Cross Country Magnificence

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in ALL Posts, Blog, Finding Courage, Inspiration, Reach Your Goals | 20 comments

I’m convinced that we can learn lessons in any situation. My latest cross-country trip in a Penske truck is just another example.


Would I have preferred if the move had been fully paid for by a nice rich company and I was traveling in a nice comfortable SUV without a truck full of stuff?


Ok – fine. I’ll admit it. That would have been pretty awesome!


But – hey – then I wouldn’t have had all this fun and I certainly wouldn’t have learned these cool leadership lessons.
Truth is – that trip made a big impact on my life.


Here’s the first of the leadership lessons I learned.


Beauty really does come in all different forms.


As I traveled across the country I found that I was often gasping out the window at the beautiful scenes that appeared before me.


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On the East coast I was stunned by the lush green mountains. Just trees and greenery everywhere. It was incredible and I knew it was something I would miss in the days to come.



2014-05-26 13.18.28 copy In Ohio – the wonderful buckeye state  – beauty is displayed in the rows of farmland, the roaming cattle, and the fields of yellow. Ohio will always hold a special place in my heart.

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 Yes!!! Flat is Beautiful!!!





2014-05-26 19.42.51 2014-05-28 10.52.43Missouri – the most polite state in our land. Signs against texting in Missouri said things like, “If you want to see your BFF tonight, then please don’t text and drive.”



And then the sun set
one more time.



Took my breath away!





2014-05-28 12.15.58Texas: well, what else can you say, the most proud and spacious state in our country. The most beautiful part of Texas on this trip: a Starbucks!! Can’t tell you how beautiful that ice coffee was to me after all that travel plaza coffee!!!



2014-05-28 14.28.09New Mexico!!!! Yes, Indian food and gas are often bed-mates, but this takes it to a whole new level!!

Here I met a family of Punjabi Indians who ran a gas station with diesel pumps and a YUMMY Indian café all in the same establishment. FUN!

I also found incredible mountains, strong winds, and yes, a sign that said: 0% visibility possible!  Glad I didn’t experience the latter.


Oh Arizona – You will see me again!! Oh how I loved the desert!! The cacti, the warmth, the distant rain showers, the mountains….






…and the cowboys. I met a wonderful cowboy at a diesel pump in Arizona. He was intrigued to hear I was traveling myself with my cat and fish.


Turns out his father, who is not a trained minister, travels 300 miles every week to preach at a little church in Arizona.  Sorry – I couldn’t figure out how to discretely get a photo of him in his jeans for you. :=)


I also stopped to see the Grand Canyon!! WOW!!! Can’t wait to go back there someday to camp and hike for a week.

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Moving through to California it was almost immediate:

Palm Trees and more Incredible Mountains!!!

Cali_1_cropCali_2_crop Cali_3_crop







So….. the first lesson I learned in my cross-country trip was this:


Beauty is found in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. Flat, hilly, sunshine, rain, oak tress, cacti, palm trees, Indian food and gas. It’s all beautiful in it’s own magnificent way.


As I go through my daily life and as I lead myself and those around me, I’m challenged to look for beauty on every side. It’s not always easy, but it does change my daily perspective when I succeed.


How about you?
Have you traveled across the country?
What did you notice along the way?
Where have you found beauty in your daily life this past week?


Let us know with your comment below.
It only takes a moment.

Remember: Inspirational Leaders find beauty in every turn.
Where will you find it today?


each and every moment:


Be Inspired! Be Inspirational! Be a Leader!


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  1. I traveled from CO to NC with my mom and kids, and saw lots of beauty. My big surprise was how much I loved Arkansas. I didn’t expect that. There is nothing so grand or beautiful as the diversity we find right here in our very own country.

    • Ohhhh that sounds like a fun trip!!! Although I love living near the ocean, the middle sections of our country are incredibly grand and awe inspiring. I do feel very blessed to live here and to be able to roam about freely and safely. Thanks for sharing your experience! I bet your kids will remember that for their entire lives. That’s awesome! :=)

  2. Loved this!!!!!! Great pictures and wonderful life lessons!!!!

    • Thanks, Heather!!! It’s so wonderful of you to take time to read the post and to share your lovely encouragement. I hope you’re having a wonderfully inspired day!! :=)

  3. I just got back last night from a trip – Colorado To Massachusetts. We were on a vacation for 3+ weeks (a real blessing!!) and had the benefit of going one way and then another (slightly different route on the way home). I’ll just say you can’t see this whole country in 3 weeks. I’d need a year to really do it right, and who has a year… Our highlights were:
    Niagara Falls – stood on the Hurricane Deck! Beautiful place.
    Erie PA – beautiful beach.
    Chicago – I needed a week here, but I had a day – enjoyed Bobby’s Bike Hike and the Sears (Willis) Tower (go in the evening to avoid lines). Oh and a bit of the river walk.
    Des Moines – Adventureland Amusement Park.
    Colorado Springs and Denver – so much there and not my first visit – Cave of the Winds, Red Rock Canyon (small hike), lots of hiking found easily, Downtown Fountain.
    Iowa City – Sleepy Hollow Campground – Saturday games for kids – we had pirate games
    Ohio Caverns – Beautiful display of stalactites and stalagmites.
    And generally – lots and lots of corn fields!
    I loved my cross country trip. We did watch DVDs along the way to pass the time. I have 4 kids – 12 10 8 and 5. I wasn’t sure this would go well, but my husband encouraged the idea and I’m so glad he did. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Greetings Julie,
      Nice of you to share about your trip. I agree – A year would be wonderful. Someday…when we’re retired yet?
      You’ve given all of us wonderful ideas for our own journeys. Everything sounds so beautiful. I bet you have even more ideas to share as well regarding how to keep four kids occupied and alive while traveling for three weeks. 🙂 Good for you for taking this big step of courage. This is something your kids will be telling their kids someday. You sound like a great mom to be wiling to take a chance and give this a try. So glad your experience was fun and meaningful.
      Thanks again for sharing.
      Hope you have an inspired day!

