Saturday, September 1, 2012

Everyone needs a road trip

We recently rented a van and took a 7 hour road trip up to northern WI.  I say everyone needs to do this because it's kind of a lost art.  I remember family vacations as a kid and my mom packed sandwiches, while my dad made sure we climbed every fire tower along the route.  We'd usually camp along the way and we got lots of exercise as we stopped for every historic marker and climbed whatever peaks or parks were on the way.  As we started to see all the quirky stuff that accompanies drives to destinations that aren't just cities and shopping malls, I realized my own kids haven't grown up with that experience.  We've done a good deal of traveling, but it's most often been by air and totally programmed in advance.
We had air conditioning, DVD player, reclining seats, etc. so it was a comfortable ride, but I asked them to get out and experience a little bit of what I had done.  We saw this huge fiberglass Paul Bunyan, and of course we NEEDED a photo.  I don't know what compels us to do this kind of thing, but we always had photos of us as kids with oversized fiberglass stuff- huge pennies in Salem, IL or a giant cow in dairyland.  It was part of the memories made.



And who wouldn't stop by this little roadside park?  It was free!  And kitschy!  Fred Smith's Concrete Park is near Philips, WI.  There are many statues made of concrete and glass or pottery.  This guy made it his life work to make this stuff and now it's on display to the world.  Roadside America specializes in this type of thing.  You can see more on this one at their link here.  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2251

And then there is the wildlife one sees along the way.  Here's a deer we saw in the north woods.  They are plentiful if you just take the time to look at what you are driving past.  I really enjoyed a few days on the road with my sons and a couple of young guests.  We had conversations we normally wouldn't have had and all survived with a few more memories.  I encourage you to try it!

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