Spur of the moment Road Trip by an old couple—us!

Chester P Squier

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Jan 16, 2021
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74
Location
Covington, LA
Anyone ever taken a spur-of-the-moment road trip? My wife and I knew we wanted to go on some kind of trip to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and had devised various options. We HAD to get out of the house and out of town and away from certain responsibilities when we had a window of opportunity. However, my wife cracked her tibia in a fall a few months back and it’s taking time to heal, so walking would likely be limited.

We left southeast Louisiana in early July and spent two nights with my brother and his wife in northeast Louisiana. It was there and only then that we decided to go sight-seeing in the mountains of Arkansas. Now, our most recent trips have involved flying. We had not done an actual road trip in years. And we are getting up in years. We weren’t sure we were up to it. But we took Louisiana Highway 15, then exited onto the road that became scenic Arkansas State Highway 7 once we crossed the state line.

Carefully maneuvering around hairpin turns and up and down steep hills, we made our way to Russellville where we really began to plan the rest of the trip. Or at least consider options. There was beautiful scenery all the way up there from north Louisiana. We drove to Mount Magazine and spent the night in the Mount Magazine Lodge. My wife’s recovery from her injury kept us from hiking the trails (that, and our age), but we were able to see sights.

While at the Mount Magazine Lodge, we made reservations and got tickets for a couple of Branson shows. We drove up to Branson, getting off Arkansas 7 and onto US Highway 65.

We saw a Beach Boys tribute show in the morning. Got to sit up close. The performers were two men and two women (hey, you gotta have high voices for those Beach Boy harmonies). We were close enough for me to suspect that they were lip-synching. I would have thought you could hear their voices acoustically in addition to over the PA speakers. Hope I’m wrong. But the Beach Boys were my favorite group when I was a teenager, so I had to like it.

We also saw the Jesus play that afternoon. We really enjoyed it. I thought it was comparable to any of the Broadway shows my wife and I have seen in NYC the several times we have been there. Maybe I need spoilers to enjoy drama.

While in Branson, we decided we were up to a trip to St. Louis for a ballgame. We splurged on great seats down the third-base line, on the 8th row of the lower deck, about even with the pitcher’s mound. We were contacted by our credit card company. We told them all is well and the charges legit. Great seats! After checking out of the hotel in Branson, we rode to Springfield MO, where we got on I-44 and headed to St. Louis.

We splurged on the hotel, getting a room overlooking Busch Stadium.

We walked down to the Gateway Arch, but didn’t go up in it. It’s 96 steps in 6 flights of stairs in addition to the elevator. No bathroom at the top. We’re too old for that. But it’s big, at 630 feet high. We did get to gawk at it from the ground.

Bought myself a Cardinals cap and red Cardinals tee shirts for both of us. The game had a one-hour rain delay, but they did resume play, and the rain did cool things off. Cardinals aren’t my team, but we did pull for them since we were wearing their apparel. They lost to the Phillies, 2-0. One guy on the Phils hit two solo homers and that was the difference. Picturesque ballpark, with the Gateway Arch visible behind the centerfield stands.

Drove home the next day. Made it home in one day. It was I-55 most of the way.

I noticed something when we got back home. The hairpin turns and steep hills and curves of the Ozarks aren’t nearly as scary and dangerous as my fellow southeast Louisiana drivers. My apologies to the Louisianians on the TDPRI and will say “present company excepted."

We weren’t sure we could do a road trip at our age, but we had to get out of town, and it was our first vacation since 2019. We needed that. We were very happy the whole time on our trip. We have very fond memories of that week of getting away from it all.

A good friend of mine once told me that a resident at a nursing home told him that when you retire, travel as much as you can, because you won’t always be able to do so. My wife proved to me that the two of us are still young enough to do a road trip and enjoy it. We had a great time.

Anybody else got any road trip stories?
 

Happy Enchilada

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God's Country
Y'all are inspiring me - now I have travel GAS!

