One of my absolute favorite things to do is road trip. But not only the driving part, you see. I find incredible joy in plotting out every stop--finding the best places to pull off the road whether to eat, to rest, or just to contemplate my navel (as my massage-therapist aunt would say). You could say itineraries are my specialty.
I've taken on many a road in California, heading northeast to snowy mountain-town Mammoth, south to San Diego as it bathes in warmth, straight east through hours of barren desert to Vegas (with my fingers crossed that I'd hit the jackpot once I arrived!). But in all my travels on four wheels, I've only done one road trip that involved an overnight stop to my final destination. And yes, it was the inevitable Route 1 California coastal drive from Los Angeles to just north of San Francisco--Mill Valley, a historic, affluent town enshrouded in giant redwoods. Not to say it wasn't incredibly scenic and adventurous, it's just overplayed.
At the end of this month, my boyfriend Ian and I are taking on the Mother Trip--a 5-day road race from New York through the South and back up to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Aside from being well-traveled on the East and West Coasts, I've never ventured in to the middle of this country be it South, Middle, or North. So, we've been sure to include stops in New Orleans (just so happens to be during Jazz Fest!) and Austin, TX for some big, beefy BBQ.
Our start point? Ian's parent's barn-turned-house in tiny, farm town Oxford, New York. After a few days of decompression from New York City we'll be heading south to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. After camping amidst forest and waterfalls, we'll mosey on down to New Orleans for two nights in the French Quarter. And over to Austin, to Guadalupe Mountains National Park for another camping jaunt, and then up to adobe-laden Santa Fe, New Mexico where we'll be making our new home for the next six months (thanks to a new job at Outside Magazine!).
I've figured out where we will lay our heads for those five nights. Anyone have any suggestions of where we can snack along the way? I'm all ears.
[Image 1 thanks to Daniel Muriello according to this license.]
[Image 2 thanks to Ian Troxell, once again.]