All posts tagged: Road Trips

I love road trips! Whether I’m just going for a Sunday drive or crossing the country, I love getting in the car with great music and friends. In this section, you’ll find posts about everything from day trips to cross-country road trips.

Day of Wyoming storms precludes disaster

Before there was the blowout, there were the storms, We didn’t know it on day one of the trip, but storms were about to become a major part of our life. After we landed in Denver that first day, we needed to cross about 1,026 miles – about 15 hours of driving – to get from Denver to Glacier National Park. We decided to spend Saturday knocking out about half of that drive time. We covered about 435 miles and landed in Sheridan, Wy. that night to sleep. Along the way we saw some beautiful scenery and watched a storm come from the mountains and blow across the highway in front of us. (You can see more pictures in my flickr account.) But the best part of the day was driving into the lightning storm. Of course at that time we didn’t know that driving in and around storms was going to be a recurring theme of the trip, but watching the lightning show was truly a beautiful sight. I made a video montage of …

Karaoke-hiking (and other bear safety tips)

There has never been a better time to visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The summer crowds are dying down, the dog days of summer are behind us, the elk are in rut, the bears are about to hibernate and the wildfires are blazing. That’s right folks, Lacey and I are getting an earful on the daily from our respective parents about the dangers of this trip, why we need to be careful and the best ways to go about doing it. (Nevermind we’re almost 30 years old and smart enough not to chase after wild animals.) So I thought I’d do a little research. What exactly are the dangers lurking in these unassuming national parks? How can we protect ourselves? Here’s what I found: A little common sense goes a long way. See a bear off in the valley? Don’t go running after it with camera in tow. Is an elk camped on the side of the road leisurely munching grass? Take a through-the-window shot and keep it moving. Does that big bison look …

Aaaaannnnnddd We’re Back!

At least 100 times this year I have said to myself, “Self. You need to blog.” And about 75 percent of those times I actually had a blog-worthy idea. Do you know how many times I actually sat down to write? Maybe five. A handful of drafts and one gorgeous Friday evening later, here you have it. The break of my writer’s strike. The conclusion of my writers block. I’m blogging again. Lately I’ve been engrossed in all things travel. I am planning my first really big adventure since the infamous Gypsy Trip in 2010. This as- yet unnamed trip will take me and my long-time, fellow former newspapering friend Lacey westward. We are exploring both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. And even though we will only have about six days to hit both parks, we’re making the most of it. This spring and summer we are both working on our fitness so we can hike in the wilderness. So, unlike the Gypsy Trip when I got a primer on just about every national park …

Panama City or Bust!

Above are some pictures from 2008, the last time I visited Florida. We visited Daytona Beach, Huntington Beach and Orlando. If I learned anything from last year’s Gypsy Trip its that the keys to surviving long drives is good music, good directions and good company. Well, and wild berry Skittles. Yesterday I embarked on an 11-hour drive from my home in Walton, Ky., to Panama City, Fla. A piece of cake compared to last summer’s 7,000-mile adventure, but still a long time to be in a car. Thankfully, this time I have some new gadgets at my disposal. I traded in my Blackberry for a Droid last fall, and with it came the never-ending app store. Y’all can have your iPhones. Sh’niqua (only sometimes) lets me down. Here are my top five road trip-approved apps: Pandora Internet Radio Its an endless supply music, as long as your network lasts. My favorite thing about this channel is it plays more than just whats in my library. And the more you listen to it, the more it …

The end of an era

Looking over my last entry, I kind of get the feeling that I was feeling a little overwhelmed and homesick. It seems that I just fell off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. You won’t get rid of me that easy. When I returned to the District after Thanksgiving, I was feeling a little down and a lot homesick. The holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year to me and my family. Every weekend we go to a different Christmas display and spend too much money buying each other gifts, baking and cooking stupendous meals. I’ve just finished eating my big Christmas dinner with my family before I sat down to finally post this entry. But I didn’t really crawl under a rock my last three weeks in the city. I spent a couple of days developing a few story ideas and then dug in, barely getting two of the three stories finished by the end of the internship. In my last few weeks I practiced a …

