I grew up in the Seattle, WA area, but my parents came from the Pittsburgh, PA area. Most of my relatives still lived in Pennsylvania. So every couple of years, we would load up a station wagon, or van, and drive cross country.
When we did these cross country drives, we would usually drive straight though not stopping at motels or hotels at night. It would take us about 50 some hours of driving to reach our destination. Driving through Montana seemed to be about half of the trip. We would stop only for gas, food, and bathroom breaks. We would drive through the night. My parents would take turns driving. One would drive, and the other would sleep. If they both wre tired, we’d pull off somewhere, and they would get a short nap in, before they continued driving.
I still remember all of those nights driving in the middle of the USA. There wouldn’t be a lot of people out on the roads. We would play leap frog with the big eighteen wheelers. We would pass them, they would pass. Then in the morning, we would see the sun rise.
We didn’t have TV’s or video players. Finding radio stations was always fun. You would find a station that you liked, and it might come in for an hour or two if you were lucky before you were out of range of it’s signal. Later in the van, we had an 8-track tape player, and would listen to tapes. Us kids were generally stuck listening to our parent’s music.
We would play games sometimes such as license plate bingo as you tried to spot plates from different states.
The various rest stops were very primitive compared to now. I remember Ohio having the best rest stops. Theirs actually had cool vending machines.
When we got to Pennsylvania, we would spend a little voer a week visiting with relatives, and then we would start our drive home.
The drive home was a little more leisurely. We still wouldn’t stay at motels or hotels. Be we would stop and see sites along the way. Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Lewis and Clark Caverns, the Great Salt Lake, etc.
These days when I travel across crounty, I fly. I do miss those cross country drives.