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eyerobic

Are We There Yet?

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Really good NPR "Radio Times" program I heard yesterday, via Podcast.

 

 

"With record-high gas prices the family road trip may be a relic from the past. We take a trip down memory lane and look at the history of the middle-class family summer vacation when the parents and kids piled into the car and traveled along the hiways and byways of a post-WWII America. Our guest is SUSAN SESSIONS RUGH author of "Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations." . . . "

 

Listen to this show via Real Audio

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Really good NPR "Radio Times" program I heard yesterday, via Podcast.

 

 

"With record-high gas prices the family road trip may be a relic from the past. We take a trip down memory lane and look at the history of the middle-class family summer vacation when the parents and kids piled into the car and traveled along the hiways and byways of a post-WWII America. Our guest is SUSAN SESSIONS RUGH author of "Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations." . . . "

 

Listen to this show via Real Audio

 

Eyerobic,

 

If family road trips are a thing of the past, I don't think it was gas prices that did them in. When Mom and Dad can drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles at 75 miles an hour, and only stop for gas at exits spaced 10 miles apart, what is the point of the road…other than to get you from A to B?

 

DennyG and I took a section of the Historic Columbia River Highway yesterday. We didn’t count the pull outs and vista points but they were everywhere. You can take the same trip by freeway, but don’t expect to see a waterfall for more than a few seconds, and stopping is illegal.

 

I am not damning the freeways. I drove one for 3 hours to get to the hookup with Denny, and had I been driving old US99, it would have taken almost twice as long. But there is no such thing as a family road trip on a freeway. I am old enough to remember family road trips along the old Columbia River Highway, and I can tell you with absolute certainty, a flight along the Columbia River freeway today, even though it is one of America’s premier freeway drives, is not the same.

 

If we want a family road trip, we will have to stay on the two lane roads…which have been freed of traffic by the freeways. Denny and I took nearly 2 hours to travel and fully enjoy the 21 miles between Hood River and The Dalles on the old highway. Then it took under 20 minutes to return to Hood River on the freeway….during which time we talked, but stopped to see and enjoy nothing.

 

Bah, Humbug! Everything was better in the old days. :D Ma…..where did I leave my spectacles? :blink:

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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In the spring I'm taking my sons to Washington, D.C., and part of the point will be to enjoy the trip. We may zoom out there on the superslab, but we will be driving the National Road all the way home, which will mean at least one overnight hotel stay. I'm thinking that in 2010 or 2011 the boys and I may take two weeks in the summer and go from here (Indiana) to Calif. and back -- either US 66 or maybe US 40.

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What is\was the definition of the classic family road trip? Growing up our family road trips where always with a purpose of one sort or another. Typically it was to get from our home to someplace else to see someone or something. I can only recall one time when traveling with my parents where the road was a focus on our journey and that was because a slower, more scenic route, was chosen to get us somewhere to see someone.

 

The roads we traveled "back in the day" are probably some of the same 2 lane roads I choose to drive today for pleasure but I don't recall my father thinking of them from a historical perspective. We never stopped to look for a cut in the hill that had been bypassed or forgotten section of pavement like I make my kids look at. More often he was looking for a break in the oncoming traffic so that he could pass the slow moving truck in front of us. Today the old road is nearly empty and you do have time to contemplate the history while driving.

 

I think those of us that participate on this forum and still have a family to lug around are in the minority when we avoid the I-roads. Most people just want to get where there going and don't think to enjoy the journey, that's too bad. I am not saying that I completely avoid the Interstates altogether. My trips always have a defined end date and sacrifices have to be made in order to enjoy the attractions and people that we do want to see along the way. Sometimes making time on the Interstate is necessary.

 

KTSOTR is right on in his portrayal of families speeding along at 75 MPH and only stopping for gas but he forgot to mention the kids in the back seat watching movies or playing with their Game Boy's. I used to enjoy sitting in the back seat, staring at the scenery passing by, picking a point up the road and guessing how far away it was then watch the odometer to see how closely I guessed. More frequent stops were probably a necessity back then too since there was less to keep the passengers amused plus not as many cars would have had the comforts of today's vehicle.

 

I have tried to generate an appreciation of the land were traveling through, and the time we are together as a family, in my children. Stopping in the small town and getting a chocolate dipped soft serve at a Foster Freeze, with the requisite melted ice cream running down your arm, will always be more memorable than a soda and box of Zours at the Shell Station at exit 279.

 

Bottom line IMHO is that the family road trip isn't dead as long as there are some of us that will still take the time and journey at the roads pace. Let those that want to get from A-B quickly stay on the Interstate, it just means more open road for me.

 

Roadhound

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Eyerobic,

 

If family road trips are a thing of the past, I don't think it was gas prices that did them in. When Mom and Dad can drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles at 75 miles an hour, and only stop for gas at exits spaced 10 miles apart, what is the point of the road…other than to get you from A to B? . . . . (snip)

 

Bah, Humbug! Everything was better in the old days. :D Ma…..where did I leave my spectacles? :blink:

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

During the call-in portion of the show, I noticed people reminisced about taking trips in everything from a brand new 59 Buick wagon, to a late model Ford Exploder. So no, family road trips are not dead. Just snuffed out a bit, with the current gas prices. My vacation plans were altered quite a bit this season.

 

Who'da thunk I would ever be excited by gas at $3.58/gal here in Joisey!

 

... Chris

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What is\was the definition of the classic family road trip?

I consider all of my road trips to be classic family road trips. They all beat going in to the office. :D

 

I think a classic family road trip would need to have at least the following components:

• Stop at some tourist attraction along the way

• Stay in a motel

• Take some pictures

• Have kids in the back seat

• Require a map be brought along

 

Chris

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I think a classic family road trip would need to have at least the following components:

 

• Stop at some tourist attraction along the way

 

The more obscure and unique the better

 

• Stay in a motel

 

with a connected diner

 

• Take some pictures

 

How much is some? I may go overboard on this one

 

• Have kids in the back seat

 

Sadly I may not have many more of those road trips left

 

• Require a map be brought along

 

detailed, not one of those cheap ones that only show the interstates, and if possible a scanned copy of select pages from an old road guide

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