Challenge: The Sunday Driver’s Summer Scavenger Hunt

13551197_10153689683856911_1919976581_nGetting the most out of your Sunday Drive can be a big challenge if you aren’t used to doing it. What do you look for? Where do you stop? What sorts of things have a story behind them? The short answer is everywhere and everything! Literally every thing you pass has at least some sort of story behind it. But that can prove yet another challenge… what is worth stopping for? That is what he hope to help you accomplish with our new…

DRIVING ON SUNDAY SUMMER SCAVENGER HUNT

That’s right, join us in finding the stories down your road by subscribing to our weekly Scavenger hunt. Here’s how it will work. Just Subscribe and wait to receive the first challenge in your email inbox starting Friday July 8th. Free of charge, of course!

How to Win the Challenge

Winning is easy, all you have to do is find three out of the five items on the downloadable checklist each week and submit them to us at Comments@drivingonsunday.com. Here are some samples.

  1. Find an Antique Car
  2. Share a story from someone you just met
  3. Eat at a restaurant you haven’t before
  4. Cross a County Line
  5. Travel to another State

Challenge Winners

Each week you send in your winning scavenger hunt checklist gets you a shoutout on our facebook page and if you complete all 4 scavenger hunts in a single month you will be entered into a drawing for one of the official Driving on Sunday Bumper Stickers or Magnets. (A $5.00 Value)

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Challenge your friends to a Summer Scavenger Hunt and become a true Sunday Driver.

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What Sunday Drivers Need!

One of my biggest fears as a Sunday Driver is the humiliation of looking like I don’t belong. What says that more than anything else? Making a U-turn or worse… using someone’s drive way to turn around. The solution I have found is to be bold, be brave, and tell the world “You know what, I’m on a Sunday Drive and if I’m turning around it’s not because I’m lost, it’s because I saw something back there I want to get a second look at.” And there is no better way to do that than with bumper stickers.

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An example of a driveway we would not want to turn around in.

Now that you have been converted into Sunday Drivers you’ve probably come across the worst part of Sunday Driving… EVERY OTHER CAR ON THE ROAD. All you are trying to do is get a few (hundred) photos of that barn on the side of the road but the line of 20 cars behind you won’t let you concentrate with all their honking. I think it is just because they don’t understand. What you need is a clear warning that you are going to be stopping at any given moment. Might I suggest bumper stickers?

You could get your bumper sticker from any old pit stop. You might even find a unique one that says something like “I Break For Armadillos!” But then you wouldn’t have a story to tell about where you got it. When you buy one of our bumper stickers and people ask you, “What’s the story behind those bumper stickers?” You can tell them this story.

One Sunday Afternoon, the world’s most famous Sunday Drivers were driving down one of Missouri’s picturesque highways when they decided to turn off onto a pleasant looking country road in search of an old historic house related to the Schoppenhorst house they had found previously. P1111353They looked diligently at their Delmore Atlas and Gazetteer to see where the road went. After several whole minutes of studying the map they decided to take quick pitstop at a Dollar General to ask the locals if they knew anything about the unnamed road they were inquiring about. The store clerk, unsure of the road, called her brother who was a delivery driver and coincidentally had just delivered a pizza to someone on that road. He added that he thinks he had seen the old house they were looking for. Confident that they could find it, they set off into the rapidly setting sun. After a mile, the road stopped at a fork. To the left, a broken down bridge across the Charrette Creek, to the right, a dark and forbidding narrow dirt road.

Left with no choice, they turned right. The road dropped into a shallow ravine along side the creek, and crawled up over a hill until it ended at a field guarded by an ominous looking house. Two vicious dogs came running out towards the car. Off in the distance a man wearing worn out jeans and a sweat stained wife-beater drinking a tall boy beneath the gentle wave of his rebel flag while he glared at them with indignation.

