Sunday, July 30

Personal :: Our Early Summer Road Trip to New York

I considered not sharing this trip on social media for a few reasons, but the more I've chewed on it, the more I've come to believe we should continue to share what inspires us, what moves us. 

There were so many things I loved about this trip and all that it brought, the obvious being the people we stopped to see all along the way, the new sights, all the fresh air in the West and the museums and history in the East.

One piece that was a bit unexpected, was a new found love and appreciation for this country, dare I say that even inside our current political climate? But let me put it this way; I was able to load my 3 kiddos in the car and drive from Oregon to New York. We spent over 11 days on the road before David joined us, camping, visiting friends, hotel stays, hot springs, National Parks, gas stations, Chicago, and feel safe. We swam in Lake Erie, journaled through the Art Institute of Chicago, and saw Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, just the 4 of us. We drove interstates and two lane highways. Stopped at farm stands and ate Fruit Loops roadside in Wyoming. To drive the distance with two 6 year olds and an 8 year old and see all that we did, all the while, I was comfortable to explore the beautiful diversity across 12 states. I put trust in our social systems and in our neighbors along the way, and something even as simple as how well our roads are maintained was appreciated. After a total of 21 days of travel we found ourselves safely back home. We live in an incredible place, sure it's broken, and I'm not trying to ignore that, but it only fueled my fire to make choices each day that are in my power to leave this place as good, or better than it is now. My kiddos and their generation are depending on us to make choices that give them the chance to load their cars and enjoy the same lakes, bright Wyoming stars, and friendly faces across this country for many years beyond us. The internet and social media is full of depressing reports and stories of those in power, but we cannot forget the power we carry with us, we make up families, and our families make up schools, and neighborhoods, and cities, which make up our states and this beautiful country we call home. I was inspired by those we shared meals with and moved by all the hard work that has enriched this country's culture, infrastructure, and preservation of natural beauty. Theres ALOT more hard work that needs to be done, conversations had, and meals shared, and its so worth it!

So, this is my contribution to social media this summer to combat all the deflating, depressing, and down right uninspiring posts floating around out there! 

{We were stopped for road construction inside of Yellowstone}
{Mammoth Hot Springs}

{Our lovely Bozeman Hosts and fellow Wyoming campers}

 {Headed to South Dakota through Big Horn National Forest}


{Byron and I weren't overly impressed with the Mt. Rushmore, I think I just hid it a little better}


{Coffee stop in Minnesota}


 {Our Favorite Wisconsin Host}
 {Drive in lunch and root-beers}
{Byron being smooth with our new little lady friend}
 {Backseat skyline photo snag}
 {Art Institute of Chicago}
{Byron was elated to find a portrait of George Washington after 
looking most of the morning for him}
 {Then I was elated to see original prints from 
Robert Frank, Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange}
 {Zach on the shutter}

{The sweetest hosts during our stay in Ohio}

{Roadside Pennsylvania} 
 {Lake Erie}

{Our gracious hosts in Upstate New York}
 {Chad and Ashley shared their kitchen table effortlessly with us meal after meal}

  {Doing a little travel journaling}

 {Some rainy day bowling}


After our stay in New York, we drove without stopping from Rochester NY to Bozeman MT, David and I trading driving for sleeping, back and forth for 35 hours. We then enjoyed our friends in Bozeman for the weekend before hitting the last stretch home. 
{Kids after Melissa and I took them hiking and then to a hot springs}
{The sun setting on a filthy windshield as we dropped down into the valley we call home.}