Road Trip Detour: Slowing Down and Seeing More

To “road trip” is to experience a new or unfamiliar place in a way that involves all of the senses. Whether driving through one county or across the entire country, you’ll find diversity in flora, fauna, food, and folk if you can ease up a bit on the cruise control.

Inspired by a guidebook, a movie, or just a stirring in their soul, many people live by the belief that some of the best itineraries were assembled with a mixture of fate, chance, and circumstance.

Driven by a sense of curiosity and structured wanderlust, in our family we have often found ourselves at the sites of geological variety and natural beauty. From Devil’s Tower in Wyoming to the outer banks of the Carolinas and the grand bluffs of Dubuque, Iowa closer to home, here are a few other inspirational places:

Hawaii: Akaka Falls

Hawaii’s most famous waterfall, Akaka Falls drops 442 feet down into a tropical paradise on the North side of The Big Island. To see the falls, hike the 0.6 mile paved loop along a canopy of orchids, bamboo, banyan, ferns, and other flora and fauna.

Akaka FallsMichigan: Arch Rock

A geological formation on Mackinac Island in Michigan, Arch Rock offers breathtaking views of the Lake Huron shoreline. Standing 146 feet above the water, Arch Rock is a limestone “natural bridge” that is just as beautiful as seen from above as it is from below.

P1040572Idaho: Redfish Lake

In the heart of the Boise National Forest and reflecting the Sawtooth Mountains, Redfish Lake in Stanley Mountains is one of the most peaceful places we’ve ever been. Visitors can dine at the Redfish Lake Lodge, rent a kayak, or go out on the hiking trails.

IMG_0266Colorado: Flatirons

Towering over the city of Boulder, Colorado the conglomerate sandstone formations known as the “flatirons” are a popular photographic backdrop. Part of the city’s open space, hikers and rock climbers can enjoy a birds-eye view of the Front Range.


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine,, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at