I've been told for as long as I can remember that I am "crazy" for all the road trips that I take. People can't seem to understand in this day of speedy transit, why I would prefer a long stretch of black asphalt to the friendly skies.
I think the answer lies primarily in my childhood, when we would all pile into the family station wagon and set off for one destination or another. Whether we were driving all the way across the country or just down the highway to Stetson Beach, my parents had a knack for making every road trip an adventure. We would pull off at random little exits, examining the giant dinasours in Cabazon or a Native American craft fair in New Mexico. Of course, we did the Grand Canyon and the places where all the tourists were, but my favorite memories by far are the off-the-beaten path destinations that we tended to gravitate towards.
My memories are filled with the sound of the highway. When we had our van, I would sit in the very back seat, slide open my little window and place my face up against the screen, falling asleep to the rhythm of the road. Even to this day, I get an odd sort of thrill when I pull into a truck stop. Weird, I know. I examine the faces of the road-weary travelers, the jaded truckers and the wide-eyed young families, and feel like we share a sort of bond, like a bunch of modern day Jack Kerouac's.
That being said, I am thrilled to have another adventure under my belt. My mom, Maddux and I drove from Nashville to Los Angeles and back, with Nate joining us a few days into the journey.
We drove 842 miles on our first day. Our goal was to make it to Amarillo, but after 13 hours on the road, we decided to stop for the night in the little town of Shamrock, Texas. I mean, with a name like that, who wouldn't want to stay there? Our luck continued when we scored one of the last hotel rooms left. As we were driving around, we discovered an amazing piece of Route 66 history, a gas station built in the 1930's, restored to all its art deco, neon-ed glory:
Maddux was a champion road warrior, sleeping soundly in the back seat or playing with his squeaky Sophie giraffe. He goes crazy over that toy. It's like baby catnip.
Earlier in the day, we also stopped at Casey Jones' Village in Jackson, Tennessee. I love the checkered tablecloths and barrels full of candy.
That's all for today. Tomorrow I'll post pictures of Day 2 and New Mexico!