Category Archives: Road Trip

Out on the Open Road Ann Arbor Winter Style

Being “Out on the Open Road” can be a challenge in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest during the winter months. Road conditions and the resulting slow times in the car can get on my nerves like many at times. It is was worth it though when I’m able to see the beautiful snow scenes that this time of year produces. This was especially true on some recent drives on and around Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. Well without further ado.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road, Ann Arbor winter style.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The early morning brings with it the same scenic feeling.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Playing on the wintry road, to capture the scenes of winter.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rinse, repeat. More Ann Arbor Huron River Drive beauty.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Huron River is a must Ann Arbor drive no matter the time of the year.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Blue winter skies. The warmer temperatures causing all the heavy snow and branches to start falling onto the road.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area pedestrian bridge.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

Out on the open Barton Nature Area snow-covered trail.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything on the pedestrian bridge over the Huron River.

Pedestrian bridge over Huron River, Barton Nature Area, Ann Arbor

The wet and heavy snow clings on to everything in the Barton Nature Area.

Huron River and snow covered hills of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Looking out at the Huron River and wintry hills of Ann Arbor.

Huron River Drive in winter, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Out on the open road true Ann Arbor winter style.

Bird Rd. - Ann Arbor winter scene

A new dirt road find, the hilly Bird Road in Ann Arbor.

Do you have a favorite drive you like to road trip on over-and-over again during the winter months?

An Updated Ten Travel Tips for a Day Road Trip

It’s almost time to get out on the open road on a day road trip. Have you planned ahead? Spontaneity and just getting into the car and going can lead to some great trips no doubt. However there are some things that you should take into consideration before and during your roadie.

Day road trip tips - The Adventures of elATLboy.com

It’s been five years since I wrote my original post on this. The basics have stayed the same. A lot has changed though in terms of technology and in me getting more perspective from additional time on the road. Below is an update on my post and the day road trip tips I have found helpful.

1. Check the weather. The days leading up to a road trip and/or right before you get in the car, head to The Weather Channel website or app and check the forecast. You could also do a simple search like “Charleston weather” in Google, quickly becoming informed. Hmmm let’s see… winter storm? Maybe I should venture there tomorrow instead.

Day road trip tips - check the weather

Follow the weather on your phone throughout your adventure as well. You’ll increase the chances of not running into a sheet of ice (been there), high winds or getting caught up in a deluge of rain. You might change course on the spot. Who knows that could lead to an unexpected adventure and you’ll be safer.

Additional Tips: While you are at it check for major construction along with Googling “<NAME OF DESTINATON> traffic”.

2. Get a good night sleep. A day road trip could last a full 24 hours or more. I look at it like this. The longer you make the day, the further you can travel away from home and double back, meaning the more you can see. I love taking advantage of the extended daylight hours in the summer. If the sleep thing doesn’t work out then you are going to need…

3. …fuel, I mean coffee! Bring some from home. If desperate grab some at a travel center or truck stop ha-ha. As the day goes on make sure to refuel at indie, mom and pop coffee shops along the way. At least that’s my philosophy. I love experiencing something new, sometimes getting tips on things to do from bulletin boards or the locals sipping java inside. Drip Drop Drink in Muskegon is my-go when exploring the beach towns along Lake Michigan in Pure Michigan.

4. Charge, charge, charge. It’s not just you that needs to be fully charged. Make sure your Galaxy 7 or iPhone X and camera are ready to go. You will want to have enough juice to take pictures, post to Snapchat, Instagram live stories, ask for advice on Twitter, etc. Have those chargers and spare batteries, along with a portable power pack or two handy. A lot of people have USB ports in their vehicles these days. Bonus for getting extra juice while you are driving!

5. Fully stock your vehicle. Learning from experience, I make sure to have a blanket, bottled water, extra clothes, wind-shield washer fluid, flashlight, jumper cables, spare tire, emergency snack food, etc. Also check your oil and other fluids, along with your tires.

Day road trip tips - have a spare tire, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables

6. Have navigation help. Some people use Gladys (GPS), but many more gravitate to Google maps on their phone these days. The key is to have them available. Back to the word spontaneity. Make sure to put all navigational aids away at times for adventure sake. When I personally seek help I still like having my trusty, old-fashioned atlas alongside. The Waze app can help here as well.

