Monday, August 15, 2011

Reflections on the Great American Roadtrip

The Great American Roadtrip is over--2,661 total miles, seven states visited, and a host of memories.

Hitting the open road was enlightening. The trip opened my eyes to the wonders of the great West and, in particular, the state of Wyoming--a state of 580,000 people and stunning geological and wildlife eye candy. Seeing wonders like The Badlands and the Grand Tetons even verged on being a religious experience, it was that impactful.

- There is a freedom to traveling by car which I had forgotten--no security lines to pass through, no limitation on the number of bags, no rental car counters to navigate, and no time schedules to meet. It was exhilarating to simply get in the car and go.

- It was amazing to me how many people reacted with "You drove here!?" when asked how we arrived in Jackson, WY. Yes, we drove, and along the way discovered the joy of seeing all there is to see.

- Hundreds of bugs gave up their lives to make our roadtrip a success. We squashed many a buggy creature on our way through Missouri-Nebraska-Iowa-South Dakota-Wyoming-Colorado-Kansas.

- There still are small towns with places to eat which simply are marked with a sign which says "Cafe."

- That bike rally event in Sturgis, SD is quite the deal. And, I saw plenty of biker chicks who scared me.

- I felt like I was in the middle of a Western for most of our trip. We passed through territory where films like Dances With Wolves and Shane were filmed.

- You can't do Yellowstone National Park in a day. The park is the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, and there is simply too much to see in an area with a 45 MPH speed limit.

- Finally, if you ever are concerned about the lack of wide open space, simply head west to South Dakota, Wyoming, eastern Colorado and western Kansas. It's there, and it's refreshing to see.

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