  4. Hi LouAnn!
    That’s so funny, your remark about the cowboy, especially 😉 My husband is/was a cowboy, literally, broke his own horse, the whole nine yards, growing up in the interior of British Columbia. ***** and I just got back from Ogunquit, ME yesterday, after a week’s “vacation”. I put that in quotes because sometimes it was fun and relaxing,other times it surely stretched and challenged me beyond what I thought it would! She brought her BFF teen friend, they will be starting HS in September. We drove by this incredible rope climbing/zip lining/swinging three-story huge adventure thing…you just don’t see these every day, maybe on television. They were excited by it, and even though it was pricey by our budget…I figured, this was an opportunity for them that doesn’t come along every day! When I told Grace I’d pay for them to go, initially they were excited…then scared, of course. I encouraged them that they were strong, brave and could do it! I wanted them to see what it was like to have some reasonable fear and conquer it. They weren’t terrified, they had an excitement…but I wanted them to see it as an opportunity and seize it…and feel stronger for it afterward! I realize that 14 can be such an insecure age, and freshmen can be daunting starting out…I wanted them to feel they had the resources. They did it, had fun, and stories to tell!

    • Great story about your daughter and her friend bilding courage!!! That’s awesome and is exactly what I’m talking about. We only grow when we step out. Good for you for helping them to learn new skills and develop confidence. AWESOME!! 🙂

  5. My best friend and I want to plan an RV trip across America for our 50th birthdays in a couple of years. I’ll have to call you for advice when we get ready to plan! 🙂

    • WOW! That’s a GREAT plan!!! You will love it. Advice #1 – pick a smaller, more comfortable vehicle than a Penske truck. 🙂
      Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!! Be sure to come all the way to LA. 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to read the post and share your inspiring plans.

  6. Wow! You saw so much and were able to see the beauty in all of this! So awesome. It reminded me of my travels and how everyone and every place has something to offer.

    • Thanks for joining us and sharing your thoughts, Dinah!! It would be fun to hear a little bit about your travels too. Feel free to share a story if you want. BTW – I’d sure like to try this trip again in an SUV instead of a Penske truck! 🙂 No offense to Penski. 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing! So much fun to see photos & hear about your wonderful experience! 🙂 Yes – lessons come in all forms – especially road trips!

    • Thanks for the comment, Kristi. Feel free to leave your website in your response!!

  8. I really enjoyed reading about your trip to sounds like you had a wonderful journey a cross is so great you got to experience driving across country with your cat and fish and see all the beautiful scenery talk to so many people.The only time I went across country was when I was 7 years old. We live in New York and took a 7 day road trip in a Volkswagen van with a dog and six of us.It was quite an experience as my mom was on the floor most of the time going through the canyons and mountains. She was a nervous wreck.. And to top it off our dog went into heat halfway through the trip. The biggest memory I have is that a friend from our church in New York gave us a goodie bag for each day of the trip which had games cards and a snack in it. But we all made it safely to ARIZONA scorching heat of June. That is my only memory of a cross country trip to this day. So I wait and see what God has in store for me.. Blessings to you my friend.

    • Hahaha I love that story!!!!! I can picture it now. A car full of kids, a dog in heat, and a mom afraid of heights. That’s awesome!!!!! No wonder you have such great memories of that trip. If you go again feel free to come back here to tell us all about it.
      Hope your finding beauty and magnificence right where you are today! Thanks for giving is a smile today!
      Have an amazing day!

  9. A few hours ago the sky over Denver was darkened by rain. It was a beautiful shade of steel blue-gray. And then I looked into the eyes of my occupational therapist a few minutes later and her eyes had just slightly less gray and more blue. That’s a start for today. Beautiful blues!

    I also love the beauty of cross country journeys. On many trips through Kansas I’ve particularly enjoyed the way the sunlight hits ripe, waiving winter wheat.

    Thanks for sharing some insights on your trip.

    • Wow, Sarah, that’s incredible. There’s so much to be enjoyed in the sky!!! And wow-the picture you just painted is incredible. I’ve become so attached to the ocean I sometimes forget how incredible the central areas of our country truly are. Thanks so much for all your input!
      Hope your day is inspired in every way!

  10. So glad to hear once again from you inspirational leaders. These pictures are awesome and wish I could say I made such a trip. There is so much to see around this country. I am reminded by a book I recently read by John Steinbeck and his travels with Charlie. So many different places to see in US and each is great in it’s own way. Funny how you mentioned Missouri as being polite. He said in his book he could see the difference in states by the way they posted their signs. Truly would love to see some of these places. You are right that there is beauty in all and try to see it where I am. I can’t say I’ve made exciting adventures recently but take each day to appreciate the moment and wonders right in my own back yard and wherever I go. Sometimes we forget but being in the moment we don’t want to miss anything. Thanks for sharing and US offers such a variety. Wishing you best.

    • Hi Laurie,
      Nice to see you again too!! hat book sounds very interesting. I agree – the signs along the way are fun.
      I think you’re right. Each and day and moment offers us our own little adventure and an opportunity to see beauty and discover something new. Good for you for looking for it in your daily life. You ROCK! 🙂
      Have a wonderfully inspired day.


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