All Revved Up With No Place to Go?
Roadtripusa.com lists 11 different road trip routes across America, and three of them pass through Minnesota.
The Great River Road follows the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. From Mark Twain to Showboat, the Mighty Mississippi has provided powerful imagery for some of Americas greatest artists and works. So, do what Huck Finn would have done if hed had a drivers license instead of a raft, and experience Old Man River yourself.
Not into river riding? US-2 follows the Great Northern Line through a variety of landscapes from Washington to Maine. So hop on The Great Northern and head east or west see all the sights without setting foot in a sleeper train.
For all you old-school computer game fanatics, US-20 follows the famous Oregon Trail from Oregon to Massachusetts, minus the covered wagon.
Buy extra film at the general store youll see Niagara Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Boston, Chicago, the baseball and rock n roll halls of fame, odd museums, classic diners and maybe even a few 49ers.
Dont want to leave Minnesota? Welcome your break with a drive to Duluth for Fitgers 10th Annual Bockfest in the Courtyard of Fitgers Brewhouse, March 17-19.
This German celebration of brats and ahem beer (to be drunk responsibly, off-campus, by those of age) boasts a Volksmarch on the Lakewalk, a Polar Bear Plunge, Stein races and Torte contests, campfires, lederhosen and live entertainment. Visit fitgers.com for directions and reservations.
If northern Minnesota seems too cold for spring break, try some southern attractions.
Darwin, Minn. boasts the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine, 80 minutes east of the Twin Cities. Play Weird Al Yankovichs song, The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, during the drive!
Belle Plaine, Minn., boasts the best bathroom break a five-holer, 2-story outhouse. A skyway, which matches the house in height and painted paneling, connects the house to the second story. Just imagine the souvenirs!
Roadtripamerica.com has complete information on these and other local and national offbeat attractions.
Road Trip Check List
Great road trips arent made by the sites alone the drive itself is half the fun, but it requires preparation. These guidelines will save you from country radio and roadside cuisine and help you prepare the perfect trip.
Dont Snub Your Stomach
Food is pretty easy to figure out for a road trip. Car candy is nice, but dont let it ruin your appetite or harm your health. Throw some fruit into your snacking routine. Prepare healthy snacks like string cheese, veggie sticks, fruit slices, cereal and trail mix. You can pick up your favorite candies on the way, but be conscious of your sugar intake, because youll have to stay seated in the car even when you get a sugar buzz.
That said, lets indulge in the sweet subject of snacking.
Molly Buchholz 06 popped peanut M&M'S on her spring break road trip to Florida last year.
They satisfy your chocolate craving, while at the same time providing a decent amount of protein, Buchholz said.
Chocolate doesnt satisfy everyones sweet tooth, however.
I like those giant jawbreakers best ... the huge ones. Gives me a project for the trip, Adrienne Boeder 06, said.
But when it comes to snacking logic, Martin Refsal 06, has the lowdown.
Jawbreakers are too sugary, Refsal said. If you're taking a road trip, you'll obviously eat a lot of them, and you'll probably get a canker sore, which isn't cool.
Candy considerations need to be made with the cars environment in mind.
Chocolate is bad for road trips because it melts so easily when it's in the sun, Refsal, who drove to Florida last year with Buchholz and friends, said.
Whatever sweets suit your fancy, stock em up and suck em down. Just remember to bring a trash bag for your wrappers and seeds.
As serious college students, we all know how to manipulate our bodies and minds to stay awake.
On road trips, Ben Hande 05 advocates coffee, loud music and talking.
Make a rule that the person in the passenger seat has to stay awake with you, Hande said.
Still, that midnight stretch is hard to conquer; caffeine remains the most reliable remedy.
For those who find coffee bitter, sweeteners, flavored syrups and specialty drinks mask the taste with sugar, but that can elevate blood-sugar levels and make sitting in a car excruciating.
Non-diet sodas run the same risk. Plus, the carbonation in sodas can cause bloating and weaken bone density, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
Coffee seems to be the best option. Try to keep it as black as the night youre driving through.
Hydrate, Bathroom Break, Stretch, Rehydrate
Caffeine is a diuretic. It stimulates, but it also dehydrates, so intersperse your coffee with water.
Staying hydrated may require more bathroom breaks, but welcome them as opportunities to stretch.
This will prevent cramping and offer an opportunity to work off some extra energy. Schedule routine bathroom and stretching breaks and, if theres no gas station in site, stop at a scenic overlook.
Consider temperature changes at your destination, and think layers.
"I love my Ole gear," Tori Van Buren '05 said. "Those baggy sweatshirts are great for layering."
Dont overpack though the more you bring, the less space youll have on the drive.
A simple safety kit can save your trip from absolute ruin. Cell phones are a given, but dont forget the charger and car adaptor. Also bring blankets, water, nonperishable food, jumper cables, spark plugs, tires and a first aid kit. Most car safety kits include flares or flare guns.
Finally, be sure that someone in the car knows how to use your safety tools; otherwise, youre just as good as empty-handed.