I did it! In January of this year I, as Gadora Wilder, set out to create a little adventure for myself. In between jobs, and wanting to discover a different way of utilizing my skill set upon my return, I set forth on a month-long adventure to see some of the US. Specifically I aimed to get on the road, drive through mountains with wind whipping my freshly shorn hair, talk to interesting people, see new towns, dip my feet into unknown waters, and return a little better for it.
One of my goals was to be wildly open to happy accidents, not on the road of course, but while on it. Discover vibrant small towns simply by asking people in the previous one. Learn about these communities by the stuff they discarded in architectural salvage yards, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and such.
I would marvel at every outstanding specimen of a tree I passed often turning the car around to get a closer look. Along the Appalachian, Great Smoky Mountains and a few spots along the way I found them. And waterfalls, and secret caves, and babbling brooks, and sulfur pools, and places we often take for granted. Often I was alone.
In the end, I had my adventure. It has moved me. And it was grande. My 12 year old Mazda 6 Wagon performed like a champ. *A special thank you to Mike at Austin Automotive Specialists for ensuring I was set for success. She (The Paiger) carried me to places where I’d leave her safety to sit and stare at the sheer beauty of it all.
Road trip by the numbers:
4,983 miles covered
$491 spent in gas
33+ random new towns ventured into
29 days on the road
11 State lines crossed
10 steel arch bridges traversed
3 trees hugged
2 covered bridges marveled at
1 terrifying white-knuckle rain/hailstorm
0 speeding tickets or arrests…