We always try to fit at least one road trip into our hundred things every year. On the one hand, there’s a lot of sitting in the car. On the other, you get to explore new places, listen to audiobooks, buy gas-station food, and get to know the places you can’t get to any other way.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2017 challenge. Here’s the full list. Click on the photos for a closer look!
This time we took Lucy! Southwest Airlines stopped offering our non-stop flight to Albuquerque, so instead of spending $waytoomuch on two-part flights over Memorial Day weekend, we instead flew direct into Phoenix, rented a car, and drove to Albuquerque!
It’s about a nine-hour drive, but we broke it up over two days. We didn’t get the car until midafternoon, so we grabbed some fantastic chicken and waffles at LoLo’s, and drove mostly in the dark to a motel in Payson. It was only barely road tripping.
The next day we got into it for real. We played music, listened to audiobooks, bought munchies at gas stations, and saw the sights. We stopped for pie in Pie Town, and walked around the Very Large Array. We didn’t get to Sandhill until around 6pm, but the staff assured us with photos that he was getting “prepped” for our visit.
We then spent some time as a family in Albuquerque. (Post forthcoming.)
After our visit ended, it was time to head back to Arizona. We of course took a different route back, and managed to stop at quite a few Roadside America sites. A real highlight was the Bandera Volcano, where it was 95° on the crater rim, and 31° inside the ice cave that had formed in one of the lava tubes, just a mile away.
We also spotted lots of native american industry from the Route 66 era (including a wigwam village!), a forest of petrified wood, and the largest burrito any of us has ever seen.
Lucy was a trooper. This wasn’t her first road rip — we had done a trial run on our way back from Renton earlier this year — but it was definitely her longest, and she did pretty well. She made sure to bring lots of activities, and we kept her well-supplied with audiobooks so she could be seeing the sights and taking in some literature at the same time. We also included her in some of the decision-making (the ice cave was her idea) and the appearance of “vacation parents” probably helped as well.
As an experiment in whether Lucy can handle the way Becky and I do road trips, this was a success. As an adventurey experience for the family, it was a success. And as a way of saving a ton of money on travel, it was a resounding success. Three thumbs up.