This is the first of several posts I plan to make from the road as I embark on a journey west, road tripping through the Southwestern US. For more pictures you can follow my instagram feed at kate_lockhart.
Honestly, this road trip is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – it’s one of those things I’ve talked and talked about, but never quite had the time, resources or courage to pull off.
Back in February I made plans to attend a class in Arizona, but never got around to making my travel arrangements. At the time I had been struggling to find my motivation, feeling as if I’d lost my mojo. And then it came to me. What if I drove out to Arizona, taking some time to explore the Southwest? I did a little research, some calculations based on what I believe are reasonable assumptions, and a plan began to take shape.
One of the best memories I have is of a solo road trip I took from Manhattan to Maine one crazy summer weekend. The goal of that trip was to visit my little, homesick brother at summer camp because my Mom couldn’t make it. I was in my early 20s at the time, and living a crazy, wild life in New York city. My mom’s request (an “offer I couldn’t refuse”), came just days before I needed to hit the road and seemed so far fetched it was hard to even imagine. I’m still not quite sure how I pulled it off, but I made it to Matt’s camp on time and spent all day with him, curing his homesickness as best I could. On that drive up to Maine and along that rocky coast, I discovered how much fun I could have by myself, exploring the country and breaking out of my routine. It was an awakening, and one that I sorely needed at the time. I envision this trip as a sort of sequel to that one – a time to be by myself, explore new places, and break from my current routine. Maybe my expectations are too high, but this is my attempt to battle the inertia.
I always kick my road trips off with a breakfast from McDonald’s, which is weird because that’s the ONLY time I eat McDonald’s anymore. They also have decent coffee now, which is another road trip staple for me. Check out this message on the lid (story of my life…).
It was foggy as I left St Paul, which made for a gorgeous drive through southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
As I made my way south the skies began to clear to a gorgeous blue. I kept seeing these gas stations and finally needed to stop at one to fill up.
Knowing that I would drive through Kansas City, I decided to stop for some barbecue on my way through. I did a little research before hand to find a good place and settled on Fiorella’s Jack Stack. I had the “burnt ends” dinner, which is a specialty of theirs. It was phenomenal. Sorry I don’t have a better picture, but just know that under that bread and wax paper was some of the best barbecue I’ve had.
The loose plan is this – I’m pushing hard these first two days to make it to the eastern border of New Mexico. Once in New Mexico I plan to take my time wandering west, slowly making my way to Arizona for the class and then slowly wandering back east. While wandering I plan to take tons of photos, journal about my experiences and maybe, just maybe find my mojo.