Three summers ago, I drove across the country by myself, en route to the town where I now live in California. At the time, I was single, and I chose to bring with me only what I could fit into my little gray hatchback. The trip, like most road trips, felt like freedom.
This year, I’ll be driving across the U.S. again – not to move back to the east coast, but instead just to visit. I’ll again take my small car, but it will be filled in a different way, with the family I’ve created: my husband and our two dogs.
I’m looking forward to it. I’ve driven across the country several times, as has my husband, but we’ve not done it together. We’ll have the chance to visit friends and see things we haven’t before seen. Plus, if we wind up spending the night in North Dakota, I’ll complete my effort to stay a night in all 50 states. (Yay!)
Because life is hectic, though, we don’t yet have our trip planned, despite the fact that we’ll leave sometime in the next few weeks. Admittedly, planning anything is not really my strong point; I tend to be the traveler who books plane tickets and a place to stay, letting the rest unfold as it will.
Still, I like to make an effort. So, if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. We’ll take a northern route to get out there. What stops would you make? Do you know of dog-friendly places to stay and visit? Are there restaurants or quirky attractions we shouldn’t miss? What music or audiobooks would you recommend that can help pass the time?
I’ve driven around enough to know that every road trip will take unexpected turns, regardless of how I prepare. As an example, what I remember from my last drive across this country includes not only seeing people I love, but also the random, intricate details of a particular hotel and margarita in Flagstaff, AZ.
I don’t know what the coming weeks hold, but I don’t really care; it’s almost summer, and a bit of adventure – cloaked in the memories to come – seems absolutely right to me.