My dad has alway recalled the childhood road trips that he had with his family growing up. His dad drove the ’67 Station Wagon while his mom co-piloted with the Thomas Guide stategically highlighted with the route. His tales were filled with family fights as well as amazing sights.
He traveled to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and even to North Dakota to visit cousins. Then, two summers ago he decided that we needed to have our own family road trip. Thirty years later the road trip has advanced to our 2000 Honda Odyssey with a navigation system, but the family tension was still there.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my two sisters and brother, but being in a car with them for seven days did not look promising. My parents broke out those dusty Thomas Guides and my dad met with his dad to figure the perfect route. My mom got online and lined up all of the hotels and motels we were going to stay at.
We left Sunday morning and began our trek to Zion Canyon. Zion was absolutely beautiful. We walked down in the canyons along the river where you could look up and see canyon walls that seemed to stretch forever.
We stopped to take family photos there. After Zion, was Byce Canyon. We are true Southern Californians and we were definately suprised to find our room filled with gnats when we arrived at the inn.
After a good use of bug spray we went to sleep to get ready for the exciting day ahead of us. My sisters, mom, and I took a nice horse back ride. Afterwards, my younger brother, younger sister and I took a helicopter ride over the exquisite canyons.
That night we went to a true-blue rodeo. The waitress from breakfast was even featured in it. After that we made the long journey to the Grand Canyon.
Let me take this opportunity to clarify, we have been in the car for almost five days now, traveling through Utah, with nothing around but rocks and canyons. Yes, maybe the first couple of days it was pretty, but after seeing it over and over, it all looked the same. You might be able to imagine our frustration as my parents kept pulling over to look at the rocks.
It did not get my hopes up for the supposed climax of the Grand Canyon, but I’m not going to lie, it was truly breath taking. It amazes me still what nature is able to do. The Grand Canyon was a beautiful sight. But it wasn’t the rocks or the helicopter or the river that stood out to me in that trip. It was the only time I can remember that my whole family got a chance to truly spend time with each other free from the distractions of cell phones or computers or television.
It was just us and the road. Since then I have never felt closer to my family. Through the fights and the boredom, it was an unforgetable experience. I didn’t think we would survive, but not only did we survive we came a better and closer family than we had ever been.
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