Fun in high school days was a road trip, sometimes longer than others. Once my best friend and I drove all the way to Golden, Colorado to see the Coors factory (and we took an overnight hike into the Rockies, something I must do more of). We drove a lot on $1 a gallon gas, and spent little on food I am sure. We just wanted freedom, adventure and to broaden our world a bit. It was a good trip, and I miss my friend, Tim. He died much too early.
More recently I have had fewer trips and more time here 'in the valley' so when I get a chance to drive, I enjoy it all the more, trying to see things that are new even on familiar routes. The desert route is changing constantly with the clarity of the air, the winds, and the angle of the sun or moon. The road over the pass at 8400 feet has great views that improve with a little snow, or may disappear altogether in a big storm. Surprises are welcome, like the wildlife that dashes across the road and occasional rock slides make me a more vigilant driver, scanning the road surface ahead for anything that might cause a problem, or make me need to slow or swerve.
I think the best part of road trips is who you might take along. I have a number of possibilities to enhance my driving: a dog, a book, a friend, a stranger, and the love of your life.
My dog Scooter goes along almost anywhere, but not into some wilderness areas, nor on longer hikes. He loves hotels, and has a fancy bag so I can sneak him past the front desk undetected, he even took a bath in the sink once, loving those granite counter tops.... haha!
Books on tape or CD are a wonderful way to pass a few hours and I have needed them several times, and have great memories of the pictures the author would paint with words as the miles of white lines rolled by.
Yesterday I drove up with a friend, and really enjoyed the conversation, the company and being able to help someone ( relocate a car). We so often are cocooned in our own empty world that we get too insulated and start to grow old before our time. Adding another to the conversation makes for stimulation of the brain, and keeps the conversational skills UP. I have never really had the radio challenge me, it is too passive.
Once in a while I will pick up a stranger, or a hiker, or someone standing in the rain. Most recently, when that happened I sensed what God sees when HE looks at us. We are walking, because we must. Wet and cold, we struggle with our packages and probably moan about how far it is to safety and warmth, when in fact, help is just a moment away. I love that God does not hesitate at pulling over, opening the door, and insisting that we take a ride with him. I am happy to be out of the snow storm, and to have someone along on this fascinating trip of life.