amtrak, car travel, driving across america, driving I-70, driving the US, driving US-40, I-70, national parks, travel, travel with children, travel with kids, traveling with children, traveling with kids, US travel
Now that mum’s first book is up and out in the world for others to enjoy it’s time to turn our attention to the next two books and summer travel plans.
Last summer we drove across the United States. It was awe inspiring and brutal. I only had two weeks vacation time and that’s what we did – across and back in two weeks and a couple days (we had couple of sick days on the road). As the girls said, “I want to do this again, but next time…NEXT time, we are renting a caravan and taking a month!” I agree. Whole heartedly I agree!
It was a a feast for the eyes. The United States just about has every sort of landscape you could want to explore, expect for rain forest or fire swamp with R.O.U.S.s. Our route started in Maryland and had us follow along I-70 mostly because of this sign:
Which makes me want to just keep driving until the bitter end. We took I-70 into Colorado and then veered off. From Maryland I-70 takes you through a sliver of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and into Colorado. It’s a lot of ground to cover, but beautiful. Once in Colorado we started moving up and into Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and then into Washington. On the way back across the United States we followed the coastal route into Oregon and California before starting back across and going through Arizona, New Mexico, a bit of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, a corner of Kentucky, Virginia, and back into Maryland once again. Whew!
This summer we decided to let someone else do the driving. We’re doing another train trip. This time we’re taking the Southwest Chief across. It’s something we’ve talked about doing after our first train adventure on the Empire Builder several years ago. While the United States put their money into an interstate road system and not the rail system it’s still a great way to see the landscape. If you’ve travelled Europe it’s no Eurorail. It’s not always easy to get from a train station to a town you think might be worth exploring. I used to work at a Bed and Breakfast in an American Civil War town and I always felt bad for Europeans that were trying to backpack and rail their way across. It’s not like doing it throughout European countries and towns. But it is worth doing it you can deal with the quirks of the US rail system as it is.
We haven’t planned much further than getting things booked. And once in California there will be time to explore Disneyland, but the girl is more interested in the possibilities of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She’s never been overly enthusiastic about the Disney princesses, but I think there will be plenty of things she’ll like once we get to actually explore the Magic Kingdom of Disney.