It has been 3 years (yes 3 long and very cold years) since I have left the state of Alaska. I’m itching for a road trip!
I’m going to get that and much more in May. We will be leaving North Pole, Alaska forever and heading to a new adventure in Savannah, Georgia. Thank you Army for sending us somewhere warm! I think it will take us a few years to thaw out.
It’s not only the sun that excites me, though. It’s the fact that I will be in a city with history – and lots of it. Not that Fairbanks has no history. It does. But the history here only involves the gold rush, dog mushing, and native Alaskans. And I’m ready for something else.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that hopping on a plane and flying over the entire continent would be boring. We’d miss all of the sightseeing along the way. So instead of that, we will be strapping our 5 kids into the car and driving over 6,500 miles – stopping at fun places along the way.
We’ll be visiting family in Montana and Kansas. We’re going to take the kids to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, St. Louis Arch, Mammoth Caves National Park, Hershey PA, Gettysburg, DC, Shenandoah National Park, Monticello, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smokies National Park, etc. I’ve never been east of the Mississippi (I’m a West Coast gal) and I have a lot of catching up to do!!
But what excites me even more than all of the cool parks and museums we’re going to visit??
You guessed it – I’ve managed to work a bunch of genealogy research into the trip too!
I had to be sneaky. “Hey Honey, don’t you want to go and see Niagara Falls?” Of course I have cemeteries and courthouses to visit in nearby Lockport.
“Haven’t you always wanted to visit the tank museum on Ft. Knox?” Clark county, Indiana is just a short drive away.
I am not sure if we’ll be able to hit all of the places on my list. During a 30 day long trip with 7 people in the car, anything can happen. But at least I have made the list as a general guideline of the places we’re going to try to stop.
So, here are the places I’m hoping to do some research:
- Douglas and Leavenworth counties, Kansas
- Moniteau county, Missouri (Tipton in particular)
- Montgomery/Warren county, Missouri
- Alton, Illinois (across the river from St. Louis)
- Clark county, Indiana (across the river from Louisville)
- Indiana county, Pennsylvania
- Niagara county, New York
- Winchester, Virginia
- Bedford, Roanoke, Montgomery, and Patrick counties, Virginia
Here is the general route of our trip:
Now, I just need to figure out what my poor husband is going to do with the kids while I’m lost in microfiche.
I have promised myself that I will have a very clear research plan for each place I want to stop. No wandering around and perusing the stuff they have. I will be limited on time, so I need to have very specific goals of what I’m trying to find.
Of course, I can put the kids to work! I can offer a prize for whoever finds the gravestones I’m looking for. I have a small army of helpers that can spread out across the cemetery. And they work quickly when there is a chocolate-covered incentive involved.
Doesn’t it sound like fun???