The first time that the dream of going on a long trip transformed into a realistic opportunity is difficult to pin down...
I (my name is Adam) moved to the Chicago area while my partner (name Marissa) was still earning her Undergraduate degree in Ohio. Shortly after graduating, she joined me where we currently live in Berwyn. I work as an Engineer in the far-west suburbs and she as a Preschool teacher on the near-west side – it’s regrettable how well our chosen professions tuck into our gender-roles so perfectly.
We love the city. The museums, the food, and the public transportation that we wish we could use more often, the music, the bustling people, the anonymity of sinking into a large crowd, and the urban landscape. I’ve had a keen interest in Chicago since High School and having lived here, the city has lived up to my expectations. I hope to revisit the city again, maybe years from now – but who knows? There are an endless number of great places to live and visit all over. I feel like it’s impossible to have a favorite when you’ve experienced so few.
But just as she followed me here, I will follow her to the next city. Marissa plans on getting her Master’s and class begins in a few short months. Our lease expires mid-March and what better an excuse than to take a few months to ourselves, quit our comfortable jobs, travel and learn, and to experience all or many of those “must-see/do-before-you-die” phenomena of the Western United States? Call us naïve, but every single person with whom we share our plan expresses more genuine enthusiasm than disheartening trepidations. We’ve made ourselves so anxious, that at this point the trip is an inevitability - we will go or die trying (or slightly less probable, both).
We’ve designed a route spanning only small stretches of Interstate Highways and hitting every destination that we’ve chosen over the last year. Roughly, we’ll be departing from Chicago after St. Pat's Day Parade and heading south to the Gulf. From there, it’s up through the High Plains to Colorado, over the Divide, through to the West Coast and up to Seattle. The return trip will take us through Yellowstone and miles of nothing back down along the coast of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and terminate back in the City with Big Shoulders. In all, the route will encompass over 8000 miles, more than 21 states, and countless destinations. All of which demonstrating what are arguably the most iconic and beautiful landscapes that our country has to offer.
Stay tuned for logistical planning, vehicle preparations, nonsensical babble, and various rants. Trip updates may include, but are not limited to; gear reviews, restaurant reviews, potential expletive-laden repairs, plenty of pictures, and hopefully a few mildly-entertaining anecdotes.