I’m writing this from my apartment with Matthew in Seattle before we head to Whitefish, Montana for a week. I’ve always lived in cities, from San Jose and Pittsburgh to Doha and D.C., but my favorite vacations involve:
- Tall mountains,
- Wild water,
Summer weeks in Pinecrest, CA or Loon Lake, WA always fill me up in a way only long train trips can also do. As an introvert, being somewhere where I can expand without the sounds of others keeping me small is important. National parks have space for anyone’s wings to unfurl.
Unlike most of my childhood trips, rather than cozying up with a good book, a box of cheerios and zoning out while my parents drive us to far off mountains, I’ll be driving, with Matthew tagging in for a few hours at a time.
I did a test version of this drive last weekend to visit family in Pennsylvania. There I drove with my brother, a pallet of strawberries, and a gallon of water*. This time we’re packing some audiobooks, some pop-music, and clothes appropriate for the range of climates we’ll be traveling through.
Most of my roadtrip packing habits came from those long summer drive across the waist of California, but it will be fun to build some of our own rituals as we see where the road takes us.
See you all in a week!
*As a Californian, I cannot conceive of traveling long distances without at least a day’s supply of water in the car. It’s a basic safety thing that I’ve found most of my friends who grew up west of the Rockies do by instinct and my East Coast friends find tragically paranoid. Paranoid it may be, but I for one will not be dehydrating to death in a desert anytime soon.
“The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”–Stephen T. Mather, NPS Director, 1917-1929