I have been home two weeks now. Although it took a bit of time my Roadtrek is cleaned inside and out and waiting for the next trip. I go out and visit it while it is hanging out in my driveway. I enjoy sitting in it and reading in the afternoon.
I am out of town next week, taking a group to Northern California. It is somewhat of a mystery tour since the National Parks are closed and we were suppose to be going there.
I have thought a lot about my summer adventures. Visiting with all my friends and family was an absolute highlight. Today I was thinking more about where I went and how I got there. Driving the freeway was fast and easy but often the least interesting. Don’t get me wrong, the highways were convenient, yet what I enjoyed the most were the back roads. If you want to see how people really live, then I think there is nothing better than the back roads of this country.
Here are some of my favorite roads from this trip and maybe a few from other trips as well.
- There are some famous Scenic Routes that I would be remiss not to mention. One that comes to mind is the Blue Ridge Parkway. I spent a night camping at a really quiet and forested KOA Campground just off the Blue Ridge. This is a beautiful parkway that runs over 400 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. One of my favorite stops on this byway was the Folk Art Center. This is a museum and store of Appalachian arts and crafts on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina. The art work in here is amazing, done by local artists. If you stop make sure not to miss the quilts. They are beautiful.
Rt 309 took me across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Maryland into Delaware. Did you know that southern Delaware is farm country? This area is the home of Perdue Chickens. The southern end of this state is rural. The Dupont name reigns in northern Delaware and the Chickens rule the south. Delaware’s nickname is the Blue Hen State. During the Revolutionary War, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell’s company, recruited in Kent County, took with them game chickens that were said to be of the brood of a famous Blue Hen and were noted for their fighting ability. When not fighting the enemy, the officers and men amused themselves by pitting their Blue Hen chickens in cockfights. The fame of these cockfights spread throughout the army and when in battle, the Delaware men fought so valiantly that they were compared to these fighting cocks. It is a small note of interest that Delaware was the last state to outlaw cock fighting. It seems that the Duponts really liked this sport.
- Route 2 from NH into the Northwest woods of Maine was an incredibly beautiful ride through rural New England towns. The leaves were changing and fall was coming. One small town was having a town wide arts and crafts sale. As I pulled into the curb I got a bit too close and got my first scrape on my RT. The people that were sitting on the porch of the house I parked in front of gave me a horrified look. I thought “Oh no, it is awful”. When I got out to check it was not too bad but they scared the you know what out of me.
Route 33 in southern Wisconsin was one of the prettiest rural drives that I did on this trip. It went through Amish country. The whole area was hilly and forested and was calming and pretty. I think this was one of my favorite drives of the trip. I picked it up outside of Baraboo, WI and drove it to LaCrosse. There were sections of this route that would have been a motorcycle lovers dream, especially the area that went through Wildcat Mountain State Park.
- In South Dakota I took County Highway 21 or the New Underwood Road for 20 some miles north to skirt around Rapid City. It went straight north just west of Wall Drug. You must like the prairies to really enjoy the ride. I found it to be peaceful and quiet. I saw some ranchers branding their cattle. Once again it reminds me that the back roads are where you see how the people live.
- Rural Idaho was amazing. Route 34 from south of Jackson, WY goes west through the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge and then cuts south to Soda Springs. What a unique ride this was. The Refuge was teaming with birds and I loved it. As I got closer to Soda Springs there were long tailings piles from the phosphate and copper mining. Even these piling could not take away from the gorgeous country I drove through.
Route 89 from south of Provo to Moab, Utah is spectacular country. There are so many roads that you can travel in this part of the United States that are spectacular. It meanders through the open country into canyons and back out again. The color of the rocks and sand stone is beautiful. I love this road because I have driven it often and it has never disappointed. It also gets me to the east entrance of Zion National Park.
Well I must get ready to take my group on their mystery tour. The funniest thing is as of right now it is a mystery to me too.
When I return it will be desert season. I am looking forward to camping in a new and different way in the desert. I feel more confident in boondocking. I think I am going to work less and have fun more. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Below is a link to all the photos of my journey this past summer. Enjoy them.