The Great Road Trip of 2019

Last year my husband and I began what we hope to make a yearly tradition – a road trip to visit parts of the country we have yet to see. It was also supposed to be our first long-term trip with our camper but that changed due to concerns over rising gas prices. (My husband’s truck only gets 8-9 mpg when towing so that’s always something to take into consideration.) Our ultimate destination was Glacier National Park. It was when we began researching and mapping out our route that we realized we were thinking like Southerners.

What do I mean by “thinking like a Southerner”? We initially planned our trip to coincide with Memorial Day weekend to reduce the number of vacation days my husband would need to take. (I had retired at the end of April.) However, when I began doing some research on Glacier I discovered that the Going To The Sun road through the park may not open until late June/early July depending on the amount of snow to be cleared. Snow? In July? As a life-long native of the South the thought of snow on the ground in July is unfathomable. Heck, we barely get snow in January and February. But, with that useful tidbit in mind, we rescheduled our trip for July.

Honestly, I’m glad we decided against taking the camper. We travel slower when towing so we wouldn’t have been able to see as much as we did if we had. Not to mention the fact that towing a camper through some of the mountain ranges we traveled would have probably made me hyperventilate. So, instead of taking my husband’s Toyota Tacoma, we made the trip in my then 14-year-old Toyota Highlander in order to take advantage of the better mileage.

Bonnie, my Highlander, got stickers to commemorate our trip

Was it a good trip? Absolutely. Did we learn a few things to implement in future trips? Definitely. In 17 days we covered 6048.5 miles, 13 states, and 6 national parks/monuments.

States visited:

Alabama
Mississippi
Tennessee
Arkansas
Kansas
Oklahoma
Iowa
Missouri
South Dakota
Wyoming
Montana
Idaho
Colorado

National Parks/Monuments visited:

Badlands
Mount Rushmore
Devil’s Tower
Glacier
Yellowstone
Grand Tetons

I’ll go into more detail regarding lessons learned in a later post but the biggest lesson we learned was to build more downtime into our schedule. We kept to a pretty grueling pace and only had a couple of days where we didn’t have anything planned. As enjoyable as the trip was, we were exhausted by the time we got home.

Do you have any road trip tips?

6 thoughts on “The Great Road Trip of 2019

  1. Enjoyed you sharing that Linda. We were planning to go to basically the same places this week, for a 3 week trip. We checked the weather and realized the highs were going to be in the 40’s. “Like southerners” we realized we might not be prepared for those kinds of temperatures – especially camping. Additionally, we were finding it difficult to find campgrounds that were even open during this Covid crisis. We settled for something a little less ambitious – touring the Golden Isles of Georgia. Weather is warm, and I haven’t been to Tybee, St Simons, and Jekyll in years. We brought the camper, and are very glad we did. We’re off to a good start right now on Tybee Island. Looking forward to seeing my old stomping grounds again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good for you! We’ve cancelled our plans for a big trip this year since so many things like campgrounds and hotels aren’t as easily accessible due to COVID. We’ll probably do like you’re doing and take a few shorter trips closer to home. Happy camping!

      Liked by 1 person

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