Tonya Damron

photography

June 13, 2021

2400 Miles & Huckleberry Pancakes || Cross Country Drive

Cross Country Drive 2021

Today makes day 8 that I’ve been on my cross country drive. I can’t believe that I actually did it! A cross country drive has been on my bucket list for years, but because I needed to do it in the summer months I’ve never been able to. Summer months mean wedding season for this photographer, which also means less travel during peak season. This year things looked a little different, I had back-to-back weddings and then a few weeks off (never happens) so I decided to go! I’m still debating if a cross country drive was the best choice. There have been some major bumps in the road (pun intended) but here I am in Whitefish, MO.

Days One – Eight

Day 1: It rained most of the trip, along with construction at every turn. I did get to see the St. Loius Arch at the end of the day, so that was a plus.

Day 2 and 3: Started off strong, but about six hours in a sidewall split in my tire. Thankful I was near a little town to pull over safely. I have great roadside assistance through my car manufacturer who took amazing care of me. The not-so-good thing is I had to be towed over an hour away and the was stuck for 2.5 days waiting on a tire to come in.

Day 4: Wrapped up staying at a nice hotel because I couldn’t do anything but wait. I finally got back on the road late and made it to Badlands National Park and spent the night a few miles from Mount Rushmore.

Day 5: Woke up early to head to Mount Rushmore and drove for what seemed like forever trying to make up lost time because of the flat. I also ran into snow and 34-degree weather

Day 6:  Finally had some Huckleberry Pancakes around noon (the real reason I drove 2400 miles) and slept.

Day 7: Slept some more and explored downtown Whitefish. It’s a cute little town full of local art and shops.

Day 8: Ran in cool weather and enjoyed the amazing views. (that altitude is no joke though) Picked up a friend from the airport, ate some yummy food, and headed back to the condo to chill.

This Trip Has Been Different

It wasn’t a trip to get away from the stress of being a business owner or life. It was simply a trip. I’ve been stressed over the tire. I learned lessons on top of things I thought I had covered. I’ve been proud of myself for handling things well in that situation and safety. I’ve thought about a lot and I’ve thought about a lot of nothing.

At the end of these 8 days, I am left with a few thoughts.

1. I have nothing to prove to myself or others.

2. I don’t have to be superwoman.

3. I’m thankful for the few people that let me be weak because they fill in with their strength…and that all of our strength comes from above!

4. I’m thankful I had a father who didn’t mind me always being under his feet. It’s helped me be independent and street smart. It’s given me the confidence to travel and do things most wouldn’t.

5. Eat the dang hukleberry pancakes! The drive was worth the reward.

6. Always keep a spare (and I knew this! I’m not sure why I didn’t check before I left if it came with one)

7. Roadside assistance, worth every penny!

8. This trip has put a halt to some people-pleasing.

9. I’ve questioned why I even came. (yes you read that right)

10. Montana is a long way from TN. My gratitude for my community there has grown tremendously!

Stayed Tuned

I still have several days ahead of me on the road. Whitefish is my stop for a little while. I’ll be hiking in Glacier National Park and then on to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Indiana Dunes National Park, and then home! Bailey (my pup) has been the best little road buddy and I can’t wait to share more about this adventure next week. Follow me on my social media for daily updates!

 

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Tonya DAmron

photography