Because it had been a while since we’d left our cozy, safe environment to see the Great Outdoors, we planned a road trip — just the two of us — that would combine relative safety during the pandemic with the opportunity to see a part of the U. S. we love. The result? A two-week adventure from our hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, to Gettysburg, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and back home again. We knew we had to be mindful of safety in the days of Covid-19, so we talked about our concerns and how we could venture forth while protecting ourselves and others.
With a love of side roads and scenery, we charted our path up U.S. Hwy. 11 to maximize barn sightings and countryside discoveries. One major destination was Gettysburg, a site we’d visited hurriedly before on the way to Maine, but this time we wanted to drive along marked routes, read markers, and get a feel for the battle. After that stop, we hoped to wind our way along the Eastern Shore for leisurely views of water, boats, and quaint homes in small towns like St. Michaels and Oxford in Maryland and Onancock, Virginia. The operative words were “the two of us” as we tried to avoid crowds and focus on scenery.
Our planning had some basic considerations for safety and ease of traveling in mind:
- Travel lightly (one carry-on apiece) since we would be staying only a couple of nights in various locations.
- Pack some non-perishable food and drinks to enjoy on the road.
- Add our trusty atlas, good walking shoes, and extra masks.
- Make reservations ahead at clean lodging establishments — hotels or bed-and-breakfasts — that promote the use of masks, social distancing, and no service professionals in our room for the duration of the stay.
- Eat in the car via take-out or dine at restaurants with outdoor seating.
- Stop only at clean, spacious rest areas and avoid touching surfaces when possible.
- Avoid crowds by limiting shopping in stores, large gatherings at monuments, and peak times in restaurants.
The trip would be an attempt to soak up cool “fallish” weather since we may have to quarantine again at home this winter. Most importantly, taking in the great outdoors, pretty scenery and all, would be Goal One.
Please join us in the next few days and weeks for our posts on backroads and waterways of a few favorite eastern states. We look forward to sharing our two-week Road Trip 2020 with you!
Rusha & Bert
Photo at top: Even the passengers were masked on this tour of the Annapolis harbor! Safety first.