Every year there are necessities we look forward to purchasing for our road trip. The first item is our annual atlas.

Not any atlas will do. We typically dine at Meson Sabika then visit Anderson’s Bookshop to pick out the perfect atlas. We look at their selection, discuss the ones we like best, and usually end up buying one similar to the one we had the previous year. What makes the perfect atlas? Should it have details informing of all that is near? Should the maps be large and detailed? Should it have a wire binding? We have decided the perfect atlas is one that is not too detailed. We like knowing where we are, but we do not need to know everything that is around or all the small towns along the way. Less information provides for more surprises and increased spontaneity. We do not like a small map scale. We prefer maps where one inch represents a couple hundred miles or more. We realize that the less information we have, the more fun we have. One of our favorite memories is the when we looked at the atlas and saw that Salt Lake City was just a few inches from Cody, Wyoming. This led to the day we left Cody, drove through Yellowstone (through construction), breezed through Idaho, and ended up in Salt Lake City. This is a trip that would take most people a couple of days if they hurry but one that took us just one because, as we saw it, they were  “just a couple of inches apart.”

The second essential is the perfect travel journal.


Donna’s sister gave us a journal before our first trip and the tradition began. We like to document our trip to remember all the entertaining details. One journal has grown to two – one where we detail each day and the events that occur and one to use in the car to document details that we find amusing and many find odd. In these journals we record the price of each hotel, reflect on places we stop, keep a list the states we are in each day, and document Roadside America attractions we visit. We alternate who keeps these documents after each trip and enjoy looking back at them and laughing at the adventures we had.

We look forward to finalizing our summer work plans and choosing the date for Go East Again ’10. As soon as we do, you can look for us at Anderson’s carefully choosing the perfect atlas and journal to accompany us on what will surely be another trip of a lifetime.

One thought on “Necessities

  1. Pingback: AOW ’11 Checklist | Welcome to Adventure Out West '11

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