There are a lot of shitty things about taking a road trip. It’s uncomfortable to be in the car for hours at a time, sometimes for several days. There is a lot of crappy, not-so-great-for-you-food because it’s kind of hard to travel with enough salad for three days in a cooler. Which leads to digestive issues. Then there’s sleeping in strange places. And not getting enough sleep because you want to hit the road early the next day so maybe, just maybe, you might spend 8 full hours in the next hotel.
It’s one of the most literal definitions of, “it’s not the journey it’s the destination,” I have ever experienced.
And yet, my husband and I continue to do it. Year after year. As shitty as it can be, it always ends up being a blast. We’ve done the Colorado to East Coast drive so many times that we’re almost experts at it.
For the first two weeks of October, we hit the road visiting our families in New Hampshire and Tennesee.
Our first 2 and a half days were spent driving, with the ultimate destination being with my family in New Hampshire. We left Colorado on Wednesday, a little after 4 pm and arrived in New Hampshire around 10:30 pm on Friday. It might have been closer to 9 pm but of course, as soon as we hit the Mass Pike we hit traffic. It had been smooth sailing for about 1900 miles up until that point.
The timing of our trip was based entirely around making it to the North East in time for the Reebok Boston 10k for Women. That happened on Monday, October 10th. My dad asked me to do it with him back in April when we all went to Disney. He wanted to run it in honor of his late wife, my stepmom, Kim. It was her favorite run and this year marked 5 years since she passed.
It was an absolutely incredible experience. I felt so inspired by all the other women running. Especially those running with impairments. I kind of felt like a piece of shit for wasting my body for so long. But it also felt empowering to be out there and complete it.
The best part was absolutely seeing my husband, sister-in-law, nephew and my brother’s oldest friend by the finish line cheering us on. Then when my nephew ran out to run the last little bit with us, oh Jesus. I am still riding that high almost three weeks later.
It was a short stay in New Hampshire and before I knew it we were on the road again to Tennessee to see some of Geoff’s family. With a quick pitstop in Centralia, PA.
Everything on the web says there’s a coal fire burning underground here that started burning in 1962 and could continue to burn for another 250 years. However, several folks commented on my slightly sarcastic Instagram post about “risking our lives” on Graffiti highway that it wasn’t burning. Do with that what you want. I just would err on the side of caution. It was cool to see. Nothing crazy special. I kind of regret not bringing spray paint, but not everything needs to be stamped, ya know?
It was a long drive from New Hampshire to Tennessee, so I was so thrilled when we finally got to our AirBNB. I got freaked out as we vaped on the porch that night and had inadvertently awoken all the baby cows who were staying in the field just 10 or 15 feet from the porch. I tried to make friends with them, but I wasn’t able to get a good pet in. Maybe next time.
His dad and step mom live in a picturesque, farming mountain town in Tennessee. Geoff organized a little family reunion down there since he and I have been married nearly 6 years and I still hadn’t met any of his siblings. They all live all over the country, in addition to significant age gaps between them, and it unlikely we’d cross paths at one of their parents without intentionally organizing it.
It was so lovely to meet a couple of his siblings; unfortunately even with planning, shit happens and not all of his siblings were able to make it. Maybe next time. Geoff even met his young niece and nephew for the first time, and that was pretty freaking cute. I also learned that if you take two kids to a McDonald’s Play Place, set their food out on the table and tell them to just eat when they’re hungry. They’ll do exactly that. But it will take an hour.
It was another short stay in Tennessee, too. Just three days and we were off again. We made record time from Tennessee back to Colorado. We left Sunday morning around 9 and we were in our apartment on Monday a little before 3 pm.
We stayed in Salina, Kansas on both our first and last night out. If you ever stay there, the La Quinta and the Holiday Inn Express are only a $10-15 difference. Spend the extra money and go to the Holiday Inn Express. I’m usually very pro-La Quinta. I’m a rewards member and everything. But this one, in particular, is not good. Hopefully, they’ll get a renovation soon. That was a long weird digression, but to be honest, I was a little high when I wrote this.
What’s the longest road trip you’ve ever taken? If you’ve never taken one, where would you go if you could? Leave a comment below.