I have been known to drive straight through for up to 12 hours or more on freeways but my real nature comes out on back roads and byways. One of my favorite roads in the United States is Highway One. I have even managed to do some serious genealogical research about people who lived along this, the original north and south route on the East Coast. While driving though small towns with names like Jonesboro, Roque Bluffs, Machias, and Pembroke, we were abundantly rewarded by the variety of houses, the scenery, and the individuality of the towns and villages.
I thought about the need we have to do research in depth and breadth. We need to really get into the lives of our ancestors and experience their lives as they lived them and not be content to collect names and dates and places as if working off a check list.
For me, the drive up Highway 1 and on into Canada retraced the early lives of many of my ancestors. As we drove through towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and on into Maine and New Brunswick, I discovered the places I had only seen listed on my family group sheets. Even though this trip was not intended to be a research expedition, I had planned the route to drive through the places where my ancestors lived. Perhaps, as I have mentioned before, I will find a need to come back to some of these places to do research, but for now, the fact that I could visit so many places where my ancestors lived was enough.