After 7 years, my wife quit teaching high school English (which was not unlike showing card tricks to dogs). She's never been "out of work" for more than 2 weeks since we met back when the earth was flat, and true to form, she's landed a great job with the Fed'rul Gummint, and we have about 3 weeks to wait now for the feds to complete her background check (she's squeaky clean). Meanwhile, I am "semi-retired," and pretty much at liberty to disappear for a week or 2 at a time. So we're racking our brains looking for somewhere that's a comfortable day's drive away, is up in the mountains enough to be cooler than the triple digits we're enduring hereabouts for the next couple weeks, and isn't on fire. Good fishing would be a plus.

Since school's been out, it's been like the movie "Groundhog Day" around here. Get up, go to the gym 3 days a week, come home, soak in the hot tub, and then do little errands and decide what to have for dinner the rest of the day. Lather, rinse, repeat. While there are worse routines by far, this one is getting old. We need to (as my sainted Mother often said) "Get out and get the stink blown off'n us." It's like cabin fever with AC.

I suppose we could drive a little further and go to Missoula for a few days - it checks all the boxes - and I love driving my Colorado. It gets ridiculous gas mileage, it's comfortable, and it'll go anywhere a sane person needs to go. And if we buy something bigger than a breadbox, we can lug it home with ease.

Ah, wanderlust. And as much as I loved the movie ...
 

Engine Swap

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Nov 28, 2014
Posts
3,307
Location
Chicago
The wife and I are in Grand Rapids, Mich right now for that very reason.

Taking a long weekend and blowing town. Seems like there was construction for 80% of the 4 hour drive.
 

Dan German

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Posts
13,885
Age
62
Location
Left of the Left Coast
No road trip stories (actually I have way too many, but still not typing much with my broken hand), but I grew up in St. Louis, and I also never went up in the Arch. If you missed the Talimena Scenic Drive while passing through Arkansas, you’ll have to go back.
 

KyAnne

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Posts
1,970
Location
Swamps of Louisiana
Anyone ever taken a spur-of-the-moment road trip? My wife and I knew we wanted to go on some kind of trip to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and had devised various options. We HAD to get out of the house and out of town and away from certain responsibilities when we had a window of opportunity. However, my wife cracked her tibia in a fall a few months back and it’s taking time to heal, so walking would likely be limited.

We left southeast Louisiana in early July and spent two nights with my brother and his wife in northeast Louisiana. It was there and only then that we decided to go sight-seeing in the mountains of Arkansas. Now, our most recent trips have involved flying. We had not done an actual road trip in years. And we are getting up in years. We weren’t sure we were up to it. But we took Louisiana Highway 15, then exited onto the road that became scenic Arkansas State Highway 7 once we crossed the state line.

Carefully maneuvering around hairpin turns and up and down steep hills, we made our way to Russellville where we really began to plan the rest of the trip. Or at least consider options. There was beautiful scenery all the way up there from north Louisiana. We drove to Mount Magazine and spent the night in the Mount Magazine Lodge. My wife’s recovery from her injury kept us from hiking the trails (that, and our age), but we were able to see sights.

While at the Mount Magazine Lodge, we made reservations and got tickets for a couple of Branson shows. We drove up to Branson, getting off Arkansas 7 and onto US Highway 65.

We saw a Beach Boys tribute show in the morning. Got to sit up close. The performers were two men and two women (hey, you gotta have high voices for those Beach Boy harmonies). We were close enough for me to suspect that they were lip-synching. I would have thought you could hear their voices acoustically in addition to over the PA speakers. Hope I’m wrong. But the Beach Boys were my favorite group when I was a teenager, so I had to like it.

We also saw the Jesus play that afternoon. We really enjoyed it. I thought it was comparable to any of the Broadway shows my wife and I have seen in NYC the several times we have been there. Maybe I need spoilers to enjoy drama.

While in Branson, we decided we were up to a trip to St. Louis for a ballgame. We splurged on great seats down the third-base line, on the 8th row of the lower deck, about even with the pitcher’s mound. We were contacted by our credit card company. We told them all is well and the charges legit. Great seats! After checking out of the hotel in Branson, we rode to Springfield MO, where we got on I-44 and headed to St. Louis.

We splurged on the hotel, getting a room overlooking Busch Stadium.

