A couple of years ago Jeff and I took a road trip on Route 66. In planning for this adventure I began to research all the interesting things we could see and do. My plan was to map out our route with highlighter, planning how far we would travel each day, where we would stay, what we would eat, and all the activities we would experience on the trip. It was quite the list. When I proudly told Jeff what I had begun to do, he was appalled! What is the point of setting off on an adventure if you already know what’s going to happen? Good point. So we compromised. I made of list of things I thought were interesting and where they were located but we didn’t plan every stop. We would just decide along the way. This was the beginning of quite the adventure!
Our journey lead us to Eric, Oklahoma. Someone we had met along the way had suggested that we stop at the general store there because it would be a memorable experience. Boy, were they right! As we entered the store a man greeted us at the door and asked if we were there for the show. Always up for an adventure, Jeff answered with a resounding OF COURSE! They offered us a bologna sandwich and a cold beer and pointed us to a seat. The tiny room was crowded with a motorcycle group from England. We squeezed into a corner just as the main attraction made his appearance. An energetic man with long white hair and beard, wearing nothing but red and white striped overalls, jumped on to a makeshift stage and began to sing while his wife, similarly attired, joined him on guitar. As the music filled the room, the man apparently was not satisfied with the amount of audience participation. So in an effort to loosen us all up, he passed around a large jug of Jack Daniels, encouraging everyone to take a couple swigs before passing it on. As the jug was passed to us, my husband, the pastor of a tee-totaling Baptist church noticed the video camera panning the audience… Great. This is totally going to end up on Facebook. Our fellow traveler was right: this was definitely a memorable experience!
A few days down the road we were feeling up for another adventure. I had noticed a sign for a place called “Pie Town.” Sounds like a place I’d like to visit! I looked on the map and it appeared to be about 20 minutes off the main road. The internet had mentioned Pie Town as a historical place where ranchers and cowboys would stop for rest during their cattle drives. The whole place was famous for (you guessed it) their homemade pies. Yum! Definitely sounds like an adventure worth going a few minutes out of the way! Two and a half hours later, after driving through the longest stretch of desert wasteland I’ve ever seen, we were hot and miserable and desperate to see civilization. Our water bottles had been emptied more than an hour earlier and our gas tank was running dry as we finally approached the infamous Pie Town. We stopped at the first café we saw and dragged our weary bodies up the steps, only to discover that they were closed…and they weren’t the only ones. Apparently, every restaurant and store in Pie Town closes at 4pm…it was 4:15. Wa-wa-waa… 😦
Part of what makes an experience an adventure is the risk involved. Sometimes you get Jack Daniels and a show and sometimes you get Pie Town. But if you never take the risk, you never experience either one. 🙂
PS… Jeff & I have had many great adventures over the years! This summer I’m taking a break from serious writing in order to write about all of our fun experiences on the road. Check out my new Road Trip blog at View From The Jeep !