Road Trips

48-Hour Road Trip

48-hour Road Trip

Here’s the Thing…

You may think that when I say ‘48-hour road trip’ I am talking about going someplace close for a couple days: maybe up the coast, or possibly down to San Diego, or maybe something super crazy, like Arizona or Nevada.

How about 11 hours to Farmington, New Mexico?

I can’t say this trip was the most thought out thing I’ve ever done, but I can say that I had a great time and the trip really emphasized the quote:

The destination was great, of course, but if I only focused on the time I was at the ‘destination,’ then I would only have about 6 hours of memories!

I’m not sure this is going to be the most helpful blog post ever, but maybe it can give you some ideas of places you may want to travel to for longer! (Like, much longer. Like, more than just a few hours longer…)

The Plan

Let’s be honest, there wasn’t much of a plan. BUT, there was a reason for the trip.

My little sister recently moved to New Mexico. Originally I thought she moved to Arizona (that’s a post for another time), which would have only been about a four-hour drive, but she actually was 11 hours away in Farmington, New Mexico. By the time I realized how far away it was, she was already excited I was coming, and there was no turning back.

Besides, it was just her birthday a couple weeks ago, so I figured the trip would be worth it.

Day 1

I came home from work around 7 PM, expecting to jump right in the car and go. But my boyfriend decided that he wanted to go to the store to get snacks for the road. Men….. (love you babe!) So we didn’t take off till around 7:30 PM, after stocking up on some Jimmy John’s, our go-to quick dinner place!

When we finally got on the road, we were bound for Flagstaff, Arizona.

Originally we were going to drive straight through the night, and get to Farmington early on Saturday morning, but when I mapped the route, I realized we would be going straight through Flagstaff, where my childhood best friend lives. I hadn’t seen her in forever so we decided to stay the night in Flagstaff and wake up early to get breakfast with her.

We rolled into Flagstaff at about 2 AM and got a room at Motel 6. I truly didn’t care where we stayed since I was so tired, but it was actually a really nice room!

Day 2

We had a 7:30 AM wake up call in order to get to breakfast by 8 AM and on the road by 9 AM.

We met Lexi at this cute little Mexican restaurant called MartAnne’s Burrito Palace. I got a breakfast enchilada and a cup of hot coffee and they were both really good! I would highly recommend MartAnne’s because it definitely gave me the feeling of being in a small mountain town; which I love!

My visit with Lexi was short but sweet; we really only see each other once a year now, so we have gotten good at being intentional with each other and making the most of our time together.

I think most importantly, our friendship has taught me that friends can grow separately without growing apart; even if you hardly ever see each other.

Aren’t lifelong friendships just so good for the soul?

After we said our goodbyes we hopped back in the car and headed to Farmington!

Soon after we got on the freeway, I saw a sign for Winslow, Arizona. I’d never been there before, and I hadn’t even heard of it until last year when my mom, brother, and sister were on a road trip to Texas and stopped there. I was so jealous! Apparently, it makes a cameo in a famous song? I haven’t heard it, because I am very uncultured, but I really wanted to stop there to see what all the hype was about!

So, Winslow is a whole town. Shocking. I know. And the photo op is a single street corner, with a sign that says ‘standin’ on the corner’ and a flatbed Ford parked in front. Not exactly the easiest thing to find. I grabbed my phone and decided to phone a friend. In this case, my mom. She seems to always know everything.

“I’m in Winslow, Arizona!”

“Are you gonna stop and take a picture?!”

“I don’t know where to go!”

“It’s the street corner with the flatbed truck out front!”

By this point, my detail-oriented, planning-by-nature boyfriend was up to here with frustration. Luckily he is such a great guy and he stuck it out for me.

After driving through the city (twice), we finally found the iconic street corner! I was so excited!

I’m such a huge fan of iconic places, especially on road trips. I just love having the freedom to stop whenever and go at my own pace.

Once we were back on the road, we were bound for Farmington – for reals this time!

Around 3:30 PM we arrived in Farmington and we were greeted by my little sister, Madison, and stepmom, Kim. After we all caught up for a few minutes, we hopped in their new off-road vehicle and hit the trails and did some exploring!

The rest of the night was pretty low-key. We did a few things that really screamed small-town living to me:

  1. Their neighbor and food truck owner brought us some leftover fried chicken – so good!
  2. We played an intense game of darts with all the neighbors that stopped by because they saw the open garage
  3. We ate Cornish Game Hens for dinner

Originally we were planning on staying the night in Farmington, but we quickly realized a straight 11-hour drive would just be too much. So we decided to leave late at night and drive about halfway to make the drive more bearable.

A couple days before the trip, Matt (my boyfriend) suggested that we stop by the Grand Canyon. So we planned our route to end up in a city near the Grand Canyon for the night.

We left Farmington around 10:30 PM and a few hours in, I was EXHAUSTED. I ended up falling asleep and when I woke up it was pitch black and there was nothing around. I sat up and looked at Matt, clearly very confused.

“I have made a mistake”

“What do you mean?”

“Well we are low on gas and I don’t think there are any gas stations around and we don’t have cell service.”

To me, low on gas means 20 miles left. I looked at the gas meter and it said 7 miles to empty.

“How far are we from a city?”

“About 50 miles.”

Well, there goes our fun trip to the Grand Canyon, I thought to myself.

Matt pulled over and was looking on the GPS to try and find an address so the tow truck would know where to get us when we inevitably broke down.

A few minutes later he looked up from his phone and said, “Ummm, is that a gas station? In the Grand Canyon National Park?”

“No way.” I pulled out my GPS to double check and sure enough, THERE WAS A GAS STATION IN THE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK.

With a sudden burst of energy, we took off for the supposed gas station. I figured one of two things would happen: 1, we would run out of gas before we got to the gas station or 2, the gas station would be non-existent or closed.

But sure enough, a few minutes later, we rolled into the gas station and filled up.

We were both in shock, but soooo happy.

After that, we were back on our way! Luckily we had already found the Grand Canyon, so we just had to find a place to stay for the night.

We ended up in Tusayan, Arizona at the Red Feather Lodge for a much needed night of sleep.

Day 3

We had a 9 AM wake up call on Sunday, but we probably could have slept forever.

It was still about a 6-hour drive to get home, so we didn’t want to linger too long at the Grand Canyon. Matt joked that we probably broke the record for the shortest visit to the Grand Canyon. He was probably right; we only stayed for maybe 10 minutes, but it was so beautiful!

I’m already planning our next trip to the Grand Canyon; there’s just so much to see!

After we left the Grand Canyon, we still hadn’t eaten breakfast, so our next mission was to find a place to eat. Literally, there was no place to stop until Williams, Arizona, which was probably about 50 miles away. We didn’t really have any other option, so we stuck it out until we found this cute little diner called the Pine Country Restaurant.

My favorite part was their GIANT cups of coffee.

I even bought one of the mugs!

One thing you will quickly learn about me is that I looooove coffee and coffee mugs.

After breakfast/lunch, we were officially homeward bound!

Around 5 PM we pulled into the driveway and it felt so good to be home!

Even though we were only gone for technically 45 hours, the trip was full of so much fun stuff! Like I said before, I really embraced the idea of happiness being a journey, not a destination. And really, I think we should all live every day with that mentality.

It is always going to seem like we will be happier if we just get {fill in the blank}. That job promotion, that new car, that new house, anything. But if we are constantly focused on what’s next, we miss what is right in front of us. And typically, what is right in front of us, is something we wish we had last week or last year.

So slow down, enjoy the journey, and find your own happiness along the way.