Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Crazy Epic Road Trip

So, I mentioned that I'm planning a crazy epic road trip...

The more I plan, the more excited I get. And the more terrified!

I am travelling 5933 miles and 100 hours of driving (give or take some) over three months. Mostly without my husband.


Where is Darren going to be?

Darren has a federal internship with the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) in Modesto. That's about 340 miles away from our home. We're really excited about this internship because it pays well, it provides a housing stipend (so we don't have pay rent in two places), and it is for two summers, so he won't have to look for a job next summer.

We're not too excited about being apart for eight weeks. We're pretty sure it's going to be really hard. But we're also pretty sure we'll survive. One of our favorite quotes says, "...though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief.*"

Ok, so why are you going on a road trip?

We also have a family reunion in San Antonio, Texas this summer. Texas is a looooong ways a way from Humboldt County. About 2000 miles.

At first I thought, "I'll take the train!" I like the train. I don't mind going slow. I can pay attention to my kids and not have to drive. It's great!

But it's not great. I'd have to transfer trains twice. With three kids (6, 4, and 8 months), four sets of luggage, car seats, and all the extra paraphernalia that comes with traveling with kids. No thank you.

For some reason I didn't even consider flying. I probably thought it would be too expensive. The cost (if I buy tickets two or months ahead of time) is actually pretty comparable to what my fuel costs will be for driving. But I got this other idea stuck in my head before I really looked at plane tickets and it sounds like a wonderful adventure.

What if I start heading out early, take it slow (I don't do well under pressure and I don't like to be rushed), and stop to visit people we love along the way?

Where all are you going?

Darren has a brother in the Salt Lake Area that used to live near us. I could catch up with my sis-in-law in person, and the kids could play with their cousins. I have a sister in that area, as well as several cousins and a few aunts and uncles. We also have some friends that just moved to that area and we really miss them. There are lots of people we could visit if we drove through Utah.

Darren also has a brother in Colorado. David is Oreo's favorite uncle.When we first moved away, Oreo would ask to go see David about once a week. That's about how often he saw David when we lived in Sacramento. But David and his family moved away from Sacramento about the same time we did. It was really hard to explain to Oreo that he couldn't see David when we went to visit family in Sacramento. After eight months, Oreo finally caught on. David isn't in Sacramento, David is in Colorado. It feels really good to say, "Yes, we can go to Colorado and see David." to my little four year old, who still doesn't really understand where Colorado is, but wants to see his favorite uncle. Attached to that uncle are four cousins that we love to play with, and a sis-in-law that I miss visiting with in person.

I'm excited for the family reunion in San Antonio. My dad, Allen, saves and plans for a few years then brings all of my sisters and brother together (except my brother just joined the army, so we don't get to see him this time) and plans some fun activities (like Disneyland or jetskiing or a river walk tour). We usually stay in a vacation home so we can all be together. We make food together, have Family Home Evening and family prayers together, and spend our down time together. Some of my favorite memories are having an nail painting party on the deck of the house in Tahoe.

Instead of coming straight home after the family reunion. We are going to visit another one of Darren's brothers. This one also lives in Texas and is just a few hours away from San Antonio. We were hoping to spend several days with them, but Darren has to be back in Sacramento for an internship meeting sooner than we were originally planning to be back, so we're trying to figure out how to get more time with them.

On the way home we're going to drive in 12 hour stretches, mostly at night. Because Darren can do that. But on the way out I'm planning to stop often. We're going to stop at Dinosaur National Monument and some of the National Forests that we pass.

I'd like suggestions though.We're looking at I-80 through California, Nevada, and Utah; Hwy 40 through Utah and Colorado; I-25 in Colorado; and I'm not sure about our routes in Texas. 

What are good places to stop and play (local parks or food, national parks, or other kid-friendly type stops...)? 

*Quote from The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making by Catherynne M. Valente (affliate link)


  1. awesome. having done this I can tell you it is an experience unparalleled in my life. but I also think you are so brave. at this point in my life I have anxiety just going to the grocery store with the kids, I cannot fathom taking a trip without my husband. enjoy this summer. I have no insight on the route you plan to take.

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I think watching you go on your trip provided a foundation for believing I can do this. I'm sorry about the anxiety, its pretty awful. ♥