“The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.” (Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Excitement rises again as Ruth and I make plans for our spring 2019 road trip across America from our Fort Lauderdale, Fla. home beginning on March 10. Choosing a more challenging, counterclockwise route, we will meander through cooler mountainous regions of Arkansas, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California for much of our March/April driving time. On our similarly demanding, easterly return home in May/early June, we traverse the vast distances of Texas, a long, northerly jaunt to the Midwest, and a winding path through the rugged Appalachian Mountain region. With added storage space and impressive safety features in our recently purchased 2018 Honda CRV, however, we feel confident that a relaxing vacation can be consistently attained throughout this three month journey.
For the past two months, we have organized diligently for our latest cross-country adventure. In particular,we 1) screened Air B&B for exclusively “Super Host” room bookings of multiple day stays, (2) downloaded offline map updates for key destinations using travel apps Triposo and Maps.me, 3) refined our collapsible storage bag system into both short/long term need categories to more efficiently access our possessions, 4) envisioned additional cargo storage space using our CRV hatchback feature capacity and 5) reconfirmed planned visits to family/friends to avoid anticipated host emergencies and resultant situational conflict.
For my featured picture preceding this blog, I’ve presented a detailed map overview of our 2019 planned itinerary. As I anticipate composing new blog entries 2-3 times each week. in conjunction with key destinations visited, twenty topic questions of “word worthy” blog interest stand out below.
(1) How has “Epcot” in Orlando changed in the 20 years since my last visit?
(2) What memories can we share in Atlanta, Ga. with former college roommates about the University of South Florida 1970s past?
(3) What new directions in overcoming racism and prejudice today exist at the Birmingham Ala. Civil Rights Institute?
(4) What does it feel like to bathe in a thermal pool in Hot Springs, Ark.?
(5) What soldier survival stories to inspire world peace now exist at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri?
(6) When and where will “Progressive” marches take place in Colorado, California and Washington D.C?
(7) How can we best embrace the “college town” experience in Boise, Idaho, San Luis Obispo, Calif. and Flagstaff, Ariz?
(8) How might our attendance at my cousin’s wedding in Asheville, North Carolina rekindle mutual efforts to “stay in touch” more?
(9) What innovative buildings of interest are being built in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, Nevada?
(10) What new opportunities exist to improve our spiritual enlightenment in Sedona, Arizona?
(11) Will the Cleveland Indians perform well in home games against rival Minnesota Twins during our June stadium visit?
(12) Does Pagosa Springs Colorado offer a viable place for an extended stay?
(13) What volunteer opportunities exist during our ten-day stay in Morro Bay California region?
(14) What natural wonders near Moab, Utah will attract our walking interest?
(15) Has the Pacific Coast Highway in California been opened for the entire north-south distance to vehicular traffic?
(16) To what extent do extreme weather conditions in the Rockies/Appalachians alter our planned dates and destinations of travel?
(17) What town visits will best provide glimpses of authentic “antebellum” traditions along the southerly shores of the Mississippi River?
(18) Does 2020 elections bode well for Democrats or Republicans based on informal conversation with local residents in key states visited?
(19) How can we best manage weight gain issues to counteract our daily sedentary driving?
(20) How can we make best use of public transportation to visit Washington D.C?