Monday, March 19, 2012

Trippin' the Road Less Traveled

Post by Jenny

Last week, my family and I drove to Texas for spring break. Typically, when we head south out of Colorado, we take the main interstate. But for a number of reasons, not the least being the upcoming NCW conference theme of Take the Road Less Traveled, I wanted to try a different route. When I discussed it with my husband, he wasn’t convinced.

“I don’t know,” he said. “All those two lane roads…” (I often think my husband would rather remove his own spleen than be stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle for more than nine seconds.) I figured that was that, but shortly after we started out, as the exit to The Road Less Traveled (by us) was fast approaching, he asked, “Which way do you want to go?”

Oh, the pressure. I suddenly wasn’t sure I wanted to take responsibility for the potential farm-machinery-related delays in our travel schedule. I bit my lip. “Let’s do it,” I said. “Why not?”

At the moment we exited, the radio began playing—I kid you not—Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere. I feared the worst.

We did have to pass nine semi-trucks and half-a-dozen unfortunate dead animals. We bore witness to the ruin of small town America. Rest stops were fewer and (much) farther between. But we were also away from the cutthroat interstate traffic. We saw many examples of the quirkiness and tenacity of the human spirit. We drove through the Oklahoma panhandle, a first for all of us. And we arrived in Amarillo happy about having tried something new.

The next morning, en route to the Austin area under the guidance of the navigational voice we call GPS Jill, my husband frowned.

Him: “This isn’t the way I wanted to go.”
Me (secretly glad that this was Jill’s fault, not mine): “We’ll still get there.”
Him: “But I didn’t want to be on two-lane roads again all day.”

He needn't have worried. It was a Sunday morning, and we drove for miles without even seeing another car. As I looked out on the sun and shadows shifting across acres of freshly furrowed farmland, I was glad Jill had sent us that way.

Whether you find yourself on the road less traveled out of choice or circumstance, enjoy the journey. Pay attention. Take notes. Maybe you’ll come away with something to write about.

Are you an interstate or two-lane road tripper?

4 comments:

Dean K Miller said...

Love the synchronicity of the music. Those moments in life should not be missed.

Sounds like you've got a new girl friend to count on when travel time comes.

Have notebook...will travel!

Kerrie said...

Fabulous post Jenny. I love your last paragraph:" Whether you find yourself on the road less traveled out of choice or circumstance, enjoy the journey. Pay attention. Take notes. Maybe you’ll come away with something to write about."

That is so true.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm definitely the road less traveled type when on a driving trip (as long as I know where I'll be sleeping that night -- we've had a few very unfortunate experiences when traveling without reservations.)

Linda L. Henk said...

My husband and I are "two-lane" junkies, having gotten very good tutoring from my favorite book, "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat Moon. We rarely travel the Interstates, know how to pick good places to eat (never stop where there's a Help Wanted sign in the window), and meet the greatest people by staying on those back roads through nowhere.

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