Last week was a whirlwind of travel! My brother and I took a week off for a road trip down to North Carolina to see a good friend of ours. Ever since my trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, I had caught the dreaded travel bug.. Since then, I had started planning my next trip. Only this time, it was a little longer than my day trip and I wouldn’t be driving it alone.
After months of planning, I had packed up my truck, kissed my cats goodbye, picked up my brother from his house, and we had taken off in the early morning hours towards North Carolina.. We had a long 18-hour drive ahead of us, as we didn’t want to take the highway and instead opted for the scenic route.
The first day was an easy enough drive. We had to drive through all of Indiana and Kentucky. Most of what we got to see out the windows were farmland and fields of grass and corn. When we needed to stop, we had stopped at any of the numerous Dollar Generals along the way to stretch our legs and use the bathroom. It was a travel tip given to me by one of my customers when I had worked there. Every DG was required to have a public restroom, and they were EVERYWHERE! My brother and I had made it a game on the way back to count them all. We had counted 30 on the first day, and 26 on the second day, and it was also a fun game to pass the time!
When we had reached the top of Kentucky, it was around lunchtime. My brother and I had decided to stop for a picnic and have lunch. My brother had insisted that it wasn’t a real road trip unless we stopped at a park for lunch, so we had to go out of our way to find a park and sit down to eat sandwiches and beef jerky. (Because if you’re going to pack for a road trip, you need lots of sandwiches and junk food of course!) The only downside about that park? It was freezing and windy outside! My brother had no problem with the cold, but I was wishing that some of that sun in the background of these pictures was shining on us under that pavilion.
After driving about twelve hours, we stopped at the bottom of Kentucky for the night before crossing the dreaded mountains the next day. We had stopped at a Super 8 Motel that was actually very clean and nice and cheap. The staff was super nice, and they had asked me if I had wanted a room on the bottom floor so that I could drive up to the door to unpack our stuff. After about twelve hours of driving, this was the perfect end to our first day and the hotel beds were like heaven after being stuck in my truck for so long!
The next day, we had gotten up before the sun once again, packed the truck, and went on our way! We knew that we had mountains to cross that second day, and although I wasn’t too thrilled about the mountains, they were truly stunning to look at! Of course, when we got deep into the Appellation Mountains, I had started to feel car sick from all of the twists and turns. It truly felt like we were going up a mountain from one of Dr. Seuss’s books! It took quite a few hours to get through the mountains, but once we were it was much easier to get through all of North Caralina and to the very edge of the state where our friend lived.
Upon driving, we had also gone over plenty of bridges, and even through one tunnel! Both were an interesting experiences, as I had never driven over any bridges, nor have my brother orI driven through any tunnels before. So to experience both in one trip was certainly a cool experience.
Once we were through the mountains, it was more of the highway driving through towns both big and small. After a while, all of the towns started to look the same, but we humored ourselves by laughing at some of the names. Up in the mountains, most of the towns had names with ‘rock’ ‘stone’ and ‘granite’ within the town names. We had also driven through a town on the way back that was obsessed with lions! Practically every house and restaurant had a stone lion in front of it! We had stopped at Wendy’s for lunch in that town, and there was a stone lion there that was pained with red hair and a blue outfit to match the Wendy’s mascot.
On the way back, we had stopped at this cute little park to take pictures and walk around, and those were the last pictures on my camera of the trip… Going back through the mountains was rough on me, and my brother and I were sick of the mountains by the time we got back into the smooth flatlands of Indiana, so there were no pictures taken on the way back.
I am purposefully not putting anything in this post about the time spent in North Carolina because I value my friends privacy and they do not wish to be added to this blog. However, I will say that my brother and I had an amazing time down in NC and there was plenty of laughter and memories that were made.
All in all, the trip was really fun, and it was amazing to see our friend again after so many years. ❤ It was also a very special experience to share this trip with my brother and to know that we will always have the memories of driving almost a thousand miles to go see our friend together!