The Ultimate Road Trip: ‘Days of Future Past’—Nissan Pathfinder Edition

“Inspired by Nissan Pathfinder, writer Chris Atwell has written a series about the fictional Anderson Family and imagined the adventures they might have on a summer road trip with Pathfinder. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this article are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, or entities is intended or should be inferred.”

Darryl and Denise Anderson and their family take the “ultimate road trip”—a search for summer fun and adventure. On tap is a packed itinerary of scenic destinations, outdoor recreations, and rugged motoring spread over several states. This trip has been a long time coming, and the Andersons are documenting their journey. Darryl shared the first day’s experience. Now, it’s Denise’s turn. 


Denise drives down memory lane in the all-new Nissan Pathfinder

Denise’s first turn at the wheel

At last!

Darryl’s a good dad, a loving husband, and a patient driver. I was all too happy that he wanted to take the wheel of the new Pathfinder on the first day of this road trip. Let him take on that city traffic getting us out of Brooklyn!

Today is a different story! For the next stretch, it’s all about the open highway. This is where I dance!

Funny, but before we set out on this family adventure, it seemed like ages since I drove any farther than the supermarket. Already this morning we’ve got a good 150 miles at our backs, and it’s exhilarating to be back on the highway–to travel some actual distance.

It’s been three days since we left Brooklyn. We started with a short 90-minute run up the Palisades Interstate to Bear Mountain Park in New Jersey. A nostalgic stop, really. We have vacationed there every summer since the kids were small. With Malena starting college in the fall, this latest visit will probably be our last as a family.

Once we arrived, the kids couldn’t wait to unload the mountain bikes and hit the trail. Little Janae is only 12, but she surprised us with her stamina. She had no trouble keeping up with her brother and sister, who set a typically challenging pace. The second day, the kids and I left Darryl to his fishing—he’ll come back with more talk than trout, as usual—while we hit one of the park’s hiking trails. With the incredible views of the Hudson, Brooklyn seemed a world away.

We pulled out of Bear Mountain early this morning. While everyone slept, it was just me, the road, and the gorgeous mountain views as we cut deeper and higher into the Adirondacks.

It wasn’t long before I was experiencing a nostalgic moment of my own. I have many fond memories of being toted around in my parent’s Nissan Pathfinder—an ’88, I think. We had a lot of incredible adventures in it. There were ski trips every Christmas. In the summer, we visited the grandparents in South Carolina—a 12-hour drive—much of it very off-road.

As a child, I never put any thought into my parents’ choice of transport. Today, as a mother of three, I want to feel confident that the car that I drive will keep us comfortable and safe all year, in all weather, on every terrain.

I’m experiencing that confidence just being in a Pathfinder again, this time behind the wheel (a part of me is secretly hoping for a bit of rain to test out the rain-sensing windshield wipers). It feels like a return to that rugged tradition I remember.

I missed this!

So, yeah, I’ll let Darryl take over eventually. There will be plenty of driving time to go around over the next few weeks. We have a lot of detours planned, including retracing that off-road route to my grandparents’ home in South Carolina. I’m excited about this family adventure. And I’m feeling terrific about the vehicle that’s taking us there.

Next: Riding the Whirlwind in the “All-New Pathfinder”–Our Kayaking Adventure