Great Lakes Road Trip 2009

Today,* Thursday July 9, 2009, begins “Great Lakes Road Trip 2009!”

Vinny and I have mapped a route from Long Island, New York through the Midwest, the Great Lakes region, and back (with some undetermined points along the way). In the spirit of historic preservation, Independent America, scenic routes, blue highways, byways, good road trip stories, visiting new places, and a budget we have come up with a few standard rules we’ll abide by along our travels.

As you can probably guess, the standards we have set for ourselves are: 1) no chain hotels or restaurants; 2) as little interstate mileage as possible; and the biggest one 3) do our best to stick to a budget of $100 per day for everything – food, gas, lodging, activities, etc.

Stipulations: Gas is not included in the no chains rule. Any other things like grocery stores will have to be decided as we go. If you have suggestions, write them below.

The purpose is to show that it is possible have a great time without taking the interstate, staying in chain motels, eating at chain restaurants, and visiting typical modern tourist destinations.  The American road trip, independent style, is still possible as just two travelers. We don’t have a film crew or sponsors or anything else. It’s just an experiment. So, whether you are soon-to-be graduate student, a preservationist, an adventure seeker, or you are just on a budget, hopefully Preservation in Pink can offer a bit of inspiration and possible guidance.

Can we do it? I’ll let you know.  For the next 2 – 2.5 weeks or approximately 4,000 miles, I’ll be posting all road trip related blogs. They might be about our struggles to find only mom & pop establishments (or maybe the ease of it!), our stops along the way, lodging, historic sites, interesting photographs, or anything else road trip & preservation related. Posts will not necessarily be five days per week, but at least three days. And at the end, I’ll be sure to have a summary and results of the travel experiment.

First stop: Pennsylvania!

*We left Long Island at 5:30am.


Quotes to travel by:

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller


Side note: Be sure to read Lauren McMillan’s final Adventures in the Field post tomorrow, Friday July 10.

Independent America

Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop is a documentary film about a couple who travels 13,000 miles across America to find “independent America,” that is, no big boxes, no chain hotels, no fast food chains – just the mom & pop version of America.  And on their journey they have two rules: 1) no interstates and 2) no chain anything. Watch the trailer on the website. The film was also featured on the Sundance Channel.

I haven’t seen this movie, but I want to. In the meantime, it’s inspired me to plan my summer road trip in a similar manner (albeit abridged and slightly different since I’m not making a film).  Check out the Independent America blog for details on their trips, movie screenings. To follow the route of the film makers, click the “our route” category on the blog. (Or see this post for just the map version. It looks like fun!)

Has anyone seen this film?

After The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop, Independent America has moved on to other films, including one about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It is called Independent America: Rising From Ruins.  It, too, looks fabulous.  I’ll have to look for these at the library.