When you spend 24 hours of a three-day road trip in the car, you make your own adventures.
My younger son started his new job in Tennessee today, so his brother, his girlfriend, and I moved him over the weekend. Each way, we drove through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.
We didn’t stop much on the way down, but we managed to see some neat things. In the middle of Kentucky, we saw this ginormous bear head on the horizon.
We had a rainbow sighting during a rainstorm that dumped four inches of blinding rain within an hour.
We dined at the same place as this gentleman just 40 minutes from Santa Claus, Indiana. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
We rolled into Johnson City, Tennessee, around 11:30 that night.
And here is one view from a parking lot at Tanner’s new employer.
Not too shabby.
We moved him into his new apartment and ventured into town.
Eventually we ended up at Bays Mountain, one of numerous state and national forests in the area.
Loved the creepy root systems snaking their way around the area. Which brings us to…
The last time we went to a Harry Potter midnight release, my children were in grade school. It just seemed like a fitting way to close this chapter in our family and open a new one.
Some of these people really take their Harry Potter seriously.
Then it was time to go home and let my youngest start his new adventure. Given that we traveled through the most beautiful scenery in darkness during the drive down, we took our time to enjoy them in the daylight. This was Benge’s Gap in Virginia.
We stopped for lunch in Pikeville, Kentucky, and stumbled upon significant settings from the famous Hatfield-McCoy family feud. To be honest, I knew little of this story. But I’m really curious to learn more now.
Another torrential storm hit us in Indiana…along with another rainbow. Only this one was a doozy. (Apologies for not doing justice to this end-to-end glory, but it was the best I could do and remain safe from interstate traffic on the side of the road.)
We made it through the storm, shifted back to our time zone, and detoured to Santa Claus, Indiana — just before sunset.
We could not stop laughing at this majestic backdrop for a photo of a ginormous Santa Claus. It was over the top, just like everything else in that little town.
And then we enjoyed the actual sunset. It was lovely.
We pushed on well into the night. But we made it home safely to our cats and our own beds.
Only our little unit was one person short. It’s strange, but you invest so much of your life into preparing your children to be worthy of taking care of and contributing to the world — then you have to trust that the world will take care of your children when you release them. It’s a strange partnership.
Okay, world. I did my part. Please hold up your end.