Epic Road Trip 2014 – An Introduction

2014 road trip logo

Yes, we’ve been home for nine days now, and in typical Lisa fashion, a few of my bags and parcels from my “Epic Road Trip” with my nineteen-year-old son Adam are still unpacked. And so, as it turns out, are many of the lessons, memories and adventures that took place along our 7500+ mile journey.

To bring you up to speed in case you somehow dodged my numerous instagram sharings, Adam and I set off on July 7th on the adventure of a lifetime. We had a few specific destinations: the Catskills (for Irish Arts Week), Manhattan (to visit my son Eric, who is now a resident of NYC), Schaumburg (to attend the Catholic Marketing Network event), and Michigan City (to relax by Lake Michigan with my family).

We had a specific start date — July 7th, 2014 — and a fully fueled 2013 MINI Cooper, a load of musical instruments, and my “mobile office” (a Macbook Pro, an iPad Mini and my Galaxy Note 3). We packed a Garmin GPS (who was soon nicknamed “Garmina”), hard copy maps and an atlas from AAA. We stocked a cooler with Diet Pepsi (our beverage of choice) and a few road trip snacks. Hendeys pack at the last minute, so we were up late the night before our scheduled 6 am departure throwing clothes into rolling duffle bags and trying to keep our load as light as possible.

The night before we left home, I slept fitfully as I often do before I travel. In this case it was both the anticipation and the leaving of my husband that had me awake. Greg is honestly the best — he gave us the green light to take off on our adventure, stayed behind to pay for it, and promised to fly to NYC and meet us at the midway point. But still, five weeks is a long time to be away from home. I prayed that night before we left for safety along our journey and for my husband too. Some have asked me how I could be gone from home for so long — I will share that I couldn’t do it without a partner who is so wildly supportive.

In the next few weeks, I’m going to try a “day to day” approach to sharing some of our adventures. Many of our days were blogworthy. We visited some fantastic sights and stayed in well appointed hotels. I wish I’d kept a better journal on the road – some things have already been forgotten but taking the time to relive our thirty seven day journey here will give me a chance once again to offer prayers of thanksgiving for all that we learned and experienced along the road.

A trip like this one is truly a blessing. There is something intimate (even if you are not driving a MINI Cooper!) about packing into a car and seeing God’s beautiful creation from the road. Our trip harkens back to adventures I took as I child in my parent’s motorhome. My family’s 1970’s eight-track tapes were swapped for Audible and Netflix and we traded “Tab” for Lifewater and Diet Pepsi. But there were so many similarities: impromptu opportunity for prayer, endless conversations, “new church” wishes, and so many remarkable vistas to explore and experience.

You’ll note, if you’re paying attention to stuff like this, that I’ve categorized this series in my “Pilgrimage” section of the blog. Merriam-Webster defines “pilgrim” as “someone who travels to a holy place”. Along the road, we discovered so many “holy places”, made so by the ability to stand and marvel at the glory of God’s infinite creativity. Some were churches, but many were simply spots in nature or in cities that were new to us.

I’ll close today with a video of a song that played in my mind over and over during our trip. Our days were filled with many Irish tunes (often played in the passenger seat by Adam), so this song feels fitting for the outset of an blogging adventure intended to capture some element of the fun and adventure we experienced along the road. If you leave out the bit about “fascists”, the chorus of this song played time and again in my mind along long stretches of highway:

Never tire of the Road!
Never tire of the rolling wheels,
Never tire of the ways of the world, way out yonder is calling me.
And the dark road leads me onward, and the highway is my code,
And that lonesome voice that I heard in my head said,
“Never tire of the road”.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading some of these memories. They’re primarily being shared to capture the moments for the two road trippers who made them, but your comments and questions along the way are welcomed.

Next up: Day One of our adventure. Stay tuned for an ongoing series on our Epic Road Trip of 2014

About Lisa M. Hendey

As a Catholic who loves her faith and a frequent adventurer who’s always up for a new journey, Lisa is a wife and mom, a writer, a speaker and an impassioned traveler. Visit her at LisaHendey.com to keep up with her comings and goings.