News from Active Minds

Send Silence Packing: Best Moments of the 2016 Tour

Hayley is a roadstaffer for the Spring 2016 Send Silence Packing tour. Read her other blog posts here.

Now that we’re done with the tour, and I’ve been home for a few days, I’m having trouble comprehending or putting words to how this whole transition feels. Coming to terms with post-tour “real life” will come with time; for now, I’m excited to share some of my favorite highlights from the Spring 2016 Send Silence Packing tour:

Favorite scenic route: Shenandoah National Park


These tours consist of many, many hours driving from exhibit to exhibit in the truck. Sometimes, all we would want was to get from one destination to the next as quickly as we could; but a lot of times, it was worth it to step back and enjoy the journey. Although taking the scenic route often resulted in us spending even more time behind the wheel, the views and pit stops helped rejuvenate us as a form of self care.

Place I’d most likely move if I got the chance: Chattanooga, TN


Having never been to the state of Tennessee before this tour, every expectation of the state was met and surpassed. We arrived in Chattanooga very early on in the tour, and we had a running joke that our coordinator had to hire new road staffers because we had no intention on leaving once we arrived. Between the views and the gracious southern hospitality, Chattanooga was a hard place to leave—we’ll be back one day!

Coolest piece of history we stumbled upon: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

ssp3 SSP4

I’m not kidding when I say that we stumbled upon this piece of history. We had taken an Uber to Jackson Street Bridge, because we heard that is where you can see the Atlanta skyline from the same angles as seen in AMC’s The Walking Dead (no shame!).  As it turns out, we were coincidentally dropped off a block away from MLK Jr.’s National Historic Site, which includes his place of birth, as well as his place of burial. Having already seen his memorial the week before in Washington, DC, it was surreal to see things come full circle. Some of our best nights on the tour weren’t planned ahead of time!

Tastiest food on the road: Sweet Potato pancakes, Arlington, VA


Runner-up: Grilled Cheeserie food truck, Nashville, TN

Our last night of the tour was spent in a little inn in Arlington, VA—just outside of Washington, DC. After all the amazing food we had had on tour, I wasn’t expecting a nearby café to top the list. These pancakes stood out because they were topped with fried chicken, bacon, pecans, and peach butter

Most obscure (but still delicious) food: The Showalter Burger from Jack Browns, Harrisonburg, VA


Runner up: BBQ pizza topped with tator tots, Winston-Salem, NC

2nd Runner up (because I’m indecisive): Fried sushi, Auburn, AL

Yes, this needed it’s own separate category. I made it a goal of mine on this tour to push the limits and try foods that I couldn’t order anywhere else. The results of this goal did not disappoint! The Showalter Burger was topped with smoked bacon, egg and cheese—but the bun was switched for a glazed donut. Not just that, but we had fried Oreos for desert!

Favorite trip advisor recommendation: Maymont Park, Richmond, VA


Simply put, this park is absolutely stunning. Despite the 85 degree weather, we couldn’t help but explore for miles. Being in such an urban setting, we were shocked to completely detach from the city while wandering over bridges and past waterfalls.

Best costaffer: Casey O’Neill


It’s such a weird dynamic to meet someone, and then proceed to spend the next 40 days straight with them—but I couldn’t have asked for a better costaffer to go on this adventure with! I had the pleasure of sharing the truck with one of the most passionate, polite, and hardworking people I have ever met and I am grateful for all of his support throughout tour.

5,000+ miles driven. 23 hotels. 10,000+ resources handed out. Countless stories heard and shared. 40 days. These highlights only scratch the surface of life on the road, but I hope they offer a peak into what life was like for us. Check out the hashtag #SendSilencePacking on Instagram for more pictures! I can’t wait to see what’s next for Send Silence Packing in the Fall!