Roadtrippin’ – Enjoy the Ride!

Roadtrippin’ is not so much about the destination, but the adventure along the way. It’s all about enjoying the ride! Sometimes it takes getting out of the familiar to see the fun, joy, beauty and uniqueness in the world. Whether a weekend getaway or longer vacation, consider roadtrippin’ – it’s a great way to go for a peaceful, relaxing journey.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Why Go Roadtrippin’?

The People

The fun, interesting, kind people you meet along the way are one of the best parts of travel. Sometimes they just seem to appear out of nowhere to give you an idea for your next stop, a trail to hike, or just to make you smile. About a week ago we ran into Roberto on the beach near Fort Bragg, California. He was fishing with his son, and took the time to talk with us about fishing, Abolone diving, and how to prepare the delicacy. A couple of days later while dining at Wild Fish near Mendocino we spotted Roberto in the kitchen – he was preparing our meal – and it was delicious!

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Fresh Halibut – yum!!!

Another great dining experience happened while trying new foods at Yeti Restaurant in Glenn Ellen. The Indian & Nepalese food was such a unique experience for us – they invited me into the kitchen for photos! More about the great meals they served in an upcoming blog about food on the road.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

And then there was the interesting couple we chatted with at a roadside stop while roadtrippin’ near the Restless Waters trail and scenic overlook along U.S. Route 101 in Lincoln County, Oregon. As they were leaving they handed Bill some crackers and as he thanked them and started munching, they said – oh those are for you to feed the squirrels – oops! Anyway, we saved some for the squirrels who were obviously used to being hand fed.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Small Town Charm

While roadtrippin’ it’s the perfect time to venture off the main path and investigate the small towns. Instead of just stopping anywhere for breakfast, we took a 10 mile detour into the little town of Ferndale, California. What a beautiful experience! We asked someone on the street and followed their recommendation to Poppa Joe’s. Not only was it a delicious breakfast, but such a fun experience. The local farmers as well as visitors convene for food, conversation, and even games of pinochle in the back part of the restaurant. A local couple stopped to chat and we learned she was from Germany, and they met while he was stationed in Germany. She had amazing stories of her life before moving to the US and raising a family. My only regret is that we were not able to spend more time in this charming town.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Yes, it is a cow town.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

And once again, the people were the best part. These guys really wanted us to stay and play a game of pinochle – the cost – $1 per game.

Unique Stays

Some of our best stays have been through Airbnb and this home near Coos Bay, Oregon was one of the coolest.  The owner, Shane, built the home and his creativity and woodworking skills were evident throughout – the entire home was a work of art. It was a little different feeling sleeping in a swinging bed, but what a unique stay! We even learned how to use an espresso machine since the coffee maker was broken. Thanks to Shane for talking us through it on the phone. Unfortunately, I messed up on reservations and only booked us one night instead of two. Sometimes I get totally confused on checking out or staying on a certain day… anyway, the housekeeper was a sweetheart, let us stay to do our laundry and get things together, and we were off to more adventures.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Everything in this house was so unique and different – check out the gangplank across to the other bedroom and the ladder to the loft. What an incredible artist!

Roadside Stands

Take the time to stop – you never know who you might meet!

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Apparently Bigfoot is a really “big” deal in parts of Oregon & California

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Even Big kids get a little goofy if they’ve been in the car too long.

Nature

Breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the beauty of nature surrounding you is the perfect break from the road.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Sunshine in the Redwoods

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Amazing!

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Go for it – what’s the worst that could happen?

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

So glad we crossed the stream and got a glimpse of Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. No wonder they filmed parts of Jurassic Park here – it seems like the land before time.

Wildlife

It’s all around us so don’t forget to look down.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

And check out that “tweet” you hear in the sky.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Amazing all the different birds in the world!

Sometimes the wildlife forces you to stop and take a look because it is literally right in front of you.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

The Roosevelt elk stop traffic near Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Orick, California.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Try New Things

While I’m always up for something new and love to try unique foods, sometimes, it’s just a little more fun to take a picture.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

 Signs

There is something intriguing to me about the creative signs we see when traveling.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Bathroom signs seem to be some of the most creative  – boys, girls, men, women, dudes, dames. I think they all should have this one “Employees must wash their hands, everyone else  should”.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Who would have guess behind this great disguise was just another porta potty?

Possibly an all time favorite is this sign from the bathroom hallway in Switzerland.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

 

Be Spontaneous – that could work for the picture above ☺️

One of the pros of roadtrippin’ is the ability to stop wherever you want, without having to follow a rigid travel plan.  Research and plan a little, but be flexible. Choose a route, but don’t be afraid to veer off your intended path or schedule. Be open to change and realize your plans may need altered. Our original plan on this trip was to stay inland along waterfalls, rivers and forests, but we soon realized the weather was too damp and cold. We woke one morning and completely re-routed making a detour south to wine country before heading back to the coast. Turns out it was a great decision – we even got some amazing last minute deals on hotel stays.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area – a state park in Coos County, Oregon

So find some time to get away and go roadtrippin’ – even if it’s just for a weekend. And, if that just isn’t possible, try to take some time, slow down, and check out the unique and sometimes crazy sights around you every day – I bet the visitors see it when they come to town!

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Make it about the journey, not just the destination – stop and smell the roses – or make a roadside phone call.

What’s your favorite road trip find? Please share in the comments below!

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    Michigan

    Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer