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Posts tagged ROADTRIP
STATE 18: NEW MEXICO

AFTER ARRIVING LATE THE NIGHT BEFORE, WE WOKE UP IN THE MORNING SMELLING SOMETHING. AFTER FALSELY BLAMING EACH OTHER, WE PULLED BACK THE AIRSTREAM CURTAINS AND REVEALED A PEN OF ALPACAS RIGHT BEHIND US, AND IN BETWEEN US AND THEM: A LARGE PILE OF ALPACA POOP.

DESPITE THE POOP, KENDRA WAS IN A WEIRD VERSION OF HER HEAVEN ON EARTH BEING SURROUNDED BY ALPACAS, CATS, AND PONIES — OH, MY.

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STATE 17: TEXAS

AFTER WE WRAPPED OUR “50 STATES” PROJECT IN AUSTIN, WE HAD SOME TIME BEFORE WE NEEDED TO GET TO NEW MEXICO, SO WE DETOURED SOUTHWEST TO ONE OF THE LEAST VISITED NATIONAL PARKS IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.

WE FOUND OUT THAT THE REASON IT’S NOT FREQUENTED AS MUCH IS NOT BECAUSE IT’S NOT BREATHTAKING, , BUT RATHER, IT’S WAYYYY OUT OF THE WAY TO GET TO SINCE IT’S NESTLED ALONG THE RIO GRANDE RIVER WITH MEXICO JUST A SKIP AWAY.

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STATE 16: LOUISIANA

MANY OF THE BUILDINGS WITHIN THE FRENCH QUARTER DATE BACK BEFORE 1803 WHEN THE U.S. MADE THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE. JUST PRIOR TO THAT, NEW ORLEANS WAS UNDER SPANISH RULE, AND WHEN MAJOR FIRES DESTROYED THE FRENCH COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE IN 1788 AND 1794, THE SPANISH INTRODUCED THEIR STYLE IN THE BIG EASY.

BUT NOLA IS KNOWN FOR MUCH MORE THAN ITS ARCHITECTURE, IT’S CONSIDERED THE BIRTHPLACE OF JAZZ, WHICH IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL EVERYWHERE YOU GO, ESPECIALLY ON BOURBON STREET.

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STATE 15: FLORIDA

KEY WEST WAS A BIT TOO FAR FOR A DAY TRIP, SO WE MADE IT HALFWAY DOWN THE KEYS TO ISLAMORADA, HOPING TO KAYAK AT CERTAIN RENTAL PLACE. WHEN THE GPS THOUGHT WE ARRIVED, WE SAW NOTHING.

AFTER WALKING AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES, WE NOTICED A SEVERELY DAMAGED SIGN WITH THE RENTAL COMPANY LOGO ON IT, BUT THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE IN SIGHT. THAT’S WHEN WE WE REALIZED HURRICANE IRMA GOT TO IT A FEW FIVE MONTHS BEFORE WE DID…

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STATE 14: SOUTH CAROLINA

AMONGST THE CHARM AND BEAUTY OF CHARLESTON, WE COULDN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT ITS DARKER PAST. THIS WAS OUR FIRST EXPERIENCE IN THE SOUTH, AND WE COULD FEEL IT.

OUR COUNTRY HAS A VERY SINFUL PAST, AND ALTHOUGH WE’VE PROGRESSED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS SINCE, WE ARE STILL BROKEN AND HURTING AND LOST. OUR DREAM IS THAT THIS LITTLE FIFTY STATES PROJECT COULD BRING AMERICANS TOGETHER SO WE CAN DISMISS OUR DIFFERENCES IN FAVOR OF CONNECTING WITH OUR SIMILARITIES…

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STATE 13: NORTH CAROLINA

WE PULLED INTO OUR RV SITE ON THE SHORES OF HARD ROCK LAKE. IF IT WERE A COUPLE MONTHS EARLIER AND ABOUT 40 DEGREES WARMER, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AN IDEAL LAKESIDE SPOT.

