So…we’re going on a road trip.
Never did I think I’d get the chance to drive across the country. It’s always been something I’ve thought about but never did I think there would be the time that would be necessary. We’ve been to more national parks outside of the US than inside. We’ve spent time in more cities around the world rather than in this part of North America. Maybe now we’ll have the chance to hit the road for a while and take in the scenery of a portion of the United States. If we can’t do it all…it just means we’ll have to do it again, right?
“Road trips aren’t measured by mile markers, but by moments” – unknown
For years fellow colleagues would tell me that they took their travels in the summer. I worked every summer at camp so never was there the extended time to road trip for weeks on end and when there was the time, the money was spent on overseas adventures at other times of the years to escape the winters of the Northeast. I have no complaints at all and know how very lucky we have been to see as much of the world as we have – really, perspective is a wonderful thing! Wouldn’t it be nice if the only problems of the world were as simple as which city should I visit next and what’s the best route to get from my country to yours? Trust me, we know these are not problems or struggles by any stretch of the imagination; still, it’s something that has always been on both of our ‘lists’.
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho
So, now it’s a possibility. Out came all of the USA maps and I sat on the floor with everything spread out in front of me and just dreamed! Where to go, what to skip, what route to take, who we’d be able to visit – all the questions swarmed around me and I found myself smiling – even at landlocked states (and for this water loving lady that’s a shock!). Of course you know the route that I would take would continuously zigzag from south to north and east to west and never go in a straight line anywhere but for some reason that just didn’t sound like my brightest idea yet. Things to consider shot to the forefront of my brain – friends to visit, be sure to avoid as much ‘winter’ as possible, where do we each really want to go and where would we be able to skip that wouldn’t make us too disappointed. And of course, what did I come up with? Yeah, only that I was trying to figure out how long it would take us to hit all of the contiguous states and Alaska in the same trip (we’ve both already been to Hawaii). Oy vey!
“Ones destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” – Henry Miller
Now, as you can imagine, planning this road trip has been a part of my every day thoughts. Could we make it to Yellowstone before the geyser freezes for the winter? How long will it take to dip into Iowa to get to the original ‘field of dreams’? How many days do we really need for the national parks in Utah? How mad would Corina be if we made it to Texas but couldn’t get to Austin to say hello? Can we stretch what could be four weeks into just that much longer to be sure to see as much as possible or do we have to take into account that ‘time management’ angle and manage our travels and time a bit better? Oh, and of course…what snacks should we bring?
“The journey not the arrival matters” – T.S. Elliot
So, since you can tell that my mind is all over the shop and racing through highs and low of road trip planning, I thought I might ask for your assistance. At the moment, it’s looking as if the Southern route is our best chance to see the least amount of flaky white stuff falling from the sky and limit the amount of hand warmers I’d have to pack, but we’re open to anything. And really, if we don’t do it this time, if we’re lucky enough to do it again, we’re happy to keep everything in one giant list! What are your favourite stops throughout the USA? Mat’s anxious to hear your suggestions for best burger and craft beer stops and I’d love any vegetarian heavy food spots you could recommend along the way. Have you found the best off the beaten path café or the quietest scenic spot in a national park that isn’t written in any guidebook? What’s the most kitchy roadside attraction you’ve encountered? Where did the people make the greatest impression? We’d love to hear what you have to say. The general route is taking shape but as is with any good road trip, nothing is set in stone – we can go whichever way the wind takes us. Be it food, drink, scenic or site related we’re ready to listen. Thanks in advance…suggest away!