Two ways to do a road trip

We took our first road trip when we were in our 20’s, and we knew then just how to do it.  We played loud music as we drove great distances.  We rarely stopped.  The point seemed to be centered on us, in our car, driving down the highway, escaping where we’d been, and driving for the sole purpose of driving.  When we did our first road trip, we aimed west and gave little thought to the route because we didn’t want to be too “committed”.  Every time we stopped, we looked around and thought whatever was down the road would certainly be more interesting than this, so we hopped in the car and continued driving.

Many years ago we rented a convertible to do the famous drive south from San Francisco along the Pacific Coast.

I’m guessing lots of people still do road trips just like that.  Over the years we continued to take road trips, and the more time we spent on the road, the more changes we made to the usual scenario.  We got older and learned from our experiences…or maybe we just decided it was awfully nice to get out of the car once in awhile.

Photo taken on a drive to Big Bend National Park, Texas.

The point was no longer to see how many miles we could go on the trip or in a day.  Instead it was to enjoy the landscape, to stop to see the sights up close and satisfy our curiosity.

Here’s what we saw on a scenic drive from Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas to Bisbee, Arizona.

We discovered that we had a lot of questions and sought out the answers.  That takes time, so we slowed down.

We drove to Chico Hot Springs – near Pray, Montana – and took a walk up into the hills.

We saw sights – close up – impossible to see from inside the car.  Look at this amazing fuzzy tongue penstamen  (Penstemon eriantherus).


Slowing down is a traveling style worth considering.



April 2019


About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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10 Responses to Two ways to do a road trip

  1. Urban Experiences says:

    I’m getting ready to take my first cross country road trip in a few months. Have any advice?

    • 1. Periodically take a back road.
      2. Plan to visit national or state parks and hike while you’re there.
      3. Eat at some local “real” restaurants – not just chain fast food.
      4. Try to pace yourself driving and don’t be in a hurry to get to the next big destination.
      5. Even if you’re on a limited budget – have a “slush” fund. It allows you have a great meal or stay in a better place for a night when you need it. It takes care of a high admittance fee to a site you really want to go to or a souvenir you’ll cherish the rest of your life.
      6. We reserved all of our nights BEFORE we started the trip. Then, we knew exactly how much of our budget was free for food and spending. Saves money in the log run and you always know there’s a place for you to sleep.
      7. Learn something new every day.
      8. Take lots of photos.

  2. icelandpenny says:

    Oh, I so agree with your changed POV about road trips. Your early “just keep driving” approach is what I’ve come to disparage as a “drive-by vacation” — everything glimpsed in 2D as one roared by; nothing truly experienced. Age does us a few favours, doesn’t it? We learn a few things as we go…

  3. Love the convertible picture.

  4. I guess it depends on the purpose of the road trip. We like to take it slower too.

  5. Joel says:

    In the words of Simon and Garfunkel:

    “Slow down, you move too fast
    You got to make the morning last
    Just kicking down the cobblestones
    Looking for fun and feeling groovy…”

  6. Beth and Joe – I love your contrasting road trips. Each has it’s own appeal, and it looks like you’re enjoying it all 🙂 Cheers – Susan

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