When I left California, there was a pleasant economic surprise: gasoline prices were much lower across state lines.
To be honest, the landscape wasn’t my focus on this stage of my road trip. When I turned my trusty Subaru for Tucson, Arizona, two things went on my mind: 1) I would meet up with family friends I hadn’t seen in four decades, and 2) I would be in the prestigious flagship from reside at Canyon Ranch in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
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During this solo road trip from the west to the east coast, the thought of familiar faces greeting me was a comforting emotional reward. This is also the case with our Sangiovese-fueled dinner with “spaghetti with sauce”. And I actually wished for a longer stay there. But I also longed for the physical and mental rewards of a world-class wellness resort. I was motivated by the promise of an itinerary that connects me with a team of experts who will put together fitness exercises on the go, and a plan for eating immune-boosting meals. And my muscles longed for a one-of-a-kind Canyon Ranch massage to untie the knots in my back and hips.
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With 40 years as the virtual market leader in holistic health, the name Canyon Ranch is synonymous with breathtakingly beautiful exurban retreats that offer every guest the opportunity to get healthy – and stay healthy for months and years after departure – in one atmosphere of casual elegance and natural beauty.
My digestive tract was decidedly confused on my first day at the ranch. And no wonder. After nearly a week of questionable drive-through meals down the street and the voracious pasta feast the night before, the ranch’s range of strikingly light and healthy foods was a welcome revelation. Notably, during the pandemic, all meals were delivered to guests’ spacious rooms. Half a whole grain bagel for breakfast. A grilled salmon taco for lunch. And low-fat lime cake for dessert with dinner.
I took this relaxing break in my grueling drive-a-thon, as did my fur-baby companion. Canyon Ranch Tucson is exceptionally pet-friendly (for a fee), and dogs have easy access to the property’s sprawling grounds in the Sonoran Desert while being able to easily charge.
In all fairness, there is nothing like an 80 minute deep tissue massage to erase any memory of the multi-hour drive recently gone through. As I lay on the massage table, my mind reminded me of a previous Canyon Ranch experience I enjoyed last fall at Canyon Ranch Woodside, just outside of San Francisco. This was the place where Licensed Breathing Trainer Sandy Abrams taught me the benefits of deep breaths – three to be precise – for controlling your response to life’s daily stressors. I also remembered the life lessons I learned from Eckhart Tolle’s transformative NY Times bestseller “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment,” which I heard as an audiobook on the go.
During group sessions at Canyon Ranch Tucson, I learned how to personalize a life I love meditating, courtesy of Sheila Sornsin, aka The Grateful Goddess, meditate twice a day. “
Private sessions included Cultivating Life Purpose, which explored my core personal values and their connection to the underlying purpose of my lifelong writing career. My goal? To show my readers myriad ways in which we share our humanity. Another one-on-one consultancy called “Life Management” offers a lifestyle reset by teaching you how to lead an intent-based life.
Life changing changes are and always have been the Canyon Ranch commodity, and their life and career coaches can help you identify opportunities never before considered. In fact, all three Canyon Ranch properties: Tucson, Woodside, and Lenox, Massachusetts now offer seven new “avenues” to help guests meet their specific needs and goals. Examples are how to achieve optimal mind and body health, while another path is focusing on optimizing time in the great outdoors. Healing from a recent physical / mental / emotional trauma? The Canyon Ranch can offer a way for this, too.
And so, with relaxed muscles, enlightened mind and a few pounds lighter, my own path (eee Highway) next led me away from Arizona and over the Rio Grande to Las Cruces, New Mexico.
A recent poll of 2,000 Americans found which songs would be on the ultimate road trip playlist. A quarter of respondents said that Willie Nelson should add On the Road Again to their road trip playlist. John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads was the fourth most popular pick. In third place was Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” with 27% of people adding it to their road trip playlist. Second place went to the Eagles’ classic “Hotel California”. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” was the most popular pick, with 39% of people adding it to their playlist. Other popular songs that appear in the top 20 list are “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X.
Stay tuned for more road trip stories about the country shared by Charlene Peters, author of Travel Makes Me Hungry: Tales of Tastes & Indigenous Recipes to Share. To reach Charlene, send an email to [email protected]
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