During the uper-duper (as Joshua would say) long car rides, the longest stretches where there would be no friend or family to welcome us into their home, like this current drive from Reno to Calgary, I wish we could have just taken a plane. I tried to convince Jason before to take the airplane from the west coast where we knew a lot of people to the middle states and then another plane to the east coast. But he insisted on no short-cuts and on the pure cross-country drive. Still, when we were on those roads in the middle of nowhere, which I am sorry to call nowhere because it must be somewhere to its residents, I felt like fast forwarding the trip. Oh God, can we just finish this, please!
Then we make a pee stop and there’s a sign explaining the spot we were overlooking was the site of the California trail, around 3,000 miles that were taken by settlers going westward to what is now known as California. The sign said that most of the emigrants walked or were in carriages and the journey took weeks and months. The sign said we are lucky to be able take the same route in a matter of hours because we belong in the era of modern transportation. Ha! The sign seemed to be speaking to impatient me. What an embarrassment to the pioneers! And it’s a waste of wishful thinking when we’ve already bought a second-hand pick-up truck.
The drive must be uper super long in certain areas, but look at what we would have missed if we took the plane to specific destinations instead of being surprised by spontaneous choices such as Twin Falls, Idaho which was never in the itinerary. Because of a recommendation by a worldschooling mom on Facebook, we saw the magnificent Shoshone Falls and biked around Dierkes Lake.
If we took the plane, we would have missed the Perrine bridge because it was also never in the official route and was a spur of the moment decision assisted by googling things to do in Twin Falls. The architectural-engineering beauty that is the Perrine bridge overlooks a Grand-Canyon meets green paradise landscape.
And despite the insufferable car rides, we do hit perfect picnic spots and playgrounds.
Thanks to Tammy’s thoughtful donation of games to play during car rides which her own boys, Brandon and Justin, have outgrown, our four-wheel journey has improved by playing scavenger hunt and memory games. Spotify and audio books still rule! Although the 4G-absent stretches of road poses extra challenge.
Since we started this trip a month ago, we have traversed 3,577 miles (5,756 km). That’s around the same distance the early American pioneers of the west took but on foot and horse-drawn wagons. I don’t understand why I complain about the long rides when we keep discovering places, playgrounds and bike paths that make the unbearable wait worthwhile.
And for the budget conscious Mommy, we unearthed something better than skiing in an overpriced resort — free sledding down a closed-for-the-season ski place! Oh frabjous rapture joy!