INSTEAD, THE TREES WERE BARRON AND THE AIR WAS AS CRISP AS IT WAS COLD. WHAT WERE WEREN’T READY FOR, NOR IMAGINED WOULD HAPPEN IN NORTH CAROLINA, WAS SOMETHING WE WERE PREVIOUSLY TOO FAMILIAR WITH BACK HOME IN MICHIGAN…

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STATE 12: DELAWARE

DELAWARE WAS THE ONLY STATE WE’VE BEEN UNABLE TO FIND A VETERAN PARTICIPANT. BUT, AS WE’VE CONTINUED TO FIND OUT TIME AFTER TIME, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

OUR DESIGNER DUO’S FATHERS BOTH SERVED IN WWII, BUT NEITHER OF THEM EVER SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH THEIR CHILDREN. AS LETTERPRESS DESIGNERS, THEIR FATHERS’ UNTOLD STORIES BEGAN TO SPARK INSPIRATION AS THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH TYPESET, FORMS, AND COLOR…

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STATE 10: MARYLAND

IN THE MATTER OF A COUPLE OF MONTHS, WE WENT FROM CLUELESS TO ALMOST-EXPERTS WHEN IT CAME TO THE SET-UP AND TEAR DOWN OF OUR AIRSTREAM.

ALTHOUGH WE HAD A GREAT TRAINING SESSION FROM OUR FRIENDS AT WOODLAND TRAVEL CENTER BEFORE WE LEFT IN WHICH WE RECORDED AS MUCH AS WE COULD, YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING UNTIL YOU HAVE TO DO IT ON THE ROAD. AND THANKFULLY, IN TIME, WE’VE FINALLY GOT IT FIGURED IT OUT. WE THINK…

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STATE 09: NEW JERSEY

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO US WAS PRINT CLUB AT THE NEWARK PRINT SHOP. MY FIRST TIME SCREEN-PRINTING, I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST.

IT WAS SO COOL TO EXPERIENCE, LEARN, AND TAKE PART IN THE PROCESS, ESPECIALLY SINCE ALL OF THE [HAS HEART] SHIRTS ARE SCREEN-PRINTED. TYLER DESIGNED ME A LITTLE [HAS HEART] INSPIRED CAT GRAPHIC WHICH WE PRINTED ON…

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STATE 08: NEW YORK

IT’S ACTUALLY MIND-BOGGLING HOW OLD YALE IS — IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1701! AFTER WALKING AROUND CONNECTICUT’S VERSION OF HOGWARTS FOR A WHILE, WE POPPED INTO THE YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY.

MY FAVORITE PART OF THE GALLERY WAS THE STUNNING HALL LINED WITH TALL PANELED WINDOWS LETTING LIGHT POUR ONTO THEIR ANTIQUITIES COLLECTION. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL REMINDER HOW HUMANS HAVE BEEN MAKING IMPECCABLE ART FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS…

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STATE 07: CONNECTICUT

IT’S ACTUALLY MIND-BOGGLING HOW OLD YALE IS — IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1701! AFTER WALKING AROUND CONNECTICUT’S VERSION OF HOGWARTS FOR A WHILE, WE POPPED INTO THE YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY.

MY FAVORITE PART OF THE GALLERY WAS THE STUNNING HALL LINED WITH TALL PANELED WINDOWS LETTING LIGHT POUR ONTO THEIR ANTIQUITIES COLLECTION. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL REMINDER HOW HUMANS HAVE BEEN MAKING IMPECCABLE ART FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS…

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STATE 06: PENNSYLVANIA

I THINK ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE LIBERTY BELL AND INDEPENDENCE SQUARE WAS YES, THE CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR OUR NATION, BUT ALSO THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WAS TAKEN TO POINT OUT THE HYPOCRISY OF OUR NATION’S ORIGINS, THAT IT TRULY WASN’T FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

HISTORY BOOKS MENTION BITS AND PIECES OF IT, BUT IT’S NOT UNTIL YOU’RE IN THESE PLACES WHEN YOU CAN ACTUALLY FEEL AND IMAGINE THE DEEP ROOTS OF PREJUDICE IN OUR COUNTRY, SOMETHING WE’RE STILL DEALING WITH HUNDREDS OF YEARS LATER…

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STATE 05: RHODE ISLAND

YES, OUT-OF-TOWN TOURISTS (INCLUDING US) ARE PARTAKING IN THE SORT OF BIZARRE ACTIVITY OF WALKING BY MANSIONS IN AWE, PEERING THROUGH THE GATES AND WONDERING, “WHAT THE HELL IS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN THERE?"

