Emily Takes a Road Trip
From Great Outdoor Store
How to Scrap a Plan in Two Days and Have the Best Trip of your Whole Life
I spend a lot of time dreaming up destinations. I construct plans for trips the way people make sandwiches in sub shops. Start with the basics, move on to the flavoring elements and finish it all off with a ~saucy~ flair. That is to say, I block in my beginning and ending locations and timeline, identify the main activities or sights for the middle portion, and then do some serious digging to find the lesser-known gem that will be the trip treat.
Each trip has a trip treat. The fabric varies but the general premise remains: something specific to the location we’re in, something we wouldn’t or couldn’t do at home, and something almost wholly experiential. Historically, trip treats have been gleaned from a coworker, a generous customer, or a friend of a friend. I’ve learned to ask everyone who has ever been CLOSE to the place I want to go for their insights. The tips I’ve gotten have turned into some of my most treasured memories.
Some of you probably followed along on Instagram and Facebook with the last trip I took through the Southwest. But there’s some fun backstory. I had outlined a plan months before departure. (Extremely in character.) For weeks we were actively planning our visits to Arches and Zion National Parks. Planning hikes, researching landmarks and finding campground information. And then in the ten days or so before we left the weather started to look a bit cool. And then in the five days before we left the high dropped to 30 degrees. And the snow rolled over the forecast. And the nighttime low was 10. And YES we could plan and prep for that, it’s literally my job. But WHY even drive all the way to Southern Utah for the weather to be like it is here?!
Can you hear the drama in my voice???
I was feeling very dramatic.
And then two days before we left, I panic bought a map (very extremely in character) and Clara and I met for beers and trip details. She and I have traveled so much together that we both have an excellent read on the other’s non-verbal communication. We both knew going into these beers that the other was thinking the exact same thing. Ya girls needed SUNSHINE and we were gonna find it.
We sat down at a table and quickly opened as many maps as we could. Very important to ensure no one is ever looking at the same map, at the same time. More efficient, of course. So, we opened phone maps, my panicky paper map, and a laptop map for good measure, took a sip of our respective brews, and each pitched trip alterations. Clara proposed we go farther south into Arizona and New Mexico. I pitched an extension west to Joshua Tree in Southern California. The allure of hot desert days and the proximity of a California coastline beat out the extra car hours, and within the hour we had a campsite in Joshua Tree.
We were going to Cali, baby. And we left in two days.
Stay tuned for next week's installment of: How to Scrap a Plan in Two Days and Have the Best Trip of your Whole Life by Emily
Where every good road trip starts.