The real definition of road trip? An intentional lengthening of the worst part of vacation. It doesn’t make sense. Faster transportation is available. Groupie, limited-time, the-last-cruise-ship-sank-type deals make the savings insignificant. Yet, people embark on a road trip every day.
I will refer to these people as insane, but I mean it in the most reasonable sense. They are passive thrill seekers, betting on extra hours of 60 mph to bring adventure. Flying is guaranteed arrival, and planes travel 565 mph. By my calculations, driving is about…… slower.
And slower means increased chances of something going wrong. A thing that goes wrong is fun and spontaneous. And crazy.
I was crazy once. Or at least my family was crazy and road tripped to a national park, camp trailer in tow. On our way home, we stopped at a petrified forest. For fun.
As a kid, when you hear “forest”, the last thing you think of is rocks in the dirt. A few were interesting, but dad definitely talked the place up. On the way out, a glimmer of red caught my eye and I bent to pick up the only fantastic piece of petrified wood in the “forest”. Into my pocket it went.
Notices posted at the exit admonished people to un-steal any petrified wood; “Some say the wood is haunted and removing a piece brings the taker nothing but bad luck”. There were apologetic letters to prove it. Well, “some” also say park rangers are greedy rock-hoarders. The rock stayed in my pocket.
And not 5 miles from the park, our camper tire exploded.
20 miles later, the car got a flat.
10 miles after that, the spare tire died.
We’re following a nail truck.
Our caravan limped to the nearest service station. Getting out of the car, my brother slammed his fingers in the door, was stung by a kamikaze bee, and the service station hose didn’t work… which wasn’t a big deal, until I stepped in our dog’s poo. Both shoes. And you can probably guess at this point that it was extra mushy.
In light of the fun we were having, my dad, bewildered, asked a question:
“Did anyone take the wood?”
And now, somewhere in a field next to a service station lies a stolen relocated piece of petrified forest.
Let my shoes, dangling from the trailer hitch like road trip war trophies, be a lesson to all you crazy people.