Thursday, December 10, 2015

Yeah, I'll Find My Own Way

  The line folds back over itself like a maze found on a child's menu at the local restaurant. The woman just ahead is wearing enough perfume to mask the stench of the Cleveland Brown's locker room and the small child that has been hanging on my pant leg for the last thirty minutes doesn't even belong to me. We haven't reached the point that they make you take off your shoes and half the people in the line have already misplaced their boarding pass (yep, the one they picked up just before walking the thirty feet over to this security line.) Ah, the joy of air travel.
  I hate flying. I believe that in the last fifteen years no one has ever gotten to their destination and said, "Gosh that was an enjoyable experience." Yet we do it. It's a necessary evil for those of us that really travel and for some poor souls it's a daily occurrence due to their employment. Yikes. But with only so much vacation time we try to make the most of it so a plane wisps us away across the country to the vacation spots we've spent the last year dreaming about. But have you ever wondered what you miss by skipping so much of the journey? Maybe you should try something a little different.
  Most of you will call me crazy and that's understandable. What I'm about to propose is, in a way, crazy in this day and age. I'll preface it by saying that this form of travel is not for everyone but it is tailor made for those looking to see a little bit more of their world.
  Picture this. You, your spouse and your children, suitcases in tow, loaded into the family car. Yup, there it is. I can hear you already. "But that sounds worse than getting on the plane," you say. Well maybe but think about this. Not too long ago that's how people had to go on vacation and they looked forward to it. Roads were even built across the country for it (looking at you Route 66.) People actually wanted to spend time together and to see the sites that America has to offer. For years my family would hop onto an airplane to fly to southern California to visit Mickey and friends. This is a relatively short flight from Salt Lake City but let me tell you, a lot of crap can happen on a plane in an hour and forty five minutes. Crying babies, suckers being tossed nine rows back and soda spills are just a few of the joys I've experienced.
  "But Brandan, these things happen in a car too." Yes they do. However, in a car I can stop at any time and deal with these issues at my leisure. I can stretch my legs, sing to my favorite songs, smack the child kicking my seat and eat a decent meal at the greasy spoon of my choice. All of this was made possible when it became cheaper to drive places rather than fly. It opened my eyes to how my traveling should be done. I haven't flown to California in over eight years and I don't plan on it any time soon. Why? Because I found discovery on the open road. I've now seen the world's largest thermometer. I've visited a ghost town (Calico, CA) and we even stopped at a killer Greek place in the middle of the desert. Here in Utah you can take a three day road trip and hit five, yes five national parks if you want to rush (though I recommend taking your time.)
  Okay, okay. I'm rambling right now. The point I'm trying to make is that there are times that we should hit the open with our loved ones and actually "see" what's around us. The conversations your family has and the places you'll visit will leave lasting impressions on all of you. Later you'll look back on that time you dropped $20 a head to walk through a run down "House of Mystery" as a positive experience rather than a waste of hard earned cash you could have spent in the casino while the children slept in the room. You'll never know what you can find out there if you don't go looking. An example of that is a little place known as Nine Mile Canyon which I'll write a trip review on next week.
  I'll end up on a plane soon. It's inevitable. But my favorite way to explore may always be with my own four wheels. There's millions of miles of roads out there and I've barely scratched the surface. Maybe someday we'll meet up someplace in this large world. If we do our stories about how we arrived will likely be very different but in the end it doesn't matter because hell, we aren't at home sitting on the couch.


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