The new sport of road tripping: “Not all who wander are lost…”
I once had a friend tell me I was taking “quite the drive” when they heard I was traveling seven hours from DC to climb at the Gunks in NY for the weekend.
I nodded my head and smiled, agreeing that it would be a long drive, but inside I heard myself say “Seven hours? That’s nothing…”
If you climb or hike or participate in any outdoor sport, you probably find yourself partaking in the multi-hour-long weekend migration. We pack our cars and
drive from where we live and work to the place we play. Only a lucky few can say those locations are close together. The rest of us get to drive.
For most of us, 4-7 hours is the norm, but there is a small number of adventurers out there that are pushing the limits, turning the journey into a sport,
and redefining what it means to take a drive. We call it: Ultra Road Tripping.
At the moment I write this, I’m on hour 18 of a 45 hour road trip that will end in my new home state: Colorado. Rather than take the direct route from DC to Denver, I’ve opted to travel through Nashville, Des Moines and the Badlands, taking in as many different landscapes as I can. Last month, I drove from Seattle, WA to Tahoe, CA and back again via
Fresno, Napa, and the entire Oregon coast: a 50 hour marathon Road Ride. Long? Yes. Crazy? Maybe. But no more than the other extreme sports out there – Bungee jumping,
sky diving, unicycling… all were thought to be too insane to catch on, but have grown into popular sports.
So why do we Ultra Road Trip? Here are 7 reasons:
- It’s exploring for the ADD traveler. Visit three states in one day, or drive through three different climates. It’s never boring because the road constantly changes.
- Travel under your control. You can go where you like, stop where you like. Anything is possible with a map and a tent.
- The view. Find the roads less traveled and see what the rest of the fast-moving traffic and air travelers don’t.
- State of mind. Long road trips are a great place to lose yourself in thought, or to practice being in the moment.
They are also a great time to build relationships with your travel companions (or learn exactly how they drive you nuts! Choose your partner wisely…)
- Easy planning. Planning an Ultra Road Trip can be a simple or complicated as you like. Pick a destination and see what’s on, or slightly out of,
the way. What’s another 5 hours when it takes you to the best BBQ in the midwest?
- People. As you plan your trip, “on the way” can include friends and family you haven’t seen in ages.
A 4 hour detour never stops an Ultra Road Rider from going to visit someone.
- Environmental averages. Covering lots of ground is a great way to get a feel for a region. For example, drive the Oregon coast and you’ll see a million
drive through espresso shacks, see the boxy architecture, and appreciate the rocky and varied beaches. In a brief time you’ll know an area, something you
can’t do sitting still. This exciting new sport is on the rise among weekend and summer adventurers, young and old alike. And why it may seem daunting, t
he rewards of long-term roadway travel are worth it.