Monday, January 3, 2011

The Lure of the Open Road



I have loved road trips since I drove to college with my old roommate.  Those trips from LA to South Bend and back are great memories.  Memories of camping in the Bad Lands, visiting Mt Rushmore, camping in Arches, visiting friends along the way, and laughter always, always lots of laughter.  Those trips were part necessity (we had to get from here to there, and we wanted a car when we got there) and part fun.

In real road trips the journey is as important as the destination and the company trumps all.  I've done my fair share of roadtrips in my life.  I have driven round trip from South Bend to South Padre Island, Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada, LA to New Orleans, hwy 1 to the wine country and then back via Vegas, and most recently LA to El Paso.  I've done one way road trips LA to DC, and Chicago to LA.  All of these trips are special memories to me.  All of the friends who joined me on them dear.  There are only certain people that you can sit in a car with for days and days on end.  If you survive the trip with your relationship in tack, then it is golden and hold on for dear life.



What is the lure of the open road?  Why does it draw me so.  It is a unique way to see the country that we usually bypass.  I remember driving through South Dakota fascinated by the rolls of hay in the varying angles of the sun.  As that was pre-digital cameras, I have about 30 pictures of rolls of hay or grass or whatever.  Is it getting to decide that since you're here you just must see Devil's Tower (which mind you is near absolutely nothing), or Mesa Verde (which was how I was paid back for the Devil's Tower sojourn).  Or is it deciding that you should visit the meteor crater in the Arizona desert because its there and so are you.  It is all of these things, and I'd almost forgotten how much I love it.



I got home yesterday from my well documented road trip to the SunBowl in El Paso, TX to watch my Notre Dame Fighting Irish beat, my friend, Jennifer's Miami Hurricanes.  Sure we went because we love college football and our teams, former rivals were playing each other for the first time in 20 years.  Yes, the football game was the reason, but in part the roadtrip was a draw.  The game, while I'm happy with the result wasn't really a good football game, and it was COLD, even for the ND girl.  The roadtrip didn't disappoint.


Driving through the night to get to ElPaso in time for a few hours of sleep was a feat of hilarity, well documented on twitter and posterous.  The trip home included a trip to the border, just because Jen was fascinated with the border and border patrol. We marvelled at the beauty of the southern NewMexico we had driven through in the dark of night, we enjoyed sunsets and stars. We gained a new appreciation of tumbleweeds, and we laughed.  We pretty much laughed for two straight days.  Some worried whether we'd make it home friends, no need to worry there.



The Lure of the Open Road, I don't know what it is, but I know I feel it and I can't wait for my next road trip with a funny friend.

5 comments:

Jodi said...

Just remember: Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts [her] cake hole!

Dr. Lisa said...

OMG, JOdi we loved that. We posted a link on our posterous and said it to each other a fair few times. Thanks for adding to the humor of our long drive to ElPaso

J.R. Reed said...

I love the old So. Cal road trips we used to take, whether to Napa, Tahoe, Vegas, Phoenix or anywhere else. I took a 3 hour roadie to Cleveland this past summer for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on 4th of July and I need to get out and take another one soon. Maybe DC or Baltimore...

Dr. Lisa said...

FTR: a 3 hr drive isn't a road trip, it's a long drive! Says the SoCal girl.

Jack said...

3 hours is what it takes to drive from the Valley to Santa Monica. ;)