Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road… Jack Kerouac
As mentioned in my previous post, New Year: New Plans & Preparations, we are in the planning stages for our trip to Alaska this summer. Since we have decided to go with a Fantasy Tour caravan, the plotting of our route, the campground choices, and the activities we will do have already been determined for us. While for some that might be a bad thing, for us it is liberating as we just have to show up and go along for the ride, literally!
Of course, we still have to get from Greensboro, NC to Couer D’Alene, ID, the starting point of our tour, AND home again, so that’s where our side of the planning comes into play. Caryn will be celebrating a milestone birthday on our way west, so I wanted to make sure that a) we were not spending that day driving and, b) we would be camped somewhere that would provide a variety of activities worthy of such an occasion. I think I hit a homerun with Santa Fe, NM! A place all of us have always wanted to visit, we will spend 3 full days exploring this exciting part of the American southwest. With the birthday destination in place, the remaining route westbound came together easily (see map below) and I spent the last week securing campgrounds and scoping out “things to do” in the places we will spend more than one night: Bentonville, AR, Santa Fe, NM and Livingston, MT.
Now, I know some of you are looking at these three places and wondering how Bentonville, AR gets a 2 night visit. Well, it is home to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art founded by the Walton Family (think Walmart) in 2005 and opened to the public in 2011. It houses one of the largest permanent collections of American art in the country. While Art rolled his eyes to the heavens about this excursion, Caryn and I are excited to see some of the masterworks of artists spanning the past 5 centuries.
Three days and four nights, is surely not enough to explore the Santa Fe area, but hopefully, we can sample the highlights. Since there is so much to see and do here, I surely would appreciate any suggestions from those of you who have been there as to what you consider “must-sees”. We will have our trusty Kia, so nothing is out of the realm of our adventuring!
Our last 2 night stay is in Livingston, MT – one of our favorite stops from last year’s journey (see post Heading Home, Week One). We will be staying in a campground on the banks of the Yellowstone River with views of the mountains around us, so I think our “thing to do” here will be just sitting in our lawn chairs drinking in the surroundings.
All of this planning has built great anticipation not only for Alaska, but for all the sights along the way. We certainly do live in a beautiful country.
Now to planning our trip home…