Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

NON-BWCA trip: Epic OBX Road Trip
by BWPaddler

Trip Type: Motor
Entry Date: 10/14/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Other
Number of Days: 10
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
This year my mom turned 70 and my brother turned 40, so we looked for a chance to celebrate with them. The Outer Banks of NC is one of my brother's favorite places on Earth (he kiteboards) and my mom loves it there too... so we agreed to meet up at a beach house there over my children's Fall MEA break from school. An epic road trip ensued, as I was determined to "see" something on the way there and back. Coincidentally, my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Michigan on the last weekend of the trip, so I worked that into the itinerary and a 3,500 mile road trip ensued.
Day 1 of 10
Friday, October 14, 2011: Twin Cities, MN, to Shelbyville, KY (755 miles)

After pulling an all nighter to complete my work assignments, I packed quickly and woke the others to begin the adventure. We left Minnesota just after 8am and drove to Shelbyville, KY in one day. I commandeered the last bench row in the Suburban, since eldest kiddo was now eligible for front seat riding (age 13), and slept much of the way. The children did homework and watched National Geographic videos and read books. It was AMAZING harmony that day, with nary a sibling squabble. I almost caught up on my sleep.

We had planned to leave the night before, but work commitments prevented it. We had two nights of camping reservations in Smoky Mountain National Park (Elkmont campground) for Friday and Saturday nights. It became immediately apparent that we would not make the Friday night reservation, but the campground said our site was safe since we had prepaid. So we drove until we dropped sometime around 1am and found a Days Inn where we just stumbled in without luggage and crashed in our clothes.

AAA lady: "You want a route that avoids Chicago, right?" Smart Aleck me: "Nope, it will be fine, we'll pass through at midnight and avoid the congestion."

We hit Chicago at 4:30pm on a Friday.

The sun was setting before we ever made the other side.