7. Bring cash including change. You never know when you’ll need it for tolls and parking meters. When you call for help to fix a flat tire or for general road-side assistance, a lot of the time cash is the only payment option.

8. Hit the road on an empty stomach. You can snack and have your coffee, but be hungry and ready to eat so you can try some local cuisine. It’s not a day for McDonald’s or hitting up the vending machine at a rest area. How about a stop at Skyline Chili when road tripping through Cincinnati along I-75?! As far as chains go I will allow stopping at a random Waffle House ha-ha. Some of my best day road trip memories started or ended there.

Day road trip tips - stop at a Waffle House

9. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Hopefully there will be lots of getting out of the vehicle to explore. Some jogging, hiking and climbing could be in order. I once traveled fifteen miles on foot while in the heart of Chicago. With the cost of parking in a big city it’s better to centrally park and use public transportation or walk to everything.

10. Even with planning as described in the tips above make sure to have semi-plans. In other words be out there on the open road with an open mind. There it is yet again, my word of the day, spontaneity. Of course there will be places you marked to experience. You must also be willing to get sidetracked with random finds. The unexpected can be the most gratifying.

day road trip tips - lake mead, las vegas, nevada

Checkout my original day road trip tips post.

Any other day road trip recommendations? I can’t wait to see all of you out on the open road.

The 2017 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Another Autumn has come and gone here in Pure Michigan and the Midwestern US. Most of Fall was unusually warm. Between that and being out of town during the heart of the season, I wasn’t able to experience the fall colors as much as in years past.

I did have a chance to sneak out and venture around Ann Arbor, Brighton and the western suburbs of Detroit a little bit. It doesn’t matter where you are in the state, it seems the beautiful colors will be right in front of you. Well without further ado:

n 2017 - Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton

Huron Meadows Metro Park in Brighton. An annual stop.

n 2017 - Out on the open Livingston County dirt road

You never know the scenes that await while driving random dirt roads. From Livingston County.

n 2017 - Out on the open Ann Arbor area dirt road

Off to the dirt roads it is around Ann Arbor.

n 2017 - Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor

Out on the open Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. My recommended Fall drive in these parts.

n 2017 - Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor

Out on the open Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. My recommended Fall drive in these parts.

n 2017 - Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor

Out on the open Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. I’m repeating myself. I just this drive!

n 2017 - Out on the open Livingston County dirt road

You never know the scenes that await while driving random dirt roads. From Livingston County.

n 2017 - Early morning frost

The leaves and I are taking in the early morning frost.

n 2017 - Early morning frost

The leaves and I are taking in the early morning frost.

n 2017 - Early morning frost

The colors were really popping out in Brighton, Michigan.

n 2017 - Huron River, Ann Arbor

The Huron River is on the move to capture Fall in Ann Arbor.

n 2017 - Huron River, Ann Arbor

Argo Park Autumn views along the Huron River in Ann Arbor.

n 2017 - Huron River, Ann Arbor

Argo Park Autumn views along the Huron River in Ann Arbor.

n 2017 - Ann Arbor residential fall scene

Residentaial drives are a must this time of the year in collegetown Ann Arbor.

n 2017

Random dirt road driving is a must during the Fall season.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Brighton State Recreation Area

Reflecting on the season at the Brighton State Rrecreation Area.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Brighton State Recreation Area

Reflecting on the season at the Brighton State Rrecreation Area.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Brighton State Recreation Area

The colors and I are taking in the dawn sky at Bishop Lake.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Brighton State Recreation Area

The colors and I are taking in the dawn sky at the Brighton State Recreation Area.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Huron River in Ann Arbor

Looking down the Huron River at Ann Arbor’s Bandemer Park.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Huron River in Ann Arbor

Looking down the Huron River at Ann Arbor’s Bandemer Park.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Ann Arbor, Michigan Stadium

Michigan Stadium straight ahead. It only take one Fall tree or two to make a beautiful scene.

n 2017 - Hines Drive in Metro Detroit

It’s a great time for the kids to hit the playground like here in western Wayne county.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Hines Drive in Metro Detroit

Out on the open Hines Drive in Northville.

n 2017 - Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor

Back to Huron River Drive I go. The route takes you from Ann Arbor to Dexter.

n 2017 - Barton Nature Area, Huron River, Ann Arbor

Starring out down the Huron River at the Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Hines Drive in Metro Detroit

Reflecting on the colors of Newburgh Lake in Livonia.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Hines Drive in Metro Detroit

The Autumn leaves of Hines Drive in Metro Detroit.

