Friday, November 27, 2020

Road trip wonders -- stopping to 'smell the roses' from Montana to California

 Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park can be worked into a driving trip east or west.

The Wapiti Valley on the approach to Yellowstone
National Park's east entrance, outside of Cody, Wyo.,
offers strange and beautiful rock formations.

CHIEF AMONG the pleasures of road tripping are the surprises. On this Thanksgiving week in America, we appreciate our country's roadside attractions.
We relish stopping to admire the landscape, perhaps exploring a bluff or bridge we haven't noticed before. We smell the roses, as Keller says, "as we stroll through the garden of life."
Often we pull over to give ourselves and the dog a break. This leads to taking a few photos, studying a roadside plaque or grabbing a milkshake at a newly discovered diner. 
An international array of visitors stopped the
day we did at the Piedras Blancas Elephant
Seal Rookery on the central California coast.
OUR RECENT driving trip included a side trip through Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a stop at Evel Knievel's Snake River jump site in Twin Falls, Idaho and a two-day layover to savor an ocean view and photograph the elephant seal Piedras 

Blancas rookery on the central California coast.
We treasure that "unplugged" feeling a road trip offers. For us, the trip is the journey and the destinations are part of the trip, enhanced by the experience of being together, visiting, listening to books on tape and studying the region with tour books and our Triple A literature.
THIS LATEST driving trip also included an overnight in Cody, Wyo., for a mock gunfight outside the historic Irma Hotel and an hour-long tour on Cody's entertaining trolley. 
We advise mapping your driving trip around interesting towns or stops where you'll have something to do -- whether it be a few hours in a
Buffalo Bill Center of the West has several world class
museums and is a great reason to overnight in Cody, Wyo.

museum, such as Cody's fabulous Buffalo Bill Center of the West, or an hour in a small historic museum such as the ones in Nevada towns.
With a bit of homework, you'll have an entertaining diversion or two during your nights on the road.
WHEN WE hit the road, we have hotels booked for each night, and we follow a strict rule that we go no further than 300 miles a day. Three or four hours driving time is our max, building in an hour or two for stops -- gas, meals, dog walk, miscellaneous discoveries. We find that after a few hours of driving, our attention spans diminish. Overnight breaks help keep us fresh and interested on our way!

Daredevil Evel Knievel's abortive attempt to jump the
Snake River is incorporated into a fine Twin Falls,
Idaho, museum, well worth a stop on a road trip. 

UP NEXT: While we're roadtripping, we're making a couple of stops for more in-depth stories. Evel Knievel is famous for his daring motorcycle escapades, including one that didn't quite work, over the Snake River, at left. We'll explore the legendary daredevil's jumps, including one that failed. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, nature, the arts, family and more: -- and share the links, please.




  1. Oh what fun. We are so anxious to travel again. You inspire us to be braver!

  2. Love the idea of enjoying our wonderful parks and staying healthy outdoors. Beautiful photos as always.

  3. We can drive to several of these suggestions in a day. Thank you!