If we ever had any inclination to refer to the midwest as ‘flyover states’ (we didn’t), our travels last summer would have changed that. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the northern midwest, finding the region surprisingly beautiful. (If you have any doubt, check our blog posts from summer 2016.) We were glad that our ‘straight line’ to Utah this year would include a different path through the middle of the midwest.
If you’ve never trusted your trip, vacation or summer to a computer algorithm, it’s worth a try. Key your destination into Google Maps, select ‘avoid highways’ and follow the mathematically optimized route that will take you places you’d never find on your own while avoiding difficult left turns and heavy traffic. Continue reading “Squirrel!”
An interesting phenomenon happens when you drive from Warren, VT to Pittsburgh, PA in 3 days – spring gets compressed. We left home with snow on the ground, noticed budding blossoms upstate NY and found color exploding – Bang! Screaming yellow forsythia! – over every hill crest and around every bend throughout north central PA. By the time we got to OH, the colorful part of spring was behind us, and farmers were busy readying their fields.
Ha! You were thinking we might have one!
We really enjoyed our approach to adventure planning (others might call it non-planning), well honed on last year’s adventure. We set an intention to explore one or two areas of the country, then connect them up. As we go along.
Neither one of us has ever been to the Southern UT/Northern AZ canyons, so we’ve set aside the month of May – after the snows, before the heat and crowds – to hike, bike and generally check out this gorgeous and unique terrain that is so unlike New England. We’ll know when we’re done, and at that point, we’ll likely head north as the temps turn into summer. We’d like to see Glacier National Park. Then, we’ll likely head to the left coast, visiting friends and family, looking for music jams and enjoying fun places until it’s time to come back to New England.
Unlike last year, this adventure will require some ‘re-positioning.’ We most enjoy poking around slowly, following the wind and sound of blues. For the first few weeks this year, we’ll travel slightly longer days in a more or less direct line to Moab, threatening to visit any friends and family that may be along that line.
Of course, we’ll adapt as we go along…
The adventure continues…
We accepted the trade off… Memphis jam and extra time in the south with friends and family would mean fewer, longer driving days to get back to VT before (or between) snow storms. Doug summarized his anticipated feelings for this last leg of the trip: ‘It’ll be like driving home late from the airport after a vacation.’
Traditional snowbirds migrate up and down the 1,500 miles of east coast highways between New England and Florida twice a year and make their trip in about 2 days. It took us 3 weeks to cover our first 1,500 miles on this adventure – a pace we loved. Given our time constraints, we considered ourselves fortunate to have 8 days for our northbound ‘sprint,’ and we wanted to spend some of that time catching up with friends.
Did we mentioned we’re enjoying retirement?
When out on the road, traveling around the country for 6 months at a time, you develop a different perspective and occasionally find yourself having interesting thoughts like ‘Hey, we’re so close to my parents’ place, let’s swing by to say hello – it’s only a 2-day drive…’