Indy Endeavors – Roadtrippin’ Up

Have you ever seen a Floridian try to walk down stairs during the pitch blackness of 3am? It’s a sight of uncertainty. I was gripping the rail while timidly stepping down the stairs one at a time. Going back up the stairs was easier, but then I ran into the wall. Twice. I have to get used to the fact that our new house has an upstairs.

One of my first thoughts as I made my way downstairs was It smells like a diner in here. Josh was at the stove and the smell of sizzling bacon filled the kitchen. Half-awake, we shoved down the bacon and eggs, grabbed our stuff and hopped into the truck. It was time to start our road trip to Indiana! But before I get any farther…

Behind the Name

Endeavor – n. an attempt to achieve a goal

I’m titling this series of posts “Indy Endeavors” because throughout this Indiana trip, we are going to attempt to do a lot of things. Key word is attempt – because knowing our group, no matter what we do, even when we do succeed, there will be funny things that happen along the way or mishaps and those are the things that make a trip an adventure.

First stop was Wawa (of course) to fuel up the truck and fuel us up with coffee. There’s something about early morning travel that fills me with excitement…okay, travel in general fills me with excitement but waking up early to go someplace enhances it. Aaron promptly fell back asleep as we started our drive on 75 but I couldn’t. I rested a bit but mostly watched the scenery as it twirled by and enjoyed seeing the sky evolve from black to various shades of blue and then to the pink and gold hues slowly creeping up from the bottom.


We decided we’d take 2 hour driving shifts each. Josh got us to Georgia, followed by Alyssa who braved Atlanta in the huge truck and then I took us the rest of the way to our half-way stop at Rock City. I was awed by how easily Josh let me drive his truck…he wasn’t worried in the slightest. He even sat in the back seat! I chalked it up to Alyssa’s presence (and his winning, encouraging personality of course).

With my trusty copilot Aaron… …who drinks lots of water.

I felt pretty powerful driving that beast. I tell ya though, those semis made me uncomfortable. Rather cliche thing to say, but every time I passed by one of them all I could think about was what would happen if they started merging and didn’t see me. Vivid imagination for the win. And there were tons of semis! Not surprising, but still…not a fan.

We became too boring for extrovert Aaron, who begged people on Instagram to call him and relieve him of his misery. Someone did finally call him as we were reaching the mountains near Rock City. Josh and Alyssa were reading out directions and Aaron proceeded to jump in and direct me on where to go while still on the phone and not having any map in front of him.

“That’s Aaron, gotta be in charge,” said Alyssa.

Headed to the top (if you look closely you can see little houses)

Josh was going to switch with me and drive up the mountain but suddenly, we were on the road heading up it before we could pull off! I guess I’m driving up this thing, I thought to myself, saying a quick prayer that I wouldn’t get dizzy. (See our drive up the mountain here.)

“The truck isn’t as big as it seems. Just hug the curves…but don’t go in the ditch. That wouldn’t be good,” Josh coached.

“Whoaaa whoaaa!” I kept exclaiming as I looked down the side of the mountain, watching the trees and houses get smaller and smaller as we wound up the narrow roads.

“I’m not even scared, this is great!” said Josh.

Rock City – the Swinging Bridge, Lookout Mountain, and Lovers Leap

Rock City was such a neat and beautiful place…it got better and better the more we saw! I’ll let the pictures share the rest.



Singles… The swinging bridge. It really did sway as we walked across it and the people behind us purposefully shook it. Looking down sure was fun. Don’t drop the phones!

I’m a sucker for views. I have this strange fascination with getting as close to the edge as I can…literally, not figuratively. It entrances me, really, how I can be up so high and see so much of the land stretched out before me in a myriad of different colors and shades. So much definition at such a height – instead of losing the beauty of up-close detail, I seem to gain more by taking in the expanse. I love trying to reconcile the height and depth with my eyes. The awe of it all is almost too much to take in. I could have stood there and gazed at the view for a long time.


The many faces of Josh and Alyssa at the top of Lookout Mountain.

My goofy buddies.

Aaron is unamused.

None of us wanted to leave Rock City. There was still so much to explore! But we had to get back on the road in order to make it to Indiana at a decent time. Hopping back into the truck, we guzzled water and started snacking as Josh took us down the mountain.

Unfortunately, this slow truck with a bobcat on its trailer pulled out in front of us and we were stuck at a crawling speed. I didn’t mind – more time to view the mountain and conveniently spit my cherry pits out the side of the window. But we also had a deadline to meet – we needed to be through Knoxville by 5:30 if we were going to beat traffic. Josh was confident we’d meet it and we did!

To celebrate, we stopped to get gasoline at a Loves gas station (seriously, who thought up the name Loves for a gas station/trucker place? And it has a bunch of hearts as a logo? Little confused on this one). We pulled out our gourmet road trip meal of chips and energy drinks and headed back out on the road.

More driving and a bag or two of chips later, we stopped for a bathroom break at Chick-fil-A and decided to get some real dinner there.

I say real dinner and all I hold up is my frozen coffee…I promise I ate a sandwich too.

It really is amazing how much food (especially food of substance) can help. As soon as I started to eat, I felt life returning to me and got a second wave of energy. Doing pretty well on three hours of sleep so far, I thought. We were all so refreshed and excited by our Chick-fil-A, in fact, that we started going the opposite way for ten minutes! Aaron got us back on track.

The rest of the drive I drifted in and out of sleep. It always seemed to work out that as soon as I’d finally doze off, something would happen, I’d wake up, and then by the time I’d fall back asleep the cycle would start itself all over again. I was glad to be awake as we passed through Cincinnati; the sun was setting, creating a gorgeous backdrop for the city.

Aaron looks so contemplative.

Thought that building was pretty cool.

The rest of the trip consisted of Aaron and I sleeping and relaxing with our pillows propped up against the windows, Josh and Alyssa blasting country music, more chip and candy eating, and lots of goofing off with Snapchat. Of course we played “Goin’ Back to Indiana” several times.

Finally, around 11pm, we pulled into the driveway of Alyssa’s house. Her parents and sister Lindsey were waiting at the doorway. It was a whirlwind of introductions, unpacking our stuff, and stumbling up stairs with bleary eyes to shower and get ready for bed. Words cannot describe how incredible that shower felt…I felt like I could melt into my bed.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here is what all of us felt (and probably looked like) that evening:

Sorry Josh, your face was too priceless

Until tomorrow’s endeavors!

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