noun: a journey made by car, bus, etc.
verb: to make a journey by car, bus, etc.
Summer’s end had my husband and I driving cross country, road tripping our son to college. A whopping two-thousand, six hundred, and something mile drive in four and a half days. What an adventure!
It used to be a dream vacation to “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. Now it is somewhat of a tradition to drive your kid to college. So even though it was from coast to coast, we made the trek. There is a sense of freedom driving from state to state seeing and weighing the lay of the land. Plus, it allowed us time and space to enjoy each others company for a few last days before we surrendered our son to the great “What’s Next” in his life. He had to talk to us. There were no inter-webs guaranteed on the interstates, electronics were pushed aside. It was a nice transitional time from home to university, childhood to adulthood, dependency to independence. We talked for hours, laughed, made memories. We won’t be with him again until winter break, four long months away.
What I learned on our road trip is that this country truly needs to be seen to be believed. For instance, I knew Texas was BIG. It’s the second largest state. But I didn’t know what BIG really meant until I spent a day and a half crossing it at eighty miles an hour. Yes, that is the speed limit there…80! And Texas has great roads that actually allow you to drive comfortably at that speed. Arkansas is “The State of Volunteering” and has a town called “Hope” and another called “Friendship”. Interestingly enough I also noticed a Maybeline and L’Oreal factory in Arkansas. I believe Arkansas might just cater to women. The more east you go, the more it rains. I’m not used to weather, I’m from California. Rain is pretty amazing. Also, trucks are everywhere. They keep America going, supplying goods to every nook and cranny of this great country. After ten or eleven plus hours in a car it is lovely to see a friendly smiling face at a hotel, and no one let me down. The most endearing thing that happened was passing the sign entering Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is “The State of Independence”. Yes it is! My son is experiencing his own state of independence in that very state.
What an amazing place of diverse geography and weather and possibilities. Where people are interesting and kind and as varied as the many states we crossed. I wish everyone had the opportunity to road trip across Our Country, to see it for themselves and discover their own version of America. For me, I am proud of my country and proud of my son. I traveled far, but I have a grateful heart that accompanied me home and I kind of like that about myself.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”