Since I finally completed me and Nessa's travelogue to California, it's the perfect time to start planning another trip! In just a short month, AGP and I will be embarking on an ultra cool winter road trip from Vermont to California! We are going to do like snow birds do and head off to watch the cactus bloom while the rest of Vermont waits under a blanket of snow for mud season.
To compile a list of winter road trip ideas, I started with a quick search of roadside attractions on the way to Denver if we drove that interminable Interstate 70 people always complain about. You know, in all my time zooming back and forth across the country, I actually have never been on I-70. Oh, happy day! Right? I'm pretty pumped to drive through Kansas.
I used Roadtrippers.com to search for interesting places to take breaks along the way, so if you want to read more, click on the picture and it will take you back to the site. Don't worry, I'm trying hard to keep in mind that we will be traveling through the dark of winter. *Shivers*
Here are my favorite winter road trip ideas so far, in geographical order:
Cuyahoga National Park - Brandywine Falls: Sagamore Hills Township, Ohio
Geology, National Parks, and waterfalls, all in one. The step-like formation of these falls are made of sandstone, which was used to make many of the canals that crisscross the park. I looked up some pictures of the waterfall in the winter and it seems like it will still be worth a visit even when frozen. Plus, it's only a short walk from the parking lot so it will probably be a good place to stretch our legs. Besides, I long to cross this National Park off my list!
Statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger: Columbus, Ohio
I put this on the list mainly for Nessa, who is an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan! I would definitely consider a pit stop just to snap a picture for her (maybe hang from his guns?), but it would also be a perfect time to take a break from motorway grub and Waffle Houses and grab a substantial bite to eat and of course some of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.
Kaskaskia Dragon: Vandalia, Illinois
If you get a token from the nearby hardware store, then this dragon will breath fire for you. How cool is that?
Giant Concrete Teepee: Lawrence, Kansas
I would consider this a worthy roadside attraction and a great place to (probably) grab some gas, snacks, and coffee, not to mention the photo op. If I am going to budget in time for silly roadside attractions, then this has to make the list, right??
Konza Prairie: Manhattan, Kansas
The Konza Prairie is the nation's largest unplowed tract of tall grass prairie. As an admirer of the prairie and overall eco-nerd, that alone is enough to make it high on my "Must See" list. The majority of the reserve isn't open to the public year round, but there a few loop trails that can hopefully afford a glimpse of the 300 strong bison herd that live there.
Mushroom Rock State Park: Carneiro, Kansas
Yep, another geo-nerd location here. Give me some interesting rock formations and I'm your girl. I envision this stop as a way to take a break from the highway a bit, snap a couple of awesome photos, and stretch our legs for a bit. These toadstools were formed by nonuniform weathering, as the "cap" of the formation is a more durable material than the "stem". This somewhat nearby park also has some interesting rock formations too.
High Plains Museum: Goodland, Kansas
What better way to get a better understanding of prairie life than to visit a museum! This one interests me because it's free and features exhibits on life in the high plains region of the country - which has the lowest population density in the continental United States!
Does anyone have any other winter road trip ideas in the area? My goal is to do a little live blogging and updating while we are away. From instagram-ing cheesy roadside attractions to carefully documenting National Monuments and campgrounds along the way, I hope to take everyone on our adventure cross country!