We walked down to the Gateway Arch, but didn’t go up in it. It’s 96 steps in 6 flights of stairs in addition to the elevator. No bathroom at the top. We’re too old for that. But it’s big, at 630 feet high. We did get to gawk at it from the ground.

Bought myself a Cardinals cap and red Cardinals tee shirts for both of us. The game had a one-hour rain delay, but they did resume play, and the rain did cool things off. Cardinals aren’t my team, but we did pull for them since we were wearing their apparel. They lost to the Phillies, 2-0. One guy on the Phils hit two solo homers and that was the difference. Picturesque ballpark, with the Gateway Arch visible behind the centerfield stands.

Drove home the next day. Made it home in one day. It was I-55 most of the way.

I noticed something when we got back home. The hairpin turns and steep hills and curves of the Ozarks aren’t nearly as scary and dangerous as my fellow southeast Louisiana drivers. My apologies to the Louisianians on the TDPRI and will say “present company excepted."

We weren’t sure we could do a road trip at our age, but we had to get out of town, and it was our first vacation since 2019. We needed that. We were very happy the whole time on our trip. We have very fond memories of that week of getting away from it all.

A good friend of mine once told me that a resident at a nursing home told him that when you retire, travel as much as you can, because you won’t always be able to do so. My wife proved to me that the two of us are still young enough to do a road trip and enjoy it. We had a great time.

Anybody else got any road trip stories?
That sounds like a fantastic road trip! We are dreaming up one for next year! Enjoyed reading.
We are in Dutchtown, LA out from Gonzales.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Posts
3,569
Location
God's Country
Living in Branson, I always am hoping that TDPRI members will visit when they’re here.
Has anyone ever floated the idea of a TDPRI "convention"?

Pick a place that's easy and cheap to get to and from with plenty of accommodations and music venues.
Figure out a time of year when the weather is nice there.
Find a motel where we can buy a block of rooms cheap.
Get the word out via TDPRI.
Maybe print up some t-shirts with an amusing logo ...

Might be a good way for us to put names to faces and hang out.
Of course, the local music stores would welcome us with open arms.
As would the bars with live music.

Any takers?
 

trapdoor2

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Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,559
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
I did unplanned (or poorly planned) road trips when I was single but never with Miz Diane. She's not one to sleep in the car or camp or whatever without proper AC and comfy accommodations. She also is pretty much the opposite of an explorer. Plan, review, plan some more. Carry hard-copy files of all reservations, etc.

In 1977, I was working at the local airport pumping gas. My family was in Oshkosh, WI for the airshow (where we had been going for the past 7 yrs). Dad called me the first evening and held the phone up so I could hear the airshow announcer, planes flying, etc. I requested a week off the next day, jumped in my VW Superbeetle, bought a bucket of KFC and drove nonstop thru the night. I banged on my parents' camper door at 0600 shouting, "DAWN PATROL!". We had a great time...and we did it 11 consecutive years.

After working for one company for a number of years, they forced me to take a vacation. "Use it or lose it". I took two weeks...threw a tent and some clothes in the back of my 1984 Celica Liftback and drove roughly NE from Alabama. I hit the DC museums the next day and continued N, ending up in a campground near Rhinebeck, NY, where I spent the weekend. Got to see the Old Rhinebeck Airdrome and two of their airshows.

Then, I drove back home. I literally didn't know how to vacation by myself. I sat at home the 2nd week.

Miz Diane and I will be driving down to Charlestown, SC in Sept. for 3 days. We've had full reservations (including the boat and 'ghost tour') for 8mo...

When the cat dies (he's now 18), we have a 'loop' planned. Drive out to Kansas City (Steamboat Arabia Museum) via Nashville (visit friends) then loop back thru Dayton, OH (Airforce Museum, etc.). That too, will be fully planned for hotels, etc.
 

schmee

Telefied
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Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
21,315
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northwest
It's true about getting out to travel as young as possible. In 2010 I was 63. We took our 3 dogs and a loaded van from with a big bed for them from NW Washington to Florida. We had a 30 ft boat stored in Florida and decided we'd go use it before selling it. Too expensive to ship to the NW.
Man that was a long trip, but a good one. Basically the whole time we were on the boat I spent fixing some things, not a great trip from that standpoint. The fuel tanks started dripping leaking and the diesel engine popped a pushrod off a rocker which took some time to figure out. But the road trip was good. Finally we gave up on the water adventure. We visited my wife's Mom who was living in Arizona, and stayed a couple nights with a friend I met from guitar sites on the internet in Louisiana. He and his wife were just very hospitable people.

