I love a good road trip. Growing up out west there seemed to be a lot more space between places. There were also less trees, which gave a much more wide-open feeling, verses the often claustrophobic tree-lined drives of the eastern United States. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful, but when the road is calling to me, I long for the open spaces where I can stretch my eyes to the horizon.
Once, just after graduating from college, I took a cross country road trip all by myself. I drove from Ohio, to Kansas, to Arizona, to Alabama, to Virginia, and back to Ohio. It was a blast. A little scary sometimes through New Mexico and parts of Arizona where there was not a building, tree or another car on the horizon. Life was wide open.
ROAD TRIP MEMORIES
This weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, used to be a weekend that included a wonderful road trip with friends. From about 1998 until 2012, our friends from college would get together at my in-law’s lake house. (This weekend’s trips were actually how John and I got really connected and fell in love.) When we first started those trips we were all just single college students. It kinda became a make it or break it trip – with relationships beginning and ending, and even an engagement. Now we’re all married and some of us have young kids, which makes it more and more difficult to get together. And so, these last two years we haven’t had the trip, and that make me so sad. I miss these wonderful friends, and the memories we made during those trips.
Maybe that’s why I’m longing for a road trip today.
THE ADVENTURE WE WERE LOOKING FOR
Last weekend, my hubby humored me in a very spur of the moment road trip. It was going to be a relaxing Saturday, and so we slept late then splurged on went to a local hole-in-the-wall called Victoria’s that has wonderful breakfasts. While we were eating, we were trying to decide what we wanted to do that day. See, it was a rare day with nothing planned and no where to go. So we decided to break in my new car and test out the “Stormtrooper” on the open road.
We headed out towards South Mountains State Park in NC. But decided to take nothing but back country roads, which I always love, but sometimes the google map lies. What looks like a regular paved road turns out to be a dirt road, and then turns out to be a dead end. Oh well, it’s always an adventure when me and my hubby get together. Just spending time together is enough for me.
When we finally arrived in the Mountains, it was well worth the trip, the views were gorgeous. Some of the clearest streams I’ve ever seen, and a beautiful waterfall. The hike was definitely a calorie burner, which was good after sitting in the car for a while. Then on our way back home, we stopped at Bridges Barbecue Lodge, which was supposedly a place featured on Food Networks Diners, Drive-ins and Dive. I’m not sure if it actually was, but it was definitely worthy of it.
Letterboxing is similar to geocaching, just slightly less technical…cause of course there’s a APP for that. It’s essentially a treasure hunt in locations all around the world. It’s great for when you are traveling to a new city or area, because the clues often take you to out of the way places that are really interesting that you probably would not have seen otherwise. They can be historical, scenic, personal, anything really that is meaningful to a person, and then they plant a “box” there and leave clues online for you to find it. Inside the box is usually a pad of paper and a stamp (hand carved ones are the best). When you are on the hunt, you bring along your personal stamp, pad of paper and some ink. Then you stamp their paper once you find the hidden box with your stamp – marking that you found it. And take their stamp to your pad of paper to record all the locations you’ve visited.
After this trip I decided to put our letterboxing kit in the “Stormtrooper” for more of these random adventures.
FUTURE ADVENTURES AWAIT
Since I can’t get out on that road trip today, the next best thing is…planning one! John and I are planning a fun trip back to the mountains where we went for our honeymoon 10 years ago this fall. So I started looking up interesting places to visit while we’re out and about that weekend. And I came across a great little site called roadtrippers.com, I had a great time playing around on it. Another one of my favorite sites to check out when I’m traveling is design*sponge places. They always have super fun tips on places to eat, stay and visit and cities all over the place.
After all that planning, I wish we were leaving today.
What are your favorite things to see and do on a road trip? How do you like to prepare for your adventure?