If you talk with the average American over the age of thirty, and ask them about any family trips they may have gone on as a kid. About 90% of them will say they went on a road trip/car trip. These trips usually had a main destination that they were trying to get to such as YellowStone National Park, Mt. Rushmore, Niagra Falls, the Grand Canyon, or Disneyland/Walt Disneyworld, but would also wind you through a lot of smaller destinations that at least one person in the car wanted to see such as Dodge City, Gettysburg, The Redwood Forest, Carlsbad Caverns, and the like. In some cases they also included kitchy roadside attractions like a large likeness of Paul Bunyan, buildings shaped like food/animals/or sports equipment, or the worlds largest something (ball of twine, deepest hole in the ground, etc.). Most people remember these trips very fondly even though they also remember their brother getting sick in the car, they ran out of gas, that they had to relieve themselves behind a cactus, or other weird troubles that come about while you are traveling hundreds, or even thousands of miles in a packed car with children and a spouse.
Dinosaur Train he knows we live just three states away from a place that is famous for their dinosaur fossil discovery. That place it Utah. I did a double take when we were discussing this years vacation and my sweet little boy piped up with Utah as his destination of choice for the family vacation. Wanting to make sure that he really wanted this as a vacation we offered up other destinations like Hawaii, Jamaica, Disneyland. But no he heard that they have dinosaur fossils there and that is what he wants to see.
After a long discussion between my wife and I that involved research on what there is to do in Utah (honestly, we didn't know much about it other than Salt Lake City and the National Parks), we decided that it would be more cost effective, and more of a creative vacation if we turned it into a driving vacation from Washington State to Utah's Dinosaur National Monument. We had discussed one of my families road trips through the desert southwestern United States and my wife has always wanted to do one. Even though we both had National Lampoon's Vacation rolling through our head we decided to do it. We will go see dinosaur fossils for my son, drive through picturesque scenery for me (an landscape and portrait photographer), and someplace that she (my wife) has never been. This will also help check off some states for our goal of seeing all 50 states before my son turns 20. In the next few posts I will cover our planning of where to go, what to see, where to stay, as well as what is accessible to a wheelchair. So pack up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, and lets ride!!