Update: Not just a fantasy anymore, we’re actually doing it.
Another update: We did it.
Sometimes the slightest thought can inspire an epic road trip. Innocent seeming quotes like “I’m visiting my sister in South Carolina this summer, want to come with?” or “I bet Maine is nice” have taken us on thousand-mile plus journeys. Our recent Southwestern road trip was roughly outlined between appetizer and entree at The Bento Box. Clearly it doesn’t take much to get us dreaming up a new adventure. So when I heard “If you want to go to Glacier National Park, we’re in,” I immediately went to Google Maps to see what that would involve. I guess it’s kind of an addiction, but everyone needs hobbies.
The attached map shows a bit of what goes into our first stage of planning. Select a destination, see how much time you have, and then trace a line that has varied points of interest and preferably takes you to places you’ve never been. This sample route would nicely fill in a blank spot in our map as we’ve never taken a path this far north and neither of us has been to Montana or North Dakota. It would involve a one-way flight to Seattle and then returning to Chicago via rental car. Since National Parks are a favorite of ours, we’ve included five. I also threw in a stop at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, because I couldn’t pass within a hundred miles of the source of the Mississippi River without making a detour. At more than 2,800 miles, this one would blow away our current road trip distance record and require at least a week and a half (more likely two weeks) to maintain an enjoyable pace. Alas, for now it’s just a thought as we have plenty of these fantasy maps up our sleeves.