Bluff View Sign in Autumn

An Impromptu Road Trip to Tennessee

A  week or two ago, Jeremiah and I had a conversation. It went a little like this:

“We could go to Chattanooga the last free weekend before the surgeons turn me into the Terminator,” Jeremiah said.

“Oh, true. We could do that,” I responded.

The end. I know what you’re thinking:  intense conversation. Don’t worry, not all of our discussions are so extreme.

The road trip proposal

So, a week or so later, last Friday, Jeremiah walked into one of the two rooms of our RV where I was sitting on the bed, watching a creepy jumping spider on the window that looked like it had taken body-building steroids; he suggested we go to Chattanooga the next day. Jeremiah. Not the spider. If there were a talking spider in the window that would be a different blog. (One that would end in “And that’s why we burned the RV to the ground.”)

Yeah, I agreed. Let’s drive 11 to 12 hours on Saturday, spend two nights, and drive the entire way back on Monday.

So we did.

Last minute road trips

When we were in a sticks-and-bricks home, we would do these types of trips on occasion – last minute long road trips.

Jeremiah thrives on long road trips.

He’s flown to Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, someplace in Texas, and a couple others all last-minute so that he could drive a unicorn of a car back across county to Oregon. And he drives and drives and drives. This weekend was the first time that we switched every time we got gas though, so I was driving about the same amount as he did, and it was fun! I got the appeal of an impromptu road trip.

I felt free.

We listened to two books on audible (The first two Wavering Pines in the Blake Crouch trilogy – a series I suggested and we both ended up liking…even though I picked it apart as I do every book.) We packed our lunches so we wouldn’t eat out as much. We took breaks to run the dog around every 200 miles or so. It felt like a real road trip. And I wondered why I hadn’t done more of them. (Traveling in an RV is a road trip. Yes. However, a car road trip is entirely different.)

A year ago: picking up the RV

The week before we bought our RV, Jeremiah was in Boston for work and I was in Portland. We flew down separately to Phoenix over Labor Day weekend, bought the RV, and drove from Arizona, to California, up through Nevada, through Eastern Oregon, and to Portland – all over the course of about 2 days of driving. It was long. It was worth it.

Planning is overrated

Sometimes I forget that we can just do that. That not everything has to be planned. Sure, there are logical reasons to not do things spontaneously, but there’s more reasons to do them.

(I get it. You have kids. A Cat. A potluck on Sunday. Bring the kids, find a sitter on, and skip the potluck. Nobody wants your casserole.)

The time we spent in Tennessee meant we got to see fall foliage while standing over a bluff. We hiked down from the bluff into a dry creek bed that was so steep we had to partially line rappel. We watched a group of six Amish horse-and-buggies cross a county highway. We ate fried chicken and Mississippi tamales.  We’re tired this morning – but it was worth it.

Why’d we go? Because we wanted to

So, why did we go to Tennessee last minute? Because we like it. We enjoy Chattanooga, and needed a change of pace.  I’m not advocating that you need to drive 12-hours each way for a long weekend, and I don’t think we’d do this again in the next couple of months, but it was a good reminder that we can do this type of thing.

The world is huge and we have seen so little of it.

A welcome distraction

A year ago this past weekend we lost our best friend, Gordon. Not a day goes by we don’t miss him, and the reality of grief is very real. I’ve been dreading this day for months. I kept thinking If I could just find a time machine, I’d only had to go back less than a year. And stupid as it sounds, I knew once a full year passed, I’d have to say, If I could just find a time machine, I’ll only have to go back two years. It sounds strange, but it’s how I got through the year without him. I’ll probably do it all throughout this year as well. And the next. Maybe one year I won’t.

I’m glad we were able to spend time doing something we loved with Bernadette this year. She had a great time, is thoroughly exhausted and sore, can’t wait to sleep on another motel bed and is an absolute snoring zombie today. I’m glad we didn’t sit around moping. Sometimes, you just really need is a road trip.

What about you?

When was the last impromptu road trip you took? Where’d you go? Was it worth it?

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