Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Explore the USA Roadtrip

The planning begins.

Anybody who is close to me knows that I get restless pretty quick. Restless, in the fact that I get depressed when I'm stuck in one place for too long. Reagan noticed it one morning when we were driving together on highway 40 and I was staring out the window, longing to delve into the forest. She said that I looked really sad, but I had no clue I was doing anything.

In order to keep me enthusiastic, she encourages me to get out and do stuff (I have a great wife). The past month of traveling has been awesome, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I've had to holiday. After this weekend, we will have almost a two month lull in our vacation schedule. This could be trying for me, but Kansas has a couple of places that I can explore on Saturdays to keep me refreshed until the summer. I am starting to plan out these summer vacations, one of which is an Explore the USA Roadtrip.

There are two objectives in an Explore the USA Roadtrip:
1. Go places where we have never been before.
2. Hit the beach and sleep in a tent.

The first objective is always fun. Our good friends wants us to visit Ohio, so we will. However we will also be visiting for the first time some other fun states:

StateFirst For
IndianaBoth of us
OhioBoth of us
West VirginiaJere
DelawareBoth of us

Reagan and I have physically been to some of these states, however, we won't count them as "visited" unless we do something besides sleep, drive, use the restroom, eat, or wait for an airplane in them.

The second objective, is harder than it looks. I love backpacking, but Reagan loves the beach. So, when we do an Explore the USA roadtrip, where we both are stuck in a car together for a week, we probably should please both of our desires. It is awesome to have a wife who is willing to go backpacking with me. I'm thinking about hiking in the Shenandoah National Park or around Harpers Ferry, along the Apalachian Trail or some other side trail. Reagan has been there before, so she could show me around. For the beach portion of the trip, I'm wanting to stop at Virginia Beach, Virginia. The coast line looks nice, and there are some hotels with reasonable rates. There is also a small amusement/water park that might be a lot of fun.

The pink dots are still tentative. They are places where I am thinking we will spend the night. We are planning to go the week holding the fourth of July.

The first day we're planning to drive straight to Indianapolis on Friday, stay the night, see a couple of sights in the morning, then drive through Ohio (seeing some stuff of course), to Harpers Ferry, WV.

We are hoping to stay in Harpers Ferry Saturday night. If anybody has a recommendation for a chapel in the area to visit, shout it out. Harpers Ferry is important to us because Reagan lived there during her childhood. She wants to show me the house her family lived in and some of the places around town that she remembers.

After Harpers Ferry, we will drive to where we were hoping to camp and stay Sunday night. Either the Shenandoah National Park, which just south of Harpers Ferry, or some other state park in the area.

After camping we will drive to Washington DC and stay both Monday and Tuesday nights. That will give us most of Tuesday to go around to some of the Smithsonians and some of the memorials (both are totally free!).

Wednesday morning we would drive up to Philedelphia to stay the night in Pennsylvania and watch the fireworks. Thursday morning we will see some of the sights (hopefully the liberty bell) then head south to Virginia Beach.

I'm planning to spend Thursday and Friday night in Virginia Beach. Hopefully, this will be enough time to relax and prepare ourselves for the long drive home.

Saturday morning I am thinking that we will wake up and drive all the way to Kentucky to stay in either Lexington or Louisville. Reagan has not been to Kentucky before, so I will need to hunt down some fun things to do along the way. Which brings us to getting home around Mid-Afternoon on Sunday.

We have not set anything in stone, besides Harpers Ferry. If you have recommendations, please let us know. We are all ears if you contain the knowledge of a better beach, a better place to camp, anything that we HAVE to see, or if you know of places we should stay the night. The planning phase has just started and we will probably change the route completely two or three more times.


Scott and Lynn said...

I'm excited - it sounds like SO much fun! I would totally recommend going to Northern Ohio - you could go to Cedar Point in Sandusky (amazing roller-coasters) and also hit the beaches on Lake Erie (Mentor Headlands is great) AND go hiking in numerous places!!!