Summer is the perfect time for a road trip. We had the opportunity for a long weekend drive from NC to Maryland when we traveled for a family wedding. The journey en route to the event had to be accomplished on a timetable to ensure we arrived on time for the festivities, but the return trip was leisurely.
Fortunately, we avoided any automobile mishaps but had prepared by getting our vehicle serviced beforehand. Neither did our trip end in a drive off a cliff like Thelma and Louise. There was no college debauchery or zombie horror crisis. And Chevy Chase and the Muppets did not make an appearance.
We passed Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the US Armory in 1859.
Traveling requires refueling not only the car but also the occupants. Rather than consuming a steady diet of fast food, we took the time for a sit-down lunch at the iconic Pink Cadillac Diner. It was indeed a typical greasy spoon replete with kitschy 50s decorations. I had the “Happy Waitress,” a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato; my wife had a traditional tuna salad but punched up her lunch with sweet potato fries.
We drove through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where sign after sign invited us to see one of the eight underground caverns.
After a long driving stretch, the driver needed a pick-me-up with caffeine to stay alert. Some people choose a caffeinated soda, but my go-to is hot coffee in the morning, and cold brew or iced coffee on a hot afternoon.
If the previous caverns seemed too claustrophobic, there was the option of the Natural Bridge. We decided against stopping for these attractions, as we had visited them on prior occasions, but the advertisement roused fond memories.
While the expressways were lined with miles of semis, we avoided major traffic tie-ups and were blessed with sunny, dry weather.
No road trip is complete without the discovery of oddities along the way. We encountered a faux sod-covered SUV embellished with giant ticks — an advertisement for a company selling Lyme tests.
We arrived home tired but happy and safe. We had a great reunion with our dogs this morning when we picked them up at the kennel.
Do you have a road trip planned for this summer or fall? Will your travel be one of a down-to-the-minute detailed schedule, or will you stop and start at your whim and fancy?