Goin’ places that I’ve never been. Seein’ things that I may never see again. And I can’t wait to get on the road again. – “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
It goes without saying that the year 2020 damaged many of us. I know it did a number on me. I struggled mentally and ended up self-medicating with Culver’s cheese curds more than I care to admit. I put on an extra 10 pounds of pure fat and started an internal war over my self worth.
One of the culprits for my “pandemic pounds” was the absence of travel last year. I stayed close to home like a good boy, in large part because I wanted to help prevent the further spread of a deadly virus. The furthest I traveled was two hours away to exotic Des Moines, Iowa, an exceptional metropolis, but not exactly one that most people would name as a tourist hot spot.
Traveling is in my blood and I missed it big time. I missed the great American road trip. I missed simple things like stopping at gas stations for lukewarm lunch, spotting different state license plates on the interstate, and asking other vacationing couples to take a photo of my wife and me in front of some truly breathless scenery. When circumstances take away an activity you love, you feel empty inside. And I most definitely felt hollow in 2020. Fortunately, through the tireless efforts of people much smarter than me, vaccines started becoming available in early 2021. All of a sudden, “normal” travel became a possibility again.
My wife and I got vaccinated, then jumped at the opportunity to take an epic road trip, one that would end up encompassing nine days, six states, and 3,211 miles. Come along with me on a five-part photo blog series documenting our wandering out west at the beginning of what we’ve officially dubbed “The Year of New States.” For the most part, I’m keeping the wording to a minimum because the photography (primarily from my talented wife) speaks more powerfully than words ever could. But also stay tuned for random trivial tidbits and anecdotes along with a series finale that will introduce you to some of the people who made this trip a memorable one. Here we go, on the road again.