A lot of people have an aversion to road trips because they don’t like riding in a car for hours on end. On any long route, there is inevitably a day or two of long hauls between destinations. We’ve found that if we limit the time spent driving in a day, it makes the experience much more tolerable. About eight hours is the sweet spot for us. We both grew up in families that took long road trips in the days before in-car DVD players (travel bingo anyone?) so neither of us has a problem with long drives. Your results and patience may vary. We may have been known to break into song around hour seven, but that’s a rare case.
It’s no fun rushing out of a hotel, sitting in a car for 14 hours and then eating some fast food and going to bed. By limiting our drive times to 8 hours it creates a nice day schedule of a leisurely breakfast, drive four-hours, stop for lunch, drive four more hours and then arrive at a stopping point in time for a little sightseeing, a nice dinner and a couple drinks before resting for the next day. We also generally trade driving duties every 2-3 hours.
For example, on our 2009 Western Loop, we took two days to get back to Chicago from Denver, stopping overnight at the halfway point of Omaha, Nebraska. We were able to use the hotel pool, check out the riverfront and Heartland of America Park, followed by a great meal at Twisted Fork and drinks in the Old Market neighborhood. We were glad we stopped and explored a bit of a new city and by the time we got back to the hotel we’d forgotten we’d spent eight hours in the car that day. The next morning we were refreshed for the final eight hour roll home. Last year, Memphis also worked well as an approximate halfway point on the way to and from New Orleans. Why drive yourself crazy going all-out in one 15 hour day, when you can make a much more pleasant two-day jaunt?
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- 10.10.21 : The waterfalls of Hocking Hills State Park. Pics 1 and 2: Upper and Lower Falls along the Grandma Gatewood Trail near Old Man’s Cave. Pic 3: Cedar Falls.10.10.21 : The rhythm of the campsite… night, sunrise and afternoon from our wooded oasis at Stacked Stones Retreat in the Hocking Hills.10.09.21 : Had an awesome private evening ride with Becky at Blue Moon Acres Stables in the Hocking Hills. We rode the father/daughter team of Stroker (Nick) and Mystique (Neil).10.09.21 : Took a walk around the earthworks at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park on the way to our camping weekend in Ohio’s Hocking Hills. These geometric ceremonial mounds were built by native cultures that lived in the area from about 200 BCE through 500 CE. The park is made up of six separate sites located around Chillicothe, Ohio.07.29.21 : The final big hike of our summer trip was Pennsylvania Mountain near Fairplay, Colorado. It’s not a well-known peak, but it’s a 13er and provides great views of the continental divide and surrounding mountain ranges in a quick (but steep) 5 mile round trip.07.21.21 : At 9 miles, our hike down the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab Trail was our longest and by far the most strenuous hike of the summer. We went as far as Roaring Springs, 4.5 miles and 3,200 feet below the rim.