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Plans Taking Flight

August 21, 2017

Delta_Air_Lines-Boeing_767

As each of our road trips wound down, The Hamster and I started talking about where our next trip might take us. As last summer’s trip through some previously unexplored corridors of the Midwest came to an end, we were a bit stymied when it came to where we could drive this summer.

With five multistate, multiweek road trips under our belts, our experience makes planning the details of each road trip a lot quicker and easier. At the same time, with fewer and fewer must-see corners of the country left unseen, we need to be a little more creative in the broad strokes. Now that we’ve visited all 50 states (many of them multiple times), we needed a new approach.

So this time, we start our road trip with an air trip.

While trying to map out chunks of the country that would make a good trip, we came to the realization that there are still a few major National Parks we haven’t visited, and we decided that would be the–ahem–driving force behind this summer’s trip. Most notably, we have yet to see the Grand Canyon or Yosemite. Those became our anchors; between them, we realized we could see the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, and Sequoia National Park (all of them places we haven’t been). Along the way, we could do something I’ve been wanting to do ever since we started road-tripping: drive across Death Valley.

The only problem with this plan is that we’ve been just about everywhere between home (New York) and the Grand Canyon. The solution: for the first time ever, we’ll start our road trip on a plane. Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave our beloved Toyota Solara convertible behind and catch a flight to Phoenix, where we’ll pick up our rental car and begin our 10-day, three-state mini-trip. Next Thursday we’ll drop the rental car off in San Francisco and fly back home.

In a lot of ways, this trip will be easier than its predecessors. It’s shorter, which means we have less to pack and less to plan. But it also will be tougher, because when we land we’ll have to do a lot of shopping for all the things we normally bring with us that aren’t allowed on a plane (like propane canisters) or aren’t practical (drinks, paper goods, raw meat, and the traditional giant barrel of pretzels from Costco).

We also have no idea how to fit all of this in the rental car, which Enterprise tells me is a “Hyundai Elantra or similar.”

In other words, despite our years of experience, there are a lot of unknowns attached to road trip #6. But one of the main purposes of all of our trips has been to do just that: jump into the unknown.

I’m ready for takeoff.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sarah Hofstetter permalink
    August 21, 2017 9:01 pm

    Enterprise #client

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