With summer finally starting to wind down (thank God, because it has been unbearably hot this year), I can’t help but reminisce.
About what, exactly? Road triiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiips!
Because even the worst road trip is better than going back to work on a Monday.
Seriously, who doesn’t like a good journey on four wheels? Well, two if you have a motorcycle. I don’t 😔
So I tried to list my all-time favorite road trips. Travel by plane or train doesn’t count, but travel by bus does (but there are no bus trips on this list). So fill up the tank, stock up on Pringles, and get ready to roll:
5. Arkansas, family vacation, 1991
Before Slick Willie put ole Rackensack on the map (for me, anyway), my parents and I journeyed out Arkansas way for a little vacay (I promise this is the LAST time I’ll ever say “vacay.” Well, after now). It was badass. First time I caught a fish, first time I rode in a boat, and the first and last time I visited Arkansas.
4. Grandfather Mountain, Spring Break, 2006
On the first day of Spring Break, my friend Nick and I just decided to drive out to Grandfather Mountain in western North Carolina. We found a Days Inn, bought a dirty magazine at the gas station across the street, then proceeded to get torn up (as much as we could on Coca-Cola and Sunflower seeds, anyway).
We hit Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, then got lost and ended up in Boone (Appalachian State, y’all. GPS had yet to be perfected). Definitely bought a blow-gun while we were out there.
3. Entire Spring Break, 2007
For the first two days, I went to Florida with my best friend Chase and his parents. He got drunk while we watched The Patriot. I only got buzzed. We also went kayaking and I shart in my pants 😫 (I really REALLY had to go, and we were in the river sooo no big deal). Also bought t-shirts from a Chinese restaurant called Fu-King.
Chase and I turned around and drove up north to Hampton, Virginia, where we met up with another friend of ours, Adam “Cowboy” Clouse, and saw Reno 911 Miami, which ended up being THE biggest waste of money ever. But Chase tried dip for the first time and almost fell down the theater stairs buzzed out of his mind.
After that, I went back to NC, met up with Pops and drove up to Steubenville, Ohio to visit the Franciscan University campus (I transferred there the following year). You haven’t reached the boondocks until you stay in a Super 8 Motel with no phone in your room.
A lot of road. A lot of fun. Not a lot of sleep.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway, girlfriend getaway, 2016
What’s the best way to deal with an incredibly unexpected Presidential election? Get the hell out of town, of course. My girlfriend (now wife) had never been on the Parkway, so I couldn’t wait to show her the scenery. We got drunk, walked to a gas station, bought a couple of those knitted hoodies (“jergas” is the correct technical term, I think. I just call them “drug rugs.”), and had some of THE BEST barbecue at a place called The Pedalin’ Pig.
1. Florida, August 2009
My mom was planning to drive down to Florida to visit family, so she said if Chase and I kept her company on the ride down, then we could use her minivan to go wherever we wanted once we were there.
It was a rowdy combination of Crown Royal, Malibu, Gin ‘n’ Juice, Mariokart, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson, y’all!), corn-cob pipes and poetry. Bar-hopped in St. Augustine (we may have been the only people in ANY of those bars who weren’t in the AARP), visited the Shrine of Our Lady de la Leche, and even found time to stop at South of the Border on the way down.