Thankfully their trusty van was able to turn on a dime and escape whatever fate might have befallen them had they not obeyed the stern encouragement to leave. Disappointed they had not found the house they were looking for, they set off back towards home. Once their pulses had settled, they resolved that next time they went on an adventure, they would come prepared with Bumper Stickers to declare their intent. They are just Sunday Drivers. All of that could have been avoided if they had just had the correct bumper stickers.527_350x350_Front_Color-White

Not sure where to get the right bumper stickers? Try this link here. Don’t want to put a sticker on your car but still want to show your colors? Get a bumper magnet here. Nearly limitless possibilities are available. And if there isn’t one you like, let us know and I will design a custom one for you.

For a limited time, get yours for only $3.99

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No Reservations About Rockwoods

What do you get when you take a Kentucky Family and plop them onto a Missouri Homestead in the year 1800?

Imagine this, a small log cabin on an open plain next to a spring fed creek on the foot of a small forested mountain (this is Missouri after all) full of deer, raccoon, rabbits, and turkeys ready for eating  (after you catch them, that is). Mix in some serious sweat equity and some turnip winters and you get what the Hamilton Family called home.
I call it paradise.
The Hamiltons got to live there for 54 years until they sold it to some miners and loggers who put tons of money into developing the area. We’ll talk more about the history in the upcoming Drive by History Lesson (drive on by to Youtube and subscribe so you don’t miss it).P5230641 These days the happy little homestead is gone and even the mining village has been over taken by hardwood forest but what is left is something that we can all enjoy. Since 1938 the Rockwoods Reservation has been a favorite destination for Missouri outdoorsmen because of the rugged trails, bat filled caves, and cool refreshing springs. Kezia and I were first told about the Rockwoods reservation by a couple living at the nursing home where I worked. They loved hiking and told me tales every night at dinner of how they had hiked at least once in every single State. Unfortunately, their health didn’t allow them to get around much anymore but they were eager to hear tales from a new generation.P5230733

We finally went for the first time when Clarence was only a few months old. I didn’t go into work until 11 AM so we had plenty of time each morning to get up and go for a nice hike before I had to leave. We strapped Clarence into the Ergo  and took him hiking. (Sunday Drivers, Ergo carriers are amazing. We never leave home without one. It stuffs nicely into most pockets in our mini-van, and can be put into a backpack. You never know when you’re going to need to get out and walk.) I can still remember that little peanut up on my back. It’s hard to believe he’s handling 2 mile hikes all by himself these days and soon Anders will even be too big for our Kelty Carrier. (Sunday Drivers, this one is a must as well. It’s sturdy for those heftier children and when you get tired you can just set it down like a chair) I’m going to miss having those munchkins on my back so it’s a good thing we have another little hiker on the way.P5230707

One of the first trails you see on the way into the park is the Limestone Kiln Trail. It’s named that because right at the entrance you see what remains of an old Limestone Kiln used by the Mining company. The rest of the trail is beautiful Missouri Ozark woodland. The birds sing, the deer prance, and the kids have a genuinely good time.P5230672 We had such a great time with this hike that we made it a goal to come hike there before work at least a few times a week. Perhaps I need not tell you, but those sorts of ambitious plans rarely take place. However, we have gone back several times. One time we went to visit the nature center. They were offering a free soap making class so naturally Kezia and I thought date night was in order. It was completely free and we came home with 4 bars of hand crafted soap. I just used a bar in the shower this morning in fact! They have tons of other activities throughout the year including a Maple Syrup Festival and group hikes. We missed the festival this year, but it’s on our calendar for next year.P5230610 This past week, it was time to see if Clarence could handle one of the longer trails and we tried the Rock Quarry trail. This one goes right into where the quarry once was but other than the sheer rock faces it looks like virgin Missouri woodland. For those looking for a longer hike, this trail connects with a 14 mile long trail loop that takes you through 2 other parks. All three of these parks have their roots in Homesteading, Logging, and Mining and now are great places for hiking.P5230633

Juanita and Milton (you know the couple from the nursing home?) were right. It’s a great park and it has become one of our favorites. Until next time thanks for Driving With Us!

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Your Mom Needs a Road Atlas!

This post about the Atlas is part III of a series on maps. Check out parts I and II.P4274970

Ah the open road! There’s nothing but possibilities ahead of you. The feel of that wheel in your hands, your mug of hot fresh coffee (which you can get for 10% off) covering up the smells of your pleasantly sleeping toddlers (because you left at 3 AM so that you could get most of your driving done before they woke up), and your trusty North American Road Atlas which can get you close enough to just about anywhere. Atlas in hand, you can conquer any road trip with the confidence of Magellan and the resolve of a pioneer.

