In this time of thanksgiving we reflected on our latest five-month road trip across the US and Canada and celebrated all the wonders and hospitality we received along the way.
When we started planning the road trip it looked so easy. How were we to know how complicated the planning would be and how many choices we’d have to make. We questioned whether to detour our route to favorite national parks or nearby quaint towns. The trip we initially planned turned out to be many months longer than the time that we had available. Deciding how to cut back a well thought out trip is never easy.
Like you, we had read blogs and travel articles, so we had a clear vision of where we wanted to go. The reality of the destinations always differed from our expectations – some better and some worse. Through the process, we learned a lot about planning a road trip and how to get the best out of every day, but we’ll save that for a future post. This post is to share our best-of-the-best from 5 months of travel across the US and Canada.
Best town of the trip for sightseeing: Shelburne, Vermont. We planned to stay in nearby Burlington but found a quaint AirBnB a little further south in tiny Shelburne.
The winner in the chain motel category was the HI Express in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. This was the biggest surprise of all, as we almost never stay at a Holiday Inn Express (from bad experiences), but this one was a gem.
Best AirBnB of the trip: Our budget category winner was a studio apartment in Barnstaple, Massachusetts – a comfortable place where the hosts made sure you had everything you could need at hand.
Best meal of the trip: Lobster Pot, Provincetown, Massachusetts at the tip of Cape Cod. We were seated on the second floor with a view to the harbor and shared a grilled halibut entree with garlic mashed potatoes and lobster, leek and roasted tomato sauce. Very, very tasty.
Honorable mention goes to a great road food stop – the Bedrock Depot in Dinosaur, Colorado. Their veggie burger on potato bun with lettuce, tomato, and avocado was excellent and the chocolate cinnamon ice cream was even better. Everything was homemade, including the ice cream. A simple – and memorable – meal.
We learned so many new things on this road trip (the almost-extinction of the bison, Crazy Horse, Native American astronomy…), tried new foods (cheese curds, walleye…), and we saw 15 new species of birds. (a snowy bunting, pine grosbeak, Lapland longspur…) The trip was definitely an eye-opener and how lucky were we to get to take such an amazing road trip. Our advice for anyone who’d love to take a road trip, big or small: plan your route carefully and then take off on a road less travelled to enjoy a place you’ve never been. Stay awhile, be curious, learn, take photos, and enjoy the differences.