Tripping: Why I Love It

1 02 2010

Heading west on Interstate 40 through Arizona, with time to kill, we jump off at the exit for Winslow to hit the back roads. We stop in the small town to let the GPS set our route and it leads us to a small dirt road on the edge of town. Do we take it? Hell Yes! We turn on the road made of gravel and dirt, clouds of dust fly behind us. As we drive down the narrow road we see a couple of houses, then civilization disappears behind us. It seems we are the only people on earth. The land before us is wide open. Every once in a while we see signs that other people were once here, an old rusty car, some bed springs, but nothing else. All of the sudden a jack rabbit runs out of the small shrubs that scatter the desert landscape. We continue on the road for over 30 minutes , before we see the end, a fence crossing the road, we can go no further. We stop for a few minutes, looking for any way that we can continue, but we must turn around.

Road near Winslow, AZ.

People often ask me, why don’t you just fly? Well, for one, it scares the shit out of me. Two, why would I fly? Getting there is the best part of my vacation, why would I skip it? The answer is really simple. I love the road. I love driving mile after mile watching the scenery change around me, not knowing what is around the next corner. There is nothing like tossing your gear in the car, hitting the road, and not knowing what lies ahead. Sure you’ve made a plan, you know your destination, and you’ve set the GPS, but there are so many things that could alter the plan. Some are out of your hands and can slow you down, but others are the essence of the road. You have total control over where you go, what you see, and how you get there. This is what I love about the road.

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A Thing of the Past.

26 01 2010

So what happened to the American road trip? Today’s traveler is all about reaching their destination, and how quickly they can get there. You will most likely catch them throwing a bag or two together and heading off to spend a couple hours in lines at the airport, only to do the same at the other end of the journey. Maybe you’ll catch them on the freeway at 80 miles per hour, racing to their destination. Whatever method, nothing is the same as a good old-fashioned road trip.

For years, people from all over the country packed up their families, loaded their vehicles and took to the road. Families and friends alike could spend days, even weeks roaming about the country. Maybe there was a destination in mind, maybe there was not, it did not matter. The road was what the trip was all about. It was about exploring the parks, attractions, and oddities that spread all over the United States, from Florida’s Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, to Washington’s Flaming Geyser State Park, no matter where you go there is always something to see and do, you just have to look for it.

What I want to do with this blog is encourage everyone to take the scenic route, get off the freeways and hit the back roads. Drive the two lane roads of yester-year and see what it is all about. In upcoming posts I intend to share my stories from the road, offer you helpful information, and show you pictures of some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer in hopes of inspiring you to turn your next vacation into the ultimate American road trip.