On the way back to the PNW we stopped at the Sequoias and drove the beach highways from California to Washington. The dogs loved it. We came to appreciate being back home without Gators, Snakes, Scorpions threatening the pups etc. BoatQueen.jpg Wigsondash.jpg
 

boris bubbanov

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Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Posts
56,423
Location
New Orleans, LA + in the
I was seriously impressed with how lush and green the countryside was in SW Arkansas back in the first week of May. This was a switch for us, because normally what we do is pack up and drive 10-18 hours to get to another region, before we start improvising. We're still fit enough to do some serious hiking (and the dog demands his mileage!) so we go someplace cool enough to actually do that. July and August in the Deep South - with kindest regards I don't recommend it to anyone except the hardcore Ultra-Fit types.
 

Slap Axe

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Sep 7, 2019
Posts
397
Location
Rocky Mountain Way
My wife and I recently jumped in the car last minute for an unplanned trip when the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in late June. We live in Salt Lake City and are big Avs fans. Our minor league team, the Grizzlies, are an Avs affiliate. We've been to Denver and to Vegas to see Avalanche games and attended back to back games in Denver this season. We also attended the All Star game down in Vegas back in February, so it was a big year for us as hockey fans! I'd say the biggest!😁

When the Avalanche won the cup, we decided we'd might as well drive over for the big party and parade. Why not! We don't have kids and after years of having pets, we are empty nesters now with nothing stopping us from jumping in the car.

We were able to stay at my aunt and uncle's house in Morrison for a couple of nights while we hit the parade and party at city hall, which worked out great. Parade Day was a blast hanging out with 500k of our closest rabid Avalanche-fan friends in downtown Denver!

Coincidentally, my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary party was only a week away, which we had planned to attend, so we ended up deciding to just stay the week in Colorado instead of driving home and then going back. We found a sweet cabin right outside of Leadville and spent the week up there over the 4th of July. I had my mountain bike with me, so I hit the trails every day in 70 degree weather up at 10k feet. I'd ride in the morning and then it would thunder storm every afternoon. I only got caught out and soaked once, on the last day, and it felt pretty amazing considering the hot summer we've had. We dropped back into a toasty Denver that weekend for their anniversary party in the foothills near Morrison before driving home the next day. It was a much longer stay in Colorado than we'd planned, a good adventure, and one helluva fun trip!
 
Last edited:

Chester P Squier

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Jan 16, 2021
Posts
2,747
Age
74
Location
Covington, LA
My brother from NE Louisiana came by for a short visit. On the way home, up I-55 in Mississippi, he and his wife decided to see the Lynyrd Skynyrd Memorial, if it was less than 5 miles off the road. But it was 8 miles off the road, and they went anyway. He sent me a picture. Rather impressive black marble monuments.

Now, that's the spirit of road trips. See it even it its more than 5 miles off the interstate.
 

Lonn

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Dec 13, 2007
Posts
5,108
Age
60
Location
Indiana
Admittedly much younger (I'm 59 and she's 43) my wife and I will go anywhere for anything at the drop of a hat. Get in the car, get on a plane, whatever. I'll be 60 in 13 days and we're headed to Turkey for a week for a hot air balloon ride and a stay in the Cappadocia region with my MIL and her sister. My wife is Bulgarian so it's rather local for her.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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Goonieville, OR
Anyone ever taken a spur-of-the-moment road trip? My wife and I knew we wanted to go on some kind of trip to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and had devised various options. We HAD to get out of the house and out of town and away from certain responsibilities when we had a window of opportunity. However, my wife cracked her tibia in a fall a few months back and it’s taking time to heal, so walking would likely be limited.

