Day R of the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April challenge. Today’s topic: road trips.
|Pensacola Beach, Florida|
I’ve said several times on my blog, I love road trips. There’s something about hopping in your car and just going somewhere, hours in the car listening to music and enjoying the scenery and thinking about stories or life or whatever, that I can’t get enough of.
Growing up, my family did road trip vacations. When I was 6, we went to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills. The next year, we went to the Grand Canyon. This was before car DVD players, before Gameboys, and I can’t read in the car without getting sick, so my brother and I had to find ways to entertain ourselves: car bingo, Legos, the “I’m not touching you” game.
|Stavkirke, Washington Island, Wisconsin|
Last spring break I went on an epic road trip. Despite some family members’ misgivings, I drove 3000 miles in 8 days, by myself, following Hwy 61 along the Mississippi River. Down to St. Louis; Cairo, IL, and Memphis; a detour to my Lone Wolf MC’s hometown in the Mississippi Delta; Baton Rouge and finally New Orleans where I ate catfish that melted in my mouth. I then cut over, through my beautiful future retirement town of Pass Christian, MS, to Pensacola and an afternoon lying on the beach and photographing the waves and jetsam. Then up through Birmingham towards Chattanooga, veering towards Nashville; my college town and a long chat with a former professor; and finally back home.
It was wonderful. I got several new story ideas, including “Of Gods and Floods” which was published in Shadow Road Quarterly, and hashed out some novel plot points. I saw parts of the country I’d never been to before, and can now brag that I’ve driven the entire US length of Hwy 61.
Last summer, I made a few shorter trips north as well. Both involved a Great Lake, wandering around in beautiful scenery, and plenty of time to think in the car.
|Split Rock Light House, Duluth, Minnesota|
Of course, I can’t wait to go somewhere again. Some of the bigger trips I have in mind:
- Drive to Detroit for some family history research, then up to Toronto so my son can check out their public transit system (it’s a boy trucks-trains-moving vehicles thing), and over to Niagara Falls because I love all things water. Ideally we’d skirt a couple Great Lakes and come back by way of Thunder Bay, but I don’t think we’ll have time for that this summer.
- Starting in Harlingen, TX, drive north along Hwy 83 to as far north as I can go (sadly, it is not possible to drive to the North Pole, as there are no roads and the Arctic Ocean is in the way). I am well aware that I’ll have to do this alone, because no one voluntarily drives straight north/south across Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.
- Drive to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, then over to Alaska, down to Vancouver and Seattle.
- Drive all of Hwy 101 along the Pacific coast.
- Drive all of Hwy 1 along the Atlantic coast.
What are some memorable road trips you’ve taken, or ones you’d like to take?