Feature

On the Road Again

June 2005

Four Western excursions that remind us the journey can be just as much fun as the destination.

There's something to be said for the sensation of leaning out an open car window, the aggravation of an impossible-to-refold map, the sound of empty cola cans rolling around under the passenger seat. Road trips have a vibe, soundtrack, and imagery that reverberate in the American psyche like no other type of travel. Yet we rarely take them anymore. Maybe it's a sign that we work too much and use our precious downtime to relax at home. Or maybe we've gotten too used to the convenience of flight. But at 30,000 feet you miss the lay of the land, the quirkiness of small towns, and the rare, uninterrupted time to talk. Here in the Rocky Mountain region we're surrounded by beautiful scenery and secret places you'd miss from seat 17D-artsy mountain towns, natural wonders, spiritual retreats, isolated wilderness. It's not as quick as a flight, but if you let yourself slow down and plan several stops along the way-beautiful hikes, antique shopping, small-town restaurants, mountain bakeries, scenic outlooks-you'll find yourself actually enjoying the drive.