There’s a lot to be said about planning out a multi-month pilgrimage across the US. Where we want to stop, what our budget will look like in each state, how long we plan on spending at each stop, etc. When we first set out we had a rough idea of all those things, but nothing set in stone… aaaand we ended up flying through our short itinerary and covering a massive amount of ground in a very short amount of time considering that we intended our trip to last around 9 months.
The days became a chore, the miles blended together, tensions in the van rose with day after day of non-stop driving and saying ‘no’ to every ‘do we want to stop here and get out for a bit?’ because we wanted to put some more miles in before we were done for the day. Then, the universe seemed to come together to say, “Slow the hell down!”…
…and we blew a radiator hose. On the freeway. At 80MPH. Thankfully we immediately noticed that the van was beginning to overheat and we limped it to the nearest town, not even remotely close to our destination for the day. In doing so, we discovered the little town of Williams, Arizona.
With the van in the mechanic’s shop and nothing to do, we got ourselves a motel room and went out to explore the cute little Route 66 town we had found ourselves in. For the first time in weeks, it felt like we were finally letting ourselves stop and breathe. We checked out a few shops, went to the best Italian Bistro I’ve been to thus far (seriously, go check out their pizzas and pastas and prepare yourself for a carbohydrate coma), and took a few days to soak it all in and do what we had set out to do in the beginning of this trip: stop and see new places and try new things.
It can be tempting on a road trip to just drive, drive, drive. There’s so much to see, so much to do, so many miles to put behind you. I strongly encourage you to find a few Williams on your journey (minus the mechanic shop bills) to stop and smell the roses. It’s the little treasure trove towns and natural attractions that will satisfy that neverending wanderlust more than that wide open road will. Remember, traveling is only part of the pilgrimage, the other half is what you experience on the way.
As always, be safe and happy trails from the Van Witch!