Our normal drive back to OH, route 70, was vetoed in the name of adventure. We had two weeks to get back to OH for a wedding, and to get started on our van build, and we decided to use every day to our advantage. We threw around many ideas for the stops along the way, including connecting up with Route 66. Nicks must have stops included all things linked with extra terrestrials, while Brittany was pulling for Marfa, Big Bend, and the Smoky Mountains. Our new route first took us down to New Mexico and Santa Fe to meet up with our friends Justin and Kim, and soon led to us checking out Taos and Roswell. Anyone who knows Nick, knows his feelings about aliens. He is quoted to have said "he felt as though he was coming home" in Roswell.
After a quick run through of Roswell's museums and attractions, we headed to Marfa, Texas to check out all the art and the mysterious Marfa lights. The town of Marfa was pretty unique and crammed with no name, hidden art galleries that we enjoyed perusing. As soon as it got dark, we headed over to the Marfa lights observation center, and reserved a parking spot for the show. Brittany is pretty skeptical of the lights and is certain there is a man made explanation for the way the lights "danced" in the sky, while Nick still feels like there is a certain mystery to them.
Further south we headed, into Big Bend National Park, and were quite surprised with the "mountains" of rock that were throughout the park. We snagged a backcountry permit to camp, and were thankful for the hard shell of our van, as harsh winds tore through our site all night. Big Bend was hot. Too hot for Buford, and we were forced to move on before we felt completely ready. The rest of the drive through Texas was flat and uneventful, and when we reached Nashville, Tennessee, we were grateful to get out and stretch our legs.
The Smoky Mountains have always been a special place for us. They have served as the home for numerous spring break adventures with friends, long after we were too old to even have a spring break. It was nice to revisit the park with new eyes, and spend some time on the opposite end of the park that we normally frequented, including getting some time in on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
From Tennessee, we made a brief stop at Woodbridge Distillery in Kentucky, and made it back to OH just in time for the wedding. The next month or so will be spent getting started on our van build, and hanging with our friends and familia.