Pure Michigan Autumn 2017 - Hines Drive in Metro Detroit

The Autumn leaves of Hines Drive in Metro Detroit.

Check some scenes I captured last year in The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan.

Where have you gone around home or in your travels to capture this years Fall colors?

Cruising Along Lake Michigan in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Is the Michigan summer open road taking you to Mackinac Island or just into the Upper Peninsula and St. Ignace? If so, take some time to drive westbound U.S. Route 2, one of the major east-west drives in the U.P. Once you are about ten miles off I-75 and the Mackinac Bridge you will find yourself along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

You will be on a part of the official Lake Michigan Circle Tour. For miles and miles it will be just lake, beach, sand dunes and brush straight ahead. The brush along the road is narrow, along with the beach that snugs the northern shore of the Great Lake.

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

There are plenty of places to park the car alongside the road to walk the beach. Despite being here in the middle of the summer, I had the scenery all to myself.

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Well without further ado, some more pics of my time out on the open road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan:

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Route 2, Lake Michigan shoreline - Upper Peninsula, Michigan

What lake side drives are your favorites? Any in Michigan?

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Another Autumn has rolled around here in Michigan and the Midwest. With that brings the usual plethora of Fall colors and beauty everywhere you look.

Below are just some of the scenes I’ve captured around Ann Arbor, Brighton, Fenton and the western Detroit area over the last few weeks. Pure Michigan Autumn beauty at its finest!

Hines Drive - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Picnic table hanging out amongst the Autumn backdrop of Hines Drive in Plymouth.

Hines Drive - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Hines Drive in Plymouth Autumn beauty.

Hines Drive - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Fall colors await along Hines Drive in Northville.

Hines Drive - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Fall colors await along Hines Drive in Northville.

Hines Drive - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

The morning frost is enjoying the Fall backdrop.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open rural Autumn road in Pure Michigan.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Colorful leaves dotting the ground are aplenty.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

The Fall leaves are hanging along the Shiawassee River in Fenton.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Checking out andom dirt roads in Livingston County.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Huron Meadows Metropark is the place to be around Brighton this time of year.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Huron Meadows Metropark is the place to be around Brighton this time of year.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open Fall road around Pinckney.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open Fall road around Pinckney.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open Fall road around Pinckney.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Autumn Ann Arbor neighborhood style.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Huron Meadows Metropark is the place to be around Brighton this time of year.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Huron Meadows Metropark is the place to be around Brighton this time of year.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

You’ll find a vast number of Autumn colors every year at Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

You’ll find a vast number of Autumn colors every year at Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

You’ll find a vast number of Autumn colors every year at Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

You’ll find a vast number of Autumn colors every year at Parker Mill Park in Ann Arbor.

Hell, Michigan - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Autumn is in the foreground at Hell Dam in Hell, Michigan.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open country dirt road outside Ann Arbor.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Out on the open country dirt road outside Ann Arbor.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

The Fall scene anywhere along the Huron RIver in Ann Arbor is worth checking out.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

The Fall scene anywhere along the Huron RIver in Ann Arbor is worth checking out.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Looking up Bird Road at Fall beauty in Ann Arbor.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Make sure to look not just straight ahead, but upwards to capture the beauty of the season.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Make sure to look not just straight ahead, but upwards to capture the beauty of the season.

Ann Arbor - The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

The shadows of Autumn are on full display at the Argo Nature Area in Ann Arbor.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Make sure to look not just straight ahead, but upwards to capture the beauty of the season.

The 2016 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan

Colorful leaves dotting the ground are aplenty.

Check some scenes I captured last year in The 2015 Edition of Autumn in Pure Michigan.

Where have you gone around home or in your travels to capture Fall colors this season?