My two favorite things about road trips are seeing new places and revisiting the places I’ve already seen. The seeing new places thing is obvious. New places are always interesting. But revisiting old places thrills me to the core.
When visiting places that you’ve already seen, it allows you to see how towns and road evolve and/or devolve. It’s really a great thing. Granted, I’m not one for vacations where you sit around a swanky hotel for a week. And unless they’re burning to the ground, I don’t really care much about the evolution of swanky hotels.
We’ve got a ten day summer road trip coming up and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s the perfect mix of new and old. The first part is a variation on the route that we took to Utah last summer. I like roads. I like old alignments and historic routes. We’ll be traveling along the Oregon Trail and old US Route 30 through Oregon and Idaho. And while we took some ancient immigrant and dirt roads into Utah last time, we’ll be on a newer US Route this time.
Hardly worried about the fear of a rerun, we’ll be taking the old railroad grade to the golden spike site in Utah. Yeah, we did that last year, but it’s something that both Smartz and I fell in love with. We’ll be seeing Spiral Jetty and dropping by Salt Lake City to visit Mandy and Earl (should they allow).
And while I’ve been to SLC fourish times, I’ve never been there for Pioneer Day!
The rest of the trip (about a week’s worth of traveling) will hit many places we’ve seen before. Sites like Carhenge, Four Corners, Douglas (Wyoming) and Monument Valley. We’ll be driving up over Rocky Mountain National (I did this in 2004 and 2006).
From that description, it seems like the whole trip is just a rehashing of my previous trips. But there’s plenty of new things, too. For instance, there’s Nine Mile Canyon – a wonderful place in Utah that’s got old Indian ruins and pictographs. It’s also got natural gas under it, so we better see it while we can, before the gas companies come in and ruin it like they’ve ruined so many other places.
We’re also focusing on the weird. Things like Pioneer Day with the huge Parade of Mormons in Salt Lake City. Also, places like the highest town in America, a cabin made of fossils, several dinosaur parks, and a gaggle of jackalopes.
To top it all, we might even have a special guest accompanying us. We’re still waiting for the final word, but we’re getting out hopes up.
We’ll have tons of photos, tons of surprises, and tons of fun. We’re leaving Friday, July 20. I’m sure I’ll talk more about this before we do.