Moving right along. Footloose and fancy free. Getting there is half the fun. Come share it with me.
Moving right along... . Moving right along... . moving right along. *
There is nothing in the world like traveling the open road across this great country. With the possible exception of parts of Kansas and Nebraska (My apologies to my friends and readers from those otherwise great states.) where along stretches of I70 and I80 I long for self driving cars that will allow me to sleep as it guides me the hundreds of miles of straight asphalt that NEVER seem to end and where every deer within 100 miles has decided, after sundown, to come to the side of the road and pay their respects as I pass wearily by.
Drinking copious amounts of coffee and snacking on Double Stuff Oreos and Pop Tarts, make travel a pleasure.
This trip though was hurriedly put together as we were up against deadlines of back to school and a new job. So, with just a days notice we packed, set up pet care and hit the highway. Our SUV packed to overflowing with clothes, Golf Discs, Frisbees, a large cooler and our Xbox 360. Mile after agonizing mile, we watched the minutes tick by, counting the hours before we would hit the next gas station, town or... REST AREA!!
People that know me understand that I am not one for bathroom humor, however, today I am going to wander into that great American roadside convenience. The roadside rest area.
(Insert appropriate screaming here)
All along our journey the amount of stops that we made were not so much about keeping the gas tank full, but more about keeping the bladder empty!
Amazingly enough the frequency of such stops seemed to be in direct proportion to the amount of Lattes and Mt. Dew consumed along the way or the number of times my weary eyes would try to take a siesta without my approval.
One such stop occurred at 2am. After trying in vain to catch a couple hours of precious snooze time, Christian I decided to toss our disc golf putters back and forth.
So there we were tossing. Other inhabitants of the stop giving us a WIDE birth. Each one questioning our sanity, or lack thereof.
Our throws were beautiful until one errant throw found a disc perched on the rest stop roof. Leaving us to ponder and plan. Which at 2 am consisted of more caveman like problem solving. With a few grunts and back scratching we attempted to pull it down with a large branch then throwing rocks at it to try dislodge it.
I can almost see the cave drawings now...
Attempt after attempt met with the same disheartening results. Total failure. Then things began to happen.
One by one people began to approach us with solutions. Soon our little meeting of the wearied minds became the Geneva Summit on how to dislodge a golf disc from a roof.
Finally with the help of another rest area patron we hoisted Christian up on the roof and he walked over the two peaks, like a Sherpa in the Himalaya's and recovered his disc
Mile after mile passed by. Our eyes constantly glancing for the signs that we so longed to see... .
Rest Area Right one mile!
Cheers would go up, confetti trickling down like rain on a parade..Ok maybe not but we were still VERY glad to see them. If nothing else just so we could get out and stretch our legs.
Fate and I-84 would lead us to the state of Idaho and a well-placed rest break. Leaving the family behind I raced into the men's room to enjoy my morning oblutions.
Let me describe the scene...
Man in handicap stall to my left, me in the middle stall. The toilet paper roll the approximate size of a 33 1/3 LP housed in the large dual holder with the door that flips down.
When my business was concluded I reached for the paper and pulled
So I pulled a little harder...
Still nothing... .
And so with the strength of Hercules I yanked hard...
To my horror the door to the paper roll holder flips open,
The paper at once bounces off my knee... .
Rolls down my leg, over my foot and out under the stall door!
I hear it strike the bathroom wall and then see it roll under the door of the handicap stall where it came to rest.
And there I sat..
Toilet paper in one hand and a trail of 2 ply streaming out and then under the next stall.
I start to pull...
All this does is start to unroll even more paper but still the large roll stays where it is..
I pull MORE. And a giggle can be heard from next door.
Pull. More laughter... pull again even more laughter.
Until finely his laughter is near rib splitting and I am at once, one with my humiliation... .
I hear him get up... open his door... and slowly slide the toilet paper roll back under my stall door... and as his footsteps begin to fade into the distance his laughter does not.
I am never leaving this stall... EVER!
I stared at my feet not wanting to look up as I scurried out the door, to my car and without a word to my family accelerated towards the freeway, putting the laughing man and toilet paper behind. (Pun intended... just laugh)
The rest of the trip out to Washington went well. We were able to spend some much needed time with my family and great friends. We traveled the great states of Washington and Oregon, seeing mountains, forests and the Pacific Ocean. We ate well, and hugged a lot.Our trip became a celebration of a new job whose offer came while sitting at... .
The Fred Meyers gas station in Boise, Idaho.
Admit it YOU thought I was going to say rest area!
As is true with every vacation, the end came to soon and once again with what I can only describe as miraculous results, we were able to pack everything BACK in the car and head back on the road.
The miles flew by and still the smile on my face was not dimmed. Even at the rest area in Wyoming where the signs on the bathroom doors and everywhere around the seating area proclaimed.
Watch for RATTLESNAKES ON SIDEWALKS AND TRAILS!
Nothing could take the smile from my face, in fact I only smiled more.
Traveling across country in an over packed SUV with family is hard. It is long, agonizing, and torturous. It drains you of your sanity, grates on your nerves and prompts your 16-year-old son to proclaim...
If we do this again we are going to FLY!
The family vacation is hard, tiring and a gift from God.
It is something you will always remember, and as the years pass by only the humorous moments and the memories of laughter and love will remain.
There is a JOY just in the journey.
Because in the end, it is not about where you go on your journey,
It's about who travels with you...