Category: Trip Planning

Wrestling the Monster of Pre-Trip Guilt

Wrestling the Monster of Pre-Trip Guilt

Whenever I am getting ready to head off on a solo trip somewhere, inevitably I find myself conflicted by a range of discordant emotions. There is, of course, the giddy excitement and wonder about what I’ll see and do along the way. But, conversely, there are the feelings at play that work to undermine my positivity. The big one? Guilt.

Guilt : noun
2 b: feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach

To put it plainly, guilt is a fucking asshole. And because the feeling is self-induced, ergo I too,… well, you know.

Sometimes the hardest thing about taking a trip is just getting out the front door. The challenge comes from releasing yourself from the must-dos, have-tos and ought-tos. It is in those moments of feeling selishness or self-doubt that I have to remind myself of what it was that pushed me towards making the decision to go in the first place.

Fear, guilt, self-doubt – they’re all just slow and painful ways of poisoning yourself.

Road Trip Planning – Fighting the FOMO and Shrinking My Radius

Road Trip Planning – Fighting the FOMO and Shrinking My Radius

In a few weeks, following the Void Rally, I’ll once again set off on a week-long road trip. Already being away from home makes it easy to continue going further. From Fredericksburg, Virginia – I’ll be heading… south? West? This is my dilemma.

Since I’m closer than I would normally be, I’ve considered visiting the Wright Brothers Memorial on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. But, the facility is undergoing construction until fall of 2018, which could dampen the experience. And just up the road, is the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, which I’ve long wanted to visit. But, I’d really like it if my family were able to be there, too. I think I’ll end up passing on those this time around.

On the western side, I have a few places that I would like to visit, two of them in West Virginia and one in Ohio. And with a stretch, I wouldn’t be sad if I stopped by the SPAM Museum in Minnesota. I still lament missing it when Kenny and I were passing through a few years ago. But, that’s 1200 miles from my house on the slab and nearly the same distance from Fredericksburg. I think that’s something for another time.

My radius is shrinking.

For this rideabout, I’m going to be on the Bonnie. I don’t really want to pound out highway miles to get somewhere as I’ve done in the past. Really what I want is to meander and continue my exploration of small town America. There is a limitless education to be had there.

Ugh. What the hell am I doing? I’m over-thinking this. I should just stick a pin on the map for the three things I know that I want to see and let the ride plan itself. I’ve got to shake this FOMO that gets the better of me and makes me do stupid things. I get so wrapped up in having unfettered time that I try to cram a shit-ton of stuff into it because I get scared that I may never have the chance again.

Weird. I feel like I just cleared that up for myself. I’ve been going around in a circle on what to do with my time. But, now that I’ve typed this out – the dilemma no longer exists. I guess I just needed to clarify my expectations to myself. ::punches self in arm with a smile:: PSIAWAS. (That is a terrible acronym.)

Road Trip Inspiration: Hillbilly Hot Dogs Postcard

Road Trip Inspiration: Hillbilly Hot Dogs Postcard

Recently, I wrote about my friend Chris and how he sends me postcards from the places he visits on his motorcycle. Last week I received a card from Hillybilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, WV.

The card looks like a folksy representation of a roadside shack you might see being reclaimed by the land in the mountains somewhere. But… it’s a restaurant. And, I think I must go.

Google Streetview of Hillbilly Hot Dogs:

My daughter and I looked at their menu on their website when the postcard came. Apparently, they serve up 2 and 3-foot hot dogs as well as something called The Homewrecker.

Jalapeños, sautèed, peppers and onions, nacho cheese, habenero, chili sauce, mustard,slaw, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese, piled high on a 15-inch, 1-pound all beef weenie in a big ‘ol bun! As Sharie says, “It’s 15-inches of pure eatin’ pleasure!!”

I’ll have to take a pass on that, but I’d like to see someone else take one of those down. Hoooo lawdy – the aftermath must be misery. It has probably more than earned its name.

A few years ago, I became aware of HHD when it was a bonus location during the Void Rally. It was a stop I’d chosen but ultimately dropped because my schedule was too tight. In a few weeks, I’ll be hitting the road for a little ramble and I think I’ll have to rectify missing it.

As I think about it, I believe I must’ve passed HHD riding along Route 2 toward Point Pleasant in 2009. We were on our way from Kentucky back to New York. I can’t recall if we passed through Point Pleasant on purpose or if it just happened to be on the way. All I know is I saw the Mothman. And now, I need to see myself a West Virginian hot dog.

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

Motorcycle Travel Ideas: Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses

A few years ago during a pit stop at the DeLorme store in Yarmouth, Maine – I picked up a couple maps and travels books. One of the items I brought home was a map featuring Mid-Atlantic lighthouses. Having travel inspiration on the bookshelf at home is always a good thing.

Scanning around the map, reading the names of the lighthouses makes me want to visit them. How could you resist a place called Point No Point? Between you and me, that seems like the name that should be hanging on my office door. Then there is the gelatinous sounding Solomons Lump. Unfortunately that one isn’t accessible by land, which may be just as well. It sounds like it could be infectious.

I don’t know what initially sparked my affinity for lighthouses but they are one of my “go to” stops when looking for things to visit. Maybe it has something to with their implied independence, perseverance and strength against the elements. No matter how small in stature, the mighty lighthouse keeps shining its light when things get nasty.

So far, I’ve only visited a few of the lighthouses in the Mid-Atlantic region. But maybe that will change. Maybe this year I’ll find myself seeking out a few more.

Sandy Hook
85 Mercer Rd
Highlands, NJ 07732

Navesink Twin Lights
Twin Lights Historic Site
Lighthouse Road
Highlands, NJ 07732

Concord Point
700 Concord St
Havre De Grace, MD 21078


Somebody Isn’t Paying Attention Around Here

Somebody Isn’t Paying Attention Around Here

While scrolling through my blog’s draft folder, I found a not-so-unusual exchange between my husband Kenny, daughter Chloe and myself. It’s just a little glimpse in to what goes on around here when we’ve been cooped up in the house. This draft was from December 2014 when winter was settling in and I was filling up the daydream folder for 2015.

As 2015 has unfolded, I have managed to visit quite a few of the stops on my wishlist with a few more on deck.

Dream it, do it.

[cue harps for dream sequence]

For the past couple of weeks I’ve jotted down ideas while perusing travel books in the hope that I will visit these places in 2015. One of the books I was reading was Roadside Giants by Brian and Sarah Butko.

Me: Oh, look at that. Did you know there’s another giant coffee pot but on a stick in Winston-Salem? That’s right by the Shell gas station there.

Kenny: What Shell station?

::incredulous glare in unison from both myself and my daughter Chloe::

Kenny: What?

Me: Chloe?

Chloe: Yea, the big shell-shaped station.

::I told you so glower::

Kenny: What? how am I supposed to know where every single freakin’ teapot and weirdo gas station is?

Me: I only know of one teapot.

Kenny: You just said another teapot on a stick right now!

Me: No, I didn’t. I said coffee pot.

Kenny: Whatever. Same thing.

::unison Chloe and me:: Noooooo, they aren’t.

Poor Kenny.

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