Outtakes from the #OrthAmerica Road Trip

When Ford Motor Company invited me to explore some quirky roadside attractions in the Transit Connect Wagon this summer, I knew immediately who I wanted to bring along — my brother Alex and sister Rachel, the two best traveling companions I know.

There’s a 12-year span between oldest and youngest so folks are often surprised to see how close we are, but that’s just how we’ve always been. (It also helps that they’re both amenable to dressing up in costumes – the main requirement for joining me on an adventure!)

Aren't they fun?
Aren’t they fun?

While we Tweeted, Facebooked, YouTubed and Instagrammed our way from Denver to Seattle making it seem like every moment of the #OrthAmerica adventure was captured on social media, there were lots of behind-the-scenes outtakes that never made it to the Internet. For example…

At the Wyoming/Idaho border, trying to find our way
At the Wyoming/Idaho border, trying to find our way

We got lost. Quite a bit.

While we mapped a tentative route using Roadtrippers.com, our daily wanderings were much less scripted. And not to point fingers, but every time Rachel was in charge of navigation, we got super lost. One morning, we ended up in Washington a full day before we were supposed to, crossing the border from Oregon and going about 45 minutes out of our way. One evening it took us a whole hour to find our hotel in Pocatello, Idaho, even though we could see it perched atop a hill.

Took a wrong turn at Little America...
Took a wrong turn at Little America…

GPS isn’t always foolproof, we quickly learned! But life’s more about the journey than the destination, right?

This photo was harder to take than you might think!
This photo was harder to take than you might think!

Those state line signs aren’t always easy to photograph.

Our first state line photo was at the border of Colorado and Wyoming, and it came up out of nowhere so we drove right past it. It took about 20 minutes to get to the next exit, turn around, U-turn and safely park our #unminivan in front of the Welcome to Wyoming sign. We attracted some attention in the way of semi-truck honks while jumping around the side of the road in our cowboy/cowgirl attire, but the fun photos were totally worth the detour.

We LOVED anything Oregon Trail-related, especially costumes!
We LOVED anything Oregon Trail-related, especially costumes!

People stared & pointed at us.

To be fair… we were jumping around in front of our Ford Transit Connect Wagon holding cardboard signs in western wear. I suppose, at times, our behavior might’ve warranted a few glances.

RaeRae tries to make off with a souvenir at Little America
RaeRae tries to make off with a souvenir at Little America


To us, it’s just another day in the Orth family.

Alex and Abraham Lincoln hamming it up in Wyoming
Alex and Abraham Lincoln hamming it up in Wyoming
I didn't get shotgun so I was pouting in the backseat.
I didn’t get shotgun so I was pouting & RaeRae was mocking me. Grrrrr.

We fought over who got to sit up front.

We don’t bicker about much, but who gets to ride shotgun has always been our ultimate family feud. If you’d been there, you would’ve seen us sprinting through the parking lot, elbowing one another as we raced to the front passenger seat. I concede we’re a little too old for such shenanigans, but I can’t help it if I think being the eldest entitles me to the front seat for all eternity.

Just driving along on the #OrthAmerica journey
Just driving along on the #OrthAmerica journey

We got a little too competitive.

Back home, we play a silly game called Yellow Car, shouting “YELLOW CAR!” anytime we see – you guessed it – a yellow car. We brought a dry erase board to keep track of our daily tallies during our road trip, and it got pretty nasty. Accusations of cheating flew, tempers flared – as much as they can among three generally mellow people.

Not a happy Yellow Car player.
Not a happy loser

No one dared take a nap in the backseat for fear they’d miss out on prime yellow car-spotting time on the highway. Want to know who won the week? Me, too. We gave up after a while and vowed never to play again. For the sake of future family gatherings, it’s best we just let this one go.

Happy, happy Orths.
We’re all winners!

The West left us speechless.

Though we’ve each traveled quite a bit, there’s still nothing like visiting a new place that’s completely unlike home. We’re all based in Florida, so we’re used to greenery, humidity and sea level. Our experience out West left us in awe of landscapes that were so foreign. Dark storms rolling over endless miles of prairie, towering rust-colored buttes, charred volcanic craters and real life amber waves of grain wowed us at every turn.

Snowball fight in July! We loved Wyoming so much!
Snowball fight in July! We loved Wyoming so much!

One of the most memorable moments during the trip was when we decided to detour through the Snowy Mountain Range in Wyoming. Though we could’ve guessed that there would be snow in the Snowy Mountains, it didn’t seem likely in July. When we saw the first unexpected patch of frozen white precipitation still clinging to the ground, we started screaming “SNOW!!!” and pointing in a frantic and ecstatic way only Floridians can.

Snow is such a rare treat for us! As you can imagine, an epic snowball fight ensued immediately and didn’t stop until our hands were nearly frozen off.

jump dno

Sigh. Reliving just a handful of our best memories reminds me of how much fun we had on the trip. I’d do it all over again tomorrow if I had the chance… only next time, I’d probably make sure Rachel didn’t do any navigating…

Your turn: would you go on a road trip with your siblings? If not, who would you take and why?

Special thanks to Ford for providing the Transit Connect and for sending us on the #unminivan adventure of a lifetime

6 thoughts on “Outtakes from the #OrthAmerica Road Trip”

  1. Looks like it was so fun! I love road trips and I’m trying to plan one from St. Louis to Maryland next summer. I’d love to do the Western US too though. My sister and I always tallied up who could see the most license plates from different states when we used to take trips with our parents.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get exclusive updates with all the latest news and posts delivered directly to your inbox
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Scroll to Top