Episode 246 Another Road Trip - Here's the Plan
There is something about traveling. It has an appeal: to see the different, to hear new sounds, to meet unfamiliar people, to get away from the usual. I can see clearly in my minds eye a small Hindu temple along a river in Katmandu in the dark of the night. My teacher or guru wanted me to take photos a ceremony. I stood outside and shot pictures through the open window. A gold statue of Shiva sat on the alter and and at it's base flames blazed out of a round container. The faces of the participants were marked with ash and soot. They chanted, they banged on drum and empty pots, they prostrated themselves on the floor. As the flame was circulated by the ceremonial leader they held their hands over the flame and touched them to their forehead. He came to window and presented the flame to me. I copied their action.
This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.
It's anticipation time; time for escape; time for something different. After much discussion we have settled on a road trip. A slow road trip. A trip that should allow time for us to experience where we are rather than just driving through. The only factor that limits our time spent traveling is that we like it so much right where we live. I have a hard time leaving this place. But once I pull out of the driveway I won't want to come back.
I fought back the common urge to start the trip at an airport. There are so many reasons to avoid air travel. I know it allows one to experience the world far from home but the price is to steep for me. Not meaning the money but the experience and the environmental factors. Maybe time will change my mind on this one but at present we choose to ramble just a bit closer to home and at a reduced rate of speed.
The plan is to spend some time in the American Southwest. We want to visit a couple of national parks that we have never seen. We want to see the red soil of Utah, and the desert of Arizona. We want to linger a bit in Tucson and visit the University. We also want to spend a week or so with our daughter and family in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento. But at the base of the plan is to just do something different.
We did a long road trip a couple of years ago around the southern rim of the country. You may have followed us in Road Trip USA Series that is posted to this site.
We have three places to stay via home exchange and one week or so with our daughter in Sutter Creek, California. Our method is to drive - slowly for two to four days staying in motels or old hotels in the heart of some smaller towns. Then we will settle in for three nights in downtown Salt Lake City - a place we have never stopped to explore. We will then amble to our next stop for one week in the southwest corner of Utah. We want to hike and bike around Zion and Bryce National Parks. One of my friends that is well travelled tell me these are two of the very best parks in the system; especially Zion. We will see.
The plan is to then drive a couple of slow days down to Tucson where we have another exchange for one week. We want to explore this city and the neighborhood around the University. We have only been there once and that was short lived and unimpressive. We have been told we missed the good it has to offer. Looking forward to our visit.
Then we will take three to five days to ramble slowly west and north to the western foothills of the Sierras and our daughters place. We plan on staying approximately one week and then heading home. Not sure about the route or the time on this last leg. We will leave that open to serendipity.
One thing about retirement; if you take a low cost, casual road trip and incorporate home exchange options your trip can be about as long as you choose. No limitations.
I've talked about home exchange before but for those of you that are new to these podcast you just need to visit www.homeexchange.com We have used this service perhaps 15 to 20 times and have always had great results. We have met some interesting people and love staying away from the hotel/motel routine. This is a great way to meet some people who are locals. We get away from tourist oriented areas and businesses.
There are lots of ways to travel including staying at Hilton Hotels or RV campgrounds. I'm sure they all have their advantages.People that travel that way seem to love it. But as for me: I always thought one Hilton looked just like all the others. And RV campgrounds always seemed like places with loud generators and people that were from somewhere else. They just never appealed to me. That's my rational for our chosen method of travel. This is one area where one size does not fit all.
I'm going to try to podcast while on the road. How does a road trip planned in the fashion play out? We will see.
This is Retirement Talk.
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