Road Trip: East Coast Extravaganza

Danielle and I are taking to the road again, this time with two more interns, Raymundo and Adam. As soon as the first train leaves Woodley Park, we’re headed up the East Coast to Maine. Although this trip won’t have the epic proportions of the Gypsy Trip, it does have some notable statistics nonetheless. We’ll be covering about 1,500 miles in two days. Its about a 10 hour drive to Maine from the District, but with side trips we’ll be in transit about 12 hours each day. But my most favorite statistic: We’ll be covering 12 states in 48 hours. We’ll see Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. I’ll be adding a whopping seven more states to my count!  We’ve talked about making a video with stories written by each of us to put out on the wire. And we’ve discussed a mockumentary that would have nothing to do with the Foundation’s wire. I’m not sure what we’ll end up with, but rest assured …

The Journey of a Lifetime

There isn’t much to say about our last couple of days on the trip. After we left Yellowstone, we stayed in Deadwood, South Dakota in the nicest cabin of our entire trip. The next morning, we saw Mount Rushmore, and drove into Minnesota to sleep before leaving early this morning to come home.  Everything kind of ended slowly, with all of us sorry to see the trip end, but looking forward to sleeping in our own beds, with our own showers and real food. Not something from a gas station microwave or out of the cooler. We traveled a staggering 7,500 miles on this trip. We covered 17 states in 13 days and 12 nights. We visited two UNESCO World Heritage sites, eight national parks and monuments and as much Pacific ocean as we could squeeze in. We camped in the tent four nights, stayed in cabins three nights and bunked with my aunt and uncle one night. We stayed in hotels in Hannibal, Mo., Manhattan Beach, Calif., San Francisco and Las Vegas. The Paris …

Road Bathrooms

This is kind of a crude subject, but restrooms are a vital part of life. Don’t worry, I’m not getting into anything too gross here, but we’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a long drive in the middle of nowhere and ya gotta go. You drank one bottle of water too many and things are starting to get dire. I never thought I’d be blogging about bathroom experiences, but these are some worth sharing. Here are my top six bathroom stories of the trip — and we’re only halfway through. Fannie Anne’s Saloon This has to be the coolest bar/restaurant I’ve ever seen. Located in Old Sacramento, Aunt Charisse said its been around forever and you can tell. The inside of the place is covered wall to wall in antique license plates, tin signs, bottle caps — really anything you can imagine. We had just finished dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack on the river, and Amanda stopped there to use the restroom. I was delayed because I couldn’t find my ID in …

To those who’ve gone before

In keeping with the spirit of roadtrips I wanted to share with you some of the websites I’ve come across in my online meanderings while preparing for this trip. I haven’t found anyone else who has camped their way across the country though. Pansies. 🙂 We aren’t looking for love, but this reporter sure was. This husband and wife pair converted their minivan into a camper. Creative, but Amanda and I aren’t that comfortable with each other. These two have a map and everything on their website. Read these observations of an 11-day roadtrip across the country. (I think the trip made him slightly bitter.) Pay special attention to the last paragraph of this film scout’s blog post. He has us re-mapping our entire trip! Smithsonian Magazine posted a (rather long) nice story about the “Great American Roadtrip.”

Gypsying 101

When I tell you what I’m about to say, you’re either going to think I’m stark, raving mad or I’m going to be your hero. Personally, I think I’m a little of both. In 12 long days I will embark on a journey of epic proportions. We’re calling it a “Gypsy Trip” — we being my best friend Amanda and I — because we are going to gypsy our way across the country. Sadly, we will not be hitching up a horse and wagon, but we will be pitching a tent almost every night of the trip and camping our way through some of the most beautiful spots in the good ol’ USA. And we might even have to do some fortune telling along the way to pay for gas. I know what you’re thinking. Camping? Really?  Yes. Pitched tent, sleeping bags, s’mores and all. Our reasoning is simple: Camping is much cheaper than hotels. Sure we won’t have air conditioning. Sure, we’ll be dealing with bugs and spiders and creepy crawlies of all kinds. …