Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, we did not have the means to take exotic vacations, but even still I have fond memories of taking road trips. In our early years of marriage we carried on that trend, but as time marched on careers got in the way and the idea of road trips fell by the wayside.
Our need to get away this year grew exponentially as the “dog days of summer” wore on us, and as the end of August approached, space opened for us to take to the road. Since we both have family living in the Heartland, we decided a road trip might be in order, so we threw our bikes on the back of our vehicle, packed our camping gear (just in case), and headed out.
Our first stop was Boulder City, NV, where two of our buddies who we met on the road as RVers have thrown down a few more roots, buying a lovely home in this delightful town outside Las Vegas.
It’s a perfect location for these hard-core hikers and Jeepers, and although it was still quite warm outside to do much sightseeing, we had ample time to play catch-up, enjoying time in their lovely home and pool, thanks to their generosity.
Their’s is a relationship that can comfortably be “picked up just where we left off” last visit, the very best kind of friendship. We were thankful for some quality time together and left already looking forward to another winter visit.
Next stop was Corrales, NM, where another couple of RVing friends have settled. Located just outside Albuquerque, it has the perfect blending of Native American and Spanish traditions, stubbornly trying to hold onto its rural personality amid the expanding city of Albuquerque.
Their home was so cozy and charming.
And a river runs through it, the Rio Grande.
Two days flowed into four as we chatted away the days laughing, biking, sightseeing, and sitting out in their lovely gardens listening to the birds and catching the alpenglow on the mountains. We cannot thank Hector and Brenda enough for their generosity and look forward to seeing them again later this year.
Although not the travel year we had anticipated, having the time to reconnect with friendships developed across this country and beyond during our travels has been as rich an experience as the sights that have taken our breath away.
Join us as we visit the Heartland of this country, a region I am embarrassed to admit I wanted to escape as quickly as I could once I graduated high school. Hopefully time, and a bit more wisdom, have allowed my eyes to see beyond what I did as a teenager.
49 thoughts on “Road Trip!”
It’s great that you were able to spend time with John and Pam and Hector and Brenda. As much as we enjoy visiting new places and seeing beautiful scenery, the fondest memories of our travels have been the friends we’ve made along the way.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip as well!
Thanks! We are looking forward to time on the road again, even if it is not in an RV. I am always amazed at how deep the friendships are that have been forged on the road. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
It’s so neat to see how the friendships we’ve all made on the road have continued even as our lives morph.
Looking forward to seeing your heartland through older, more experienced eyes!
Many of the friendships forged while on the road have been some of the sweetest! Looking forward to hear about your time in Prescott. Hope the perfect property pops up for the two of you!
Road trips are the best! I grew up taking them, dragged our kids on many, and still jump in the car every time I can. The areas you covered in this post are ones I have only seen briefly. Now that I think about it, I have friends in both places and should think about heading out that way again myself!
Although I’ve done a long weekend trip to Santa Fe with girlfriends many years ago, we haven’t really explored New Mexico. The scenery is stunning!
So glad to see you guys out and about again. Miss you both. Frank
We’ll see you both later this year. 🙂
Safe travels to you!
Thanks Julianne! And safe paddling to you!
I seem to share many of your insights. Growing up in northern IL, I couldn’t wait to move away. This year, my heart has a longing to return especially for fall colors. A bit older (and wiser, I hope), I now find a beauty in the miles of farm fields and the unique barns. We enjoyed camping/hiking at Starved Rock SP (which I’m sure you’re quite familiar with), but disappointed in the amount of trash seen on the trails. Next time through NM, consider camping at Cochita Lake and hiking Kasha-Katuwee Tent Rocks. Also, you’d enjoy Bandelier NM (tent camping perfect as sites are small). Actually New Mexico has so many hidden gems that it’s worth its own trip. And you’d love the Santa Fe farmers market!
Enjoy your road trip!
Thanks for the tips Ingrid! And yes, I know Starved Rock SP very well, although haven’t been in years. I have already made some discoveries about the Midwest that pleasantly surprised me. BTW, this comment ended up in my spam file for some reason. Sorry for the slow response.
Yeah, not sure why some comments end up in spam. I’ve learned to ck my spam folder regularly. Enjoy your fall trip … I’m counting on you for autumn images!
Hope I will find some. Too bad we couldn’t spend more time in Colorado. Looks like MonaLiza got some very special fall colors.
What a wonderful beginning to your road trip! Those friendships where we feel like we can “pick up where we left off” are indeed special. It looks like both Pam and John and Hector and Brenda have chosen beautiful places to call home. I’m looking forward to your thoughts and photos as you travel through the Heartland. We traveled through the Midwest for the first time last spring and found it beautiful and interesting—but we were there during good weather, and that makes a difference! Plus we didn’t grow up there. 🙂
Enjoy your journey, and safe travels!
