April 1, 2019

CADES COVE in TENNESSEE’S SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Following Cades Cove Loop Road in the Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee is like driving into a pastoral painting! This drive has been on our bucket list for many years. Friends have told us about the wildlife, the beauty and history of the road, but no description is adequate!      WHY CADES COVE?   One reason we wanted to visit Cades Cove is because wildlife of all kinds fills me with wonder and excitement.  (I should clarify that all wildlife does not include snakes!) After I retired, I lived in a 400-square foot cabin in the North Carolina mountains. My cabin was across a dirt road from a bear sanctuary…

March 18, 2019

50 GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIPS: THE BEST BACK ROAD BY STATE

We hope spring makes you want to get on the road! To help you decide where to go, we have a treasure trove of backroads information for you. Just where are the best back roads, by state?   You already know we take back roads on every trip we take. Check out our blog post, “Take Backroads to Explore America” at: http://thetravelingseniors.com/back-roads-forever/ In that post, we share some of our favorite backroads.    As our friend, Scott of the blog, Take Back Roads, says, “America is home to countless back roads, side roads, and country roads… scenic routes, historic routes, and tourist routes… National Byways and Historic Highways…. and more road trip…

March 4, 2019

2 of AMERICA’s BEST QUILT TRAILS

The Amish purposely include a mistake in their quilts because only God is perfect. During the Dust Bowl, worn-out clothing was re-purposed into quilts to keep families warm.   Like you, I have quilts made by my grandmothers, great aunts, and my mom. Growing up, I snuggled under the quilts, tracing the pattern and fabrics with my finger as I settled down for the night. One family quilt went to my daughter and son in-law as a wedding gift.    Quilts are family heirlooms; symbols of the creativity and strength of women. Quilting Circles find women (and some men) “solving” world problems and sharing the warmth of friendship while creating works…

January 3, 2019

HOW TO FIND THE UNUSUAL ON YOUR ROAD TRIP

Ready to start planning your next road trip? Your U.S. road trip itinerary can include stops from the sublime to the ridiculous!  Think abandoned towns, industrial wonders, historic homes, mom and pop restaurants known only to locals, secret trails leading to magnificent overlooks and, best of all, the REAL America!   HOW TO FIND THE UNUSUAL WHILE ON A ROAD TRIP is easy! Just use some invaluable websites. Double click each blue link in this post to be taken to that particular website.   (We encourage you to check out Backroad Planet, which supplied a portion of the content featured here.  By the way, Backroad Planet is one of our favorite travel blogs. It is superb.)  …

August 6, 2018

HOW TO TAKE A ROAD TRIP WITH YOUR PET

You don’t have to leave your pet behind when you take a road trip unless you want to! As seniors, we love our pets and approximately 37% of us travel with our pets.     Use these steps to take a road trip with your pet.       PREPARE FOR THE TRIP     Rehearse with your Pet If your pet has never been on a road trip before, get him/her ready by going for short drives. Increase the time of the drive gradually. We recommend putting him/her in a crate each trip so he/she gets used to it faster. Talk reassuringly to your pet and reward him/her for good behavior….

July 30, 2018

IN ARIZONA, TAKE THE MOUNT LEMMON SCENIC BYWAY

Mount Lemmon View

Take a backroads trip up Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway near Tucson, Arizona. Our drive up one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona made for a perfect day. After several days in Tucson in over 100 degree heat in May, we really needed a break.      MOUNT LEMMON     Mount Lemmon has a summit elevation of 9,156 feet and is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson. The 27-mile Byway is the biological equivalent of driving from the deserts of Mexico to the forests of Canada! Just imagine! As gardeners, Stu and I were fascinated by the changes in plant life!    …

July 26, 2018

TAKE A NOSTALGIC BACKROADS TRIP: ROUTE 66 IN KANSAS

Take a nostalgic backroads trip on Route 66 in Kansas!      U.S. Route 66 is also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and the Mother Road  (so dubbed by John Steinbeck in his 1939 book, “The Grapes of Wrath”) and is a visual and historic treat!     Route 66 is one of the original highways of the U. S. Highway System and was established on November 11, 1926. Route 66 is the most famous highway in the United States and originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California. The original Route 66 covered a total of…

June 11, 2018

New Mexico BACKROADS TRIP: THE BILLY THE KID SCENIC BYWAY

If you are like me, certain questions keep you up at night. This is one of them, “Do bears use restrooms?” Take a backroads trip on the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway in New Mexico,  one of America’s best backroads trips, and find out!   Lore from when the west was more wild with shoot-outs, posses and jail breaks are stories Stu and I truly love. Colorful people are our favorites and the old west had plenty!  We can’t get enough and had no idea that the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway and New Mexico is home to so many legendary sights and characters.   At the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway Visitors…

June 1, 2018

TAKE A BACKROADS TRIP: CAMINO REAL de los TEJAS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL

Take a backroads trip through rolling grassy hills covered with bluebonnets and other wildflowers on The Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. See nps.gov/elte/planyourvisit/maps.htm.     Once a year, my grandmother, in her 80s and 90’s would take a trip from Kansas City to Texas to see her son and the bluebonnets. Now I understand the bluebonnet part.  I don’t think Stu or I expected the beauty of the eastern Texas hill country since neither of us had ever been there. Waving grass, wildflowers, huge skies and curving backroads is the image that comes to mind when someone says, “a perfect spring/summer day.” THAT is the eastern Texas…

May 30, 2018

TAKE BACK ROADS TO EXPLORE AMERICA!

Take Back Roads to Explore America!   The Traveling Seniors ALWAYS travel back roads. Why?  Exploring America and her inspiring people is most rewarding along back roads and scenic byways!   Backroads vacations are so easy in retirement travel!  The pavement is smooth, traffic is sparse and the scenery is breathtaking. We can drive at our own pace. We can pull off the road to take photos or a break at almost any time. Backroads adventures are just waiting for you!   HOW TO FIND BACKROADS   One way to find byways is to visit scenicbyways.info. On that site, search by state or follow the dots on the map provided….