Road trip!

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this before, but I really love to travel. More than anything, I love road trips.

Over the past few years, I’ve put several thousand miles on my car driving to far-off places. I like being alone, and when I take trips this way I can control when/where I stop without listening to someone talk about making good time or deny my need for coffee. I avoid main highways in favor of country roads because I feel like I see cooler stuff when I take the road less traveled. Literally less traveled, since there’s no traffic and usually I’m in the middle of nowhere.

Anyway, Dan has been living and working in Michigan for the past few weeks, and on Tuesday I drove out to visit. The shortest route from Western NY to Northern Michigan involves cutting through Canada, which I can’t do. I don’t have a passport or the correct license, but since I’ve never been to or driven through this part of the country, adding a couple hours to my trip wasn’t a big deal.

I don’t normally take many photos while I’m driving, but I wanted to document a little of what I was seeing. Before I was too far from home I drove through Amish rush hour. I know how that sounds, but I was in rural NY at about 7 am, and at various points on a winding country road I encountered a dozen different buggys. The drivers were all men, and in my head, they were all going to an office to write the Amish version of TPS reports. I didn’t want to make a spectacle of them or possibly spook the horses so I didn’t stop for photos, but it did entertain me for awhile.

My first stop was just over the Pennsylvania border; I have a thing about stopping at welcome centers in every state possible when I take one of these trips. At this point, it’s kind of a good luck ritual.

Not a church despite its outward appearance. Definitely the prettiest rest stop I saw on this trip.

My route took me right through Erie. A friend of mine lives there and my all-time favorite teacher is buried there so I might stop to see both of them on my way home. I picked up I90 just outside of Erie, so the scenery stopped being pretty and traffic increased greatly. That means no pictures.

Until Cleveland.

(I did stop at the Ohio welcome center, but it was a bit dingy and run down and not worthy of photos. It seriously looked like it hadn’t been updated since the 70s.)

I have cousins in Cleveland who’ve wanted me to visit since they moved there a whole bunch of years ago, and I definitely need to do that when the weather gets warmer.

I never realized how flat Ohio is. Or is NY just especially hilly? I’m not sure.

My favorite state, by far, was Michigan. It’s possible that I was just excited to be in the same state as Dan for the first time in close to a month.

A note about the weather: I did the best I could to plan this trip when it wasn’t supposed to snow. I did hit a tiny bit of snow around Toledo, but it was over quickly and the sky went back to sunny and cloudless. It stayed that way through Ann Arbor, Flint, and Saginaw, but as I got closer to my destination the sky turned gray and the temperature dropped dramatically. I guess that’s a thing in Northern Michigan, but it sure is pretty.

I arrived here in a little under 11 hours. I definitely could have cut the time down had I not stopped every two hours, but it was a really nice drive. I may or may not have burst into tears when Dan opened the door. I’ll spare you the details of our epic night of pizza and snuggling and Star Trek.

One more quick note: the view from Dan’s little cottage is really, really pretty. Even when it’s gross outside.

I’ll be here for the next few weeks, so if my posts are a bit erratic, that’s why.

How do you feel about road trips? Do you have recommendations for where my next trip should be?

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