R oad trips are my most vivid childhood memories, times of bright joy and adventure. My dad meticulously created these customized AAA Triptiks of his optimal routes, my older brother quickly learned to navigate from those paper maps and find hidden gems, and my mom carefully packed every conceivable supply, from the big basket of snacks to the red duffel full of my favorite toys. I would chime in from the back seat using my kid’s atlas, narrating each state’s facts like an announcer: its official flower, animal, and motto. I still have the book, a slip of paper tucked inside tracking the 40+ states we visited and the National Park passport in which we would eagerly collect our stamps. In this photo, we were crisscrossing the country with my mom’s younger brother. He snapped us in front of the iconic sign for Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. We had taken a northerly route through Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota before arriving in Toronto, Ontario. On the way back, we took in the mighty Niagara Falls before returning through some major cities including Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of these stops included staying with family and friends whom we would not have been able to see otherwise. On this particular trip, we traversed at least 6,000 miles over the five or so weeks. And these meandering, explorative trips anchored many of our summers - seemingly every international visitor we hosted spent a few days on the road with us.

Supriya Misra
Chico, California
Photo Location
Yellowstone National Park
Toronto, Ontario
Father, mother, brother, maternal uncle

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