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Mother & Daughter Duo Conquer the West: Lynda and Brittany’s Excellent Adventure

January 29, 2018

Summer of 2016, Lynda Fox and her daughter Brittany, celebrated Brittany’s graduation from Tennessee Tech University by loading their car, packed with bags and bicycles, and heading out West.  In an interview with CCN, the mother and daughter duo share highlights from their cross country adventure.

CCN: What inspired you two to go on this trip together?

Lynda: My daughter asked me to go with her and I couldn’t remember the last time we went somewhere with just the two of us.

Brittany: I had graduated from Tennessee Tech with my bachelor of science in Accounting. I knew that soon enough it would be time for me to be moving from the small city I love to conquer the next stage of my life and not seeing as much of my mom and family as I would like. So as a graduation gift, I wanted to experience the second half of the country with my amazing mom, who also had not seen much of the western US.

CCN: Where did you go on your journey?

Brittany: Our first stop was Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX, which happened to be the location our previous music director at FBC had moved to. We were able to meet up with them (Bart, Roni, and Leeanne Starr) and they were able to show us right where we wanted to go, which I’m not sure mom and I would have found it by ourselves.

Brittany, Lynda and Bart

Brittany and Lynda join friend Bart Starr at Cadillac Ranch in Armallio, Texas.

From there we headed straight to the Grand Canyon where we spent two days in. Our first day was at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We spent the day biking 14 miles along the outside of the canyon. I was soon to figure out how much more in shape my mom was than me as I was found walking most of the way while she biked around me. After our bike ride, we drove to the North rim (which surprisingly takes 4 hours). Most of the trip we would call in for hotels but that day, because we never really knew where we were, this quickly bit us in the rear when we found ourselves on the north rim of the Grand Canyon with no reservations and no rooms available. We may or may not have slept in our car in a National park but I will never tell. We spent the next day on an amazing mule trip into the north rim!

Brittany and Lynda riding mules.

Brittany and Lynda riding mules in the Grand Canyon.

After the Grand Canyon we set out for Yosemite National Park which in my opinion was the most beautiful place we went to where we hiked and even got to see a bear!

Brittany at Mirror Lake

Brittany and Lynda visit Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park.

From Yosemite we set out for the gorgeous Yellowstone National Park where we saw bison on bison on bison.

Brittany and Lynda at Yellowstone Park

Brittany and Lynda visit Yellowstone National Park.

After Yellowstone, we made a quick stop to Mount Rushmore to visit the big 4.

Brittany and Lynda visit Mount Rushmore

Brittany and Lynda visit Mount Rushmore.

After Mount Rushmore, we found ourselves on the only part of the trip where we got lost and that was the Badlands. My “amazing” sense of directions directed me onto a 10-12 miles detour on a dirt road that ended us in a “no entry entrance” and swarmed by prairie dogs. Yet, once we found our way, it was my second favorite stop!

Brittany and Lynda visit the Badlands of South Dakota.

Brittany and Lynda visit the Badlands of South Dakota.

From the Badlands, we headed to ease our sadness of our trip ending by meeting up with my older sister, Kristen, and our family friend Leslie Sherrill in Louisville, Ky. to sing our hearts out at a Kenny Chesney concert.

CCN: What were some of the best things you saw and experienced?

Lynda: The Grand Canyon. It was beautiful! Yosemite Park, so much to see and do there. Just driving out West. I had no idea how empty parts of our world actually are. We would drive for days and see nobody or anything but empty land.

Brittany: One of the favorite things that I saw was at Yosemite National Park. We had just left the main part of the park and were heading down the mountains when a huge traffic jam had come upon us. As we inched closer, we could hear people shouting “bear!”.  I was driving and quickly pulled to the side of the road to jump out and see, and low and behold, there was a grizzly bear about 50 yards from the road. There were around 30 people jumping out of cars and running up to see it. I also enjoyed watching how much the environment changed from little, small town trees everywhere in Tennessee to the brown everything vast openness of the Wild West. There were some places we would go 50 miles without seeing a town or gas station.

Lynda, Leslie, Brittany, Kristen Concert pic

Lynda, Leslie Sherrill, Brittany and sister, Kristen in Louisville, Ky. at a Kenny Chesney concert.

CCN: What were some of your most laughable moments?

Lynda: Almost running out of gas twice in the Wild West because gas stations and people are rare out there. Having to sleep in our car at the North Side of the Grand Canyon because we did not make reservations, only to wake up parked beside a sign that said, “No sleeping in vehicles”. Giving Brittany “Advil” ALL day one day because she had a headache and then putting my glasses on and realizing I had grabbed the wrong bottle before we left and I was actually giving her stool softener (yikes), and just the time we had talking about absolutely nothing.

Brittany: My most laughable moments had to of been my mom and I stranded with no hotel room and sleeping in our car at the North rim of the Grand Canyon. But for free, the view was amazing! Also, I drove most of the way yet I woke up twice while mom was driving to an almost empty tank of gas and the next gas station well over 25 miles away. Once, we really tested our luck when mom let the gas go from 25 miles to empty with 30 miles to the next gas station. Luckily, we made it, although we were already prepared to ride our bikes to the next gas station.

CCN: What was it like going on this trip just mother and daughter?

Lynda: It was amazing. She has grown up on me somewhere along the way and I had failed to realize it.

Brittany: It was amazing going with my mom. I know within the next few years I won’t be seeing my mom as much as I would like and going on a trip like this was amazing.

CCN: What are some of your favorite memories from the trip?

Lynda: There are so many I don’t know how to pick out just a few. Eating dinner with Bart and Roni and Carol Trickler in Texas. Riding our bikes around the Grand Canyon because I was faster than Brittany. Seeing a bear in Yosemite. Spray painting the Cadillacs at Cadillac Ranch. Riding the mules at the Grand Canyon just like on the Brady Bunch. Stopping in Arizona at the Bed Rock Campground, The Flintstones is still one of my favorite shows. Just getting to see this beautiful place we live in.

Brittany: My favorite memories would have to be realizing how fit my mom is and her biking circles around me at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The whole trip really will be a memory I will never forget.

CCN: Do you have any suggestions for anyone planning a long trip like yours?

Lynda: Don’t make plans, it is sooo much fun just to go and see where you end up.

Brittany: I suggest don’t plan anything! My mom and I literally knew where we wanted to go and that was it. We traveled to various cities, stayed in various hotels and it couldn’t have worked out better.

With her summer adventure over, Brittany is on to a new chapter of her life with new adventures ahead in Colorado.

“I have moved out West for some years, to experience a little more life.”

Sept. 1, 2016 CCN Article by Rebekah Hurst, Photos provided, Updated and reposted with permission

From → Adventure, Features

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