The Art of the Two-Hour RoadTrip
Most of us tend to think of roadtrips
as requiring several days to complete, and this doesn't
include planning time. What's easy to forget is that road
trips can also be short and spontaneous. Think for a moment.
Isn't there some special place, a back-road byway, a pretty
street in your city or town, or a route through a nearby
park that's no more than thirty minutes from where you're
sitting? It's probably a place you rarely visit because
it's so familiar and close to home. Have you thought of
such a place? If you have, you've already planned a two-hour
Last Saturday afternoon, we were in
front of our computers working on the latest edition of
RoadTripAmerica.com. Somehow, the thought occurred to
both of us that we were wasting a beautiful winter-in
the-desert day. It wasn't long before we were in the car
and headed to Spring
Mountain Ranch State Park, a preserve on the outskirts
of Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire round trip distance was
less than 44 miles, and we were away from our desks for
less than two hours. But what a glorious break! Within
five minutes of parking, we found ourselves wandering
along a sparkling stream. Suddenly, a four-point buck
leapt through the sage brush not fifty yards in front
of us. We heard a couple of wild burros yakking from a
ridge, and we watched coots and ducks swim in a pond ringed
in bull rushes. All of this was in addition to awesome
views of the brilliant sandstone cliffs of Red Rock Canyon.
Watching that deer leap nimbly through
the rock outcroppings, we realized once again that the
value of a roadtrip should be measured by the quality
of the experience rather than the quantity of time spent
in the pursuit. Our vintage essay on the "Art
of the RoadTrip" puts it this way:
IS A STATE OF MIND. Roadtrips don't have to be measured
in miles, and they don't even have to cover new territory.
Every time you go somewhere, it's different, you're
different, and it's a different day. You can sit in
one spot for a year, and you're still on a journey.
The key is remembering that fact. The road's always
rolling under you. All you have to do is notice.
It's also helpful to remember that
two-hour road trips don't have to include any out-of-vehicle
time. How about a quick drive around a local college campus,
or a drive into the hills or along a shoreline? Likewise
a drive through a particularly attractive neighborhood
in your town or even a cruise along an Interstate with
no particular destination can offer a delightful break
from routine. Something as mundane as a trip to the grocery
store can be a roadtrip if you take a new route. It's
often very easy to add a little "extra" to "ordinary."
So, your mission today (should
you decide to accept it) is
Go take a two-hour roadtrip
and then share what you found on the Great
American RoadTrip Forum!
Sedenquist & Megan Edwards