#epicroadtrip – Lessons Learned

We’re back home after almost six weeks on the road. I plan to blog about the the trip in greater detail later on, but for now, here are some of the quick takeaway lessons of life on the road.

  1. Bikes and a luggage carrier are considered open invitation to chat. This holds true primarily at gas stations and rest stops.
  2. Couer d’Alene is postcard picture beautiful.
  3. During our travels, Lily climbed a moose, a buffalo, and a long-horn cattle (metal statues, of course).
  4. The Buck knife factory offers daily tours. We were too late to take advantage of it.
  5. Turning a retired prison into a tourist attraction doesn’t make the prison feel any less dark and gray and depressing.
  6. Switchblade knifes, same-day handgun sales, and 30-round magazines are all legal in South Dakota. Recreational marijuana is not.
  7. A quick drive through the parking lot at Mt. Rushmore is all you need to mark off every state, including Alaska and Hawaii, on a license plate bingo sheet.
  8. Sturgis sounds really cool. After visiting, I’m completely baffled as to why.
  9. Buffalo are really, really big.
  10. Gold panning is a thing. People do it all the time and actually find gold. Who knew?
  11. The interstate through Nebraska is hella long, but not as long as the highway from Vegas to southern Oregon.
  12. Nebraska has fish that jump up out of the water and slap people in the face. Or, maybe they only do that with my friend Gerald.
  13. You can buy frings at Runza.
  14. Westboro Baptist is a bit of a letdown. Amazing that so much hate comes from such a small, unassuming place.
  15. Equality House is at least partially responsible for deflating the power of Westboro.
  16. I like my hashbrowns diced and country.
  17. Postcards are harder to find than you think.
  18. Divey hotels always have free wifi. Upscale hotels charge for it.
  19. The EZ Pass transponder was the best idea ever.
  20. The Grand Ole Opry is surrounded by a mall. Kinda destroys the idea of it being ‘country.’
  21.  Lake Michigan is so big you can’t see the other side of it.
  22. Fireflies are a thing, not just a prop in movies.
  23. Atlantic City is kinda like Vegas. Except smaller and angrier. And there’s a boardwalk with an ocean.
  24. DC…Oh, the traffic.
  25. A nine-year-old can have a life-shaping experience at GCLS.
  26. Some roads are red.
  27. Sleeping in a tree-house isn’t as cool as it sounds.
  28. A mule is fun to drive whether you’re nine or forty-six or somewhere in between.
  29. Montgomery is a depressed little city, but the people are friendly.
  30. If the front of the air conditioner is hanging off, you will wake up the next morning to find a puddle of freezing cold water on the floor in front of it.
  31. Family feels good.
  32. There is a tattoo god living in Florida.
  33. The south is un-holy hot. Sweet mother of god.
  34. Just because a restaurant is called Gators doesn’t mean gator is on the menu.
  35. Sweet tea tastes better in the south.
  36. The sand at the Gulf of Mexico looks like sugar, but the water tastes like salt.
  37. It’s possible to drown in 2 feet of water. Thank goodness for life-saving Bugs.
  38. The rain in New Orleans is a phone killer.
  39. Beignets! Oh lord.
  40. Not all voodoo shops are the same.
  41. Texas does steak RIGHT!
  42. There is absolutely no reason to drive through Texarkana other than to say you’ve been to Arkansas.
  43. Same for Oklahoma City.
  44. You can drink beer out of a boot at The Big Texan in Amarillo.
  45. Old town Albuquerque is really damn pretty.
  46. Watching hot air balloons climb early in the morning is oddly exhilarating.
  47. If you mention that you need to check in early because your kid is puking, the hotel clerk will take pity on your sad, sorry family.
  48. DIY waffles are a common part of a continental breakfast buffet.
  49. Roadside truck stops sell the best souvenirs.
  50. Vegas is so much more pleasant if you drive there instead of fly.
  51. Even the machines on Freemont issue tickets instead of plopping coins out in the tray now. #sadface
  52. Spray paint art is fun to watch, regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
  53. Nevada doesn’t do lottery.
  54. Three nights in Vegas may sound like a good idea, but it’s not a good reality.
  55. A fancy shrimp cocktail is the same as a regular shrimp cocktail except it’s served in a tall sundae dish that is filled with iceberg lettuce.
  56. No matter how many fedoras Wyatt has, it makes him crazy-happy to get another one.
  57. Sometimes, it’s best to cut bait and run.
  58. Gas is hella cheap everywhere EXCEPT where I live.
  59. An insane amount of stuff fits in the back of a Honda Pilot.
  60. Home is a really excellent place.



11 thoughts on “#epicroadtrip – Lessons Learned

  1. I’m so happy for you and your family to have had this experience… what an awesome way to learn and make many many memories along the way! I’m also honored to have had your company during your epic road trip!
    P.s. did Lily leave a bracelet here?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the ongoing updates during your trip and this list. Can’t wait to read the more detailed accounts. It was great meeting you (and more importantly Lily) at GCLS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lily had such a great time! Thanks for being a part of making it awesome for her. It was so great to watch her be surrounded by a group of loving, kind, proud women. She learned much about what it means to be a woman in America.


  3. A most interesting and thought provoking list. 🙂 … I must admit though I am bewildered by ‘frings’ … and perhaps a little apprehensive at the thought of googling it/they/them. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what a wonderful trip. I went to college in Idaho over 40 years ago. There are some amazing sites out west and in our country. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip.


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