Take a Trip
Community High School teachers share past road trips.
Anne Thomas cherishes her road trips, but not only for the destination. What Thomas loves most about road trips are the memories that are made on the way. On her journeys, she loves to stop at as many places as possible. Some of her favorite detours have taken her to The Corn Palace, a larger than life statue of Babe, the Blue Ox, and The Jolly Green Giant statue.
“Basically, stop and smell the roses or stop and see the corn palace,” Thomas said. “The corn palace is really a palace made out of corn. I mean, how cool is that?”
Thomas also enjoys the bonding that can only come from the closeness in road trips.
“You are stuck in the car with each other for that time, and you just have to talk, or you have to play games, or be together; it’s just really quality time to me, and I treasure that,” she said. “And I treasure it with my family.”
Despite the liberation that comes with the open road, she admits that preparing for a road trip can be stressful. To solve this, she and her husband have created a master packing list which has been perfected over the years.
Recently, she embarked on a 10 hour road trip to New York, and made sure to stop along the way.
“We don’t mind driving, and we like seeing the country,” Thomas said. “I love seeing the world that way, and I think it’s a lost art a little bit.”
For 200 dollars a month, Tracy Anderson, 23 and her friend Brian Rosewarne explored Europe in a Volkswagen Camper and tandem bicycle. They traveled through Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, and Portugal. Anderson described how safe she felt in the Volkswagen Camper. The two travelers felt they had everything needed to conquer their dream road trip.
Despite their financial situation, Anderson and Rosewarne utilized every penny. From eating spaghetti in a bag, to being offered free baguettes by locals, Anderson believes this added to their experience.
While venturing through Portugal, they came across foreign mannequin dolls scattered along the road. Anderson explained they soon began to collect these dolls and carry them on their bikes.
“It was just amazing, because when you drive-by in a car, you have no idea what’s on the ground,” Anderson said. “We were just like, ‘What’s up with Portugal and these dolls legs?’”
For Anderson, travelling without a comfortable amount of money allowed her to savor the experiences.
“You don’t have to have a ton of money to make something great happen,” Anderson said. “[That’s] when I’ve loved it the most.”
When Steve Coron was 20 years old, he set out on a road trip from Michigan to California with his family. This was around the time when the public was able to communicate with truckers through a CB radio (Citizens Bands Radio). Steve described naming their Ford Thunderbird, as ‘Thunder Chicken’.
“It was the first time I’ve ever been on this ‘highway to America,’” Coron said.
For Coron, it is important to document his trips. On this trip, he reminisces through the photos he took with his film camera.
“I still have this photo book I made” Coron said. He frequently travels with his wife who is also an artist. Besides these road trips, Coron does not travel internationally often.
Coron explains that he regrets not traveling until he was 50 years old. He emphasizes the importance of traveling.
“It really builds your character,” Coron said. “It’s good for your soul. Take the road trips, but be careful and be smart. Take the road less traveled.”
Accompanied by his mother, aunt, and two cousins, Robert Morgan has been going on roadtrips from a young age. As Morgan’s family prepares for their roadtrip to Florida, a mattress was placed in the backseat of his Aunt Kathy’s van, replacing the back two rows for him and his two cousins. Morgan’s first road trip was the most memorable.
“It shouldn’t have been a problem at this point, but I was two and not potty trained“ Morgan said. “This is where Robertville started”
Although he was covered in urine, he was too young to care. While two year old Morgan was still enjoying himself, his cousins spent the last 19 hours of the 22 hour car ride shoved in the corner of the mattress in order to stay away from the growing line of urine.
“I loved my life,” Morgan said. “I just danced, and sang my Robert songs the whole way down.”
“It’s an American thing. You know, the open road. It’s fabulous.”
While in high school, Robbie Stapleton traveled to Florida on one of her first road trips and hasn’t stopped traveling since. On this trip, she and 13 friends traveled to the Sunshine State in a train of five cars. Despite the numerous risks and potential hazards that can be expected on a trip of this size, Stapleton made it back without experiencing any mishaps along the way.
“Considering what could have gone wrong, I would say it was pretty amazing, actually,” Stapleton said. “We had a great time, it was very memorable.”
Since this trip, Stapleton’s love of adventure has taken her across the country. Her favorite park that she has visited is the Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Stapleton explained that no one goes to the national park because no one knows about it. Despite this, Stapleton’s love of national parks has inspired her ambitions to see all that this country has to offer.
“My husband and I are planning on biking in all the national parks before we die,” Stapleton said. “We’ve done 29.”
Stapleton’s advice for young people about road trips is simple: “Definitely, you should go [on road trips].”