Thanks Laurel. Your ears should have been burning when we were at Pam’s house as we were talking about what a special couple you and Eric are. I know Pam and John are looking forward to seeing you both again. Hopefully I can find something interesting to blog about in the Midwest.
How wonderful, that you keep in touch with people you have met on your many journeys. It sure helps take some of the stress away from some of the driving, doesn’t it? I look forward to more of your wonderful pictures, and to hear about your visits with friends and families. Be safe, and ENJOY!
Thanks Joan! We have met many wonderful people along life’s journey. 🙂
It is so lovely to meet friends and even if you haven’t seen them for a long time! And combining it with a great trip is perfect!
Yes it is Ute!
Road trips and meeting friends again along the way or making new friends are wonderful! Glad you’re onto another fun adventure, LuAnn. I look forward to your updates and photos as you travel through the Heartland.
Thanks Natalie! It feels good to be out on the road again.
Hurray for a road trip and friends. New Mexico is magical! Have fun.
How wonderful to connect with friends as you explored such beautiful areas. We are just contemplating doing more road trips now that Dave is retired and we have much more flexibility. Really looking forward to it.
We haven’t done this in years and are looking forward to the adventure. Most of the family on both sides lives in the Midwest so we thought it made perfect sense to do some exploring there.
I love road trips! Our family took tons of them when I was young (who needs Disney cruises??) and my husband and I are always happy to get on the road and explore. How nice that you were able to connect with friends! It’s good to have friends sprinkled throughout the country – and the world – so you can visit them and catch-up. And, we love to have our friends take road trips and visit us too!
There is so much beauty when we take the time to look, and road trips are a great way to do that.
I am living vicariously through your summer travel adventure. Thanks for putting me in your pocket. No worries, I am fending off the bunnies and Quail from our new Tacomas. Pictures to follow when they are all planted on 9/29. Meanwhile, STEP CAREFULLY my dear. Anne
Hi Anne! So good to hear from you. Good luck keeping those bunnies and quail away from your Tacomas. So far, I am keeping both feet on the ground. 🙂
Sounds like you had a wonderful time LuAnn. There’s nothing like catching up with old friends!
How true Alison!
First Pam; now you! You make me so jealous because you four got together and Paul and I weren’t there. I told Pam how much I hope one day we meet. I so glad y’all had a super time. Boulder City is awesome for any outdoor activity. We loved the week we spent there about six years ago.
Your friends in Corrales have a lovely home. Not to mention a perfect location.
It was great to see Pam and John again, as well as friends Hector and Brenda. Were your ears burning while we were in Boulder City, because Pam and I were talking about you. I told her the very same thing, that I so wanted to meet you, as I feel I already know you. So, what does your month of October look like, say mid-month? I was going to wait a bit longer to say something but we are going to be in Dayton and Columbus visiting MIL and some friends. I would gladly make the trip to Akron if you were going to be around. Think about it and we can talk. 🙂
It was so nice having you visit so we could have lots of time to catch up with each other:) Hopefully, you will be able to stop on your way back home and we can do some hiking with cooler weather. How nice that you were able to stay longer than planned at Hector and Brenda’s. Such lovely people. Safe travels as you move east:)
We loved having the time to catch up. Will keep you posted on our route back after our visit to the midwest. Would love to do some hiking with you and John on your new turf. Safe travels to you! 🙂
Sounds wonderful LuAnn! where are you from originally? The Midwest?
I am from a small town (pop. 800) in central Illinois. I left right after high school and headed west.
Road trips are a fabulous way to see the country and beyond. Connecting with friends along the way is icing on the cake. I look forward to reading more of your adventures!
We haven’t done a road trip like this for years and are seeing friends we haven’t had to chance to visit in many years.
Thanks! I think this trip will have me looking at the Midwest through a different lens than I did while growing up here.
I fell in love with the blue door, I am absolutely smitten with that photo. Wisdom makes a place new again and also give us chance to write blog posts on the reflections which is always a good thing. It’s always a pleasure to see the United States through your eyes.
Thanks Ste J. I have already found a few places in the Midwest that have changed my mind about our ‘heartland’.
Your road trip has just begun, yet you managed to reconnect with friends who are now setting roots. Meeting these couples are a blessing and seeing them in their brick homes is a different but warm feeling. We hope to meet up with them too before the year ends.
Some of the best folks we have met have been during our time on the road. As to that, I am loving your Colorado posts MonaLiza.
Sounds like a perfect road trip stopping to have time with good friends. Love the labyrinth and setting of Hector and Brenda’s house. Lovely.
It has been great so far. Hector and Brenda’s home is so lovely.
Awesome post! Great RV tips and journey. Here’s a family RV trip we took on the west coast for 3 weeks with the family. Enjoy!
Great video! I always enjoy seeing children being exposed to travel early in life.