A FEW OLDER MANSIONS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS MUSEUMS, CHARGING PEOPLE TO FIND OUT WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LIVE AS A RICH PERSON. BEING ON THE TIGHTEST OF BUDGETS IMAGINABLE, WE DIDN’T EXACTLY PAY TO GET IN…

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STATE 04: MASSACHUSETTS

AFTER A COUPLE NIGHTS SPENT IN CABELA’S PARKING LOT IN HUDSON, MA, WE WERE PRETTY EXCITED AND SLIGHTLY ANXIOUS TO GET TO BOSTON, OUR FIRST “MAJOR” CITY STOP ON THE TOUR. AFTER SETTING UP CAMP AN HOUR OUTSIDE THE CITY, WE PARKED ON THE OUTSKIRTS AND WALKED ACROSS THE CHANNEL WHERE THE BOSTON TEA PARTY PROTEST HAPPENED IN 1173, “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!”

THIS IS GOING TO TURN INTO A HISTORY LESSON, ISN’T IT?…

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STATE O3: NEW HAMPSHIRE

AFTER SPENDING A COUPLE NIGHTS IN A HOLDING PATTERN IN PARKING LOTS AT A CABELA’S IN MAINE AND THEN A WALMART IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, WE FINALLY PACKED UP THE CAR WITH DRINKS AND SNACKS FOR THE ROAD.

AN HOUR OR SO LATER, WE FOUND OURSELVES ALREADY IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — A MERE 68 MILES LATER! WE DIDN’T EVEN GET A CHANCE TO EAT OUR FAVORITES: PEANUT BUTTER M&M’S. SAD, I KNOW.

TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THIS WAS WHEN NOEL HAD HER WORST MOMENT ON THE TOUR…

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STATE O1: VERMONT

AFTER A FEW HOURS OF PLAYING “LET’S-GUESS-HOW-FAST-WE-SHOULD-BE-DRIVING” DUE TO US NOT KNOWING HOW TO CHANGE THE TRUCK’S DIGITAL SPEEDOMETER FROM MPH TO KPH, WE ARRIVED AT OUR HALFWAY POINT FOR THE NIGHT ALONGSIDE LAKE ERIE AND JUST OUTSIDE NIAGARA FALLS.

NOW, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS STILL A BIT OF A SORE SUBJECT AS WE HAD JUST EMBARKED ON THE ROAD WITH A BRIGHT NEW AIRSTREAM TRAILER AND SHINY BLACK TRUCK, BUT AFTER A COUPLE MINUTES OF TYLER BACKING THE TRAILER INTO OUR CAMPSITE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER AND ME ATTEMPTING TO GUIDE HIM IN, THE BACK CORNER OF THE TRUCK HIT THE…

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OUR DEPARTURE

AFTER OVER A YEAR OF PLANNING, COUNTLESS EMAILS, PITCHES, GRANT APPLICATIONS, CONFERENCE CALLS, AND MEETINGS, THE DAY TO HOOK UP THE AIRSTREAM AND HIT THE ROAD FINALLY ARRIVED.

LIKE ANYTHING EXTENSIVE YOU PLAN FOR, YOU’RE STILL NOT READY WHEN THE DAY COMES. KNOWING WE HAD SOME BUFFER BUILT IN BEFORE OUR FIRST STATE PROJECT DAYS IN BURLINGTON, VERMONT, WE PUSHED BACK OUT LAUNCH DATE A COUPLE MORE DAYS. IN RETROSPECT, THE DAYS LEADING UP TO OUR DEPARTURE SEEM LIKE A TOTAL BLUR…

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PLANNING FOR FIFTY STATES

PLANNING AND EXECUTING A FIFTY STATE TOUR DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. THIS CONCEPT WAS BREWING FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS AND REQUIRED A HANDFUL OF LIFE CHANGES TO PREPARE FOR THIS DRAMATIC LIFESTYLE CHANGE. AND EVEN THEN, IT CAME TOGETHER LAST MINUTE WITH A FEW MIRACLES AND A HANDFUL OF INCREDIBLE PEOPLE WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE ALONG THE WAY.

KENDRA AND I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ASKED SINCE WE FIRST SHARED OUR IDEA TO TRAVEL THE COUNTRY: “HOW? WHY? WHEN, AND FOR HOW LONG?”…

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