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#73066 - 05/01/05 06:19 PM Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Meet travel expert Lori Hein at Hein, author of “Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America”. She's discussing her book and answering questions about trip planning, cross-country journeys, great American places, international destinations, going solo, family and intergenerational travel, and women traveling. Lori brings over 25 years of travel and writing experience to the forum. After September 11, the globetrotting writer, who’s visited some 60 countries, took her two children on a 12,000-mile back road journey into the heart of America, discovering the country’s majesty, humanity and resilience. “Ribbons of Highway” is the book that grew from the trio’s odyssey. “Ribbons” may inspire you to dream of or plan a trip across this vast, marvelous land or help recapture memories of a journey already taken. Reviews, raves and excerpts at Travel stories and photography at Lori’s world travel blog, Join Lori in May and talk travel!

#73067 - 05/01/05 06:21 PM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland

This post is from Lori. I had to cut and paste it. That's why my name appears as the post-er.

Good morning, all. I'm Lori Hein, author of "Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America." Dotsie has invited me to be May's Featured Author, and I thank her for her warm support and for the opportunity to chat with you over the coming month.

It's a gloomy morning here in Boston. We've been having rain, and more is promised. I'm glad this is an electronic rather than live forum, because I have laryngitis from standing outside in a cold rain for two hours at my son's track meet. Two hours to see him sprint 200 meters, an event that lasts a minute. Ah, motherhood...

I hope we'll have a lot to talk about this month. I'll tell you a bit about myself and my book to get us started. (And you'll find full bio, book excerpts and reviews, and travel stories and photography at my website, , and my world travel blog, .)

Before September 11, I'd been a globetrotter for over 25 years, and I'd seen a fair chunk of the planet. I've always loved to travel solo, but after I married and had kids, my family -- husband, Mike and kids, Adam and Dana -- became my favorite travel companions. My kids have been traveling the world since they were babies.

After the terrorist attacks, I realized I'd never really explored my own country. I'd seen large bits of it on business and pleasure trips, but I'd never considered it as a whole, as a giant quilt made of pieces sewn together into a single creation, as a nation that, taken in total, was more than the sum of its many parts. I felt a compelling need to get out into the country and make sure that it was alright, that its people were alright, that it could and would withstand such a fearsome assault and still remain strong and whole.

So, I packed up my kids, and we set out on a 12,000-mile back road journey through the heart of America. We spent the summer after 9/11 visiting every corner of the country and meeting people who welcomed us into their communities. What we discovered about America and its people amazed and heartened us. As we traveled, we also learned a lot about ourselves and the love that binds us to one another. My son, Adam, was 13 at the time and my daughter, Dana, 10.

"Ribbons of Highway" is the book that grew from our journey, and I look forward to talking with you about it over the next four weeks. I also look forward to talking about travel in general --family travel, solo travel, trip planning, great destinations both in America and abroad, women traveling -- any topic you'd like to explore.



Lori Hein
author, "Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America"
world travel blog:

[ May 01, 2005, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: Dotsie ]

#73068 - 05/02/05 12:37 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Pam Kimmell Offline

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 1423
Loc: Warrenton, Virginia
Lori, I'm also a "travel spirit" in that I was an "Air Force Brat" as a child and until my Dad retired from the service. I looked forward to seeing the world and moving around every couple of years. I STILL have the travel bug and every opportunity we get, my husband and I try to see some corner of the globe we've not yet explored.

I look forward to hearing some of your stories here during the next month!

#73069 - 05/02/05 05:27 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Sadie Offline

Registered: 10/08/04
Posts: 1274
Loc: MD
I have traveled clear across the US in the late 60's and mother and I go as far as AZ and the bus driver offered to take us to Calif and we were meeting mothers friend in Tuson AZ and never got to Calif , but hope to sum day . I love AZ . I have been as far north to Maine and to the midwest . I have even been to Mexico . I did not take that many pictuce , but did you have a favorite place that you really loved and a person that you found most interesting.?

#73070 - 05/02/05 06:00 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Traveling, especially by car, has always been my favorite adventure. I also love trains, but prefer to stop and visit along the way. Planes are great for getting there quickly, but you miss the experience of the countryside and the adventures along the way.

Can't wait to hear all about your travel adventures. Tell us about your most adventurous trip or event.

