I know I have to get away. Our beloved family home is being sold and new beginnings are beckoning to me. With a portion of the inheritance money I decide to travel for 6 months. Destination Oregon via the coastal route visiting friends and family along the way. Trains, planes, or automobiles? After looking into it, a road trip is best. It will afford me the freedom to go where and when I want on my terms.
I end up driving my Toyota Prius which is a Godsend due to it agility, great gas mileage, and awesome pep. I originally was going to buy a RV and travel that way, but after taking one for a test drive I realized I would feel like a prisoner/slave to it. Always worrying how massive it was, would it fit under bridges, on streets, where would I stay and the gas mileage. 7 miles per gallon? Are you serious? I drive a Prius which gets at least 40 MPG why would I drive a 7 MPG ball and chain?
My past solo road trips consisted of a 4-5 hour jaunts across New England and a few in California but never for a prolonged period of time. In 1988 I drove with a male companion cross-country from Massachusetts to San Diego California in a record time of 3.5 days. I took hundreds of photo’s. Needless to say our car was in each picture. Fifteen hours a day stuck in a car as a passenger on Route 40, only stopping for gas or a pit stop was not much fun. The highlight of the trip was arriving at the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise on the freshly fallen snow for 45 minutes which I think was our longest stop.
I vowed never to do that again at least not with someone else at the wheel. Winter is bearing down. I can’t take another New England winter. According to the Farmer’s Almanac and plenty of acorns, I know 2014-2015 winter will be worse than last.
It’s time for me to fly.
For the past 25 years I’ve wanted to live in Oregon. I’ve been twice, the first time was September 1990 and I lasted 4 days (a man was in my way) and in 2002 my girlfriend and I went for 9 days and had a wonderful time. Now I have the opportunity to make my dream a reality. There is no man standing in my way, only myself…
The plan starts to take hold. Booking a barefoot sailing adventure in the Bahamas for the second week of December seals the deal. I am now committed to the trip. Everything else falls into place. I will leave on November 20th which gives me enough time to saunter down the coast.
The following are planned destinations:
1. The wild ponies of Chincoteague/Assateague, VA, (what can I say I grew up on books about Stormy and Misty)
2. Thanksgiving in Sanford NC with friends.
3. Charleston, SC, to visit friends
4. Del Ray Florida to visit relatives
5. Fly to Nassau from Ft Lauderdale for a week-long sail boat cruise on a tall ship
6. Fly back to Fort Lauderdale to visit a friend (used to live there when it was a fun happening time 1984-1985)
7. Drive to Sanibel Island (I hear the shells are amazing)
8. Tampa to visit a friend
9. Tennessee to visit a friend for Christmas
10. New Years with my Tennessee friend in New Orleans
11. San Diego: The Dana on Mission Bay/Torrey Pines
12. LA to visit family
13. Big Sur via the PCH aka Route 1 aka Pacific Coast Highway-heaven
14. Carmel by the Sea/Monterey
15. San Francisco to visit Hungarian relatives
16. Continue following the PCH highway to the Redwoods
17. Final destination: Ashland/Jacksonville Oregon to put down roots.
18. Explore Oregon the perpetual vacation destination
19. In May drive back to Massachusetts to help a friend with her kitchen renovation and take care of personal business
20. The following Fall drive back to Oregon with my horses and belongings in tow
The great thing about solo road trips is that you can change your destinations, following the road less traveled. Best laid plans don’t always go as planned. My adventures did change and many more destinations were added either at the last-minute or planned. When time is on your side; go with the flow. You never know what is around the corner.
Enjoy the ride.