We left southeast Louisiana in early July and spent two nights with my brother and his wife in northeast Louisiana. It was there and only then that we decided to go sight-seeing in the mountains of Arkansas. Now, our most recent trips have involved flying. We had not done an actual road trip in years. And we are getting up in years. We weren’t sure we were up to it. But we took Louisiana Highway 15, then exited onto the road that became scenic Arkansas State Highway 7 once we crossed the state line.

Carefully maneuvering around hairpin turns and up and down steep hills, we made our way to Russellville where we really began to plan the rest of the trip. Or at least consider options. There was beautiful scenery all the way up there from north Louisiana. We drove to Mount Magazine and spent the night in the Mount Magazine Lodge. My wife’s recovery from her injury kept us from hiking the trails (that, and our age), but we were able to see sights.

While at the Mount Magazine Lodge, we made reservations and got tickets for a couple of Branson shows. We drove up to Branson, getting off Arkansas 7 and onto US Highway 65.

We saw a Beach Boys tribute show in the morning. Got to sit up close. The performers were two men and two women (hey, you gotta have high voices for those Beach Boy harmonies). We were close enough for me to suspect that they were lip-synching. I would have thought you could hear their voices acoustically in addition to over the PA speakers. Hope I’m wrong. But the Beach Boys were my favorite group when I was a teenager, so I had to like it.

We also saw the Jesus play that afternoon. We really enjoyed it. I thought it was comparable to any of the Broadway shows my wife and I have seen in NYC the several times we have been there. Maybe I need spoilers to enjoy drama.

While in Branson, we decided we were up to a trip to St. Louis for a ballgame. We splurged on great seats down the third-base line, on the 8th row of the lower deck, about even with the pitcher’s mound. We were contacted by our credit card company. We told them all is well and the charges legit. Great seats! After checking out of the hotel in Branson, we rode to Springfield MO, where we got on I-44 and headed to St. Louis.

We splurged on the hotel, getting a room overlooking Busch Stadium.

We walked down to the Gateway Arch, but didn’t go up in it. It’s 96 steps in 6 flights of stairs in addition to the elevator. No bathroom at the top. We’re too old for that. But it’s big, at 630 feet high. We did get to gawk at it from the ground.

Bought myself a Cardinals cap and red Cardinals tee shirts for both of us. The game had a one-hour rain delay, but they did resume play, and the rain did cool things off. Cardinals aren’t my team, but we did pull for them since we were wearing their apparel. They lost to the Phillies, 2-0. One guy on the Phils hit two solo homers and that was the difference. Picturesque ballpark, with the Gateway Arch visible behind the centerfield stands.

Drove home the next day. Made it home in one day. It was I-55 most of the way.

I noticed something when we got back home. The hairpin turns and steep hills and curves of the Ozarks aren’t nearly as scary and dangerous as my fellow southeast Louisiana drivers. My apologies to the Louisianians on the TDPRI and will say “present company excepted."

We weren’t sure we could do a road trip at our age, but we had to get out of town, and it was our first vacation since 2019. We needed that. We were very happy the whole time on our trip. We have very fond memories of that week of getting away from it all.

A good friend of mine once told me that a resident at a nursing home told him that when you retire, travel as much as you can, because you won’t always be able to do so. My wife proved to me that the two of us are still young enough to do a road trip and enjoy it. We had a great time.

Anybody else got any road trip stories?
Happy Anniversary!
Everyone should see America from the ground. She's beautiful! Not only that, but you avoid being stuffed into a can full of WalMart people & launched into the atmosphere and no lost luggage.
 

kuch

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
1,312
Location
Great Northwest
Anyone ever taken a spur-of-the-moment road trip? My wife and I knew we wanted to go on some kind of trip to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and had devised various options. We HAD to get out of the house and out of town and away from certain responsibilities when we had a window of opportunity. However, my wife cracked her tibia in a fall a few months back and it’s taking time to heal, so walking would likely be limited.

We left southeast Louisiana in early July and spent two nights with my brother and his wife in northeast Louisiana. It was there and only then that we decided to go sight-seeing in the mountains of Arkansas. Now, our most recent trips have involved flying. We had not done an actual road trip in years. And we are getting up in years. We weren’t sure we were up to it. But we took Louisiana Highway 15, then exited onto the road that became scenic Arkansas State Highway 7 once we crossed the state line.

