Thursday, July 7, 2011
I have always enjoyed road trips. My parents were both teachers, so when I was a boy our family would frequently go on long road trips in the summer. I remember traveling via car to the West Coast for at two weeks; the summer after my fifth grade year we camped our way to the East Coast and then came back through Canada; on Christmas vacation during college my family drove 40 hours straight from Big Pine Key, Florida to Minnesota. In 1996 a high school friend asked me if I would drive a car from Salem, Oregon to Minneapolis. I flew out to spend a few days with him and then reveled in the three day trip.
My wife, Amy does not match my enthusiasm for road trips. Until this past week our family has never gone on an extended road trip via the car. However when some friends asked me last winter to officiate a wedding in the mountains outside Estes Park, Colorado I couldn’t help but lobby for a road trip. So last Wednesday Amy, Hannah and I loaded in the car for a two-day trip in the car. By road trip standards it wasn’t long—a little over 1,000 miles. But for the three of us this was something new. I had half jokingly asked the congregation at Chain of Lakes to pray for the three of us the Sunday before we left.
We had some normal hiccups on the trip. The first night we were planning on staying with some family in Omaha, Nebraska. I had been warned that the high water there has caused some road closures, but I assumed that detour information would be shared. My naiveté cost us an extra hour of driving. We thought we were caravanning to the wedding in the YMCA camp. We missed the caravan, received incorrect directions and then I drove way too long in the wrong direction. I thought the camp would be just around the corner. Twenty miles later Amy shattered this fantasy. We were a hour late to the wedding; and my guilt was terrible. Fortunately everyone was in good spirits and the wedding went off wonderfully. Now we have a story to share.
The beauty of the road trip is we see things that we could never imagine. The above picture shares one of the few entertainment options that rests above the Interstate in Kearney, Nebraska. Also on a road trip at a certain point we all have to be in charge of keeping ourselves entertained. Eventually we had no choice but to play a game, engage in conversation, or choose to enjoy the scenery.
There is something uniquely American about taking a road trip over the 4th of July weekend. Doing it with my lovable red heads was priceless.