Meandering in the Southeast one road at a time.
Some of my best childhood memories are from what we called “going for a ride." On Sundays, after dinner we would pile into the car and go exploring. I don’t remember particular early destinations except they were generally in the country. Some places in Rowan County, where I grew up, that come to mind were while heading up NC 150 west or Old Steel Bridge or out Stokes Ferry Road or Dunns Mountain Road.
I think a lot of these may have been fishing routes, but it was mostly just exploring together as a family. That was the attraction … the exploring. Then later, when discount stores became the rage, we would head to Kannapolis where these stores were open on Sunday. The first time I had coconut-covered marshmallows, they came from Cook’s. The Sunday afternoon drives were a way for us all to be enjoying ourselves in the same space.
Other outings were day trips we took with family friends. Usually these were to the mountains. Tweetsie Railroad was one destination or just cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway. These were great times. The views from the mountains were and still are captivating. Even though I was prone to car sickness, being in that back seat most of the time, I made it through. You forget about the car sickness when you reminisce. With family and friends, we discovered Morrow Mountain State Park, near Albemarle. We would picnic, go to the pool and then go paddle boarding. These trips created fond family memories, as well as travel memories.
As a family, we had the navigator gene. We are all good with directions and liked to explore. So hopping in the car was never intimidating for any of us. As an adult, I once had a business trip to Charleston and from there to the Myrtle Beach area. This was in the days before cell phones and GPS and I refused to buy a map. I started the return trip to Charlotte and knew I needed to find US 501 west, and the rest I assumed I’d figure out. The fact that I found my way home without directions was a source of pride for me. That trip rekindled my love of the beach. I would have countless more occasions to explore the many routes to the Grand Strand later.
Traveling by car is a way to spend good time with people: family or friends and enjoy the views and the local culture. People who you can travel with are special, because it doesn’t always work with everyone. But there may also be times when you need to get away from these same loved ones or from your house just for a change. Getting in the car works for that too. Have you ever noticed that it is really easy to get people to go to the store for you at Thanksgiving or large gatherings? They are trying to escape. It can be relaxing to be by yourself in the car, even for a little while. Listening to what you want to hear, stopping when you want to stop. Or you need to finish the book you’re listening to, so you add a few miles to your trip.
Later as my professional role expanded, I got a chance to see other parts of the country by air based out of the northeast. But whenever I had enough time in the south, I looked forward to driving somewhere, anywhere my exploring would take me. To the beach, the mountains, or places in between. Windshield time was always a welcome break.
So whether alone or with friends or family, the car can be a cozy space for bonding and getting away.
And that's why I ride.
I look forward to helping you explore the fun and make some memories one road at a time.
Go ... enjoy the ride!
About Kristy B.
I love the open road, great finds, great food and drink, and making great memories ... I have always loved taking a road trip.
As a child, getting in the car was just the way travel of any kind was done. As an adult, my work allowed me to travel by air, but car rides always were where I felt at home.
My work in the heavy highway contracting business afforded me opportunities to get off the interstate. I guess you could say that knowing my way around roads was destined to be for me. From my coworkers, I learned a lot of detours, shortcuts, and back roads. I went to restaurants that I might never have ventured into on my own. I found places to shop along the way. In the cities where we had offices, I found shoe stores, plant nurseries, local foods and more. When you drive through the small towns, you wonder how this town grew, what drew people to this place? You want to explore.
I found myself advising coworkers and friends on where to go and what to see and do, and I like it when people appreciate the places that I enjoy. I’m the one who is still trying to give directions when other people are responding that “I’ll just GPS it."
But a true road tripper knows that GPS is only half the story.
And that is why and how Route & about was born. Because there is so much to share, explore and know that a GPS simply won't provide. From the Tastes & Sips or Thrills & Deals to tips that make the road trip all that much more special … my goal is always that you will enjoy the ride.