The lure of the open roadAnyone who knows me knows that I'm not much of a flyer, so I travel by car most of the time, occassionally by train. But here's the thing -- for me, it's not a sacrifice. I love car trips, the lure of the open road and all I might see along it. Sure, we can get from coast to coast in a handful of hours now, but what do you see along the way other than clouds, glimpses of landscape below and a bunch of harried people at the airports? You're not going to see the world's largest ball of twine from the air. :)
Some of my friends are amazed that I take off across the country by myself, but to me it's a grand adventure. I've driven from my home to Washington state, Texas, Oklahoma, the D.C. area, Florida and various points in between. This week, I've driven to Wisconsin and because I took backroads instead of interstates for part of the journey, I got to see a lot of beautiful countryside, quaint little towns, the interesting Swiss heritage of New Glarus, Wisconsin, gorgeous purple wildflowers blooming alongside the winding hills of Northwestern Illinois and Southwestern Wisconsin. I soak up the scenery like a sponge soaking up water. If I've not been there before, I find it exciting.
I've heard tales of lament from people whose parents loaded them up and forced them to endure long car trips when they were kids. I just stare at them. I would have loved to visit the exotic locales of Panama City or the Grand Canyon. Our family never went anywhere. I figure maybe that's why I love the car trips now -- I'm making up for lost time. And when you travel by car, you really appreciate how incredibly large and diverse the United States is. To me, North Dakota is as beautiful as California; Kentucky as interesting as Texas. Every state has its own beauty, its own interesting sights, its own backroads to be discovered. With summer upon us, why not plan a car trip for your family? You just might see me at the World's Largest Ball of Twine or Carhenge or gaping at the huge sculptures along the Enchanted Highway. For a guide to more fun but goofy roadside attractions, check out roadsideamerica.com. And if you're not into the goofy, America's backroads still offer treats in gorgeous scenery, unique shopping, tasty eateries and a leisurely drive that is a throwback to years long gone. I hope you enjoy your time on the open road.