#73071 - 05/03/05 07:02 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Eagle Heart Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
I too am an avid traveller, although I tend to enjoy discovering the amazing people and places right here, close to home (i.e., Canada and the US). I've visited most parts of Canada, and a quite a lot of the US. One of my all-time favourite trips was to Santa Fe, New Mexico...stayed for a month in a monastery in Pecos, and enjoyed many side-trips during the retreat, so much so that I went back twice more. The third time, I met up with a retreat friend in Colorado and we drove all the way through the mountains to get to Pecos. It was breath-taking and exhilarating. Such wonderful memories.

I have always wanted to do an extended cross-country-cross-border expedition, and almost talked hubby into it, but he fizzled out on me. I still intend to do it, with or without him, someday.

#73072 - 05/03/05 07:10 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Lori Hein Offline

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 125
Loc: Boston
Good morning all,

I can tell we're going to have fun this month. Just reading your posts has fired up my inner "travel spirit." I love that term, Pam. It's the perfect way to describe someone hardwired with wanderlust.

Like you, I moved a lot as a kid, and those early experiences probably helped fuel my passion for travel. I wasn't a military "brat," but the daughter of a greeting card salesman. My dad would get transferred to a new city every few years, and off we'd go. By the time I hit junior high, I'd moved nine times. My sisters and I were all born in different states.

The need to travel and explore as much of the world as God would allow really kicked into overdrive when I was in college. I spent most of my junior year studying in Paris. Paris can be an unforgiving place if you're a young student living on a shoestring and struggling with the language. I often felt depressed and lonely, so I'd escape the city at every opportunity and travel to some other part of Europe for a weekend, or more, if my class schedule allowed. I discovered the beauty, culture and history of places like England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy. My eyes, mind and heart were opened to what's out there, and I was hooked.

Our US road trip, the "Ribbons" journey, was a powerful experience. Like Smilinize, I've always loved road travel. Traveling by car gives you enormous freedom to follow any tempting fork in the road and to go at the pace you choose.

When I was planning our cross-country journey, I created a route made up of 12,000 miles of back roads. We avoided interstates (except when they were, well, unavoidable). This, I think, is the key to really seeing a place. Get off the superhighways, the roads that serve only to move people and goods quickly from one point to another but show you nothing of the places you pass through. Taking the interstates is forward motion, not travel. Travel reveals something about the essence of a place and its people, and small routes are the magic keys that open places up to the traveler.

To help wean people off the interstates and onto the treasure-filled small routes, I've often told folks to "practice in your own backyard." Let's say you want to travel to a mall that's 20 miles from home, and you usually go by highway. Instead, grab a map and create a route that takes you through the center of every town between your house and the mall. You will, I guarantee, discover interesting things in those towns that you never knew existed. Historical homes and buildings, eyecatching architecture or landscaping, lovely parks and playgrounds, rivers and streams, interesting neighborhoods or business districts... Look at everything with the fresh eyes of a traveler, and you'll be amazed at what you find.

This post is getting long, so I'll sign off for now. I haven't forgotten Nancy's question about a favorite place or interesting person we encountered on our trip. That's a loaded question (and is, effectively, the reason I wrote the book -- to be able to collect the sights, sounds, feelings and memories of all the unique and fascinating people and places we were blessed to come across). Her question will provide fodder for many, many posts as we move through our chat this month!

Like Nancy, We loved Arizona. We have family there, so we've visited the Phoenix area many times. On our road trip, however, we spent most of our Arizona time in the northeast corner of the state, in the Navajo nation, where old women with tough-as-walnut faces sell kneel-down bread from tables in their front yards, and families haul hay for their sheep in the beds of their white pickups, the kids sitting atop the bales to keep them from blowing away, and the Kayenta Bible Church holds services and Sunday School in both English and Navajo. A nation within a nation, and proud of both.

Until next time,

#73073 - 05/03/05 07:13 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
Lori Hein Offline

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 125
Loc: Boston
Eagle Heart,

I chuckled at the "with or without him..." That's the attitude! Grab a friend, go solo, meet up with different folks at places along the route... But go!


#73074 - 05/02/05 10:23 PM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
glacier Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 2
Loc: MA
I read "Ribbons" and loved it!! Literally, couldn't put it down. So, I have to ask, looking back, would you do anything differently? Any place(s) you didn't get to but wished you had?


#73075 - 05/03/05 01:16 AM Re: Lori Hein, Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America
unique Offline

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 483
Loc: North Carolina
...or any places you went that you wish you didn't? I'm planning a trip like that and I'd like to skip the yicky parts!

Did you come across any glass bottom boat rides out there (besides the ones in FL, that is)?

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