This past week has had it’s ups and downs. It has been a week of questioning, frustration, and reevaluation.
Due to this, posting of new attractions has slowed down. I apologize for that. I am still actively working on the website every day, even if you don’t see a bunch of new attractions posted.
To better explain why this week has been such a curve ball for me with the website, I guess a little background to some things may be helpful.
“2017 Cross Country Travel Project”
2017, was intended to be the year for me to work on a big project that would have drastically increased the number of postings of attractions. For visitors to the website, this would mean a much larger database of places to see and things to do across the United States. This improvement and “beefing up” of information was to include more photos and more detailed visit information to assist in planning vacations and road trips.
To work on the proposed 2017 project, for me, it would involve a lot of work, including extended travel time on the road and unforeseeable late night and early morning hours of research and writing. I do not have a financial backer or cushy bank account to fund this, so I knew in areas across the U.S. where I don’t have kind hearted friends who would let me sleep on a couch for the night, this could mean cheap camping or sleeping in my vehicle often, being creative with meals, and really hoping that gas prices don’t go sky high.
I have roughed it out on the road before to save money. There have been some challenges, but as long as I could find a safe place to sleep, manage to have a little something to eat, and ideally get my hands on a good cup of coffee as often as possible, it has all worked out. The difference with this project and past strapped for cash road trips, is this was going to involve a lot more time on the road in one extended across the U.S. trip, trying to squeeze in as many areas and places that need more attention so people don’t miss out on fun or interesting road trip attractions. So, I was looking at trying to figure out being able to be on the road longer without the luxury of the money to make to make this easy. I was up to the challenge. It seemed like a possibly fun adventure and was putting me in contact with so many new, interesting, people across the country.
I was starting to build up a list of places and people to contact to let them know that Road Trip Attractions was looking at being in their area this summer. I figured that it would be useful to get a head start finding places that were really interested in being added to the website or if they are already listed, if they were interested in having more detailed information and photos added to help you with your travel plans. The next month or so, was also to involve getting a hold of various state and local tourism contacts to see if there were more interesting attractions I wasn’t aware of so I could try to visit and tell all of you about them.
I have been scrambling trying to find any odd and end ways to make a few extra dollars to cover gas, trying to see how many places I was going to be covered with some place to spend a night or two, and searching for free or almost free places to camp.
As long as I had safe places to spend the nights, gas money, some food to eat, and a reliable vehicle to travel in, it looked like everything was falling into place.
Then, the tests and challenges began…
We had two vehicles. One is ready for the junkyard, but so far at least makes it back and forth to the local grocery store. We were looking for a way to replace it with another vehicle that would either be dependable enough to get my husband to and from work and I would travel in our other vehicle or replace the junkyard destined van with a road worthy vehicle and leave the other one with my husband while I was on the road.
One day my husband comes home and informs me that he barely made it home because the transmission is gone in the Blazer. This is not the junkyard bound van; this is the vehicle that we thought was still dependable and road worthy. At that point, we are being faced with the reality of not even having a vehicle to get my husband to work!
After a lot scrimping and scrambling, we managed to find another Blazer that seemed like the solution to a roadworthy vehicle. My husband figured on driving it to work temporarily while we tried to find a cheap vehicle to get him to work; didn’t care how it looked as long as it ran decent; so cheap, old “beater” car or truck. This really was making the road trip project more of a challenge but we still had hope it could all come together.
Then, last weekend, we decided on a whim, to take a day road trip to visit a couple of neat places. This trip would be approximately a four hours drive each way. Being as I have been itching to get out and do something fun, this sounded good. I also thought this would be a good test to see how this “new to us” vehicle would feel on a road trip, driving and comfort wise.
Depending on how you look at things, the decision to attempt a road trip that day could be seen as good or bad.
We made it into the next state over, a little over an hour away, when the vehicle just broke down. During the time my husband had been driving it to work, he hadn’t had a problem. That day without warning, we ended up on the side of the highway, abandoning the plans for the day, wondering if we would even be able to make it back home. After a long stretch of time, filled with many attempts of driving it home, which included the cost of a stop in for a failed attempt at having a mechanic fix the problem, thankfully one of my daughters was able to tow it back home with her truck.
My husband was finally able to find a bad part, replaced it and so far it has been drive-able for him getting to and from work. From various things I saw that day, I now do not feel this vehicle is across the country roadworthy. So, now we are faced with not being sure how to afford getting a dependable, safe enough vehicle for me to be out on the road driving. A cheap, old “beater” car or truck really isn’t something I can risk going far away from home driving.
I can see the good side of this as being it was good that I found out this vehicle will not be safe for me to take a road trip in now, instead of after all plans and arrangements for the summer were set into place and I was possibly even farther from home.
This past week, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out if we can get a safe, decent second vehicle any time soon and brainstorming new ideas for the website in case the project for this summer cannot be done. To be honest, so far, I do not have any answers or solutions.
While posting new attractions has been slow this past week, I want to let everyone know I am still here working on the website. I still have countless attractions that I know about to list, so keep checking back often. I will continue to build the database of road trip attractions to help all of you plan your road trips. Hopefully, some miraculous solution can be figured out so I can get on the road this summer to work on this project. Then I can give you even more ideas and information on places to go and things to do across the United States.
Hopefully, I will be able to post an update relating to the project for 2017 soon. Good or bad or going in what direction with it all remains to be seen.
After all of this chaos, I am very ready for a road trip 🙂