road trips are an amazing part of the human experience,” he adds, “and the best way to travel as a family.”
Revisiting a Childhood Favorite Vacation Spot
As kids, Sofia Jaramillo and her brother, Lucas, spent nearly every summer at rustic Redfish Lake Lodge, built in 1929, in Idaho’s scenic Sawtooth National Recreation Area. So, when the siblings decided to take a road trip together, they knew that returning to the Sawtooth Mountains would make the journey even more memorable.
Sofia Jaramillo and her brother Lucas kicked off their trip with a flight over the Sawtooths, catching the incredible morning light.
“My family is a huge reason that I’m a National Geographic photographer,” says Sofia, who describes her brother as “the sweetest human.” “They were the ones who taught me how to love the outdoors and taught me that there are a lot of beautiful things in our [own] backyard.”
While road trips are the most affordable way to explore wild spaces close to home, lodging, food, and gas costs can add up quickly. The KnowYourDrive® program helps the Jaramillo siblings earn a discount on their car insurance, plus provides tips for becoming a safer driver to help maintain or even increase their savings in the future.
Driving to Redfish Lake also gave the siblings time to reminisce about summers spent at the lake, which is named for the bright red color of the now-endangered wild sockeye salmon who used to swim 900 miles from the Pacific to spawn here. At the inlet near the Redfish Lake Visitors Center, Sofia and Lucas watched spawning Kokanee, or land-locked sockeye, and later, at the Salmon Festival in Stanley, learned about the successful 30-year effort by the local Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to save the sockeye from extinction.
Lakes, rivers, and streams are the lifeblood of the Sawtooths. It’s no wonder then that the Jaramillo’s road trip brimmed with water activities: soaking in the Mountain Village hot springs, watching the sunrise over Redfish Lake, paddle boarding and kayaking on Stanley Lake, seeing the sunset at Little Redfish Lake, soaring over the Salmon River on a scenic flight.
“Photographing a place that was such a big part of who I am is such a powerful experience,” says Sofia. “I’m always going to remember this for the rest of my life, and I’m going to have the photos to look back on.”
Benefits described require enrollment in the KnowYourDrive program and an active American Family Insurance auto policy. The program discount varies based on driving behavior, and applies only to the following variable coverages, which are typical for most auto policies: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision and comprehensive, medical expense, underinsured and uninsured and personal injury protection. Additionally, the discount does not apply to fixed fees that are part of your policy. Some products not available in all states. Travel Peace of Mind package not included with KnowYourDrive in Washington state. KnowYourDrive application screens simulated. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. and its Operating Companies, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2021.