Great thread! Love seeing something besides...you know.
Last summer I took my 9 year old (at the time) son on a road trip. The rules were simple: no interstates, no hotels, no GPS, no video games. Our
starting point was right here in Dayton, OH and our destination was my hometown of Douglas, Wy.
I wanted to show him what America used to be...the back roads, farm land, ma and pa restaurants and no crazy America. We headed up north towards
Green Bay. Stopped off in Chicago to see Lake Michigan. He took an empty Gatorade bottle and filled it up with water from the lake for his memories.
Once in Green Bay, I was hoping to get a tour of lambeau field and pay homage to the mighty Green Bay Packers. But no luck, a Kenny chesney concert
was taking place that day. From there, it was off to the farm lands my grandmother was raised on near Lodi, Wisconsin. This was my favorite part of
the trip. I love my grandmother dearly and to get to see the exact same farm she was raised on was a wonderful memory. We stopped and talked with
the locals hoping maybe, by some miracle, someone would remember her. But she's 92 and the last of her family, so there was nothing more for that.
We did stop by a very distant relatives house to say hi. I had never met them, and never even knew of them before hand. I thought it would be neat
to just stop by and say hello. Beautiful property, but they were up north at their summer cottage. From there we found a campground in the middle of
the state to set up camp. Bbq'd some burgers, and slept under the stars in a cool, but pleasant early Wisconsin summer night. We tried our hand at
some fishing there, but nothing bit.
The next morning was Father's Day so I took my son and I out to a cute little restaurant near the Minnesota border for breakfast. Good ole fashioned
home grown foods. Stuff like that puts a smile in my belly. We set course off through Minnesota and only counted about 100 or so lakes. Far less
than the 10,000 promised.
Some of the nastiest drivers I've ever encountered are in Minnesota.
We made sure to clip North Dakota before cutting west across South Dakota. Our plan was to find a campground in the center of the state. But as we
traversed more and more we found ourselves jousting with a massive thunderstorm. Good thing we didn't stop, it caused some flooding at the campground
we intended to stay at. So I decided to push through all the way to rapid city. If you're keeping track, that's a whole heck of a lot of driving.
The amount of bugs on the windshields was just insane. I had to stop at every town I came across to clean my window it was so dirty in big juice.
We got to rapid city and settled into a hotel room on the Air Force base. Had to ditch the camping because of the weather. But the long drive hiding
from the storms all day put a heavy weight on my shoulders that I welcomed the hotel.
We got up early to set out on what I knew was going to be an awesome day. Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, Crazyhorse, Deadwood, and Devils Tower. We
stopped at the gas station on base to fill up. After I finished pumping I told my son to stay in the car, lock the doors, and crack the windows while
I went inside to pay and get us drinks. While waiting in line, he popped up beside me. Said he was bored. I asked him where the keys were. He said
in the Jeep. I immediately knew our doom. He inadvertently locked the keys in the Jeep. $80 and 2 hours later we were on the road.
If you've never driven through the black hills, do so on a warm, late spring day like we did. Absolutely gorgeous drive. We hit all the stops. My
favorite being Devils tower. the drive in was picturesque!! Go, you won't be disappointed. We rolled into my dads house. Caught up with the
family. Climbed a 12,000 foot mountain. Fished the streams and lakes of Wyoming. Went Prarie dog hunting. Blew up some dynamite, BBQ'd, laughed,
and had the greatest of times.
Throughout it all we drove through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa,
Missouri, and back on to Ohio. I expected my son to have a major attitude without having access to video games, but he did really well. I took a
picture of him at every state sign I could, had him follow the atlas to guide us where to go, and kept him involved as best as I could. The trip
proved to be some of my absolute fondest of memories.
I love telling that story. Usually with more detail then here. I still randomly go through the photos and grin like a child on Christmas. I now try
to avoid the interstate at all cost, learning that it may be the quickest route somewhere, but it's never the best route. I think the next trip will
be to Yellowstone, only we'lol go south this time, maybe come back home from the north.
ETA, if I get time later, I'll come back on and share some pics of the trip.
edit on 16-9-2016 by Assassin82 because: (no reason given)