FOR THE LOVE OF ROAD TRIPS
By Corey Cox
I think our love of road trips began soon after we bought our 1982 Volkswagon Westfalia just after Emily and I were first married. It was a bit of a lemon, but the 3 or 4 adventures that we got out of that beast were enough to spark a desire for adventure that has continued throughout our marriage. At the time, we didn’t have kids so we could decide at 8:00 pm to head to the beach and camp. It felt fun, exciting and free. When our kids were born, adventure was harder to come by but the desire for the open road simmered inside of us and amidst potty training and preschool we dreamt and planned. Sometimes things conspire in mysterious ways. On one cold December afternoon, we walked into our house to find that a pipe had burst and our house was flooded. We moved to a nearby hotel and contractors came to take on the very big project of repairing three floors of water damage. Luckily we have great insurance!
Living in the hotel with our stuff mostly packed up, we decided that when the house was fully renovated, we would rent out our house and head down the highway. With the support of Gary Cox, who offered to come back and man the office in our absence, we were able to take our jobs on the road and head south. Driving along in our Lazy Daze RV with our 3 and 5 year old boys, we had grand dreams of exploring the whole country. We soon realized that if we
were to stay sane, we could only travel about 150 miles a day with extended stops in our favorite places. We ended up exploring the western United States, which included 13 national parks, 8 states, several friends’ houses, and of course Disneyland. We lounged in a Utah cow pasture in a steaming crystal clear hot spring with water the color of the ocean in Hawaii. We spent 3 days playing in a creek in Sedona, AZ. We met many other traveling families, all of us in awe of the beauty of this country. My favorite moment of that trip was walking out along the north rim of the Grand Canyon and watching the sun rise. It was breathtaking. Of course every moment was not puppy dogs and ice-cream. We were trying to live with two small children in a 26 foot RV. There were many times we wanted to turn around but the excitement of not knowing what was around the next bend moved us forward.
Since then, we have not been able to pull off such an extended trip, not even close, but we do usually go on one family road adventure each year. This year we will take a few days to explore Oregon. We plan to head to Crater Lake, Steens Mountain, and the Painted Hills of the John Day Fossil Beds. On the way home we will stop and explore a few ghost towns. We will go from busily moving in many different directions to moving down the road together looking for fun and new places.