My journey today is about travel. My wife and I love to travel. We have traveled to most of the states and a few foreign countries. However, I have reached the point in time, because of my age, that we no longer can makes the trips we otherwise would take.

Don Estep is publisher of the News Journal.

Another reason is that I hate airports, and driving on the Interstate is insane. Therefore, our future vacations may be closer to home.

As a child my parents never had vacations. The longest trip I took then was to Louisville to visit my sister. Otherwise, our annual trip to Big Spring Union Baptist Church just above Middlesboro in the Virginia, Tennessee area was about all the travel I experienced for many years.

It was always on a Sunday and there was all day preaching and dinner on the ground. As kids we would walk across the little wooden bridge to the General Store to get snow cones. I would spend most of my time with a friend, Glenn Parks, also from Corbin. He later became a teacher in the Corbin City Schools. His parents made him suffer through the reunions too.

The most memorable trip was when my father did the unthinkable and bought a Chrysler DeSota convertible. It was very unlike him because he was a conservative, church going, low key contractor. But one Friday he came home from an out of town job driving that monster of a car.

It had wooden doors and long air horns on each front fender that sounded like a freight train coming when he would sound them off. Again, very unlike his character.

But as kids we loved it. When that big car with fluid drive would tackle the mountain where the tunnel is located from Middlesboro to Cumberland Gap it would struggle to make it up the mountain. When faster cars would pass us my dad would blow those big air horns. What fun it was for us.

Needless to say, he didn’t keep that car very long. I think the family shamed him out of it. He traded it in on a Hudson Hornet.

Everything changed for me when I got married. Vacations became a priority for me and Judy. For 59 years we have ventured to many locations. My favorite in the states was in the northwest and up into Canada. That vacation was a little longer than most. It lasted three weeks.

From Mount Rushmore to the Badlands to Jackson Hole, to Glacier National Park, plus many other stops like Lake Louise, Banff, Butchart Gardens,  and Vancouver all in Canada, plus many other places, I highly recommend traveling to these locations.

In the early years of our marriage the trips were mostly to Florida where the kids could play on the beach. I have paid for those dearly with many skin cancers taken off.

There is not a place where we have travelled that I didn’t enjoy. There were times when we might not could have afforded a vacation, but by saving and cutting out some unnecessary expenses, we managed it.

I am so glad we took those trips. They hold special memories for us. Life is too short not to take a little time off and do the things you enjoy most.

Now I have just over a month to surprise my wife with a trip for our 60th anniversary. This is tough because we don’t like crowded airports and driving tires me out, so I have to get imaginative. I’m working on it and I guarantee whatever, she will like it.

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