Life on the road brings with it many unexpected surprises. We travel with destinations in mind, but what we discover along the way is often more meaningful. When travel reveals something as special as a previously unknown landscape, charmed town, history or cultural nuance that is when the journey becomes the destination. Often what catches us off guard are little things like the quality of sunlight in a specific place, the different colors of rivers, or the cultural juxtaposition of Texas and Wyoming cowboys. The U.S. is a country of regions and sub regions each offering unique experiences. Most of this was unknown to me prior to our travels, minus my impressions through media and brief vacation stays. While well known landmarks like major cities, national parks, and storied locations are impressive and provide a travel guide, it is the discoveries along the way that are the sweet filling that make RV travel so delicious.
Cultural references take on new life and meaning when experienced first hand. When a country song references “a good-bye town,” I know exactly what that is. I’ve been to a Hootenanny, know why it is called bluegrass music, and have tasted Carolina Gold. I can tell the difference between a Kentucky and a Georgia drawl. I have seen places where races and cultures mix well, and others where there is a dividing line through town (and they are not where you’d think). I know why Northern Californians dis-like Southern, and that Oregon and Washington want nothing do with either.