I took a road trip to the top of America last weekend.
I decided to jot down some things I’ve learned about such trips on the way home.
I should tell you all of the things you are about to read did not happen on one road trip, but are a combination of several.
If you plan to leave when you get off of work, said work day will be the longest work day in recorded history.
If you try to exercise on the same day you leave on a long road trip, you will severely sprain your ankle in such a way you will have to drag yourself home and risk not going on the trip.
You will go on the trip, but your ankle will throb the entire time. You will stop at a restaurant a state away, and your ankle will not want to work. You will have to pee, and you will be forced to hobble to the farthest wall of the restaurant where the bathroom is located.
If a celebrity dies in the days before your trip, the place where you pull off of the interstate to spend the night will be his or her hometown. You will arrive the night before his or her funeral.
All of the hotels in his or her hometown except one will be completely booked for his or her funeral. It will take you hours to find the hotel with a room.
The person at the desk will inform you, in their nicest possible tone, the room is upstairs. You and your sprained ankle will climb two flights.
When you open the door, the air will smell like a large tobacco conglomerate had a convention in your room and the attendees enjoyed samples of each of its cigarettes with the window closed.
You will be able to see through the toilet paper in your hotel room’s bathroom.
The bathroom will most likely not have a plunger. If it does not have a plunger, you will most likely need a plunger.
I will never understand why hotels keep plungers behind the front desk and not in the bathrooms as God intended.
I’ll also never understand why so many women who work at hotel front desks seem to resemble Marilyn Monroe. It’s pretty hard to recover once you have to take the walk and ask Marilyn Monroe for a plunger.
The bed will have 842 pillows and 67 pounds of blankets on it.
You will appreciate the bed, however, because you will probably be exhausted.
Whether you get a good night’s sleep will vary, but it won’t matter as much when you hit the road again if you have the right music.
Since musical tastes also vary, I won’t spend much time on them other than to say you need to be able to sing along with the music you bring.
If one of Waylon Jennings’ songs comes on the radio, listen to it. If you don’t know who Waylon was, find out immediately.
If you don’t know who Jim Croce was, find out immediately. Road trips have taught me he is both woefully underrated and a heck of a songwriter.
They have also reminded me a lot of good musicians have died in plane crashes.
Anyway, and this applies especially if you’re the driver, put your phone down.
Look out of the window.
You might discover, like I did, some of the best things to see may be a little bit out out of the way, or on the side of the road before you get to where you’re going.
You might spend a few hours in a cave where Ella Fitzgerald is said to have once played a show in an underground nightclub.
You might climb 56 steps to see a replica of the log cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born and realize it really does look like it was built with large Lincoln Logs.
You might stand in the middle of Route 66, or on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.
Road trips have taught me not to live life with an itinerary.
Enjoy the journey.
Don’t be afraid to veer off of the beaten path once in a while, just to see where it takes you.