I’ve really been been itching for a road trip! For the past couple of months, we hadn’t been able to go on many road trips because we’re providing some necessary care and maintenance to our house, which has been neglected for just a little bit too long…due to so many spontaneous road trips and camping trips! So now, we have to be responsible homeowners! But regardless, I’m still itching for a road trip. LOL But, as I posted recently, our vacation has been moved up from September to July, so now I can really anticipate an upcoming road trip!

But about two weeks ago, before this latest change in plans, I was traveling home from a doctor appointment in a part of the city I don’t normally visit, and I decided to return home via local roads I don’t usually travel. As soon as I reached the Michigan Road, I needed to turn south to head toward home…but I was wishing I was turning north to head to Michigan instead! One of my favorite drives is along the coast of Lake Michigan. We have done the entire loop twice. The first time, in September of 2005, we made the trip clockwise, starting in Chicago and looping through the UP, across the Mackinac Bridge, and along the Michigan coast. In September of 2012, we made the trip counterclockwise, starting in New Buffalo, Michigan and effectively ending in Chicago. Coming home from a doctor appointment and waiting at a intersection of a road that has taken me on some fun adventures instantly made me long for a road trip.

There’s so much fun, freedom, and adventure to be had on a road trip. You get to see and experience real America – something you don’t do when you fly over it. Sometimes, you can on the Interstate (there are some that have some nice scenery) – but for the most part, the Interstate is just an endless slab of monotony with the same generic rest stops, indistinguishable from one another.

By contrast, America’s two lane highways have so much more to offer. We have found these quirky little museums in small towns and cities that have this claim to fame that they cling to and are so proud to share with visitors. And you’ll rarely find anyone as passionate as the local volunteers who work at these museums and share their stories. Blink and you might miss them; but stay and you’ll learn all about things you probably would never have!

I have mentioned this previously in our US 12 Heritage Trail post, but I am entranced by the “Pure Michigan” ad campaign, in particular, the radio ads featuring Michigan native, actor Tim Allen. They are mesmerizing and perfectly capture the spirit of travel and specifically to the featured Michigan locations. This ad below remarkably epitomizes road trips.

The family road trip. It was the high point of summer. The car packed to the gills, a folded-up road map at the ready, surrounded by enough snacks and drinks to last into next month. Well, let’s go there again. Take a drive away from our schedules and routines…to a sandy beach, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a secluded trailhead. Someplace that right now is calling our name at the top of its rustic little voice. It’s time to go fishing, to go exploring, to experience firsthand some of Michigan’s small town treasures. Miles of shoreline, forests, and endless lakes and trails. Let’s follow our noses and see where we end up. Because adventure is out there…waiting for us at the end of a drive. A drive like we took back in the day. The kind of summer to remember…that’s Pure Michigan.