Fall to the Rising Sun Trip • Last Day • Tuesday, October 12, 2016
How do you bring the longest road trip you’ve ever taken to a close? When do you decide it’s time to stop traveling and camping and exploring, and return to your normal life? Of course, our trip had a definite end date, when Curtis had to report back to work. We knew “real life” would kick in on Friday, so how much longer should we spend avoiding it?
These are the questions we were asking ourselves over the last few days of our trip, but when we woke up on Tuesday morning, the answer seemed very clear: it was time to go home. Here’s what led to this decision:
1 | When we turned on the car at around 8:30, it was 27º, meaning we slept in temps even lower than that. We could see our breath inside the tent and car. There was frost everywhere, and getting out of our sleeping bags was getting harder and harder. The forecast for the rest of the week in NH/VT looked about the same: cold, and chances of precipitation. We were freezing, and while it had been fun trying to make the most of it, the “fun” in having numb fingers and toes was wearing off.
2 | We opened the trunk of the car and found torn up paper towels, which meant one thing to us…we had an unwelcome guest traveling with us. EW! It was sure fun making all our meals over our camp stove and being all self-reliant over the past couple weeks, but we were more than ready to thoroughly clean out our car. (This is the #1 reason that keeps us from wanting to live on the road full time as many do…sure it’d be an awesome experience, and we loved doing it for 3 weeks, but we just have this stress that comes when we’re driving around in a vehicle that’s packed with everything we need. It feels so cluttered and gets disorganized so fast!)
3 | While there are some beautiful places in VT and NH that we could have probably spent a few more days exploring, it would really be overkill after the day before in the White Mountains. That day was the highlight of the trip, we knew nothing could top that, so we thought it best to end this vacation on a very high note.
4 | We realized that we were just over 4 hours away from home. Why worry about tearing down/setting up camp again in the cold when we could do a little more adventuring on the way back and still end up in our own bed?? And now that we know that one of our favorite places in the world, the White Mountains of NH, is only 4 hours from home, we know we could easily make a weekend getaway out of that anytime we want. (Ok, but maybe not until it warms up, it’s only gotten colder since October. 😛 )
With that, we packed up the tent for the last time (I should say Curtis did…Charlotte and I cuddled in the car and tried to warm up) and said “‘Til next time!” to the Whites. We began our drive back, via back highways, enjoying the fall colors as we went. The funny thing was, when we returned home to Saratoga, the peak of fall colors hadn’t hit yet, so we still got to enjoy the leaves for another couple weeks!
We made a few stops in the Green Mountains looking at waterfalls or searching for letterboxes, and ended the trip with walking on the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail near Ripton, VT. This felt like an appropriate way to end the trip: by reading the words of Robert Frost as he expressed how we were feeling.
That night, we made it home in time for dinner. We made some pizza, cleaned out the car, and breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed super surreal that we were actually able to take this dream vacation, see so many incredible sites, and were now safely at home, all of it just a memory. A sweet memory that will hopefully carry us through this phase of life that has very little free time or chance to escape.
Of course, since I’ve still been writing about it for the past 2 months, I feel like the memories have all remained alive and real in my mind. I’m a little sad now that I have to stop writing about it…like now the vacation is REALLY over. (I guess I could draw it out some more and do something about the video footage we have…haha)
Overall though, we are so thankful that we were able to do this trip. Though it seems like we travel a lot, this trip really felt different to us, and I really hope we’re able to do more like it in the future. I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures!