This post is taken from my new travel site, RambleWith.Us. For years I have wanted to take a big trip, an audacious adventure. The time is now, and I wanted to document it. I would love for you to come along with us!
My wife and I are driving from Asheville, NC to Portland, OR; God and 4Runner willing. We have been planning this trip for months, and have all of our bases covered. Many of you reading this are friends and family, who know the gist of what’s going on and why we have 5 weeks off this late summer of 2012. Here’s the abridged version.
We called the trip “Manifest Destiny”
The kind of long, rambling trip that pioneers and explores took decades ago. While this beautiful Earth contains many wonders and sights, few are as accessible and nearby as our U-S-of-A. We wanted to see it, experience it, and wallow in it for a while. So we started making plans.
Morgan was able to take off her shifts at the hospital, so it was on me (Matt) to handle everything at work (Camp Rockmont). Not too many places are cool with a mini-sabbatical after 3 years on the job, but I don’t work at a normal place. Basically, 2 weeks count for vacation time, and 3 weeks are simply unpaid. I expected this, and we have been saving up to cover the difference. Morgan’s summer paycheck will more than handle that sum, plus the summer camp lifestyle doesn’t mesh with big spending. Financially, it’s never easy to take 3 weeks off of getting paid, but we balanced the sacrficie with the opportunity at hand.
We packed up all our clothes in to 1 big duffel, gear in 2 large plastic bins, and a cooler of food. I’ll have a whole other post on what we packed, and we tried to keep it simple (an ongoing challenge for all of life). Our friend Carrie was going to housesit for us, keeping an eye on our dog, Abby. I put a roof rack on the car, lifted the Yackima Rocket Box up, and filled it with our stuff.
We’re traveling dirtbag-style, with lots of camping, nights on friends’ couches, and PB&J sandwiches. We’ll have some delicious meals and comfortable nights with those wonderful friends, and splurge a little ourselves, but it’s not the norm.
To see the great natural sights and wonders of the West. To visit friends, meet new ones, and take a lot of pictures. To sleep under the stars more than in a bed, and certainly more than any hotel bed. We put a premium on raw experience, whether a postcard worthy day or stormy night of “batten down the hatches!” We will seek out small coffee shops, local breweries, and bike libraries. To sleep in the car, at a rest stop, if need be. And ramble all the way back down to the South by September 23rd.
Why the name RambleWith.Us? We want you to come along, to follow the trip. Many of you have had an influence on it, whether by inspiration, recommendation, or monetization. Plus, even though we have planned out many details of this trip, destinations and time frames are not a part of it. We haven’t made reservations anywhere yet, and are going at our own pace. A lot of these cities and parks we’ll be visiting for the first time, and figuring it out as we drive. A little stressful, perhaps, but it will nice to not feel tied to a schedule and pace for a while. We’re rambling.
Ramble, or Rambling, is defined as…
“to walk or travel for pleasure, typically without a definite route”
So come along with us, follow our rambling journey across the West. We’d love to have you along for the ride.