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The Road Less Travelled

What is a Road Trip you would Love to take?

One of my resolutions for 2020 was to travel more – but we all know how that turned out! I never thought that we would see a time where we were “locked down” due to a virus, or anything for that matter. It seemed that life was too good, too prosperous, and how could things ever go from good to worse? I guess they could, they did, and even as it seems to be getting better, it also seems like there is an incessant push to keep the fear loitering in our minds and pushing our psyches to a state of near-panic.

I would rather sit in my house with my wife, baby, and our dogs than have to go out into the world masked up, juggling the restrictions versus the possible benefit of travel – but a road trip is a great way to forge your own path and to avoid the mass transit option of planes.

Last August we closed on 5 acres of land that was owned by my family 4 generations ago, and along with the land, we got a giant RV. This was purely a bonus for me because I just wanted the land to grow my gardens, plant fruit trees and cultivate any plant that I had the desire to grow – but the RV was a bonus that could either be sold, or could become a fun project that could be used for camping until we built our house there – or could be used to road trip around the country in.

The road trip of my dreams could take place in 2 locations – one is somewhat unattainable by RV, but I think that traveling through Europe would be amazing. Every time I see pictures of Switzerland’s mountains, Italy’s mountains and vineyards and Old World villages, I am immediately drawn to it like I have been there in a dream – or maybe in a past life.

While Europe is on the ultimate bucket list of travel, I would want to explore the greatest country in the world first, the United States of America. I think that we are extremely blessed to live in the United States of America because part of our history is the quintessential American Road Trip. We have such a large contiguous land mass that the possibilities for constructing a road trip are endless.

As cliche as it may be, I would construct a trip that took a full lap of America. Since I would begin in Ohio, I think a somewhat non-traditional route where you could get the most bang for your buck would start with heading north into Michigan’s wine country, the dunes, and then into the grand wilderness and surprising beauty of the Upper Peninsula. Coming out the other side into Wisconsin and Minnesota would require some research and planning, but I am sure the country is beautiful there as well.My ultimate goal would be to make my way to the Dakotas to see Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and the peace of the northern and forgotten states.

Montana would be the next stop, and a place that I have wanted to visit since I saw pictures of Glacier National Park, the giant mountain ranges and the Big Blue Skies that seem to stretch forever. While in Montana, we would have to ride on horseback through the mountains, do lots of hiking, and hopefully find a cabin where we could enjoy the wilderness, have a place where we could relax by the fire and cook a pot of chili on it like cowboys in the wild west. And while we desire nature’s wildness, we would also need a hot tub where we could rest our bodies and recover from the many miles of hiking that would be done.

There is so much beauty out west that I imagine that we would continue this trend of nature-seeking through Idaho and into the Pacific Northwest, but probably avoid California because there’s no way we could afford gas for the RV out there! In all seriousness, California would have to be a trip in itself because it is so large, with so much to see and do – whether it be hiking in God’s great creation, exploring wine country, or to venture to the coast.

After that we would head to Colorado for more forest-bathing and hiking and hope that the best spots weren’t overrun by Instagrammers seeking their perfect influencer picture. That would be the thing that I would fear through all of this and as we ventured to Utah’s National Parks, and to the Southwest’s famous hiking spots, the Grand Canyon, or even Sedona.

Maybe I sound like a recluse, but when I go on vacation, I want some sort of seclusion and an escape from the hustle and bustle of life, I do not want to wait in lines or explore cliche touristy things that do not involve nature, hiking, and have some sort of physical health benefit – not to mention the psychological release of exploring God’s Creation and witnessing His awesome power.

I think that as we made our way to Texas, and into the South and Southeastern states that we would begin to slow down and to explore more culture and less nature. By this point in the trip, we would be so exhausted that I think we would enjoy slowing down and there would be more cultural and historical sites in this portion of the country. This would also be a time where we would transition from being hiking fitness freaks to becoming beach bums that would enjoy a margarita and the crash of the waves on the sandy beaches while getting tan – or sunburnt.

To round out our perfect road trip, we would travel from the greasy goodness of home cooked southern food, up to New England and the Northeastern states. This would be a great stop to learn & witness the history that forged this land into the greatest country to ever exist. We often take it all for granted, but we must learn our history and where we came from to know why we are here – and where we intend to steer this ship in the future. And the beautiful thing is that once we got our fill of history, we could head up to Maine for more hiking and nature before making our way home to Ohio.

It is fun to dream, and maybe one day we will fix up our RV and make our way across the country. I can’t wait to travel the country with my family and to experience the greatness of America – and to share that with my son as he grows and develops an appreciation for America and spending quality time with family.

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