I feel compelled to summarize our 2018 road trip to those bloggers who are interested in our travels. I invite you to visit each of my thirty travel blogs covered on our journey from 2/28- 6/15/18 for a photographic illustration for key destinations in our independent travels.
1. How long did your roadtrip last ? How many miles did you travel?
Our 2018 road trip in the United States/Canada lasted approximately three and one half months or 108 days. My odometer registered nearly 15,000 miles traveled.
2.What do you consider the highlights of this vacation?
Ruth and I strived to visit as many friends/family as possible in conjunction with our planned destinations.We thus enjoyed the welcoming spirit of making thirty two, personal connections, several of which were first time visits. We also relished our success in incorporating a daily routine of yoga practice for thirty minutes each day, hydrating frequently and eating smaller portions at mealtime. To avoid the monotony of long drives on Interstate highways, we frequently veered off on side roads to experience the unique ambience of such places as Texas Hill Country, the historic corridor of Route 66, and the Oregon/Lewis and Clark Trails.
3.What was your great surprise in this road trip?
With so much political division and anger being reported today by traditional/social media , I was shocked at how friendly and accommodating stranger encounters seemed to us in every region we visited on our road trip. I thus became motivated to restrain myself from engaging in heated conversation about my political discontent for our current Presidency in “red state” communities.
4.What disappointed you most about this vacation?
So many gun shops and weapons billboards in American downtowns/suburban communities chilled me as I read about high school shootings daily.
5. What tech travel item proved most valuable?
The ability to use GPS navigation offline through travel apps
Triposo and Maps.me, eased my fear of WiFi unavailability.
5b. What non- tech travel item proved most valuable?
Plastic bags and heavy duty grocery bags saved space for car trunk storage and made easier finding stored items.
6. What valuable tips did you gain for future road trips ?
a. It helped to book visits with friends/families on weekends to avoid adding stressful workweek complications.
b. California consumed too much of our time on this vacation.
Perhaps we should limit our next road trip only to the Western United States.
c. The weather in western national parks like Mount Shasta, Glacier and Yellowstone proved extreme in springtime. We must plan our future arrivals in late May/June to more completely visit these places.
7. What state visit did you enjoy the most? Why?
In the west, Colorado offered endless hiking opportunities in less crowded conditions.
In the east, Virginia’s plethora of Civil War battlegrounds intrigued my history buff mind,
8. Any fun moments stand out?
Just a few of many moments stand out below.
We seemed privileged to book an inexpensively balconied seat to see Roger Daltrey and members of The Who play the entire rock opera, “Tommy.” I attended my first NBA playoff game and witnessed the Cleveland Cavaliers pull of an impressive win. My mind absorbed in a time warp to the Civil War past as I got lost on the famed Gettysburg battlefield. I sat on a dirt bike to visit beef cows on a real farm in rural Nebraska.
9. How did your visits with family/friends work out?
Staying with family/friends for a few days while intimately rewarding, presented significant challenges. It seemed impractical, at times, to excuse your social obligations with them in favor of independent sightseeing.
10.What new places most interested you on this road trip?
As a brief sample, we finally visited Bethel, N.Y, to see fifty years from our teenage past , the 1969 Woodstock Concert setting.We saw small town Texas thrive near Big Bend National Park and in Hill Country. We tasted the extremely saline waters of Great Salt Lake and sailed the cool waters of Puget Sound. I spoke French to order my meals in Montreal, Quebec.
11.How did the weather affect you?
Living in ever- balmy South Florida, we rarely take notice of change of seasons. To time our visit to the Pacific Northwest, with springtime flowering in full blossoming glory thus captivated our interest for sure. Rocky Mountain settings retained an air of uncertainty for us as elevation rises increased the chance of snow hazardous driving. The austere silence of the Arizona desert north and south of Phoenix seemed surreally meditative.
12. How successful were you in sticking to your planned route of travel? How did you alter your itinerary?
Amazingly, we covered our entire planned itinerary on this road trip. Avoiding the temptation to enter snowy, Western Canada in April proved wise from a safety perspective.
13. Any memorable meals?
Our friend Dan, accompanied us for a relaxing salad lunch over a captivating view of San Francisco East Bay from Treasure Island. We sat to eat “down and dirty” with Texas barbecue in Texas Hill Country. We celebrated with Thai delicacies in our reunion with India trip friends in Chicago.
14.How would you describe your physical/emotional condition at this end of this journey?
We felt homesick and in resistance to resuming our urban, regular routine. Physically, I kept my weight down and returned home with a more manageable appetite.
15.How did you manage blog writing? Any alterations made?
I wrote thirty blogs or approximately one entry every three days.
Google research of places I visited consumed much of my blog planning time. Heavy use of my I phone camera provided the greatest impetus for my travel blogging as I pondered a way to make a present moment narrative of such photographic moments. I continued my experiment with poetry in places that I felt most emotionally connected.