When we tell most people we are going on a road trip, the most common response is, “Oh cool, to where?”
To which I always stumble on my words to explain that we are not just heading toward a single destination for a singular event, that we will be living on the road for two-months and visiting as many areas as we can. To which most people exclaim:
“Two months!!! Oh wow”
Turns out there may be some differing definitions of the term “road trip” that we need to hash out.
Type 1 – a direct car trip to get to a specific event or location.
Also known as: The plot line for great Hollywood films.
Description: In this definition of “road trip” there is a specific goal to be obtained at the specified location. The trip becomes a “road trip” when based on the destination you probably should have taken a plane flight but either the acknowledgement of your poverty and/or your passion for readily available Doritos locos tacos overrides the convenience of air travel.
girl 1:are you going to Jill’s wedding?
Girl 2: I don’t know, flights to Austin are really expensive..
Girl 1: Well amy and I were thinking about driving out there. You should join us.
Girl 2: you guys are going to drive ten hours to Texas!!
Girl 1: yeah so it’ll be fun…. ROAD TRIP!
Average duration: anywhere from 2 hours to several days, usually not longer than a week.
Comments: these trips can often turn epic with the help of police encounters, the most important item being forgotten at home, Doritos locos tacos, and other plot thickening developments. these trips are often best when accompanied by other caravaning vehicles.
Note: after several years of playing competitive ultimate frisbee where we traveled across the southeast and the country to play in tournaments, the three of us consider driving long hours over a short time period to be standard par for the course. However for the individual who does not venture out very far beyond their bubble, the Hollywood style road trip is highly recommended just remember to pick up hitchhikers, accidentally piss off the mafia, play a prank over the CB radio, have epic sing-a-longs, flash passing vehicles, accidentally leave the dog attached to the back bumper, hide the drugs and everything should go perfectly and you’ll arrive just in time to stop the love of your life from saying “I do” to the person that is totally wrong for them.
Type 2: an extended planned trip with multiple destinations
As known as: the family vacation
Description: this second type of road trip is commonly executed by adventurous yuppy families and inspired recent retirees. In the type 2 road trip much forethought has gone into the planning of the trip. Usually special vehicles are acquired specifically for this trip (i.e. RV or pop up camper) because the trip is long enough that staying in hotels and eating out would cost too much money… or if you are a bad ass then you take a motorcycle. Family style road trips usually include several national park visits and usually occur during summer vacation. This type of road trip may also follow a particular theme like visiting all the major league ball parks, civil war battlegrounds, craziest roller coasters, potential alien landing sites or whatever weird shit you are into.
Average duration: anywhere from two weeks to several months
Comments: The family style road trip can be characterized by large camera bags strapped to belt buckles, stays at the Kampgrounds of America, and Coleman brand camping gear that will likely never be used again.
Type 3: the indefinite trip with spontaneous destinations
Also known as: the plot line for great American novels
Description: the great American road trip is usually undertaken by climbing dirtbags or beatniks. The itinerary of the trip is more free form and travelers tend to go “where the spirit moves them” like if the weather’s good in Indian Creek or Widespread Panic added a new tour date in Colorado. If you took this trip 50 years ago you probably would be hitchhiking, in fact, at some point you will probably do some hitchhiking due to the fact that the great American road trip is often undertaken in some ill-equipped ironic vehicle. Or if you are a bad ass…on a motorcycle. On this style road trip the typical tourist locations are avoided and vehicles are parked for extended periods of time on Blm lands.
Average duration: until the money is gone or the the meaning of life is found
Note: at times it may be difficult to ascertain the difference between the great American road trip and homelessness. How can you tell if that smelly man who is rummaging through the dumpsters is on a great American trek or sleeping at the local shelter tonight? Well if that same man takes out his iPhone and starts Instagramming his successful dive, then you’ll know it’s a choice…
There you have it, the Hollywood, the family style, and the Great American.
So what type of road trip are we embarking on?
I’d like to say our trip will have elements of all three at certain points. We do have a relatively strict itinerary and do plan on visiting the major national parks (Yellowstone, Tetons, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc), so there are some strong elements of family style. We also will be spending some extended time in some off the beaten path places so we can go rock climbing and backcountry hiking which hopefully provide us with a fuller experience of the American west then just the paved overlooks off the highway (great American). And when it comes down to it we are three friends who will be spending copious amounts of time together in a car so we can only hope that some epic Hollywood style moments make a cameo on our adventure.
This clip from Family Guy was the inspiration for our blog name….
It’s that unique time in life when you see a gap between work, life, and school and you decide to plan a trip. In this case 3 of us recognized it, pried open the window of opportunity, and we found ourselves planning a 2 month long trip around the country. We’d like to share our adventure as 3 friends migrate from NC to CO in a roundabout way. Check out our story on our about page and follow along!
Get excited for some entertaining stories as we hop in the Subaru with a bundle of outdoor gear. We’re ready to rock climb, backpack, and simply ‘live a little’ in the outdoors for 8 weeks. As we’ve been saying lately…
Let’s just get in the car and go!
-Janna, Sara, and Tania