Those who know me know that I am a planner. I like to know what’s going to be happening well in advance so I know what I’ll be doing, when I’ll be doing it, and how to prepare for it. The last three months have been anything but that. After a pursuing several unsuccessful job opportunities during the early part of the summer, I left my residency at the end of July with one last job opportunity in the works, and set off across the country to get married.
The first part of our road trip — Durham, NC to Bailey, CO — was finalized the week before we left. This cut things closer than I would have liked, but we were able to arrange accommodations where we wanted to without much difficulty.
The first stop was Asheville, North Carolina, with a brief detour to the Carl Sandburg Home for some sightseeing and hiking.
Our next stop was just outside of Chattanooga, TN, to visit a world-famous bouldering area at which R wanted to climb: Stone Fort. Every year, Stone Fort hosts a prestigious climbing competition, so climbing on the same boulders felt like a bit of an honor. We could not have picked a worse time to climb though — August in Tennessee. The short walk from the car to the boulders had us sweating at 8:30AM, and despite being in the shade, it was oppressively hot by the time we called it quits around 11:30AM. One of the interesting things about Stone Fort is that the entire boulder field lies on the grounds of a golf course. I imagine I will never encounter another place where one can buy rock climbing supplies in a swanky golf clubhouse!
Stop number three was St. Louis, MO. While this was a fairly short stop, we were able to make a quick visit to the City Museum of St. Louis. For anyone who is in St. Louis, has children, or is young-at-heart and fairly mobile, I would definitely recommend this giant, surprise-filled playground. We climbed ladders, crawled through tunnels, went down slides, and squeezed through passageways. While I enjoyed myself thoroughly, I couldn’t help but think that my 10-year-old self would have been in heaven there!
The final stop on this first leg of our road trip was Bailey, CO. Nothing will ever compare to breathing the crisp mountain air, and it was such a welcome relief after the the months of hot humidity in the southeast. We had a wonderful stay in Colorado, including a beautiful wedding (though I will admit that I am particularly biased as far as that is concerned)! More photos and leg two of the road trip to come next time!