Notes From The Road: 4 States, 2 Days

For the month of March I’m road tripping through nine states, visiting friends and clients and – most importantly – going to Dollywood.  You can read about previous travel adventures (which are more international in nature) here.

Oh, friends.  Road trips are The Best.  Really, I think they’re slowly becoming my favorite form of travel.  I love pulling over whenever I see anything interesting.  I love watching the weather and landscape change as I drive.  I love buying All The Cheese That Wisconsin Has To Offer.

Whenever I tell people that I’m navigating nine states over 25 days all by my lonesome, the inevitable questions are:1) “What do you, like, do?  I mean, after you’re done listening to the radio?”
2) “What’s your rate of Combos-eating per hour?”
3) “Isn’t that sort of dangerous?”

I’m going to ignore questions 2 and 3 (and point you to this post about roadtripping solo).  Here are the totally ridiculous things I do while roadtripping.

1.  Practice my southern accent

2.  Listen to 8 million podcasts
I love BBC Great Lives, Desert Island Discs, Jordan Jesse Go, and My Brother, My Brother, and Me.  Also: anything by Paul F. Thompkins.

3. Listen to Actual Compact Discs that I bought in 1998
For the record, So Much For The Afterglow tooooootally stands the test of time.  (Sidenote:  I spent much of high school writing Everclear lyrics on white, child-sized Hanes t-shirts with a sharpie.  Oh, godddddd the angst of a middle-class white girl in rural Minnesota!  How could anyone understand my pain of juggling both speech team AND danceline?!)

4. Buy bags of roasted almonds.  Promptly dump them all over the floor

5. Have a series of  imagined conversations in which I am unfathomably witty/articulate/wise

6. Play Radio Roulette
Push the ‘scan’ button.  You are now required to listen to one entire song on that station. While playing this game I spent 45 minutes listening to a weird 1940s radio drama, a teen abstinence speech, and discovered this country song that I’m now totally into.

7. Pull over whenever I see anything interesting
Feel smug and joyful.  Thus far, ‘interesting things’ have included: the covered bridges of southern Indiana, an awesome diner that charges $3.18 for breakfast and only accepts cash, the hilariously named Butt Drugs, The Shrine To The Passion of The Christ (an outdoor attraction that features bronze statues depicting the story of the crucifixion, accompanied by an audio guide – also: they sell scented candles and caramel corn), The Colonel Sanders museum.  So much awesome stuff!  So much more to go!

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Asheville, NC eating my way through the city, knee-deep in hippies. 

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  1. The Dame Intl

    What fabulous photos! And this just got me thinking, I wonder if there are podcasts of recordings of George Carlin's stand up? Now THAT would be worth listening to on a road trip!

  2. Brittany

    So glad you are going to Asheville! You will LOVE it! Hippie city all the way.

  3. Antisparkle Apparel

    You had me at Butt Drugs. Great update. Doing a road trip is on my 30 before 30 list. I'm planning for the summer. Not practical gas wise but at least I don't have to worry about my kid getting to school everyday.

  4. Elle

    Love Asheville – if you get a chance you should stop by battery park in the grove arcade – champagne and used books! It's my favorite place in Asheville 🙂

  5. Sara

    I can't wait for you to come to Charleston!!! I hope I see you walking down King Street!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Or you can just email me and we can get drinks 😉

  6. thefty

    Sarah. Now I need cheese. (Preferably seemingly lumpy cheese in a plastic bag.)

  7. Courtney

    Audio books are my besties on solo road trips. Looks like you are having a great time!

  8. Samantha Kimble

    Solo travel is the best. Several years ago I drove from Pennsylvania to LA over 3 weeks. People thought I was nuts. It was wonderful to be out on my own. You can do what you want without fighting over where to stop, when, or if you should just keep pushing through.

    Can't wait to see pics of Dollywood. Always wanted to see it. That and Graceland.

  9. brlracincwgrl

    What part of Kentucky where you in? That's my birthplace! :). Hope you enjoyed your drive through!

    And I'm totally jealous that you're going through Asheville, I love that place! It's beautiful!

  10. ohdizzle

    Your trip looks like so much fun! It's making me itch to hit the open road!

    And that Kacey Musgraves song has been my jam lately! SO GOOD!

  11. Anonymous

    Am I dreaming, or is this the bridge from Madison County??? This is awesome!!!

  12. Lisa Latebloom

    I was always a beef jerky fan while driving. I've moved on to deer/venison jerky. It's like gourmet jerky, yo. Have a great time!

  13. hmweasley

    I hope you enjoyed Indiana and Kentucky! I'm from Indiana, but I live on the Indiana-Kentucky border. Since my grandparents lived in Kentucky and I was over there almost as much as I was at home, I pretty much feel as if I'm from both states. (And the first photo in this post totally looks exactly like where I'm from. Haha.)

  14. Anonymous

    I listen to podcasts of Backstory with the American History Guys when I'm traveling solo. They are funny, entertaining, and they know their American history really well (they're college history professors).

  15. m  e  l  i  g  r  o  s  a

    OMG not sure why I'm beyond racking up at #4, I do that even when not on road trips! FACT
    I cant wait to go on a solo trip, something I'd like to do soon, like this year. <3
    For the past few months I worked (here in SF) with all guys that are originally from NC, but consider themselves more from New Orleans now, and *now* I got the travel bug to go visit eastern states.

    Looking forward to more picture, loving these sarah. LOVEloVELOVELOVLEO'em!

  16. eileen ragan |

    Loved this! My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip of the American south-west and this got me so excited to see more of America, road-side! Beautiful photos. And if I had a garden of my own (someday!) I would be needing that red iron bench, please and thank you.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and safe travels!

  17. Kate

    Ha! I too was obsessed with Everclear in Middle/High School. I haven't listened in forever but I think tomorrow it's time for a revisit of Afterglow. I can already hear the Beach-Boys-style intro…

  18. erikino

    Mediocre beans.

  19. Kelsi

    Come back to Wisconsin and eat cheese again any time! If you find your way to Milwaukee, my friends and I will take you mini bowling and to a tiki bar where drinks are served in mugs that look like sharks. I have a spare room and a very friendly cat (though sadly, she does not wear bow ties).

    Also, you have inspired me to consider a mini road trip as a way of utilizing some of my vacation time. I love solo travel, especially on the cheap! Enjoy your journey!

  20. Tamber

    I just did got back from a week+ long road trip to South Florida, I had a partner this time but I've done the trip alone before. I'm glad I'm not the only person who does #5..

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