Every year for Christmas we gave my dad the newest edition of the Rand McNally North American Road Atlas and here’s why it would make a great gift for your Mom this Mother’s Day!

Now I’m not sure if the atlas or the pioneer spirit came first for my Dad but regardless, these maps made many a road trip possible for us. I remember several trips down south to visit my Uncle and Aunt in Florida in which we seemed to magically find our way to our destination in record time. As I grew older I learned it was because after studying the map more closely he had found a shortcut. (It also might have been that time we stopped at a truck stop to get some hotel coupons and were caught in the middle of a record breaking drug bust of armed thugs by undercover DEA agents. That might have caused a bit of an aversion to stopping.)

When I got older, I wanted to get involved in the navigation process. When I was 11 years old, my dad took me for a week long camping trip in Colorado. (Our original plan was to use airline miles to visit Alaska, but as soon as we saved up enough they doubled the rates. I didn’t much mind, I still got to climb mountains.) On our way through Kansas and the part of Colorado that looks eerily like more Kansas, I began studying the map and found a shortcut that would cut almost 2 hours off of our driving time. My dad didn’t believe me until we saw a billboard that read “Cut 2 hours off at the next exit!” (Yeah, that actually existed. I’ve even asked people about this since then, and it is still a well known shortcut to Colorado Springs.) It’s a good thing we took that short cut, because as it was it took us almost an hour to get our water to boil and we ended up eating our Spaghetti in the dark.

Road Atlases are an essential tool when planning a long distance road trip because they give you a good overview of any state you might find yourself in and a more detailed look at many popular destinations. But like any other map, they have their pros and cons.

The Pros of the Road Atlas:

1. Most of them include all 50 states, US territories, and Canadian Provinces which covers the road trips for about 99.99% of us.

2. They are bound into a single volume that is about the size of a magazine.

3. You can get a large print version that is still relatively compact.

4. They often include important landmarks like highest point, popular destinations, and major historical sites.

5. They include every Interstate, most state highways, most major roads, and some minor roads.

The Cons of the Road Atlas:

1. They only provide an overview of each state and lack detail that is useful if you plan to go off of the major roads.

2. They get pretty beaten up in the car.

3. By the time it is published it is already out of date.

4. They infect you with Wanderlust and give you a false impression of how far things really are. (Whoa look at this, we could get to Idaho in a day because it’s only 3 pages away!) Those massive western states take up the same amount page space as those tiny New England ones so you tend to try too many miles in each day.

5. When the road becomes winding due to mountains or rivers, it will often straighten it out making it look like less of a distance than it really is.

The score is 5 to 5 on this one making the old fashioned Road Atlas a definite must in your road trip tool box. And with Mother’s Day coming up I definitely recommend getting one for her. Not convinced? Well I’ve taken the liberty of preparing an FAQ for you.

Q: My Mom is like 90 and doesn’t go on road trips, why would she need one?
A: Maps provide hours of entertainment even if you aren’t getting into a car. Imagine your mother (bless her heart) driving her finger down the highways on the map recalling her golden years. I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon in a retirement home.

Q: Don’t you think flowers would be a better gift?
A: Flowers tell a woman that she smells bad and you want her to smell more like a rose. No that’s a bad idea. It’s much better to tell her that “You are an adventurer! You can go anywhere you like!”

Q: Shouldn’t we get her a GPS?
A: You know… the answer to this question would make a great blog post! So check in with us next week when I talk about GPS.P4274992

Have I convinced you?

I’ve taken the liberty of finding some great prices on road atlases. Just click the pictures below to find one that works for you.

$29.95 – This one is my go to. I get a new one every year and it never does me wrong.
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$20.79 – Same recommendation, just a different size.

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$14.99 – National Geographic knows the world and makes great maps.
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$12.93 – Michelin has been the trusted name in auto travel for a long time. This one is frequently out of stock so order yours now before the get taken up.
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