Carefully maneuvering around hairpin turns and up and down steep hills, we made our way to Russellville where we really began to plan the rest of the trip. Or at least consider options. There was beautiful scenery all the way up there from north Louisiana. We drove to Mount Magazine and spent the night in the Mount Magazine Lodge. My wife’s recovery from her injury kept us from hiking the trails (that, and our age), but we were able to see sights.

While at the Mount Magazine Lodge, we made reservations and got tickets for a couple of Branson shows. We drove up to Branson, getting off Arkansas 7 and onto US Highway 65.

We saw a Beach Boys tribute show in the morning. Got to sit up close. The performers were two men and two women (hey, you gotta have high voices for those Beach Boy harmonies). We were close enough for me to suspect that they were lip-synching. I would have thought you could hear their voices acoustically in addition to over the PA speakers. Hope I’m wrong. But the Beach Boys were my favorite group when I was a teenager, so I had to like it.

We also saw the Jesus play that afternoon. We really enjoyed it. I thought it was comparable to any of the Broadway shows my wife and I have seen in NYC the several times we have been there. Maybe I need spoilers to enjoy drama.

While in Branson, we decided we were up to a trip to St. Louis for a ballgame. We splurged on great seats down the third-base line, on the 8th row of the lower deck, about even with the pitcher’s mound. We were contacted by our credit card company. We told them all is well and the charges legit. Great seats! After checking out of the hotel in Branson, we rode to Springfield MO, where we got on I-44 and headed to St. Louis.

We splurged on the hotel, getting a room overlooking Busch Stadium.

We walked down to the Gateway Arch, but didn’t go up in it. It’s 96 steps in 6 flights of stairs in addition to the elevator. No bathroom at the top. We’re too old for that. But it’s big, at 630 feet high. We did get to gawk at it from the ground.

Bought myself a Cardinals cap and red Cardinals tee shirts for both of us. The game had a one-hour rain delay, but they did resume play, and the rain did cool things off. Cardinals aren’t my team, but we did pull for them since we were wearing their apparel. They lost to the Phillies, 2-0. One guy on the Phils hit two solo homers and that was the difference. Picturesque ballpark, with the Gateway Arch visible behind the centerfield stands.

Drove home the next day. Made it home in one day. It was I-55 most of the way.

I noticed something when we got back home. The hairpin turns and steep hills and curves of the Ozarks aren’t nearly as scary and dangerous as my fellow southeast Louisiana drivers. My apologies to the Louisianians on the TDPRI and will say “present company excepted."

We weren’t sure we could do a road trip at our age, but we had to get out of town, and it was our first vacation since 2019. We needed that. We were very happy the whole time on our trip. We have very fond memories of that week of getting away from it all.

A good friend of mine once told me that a resident at a nursing home told him that when you retire, travel as much as you can, because you won’t always be able to do so. My wife proved to me that the two of us are still young enough to do a road trip and enjoy it. We had a great time.

Anybody else got any road trip stories?
Hey CPS,

HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY!!

Being spontaneous, in my book is a sign of being youthful. Good for you and your wife.

Looks like you took part of the old Route 66. I'm thinking of doing that someday. And, my daughter and her family live in Springfield, MO. It would be a long trip for me since we live in the Pac NW.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like you had a great time.
 

Greggorios

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Jun 18, 2016
Posts
6,613
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NY
I fell in love with road trips as a teen. As a single guy in my 20s and 30s I'd even go on trips solo just to wander a bit. I hope to do extended car traveling as long as I'm able.

From 2020 through the spring of 2021 we survived by doing at least 1 full day trip every week throughout the Hudson Valley, CT and Western Mass. We'd pick a small town or village we'd never been to that had something worth looking at and a decent scenic route, someplace interesting for lunch and we'd go. That, music, guitars, TDPRI and streaming TV was what got me through all that unpleasantness. Since things opened up, during the past 14 months, we've made 5 extended road trips of 4-7 days each to different places in Michigan, NC and SC. All really enjoyable, so much so that we may try living in one of the areas in the future.

Road trips-the only way to see the USA!
 




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