There is so much to be gained by experiencing the open road with people you love. You learn a lot about a person's character spending hour after hour enclosed in a small space with them tooling down the road at speeds that make it unadvisable for one or both of you to step outside for a breath of fresh air.
You learn about people in areas other than your own neck of the woods. You learn about regional quirks and differences, but mostly you learn how much alike we really all are when it comes down to what truly matters.
|Van in Missouri carrying someone else's family on a summer road trip.|
You see the unexpected; some things are odd like this "zoo" along Route 66 in Braidwood, Illinois. Some are oddly beautiful like the two teenaged girls recently observed dancing while sitting on horseback atop an interstate overpass in Southern Illinois. It was dusk and they appeared in silhouette gracefully swaying and dipping to some far away music heard only by them.
It wasn't long until we caught up with the truck thinking we would soon see what was going on. The truck bounced over a dip in the road, jarring its contents and sending bucketsful of something pink and jagged into the air. As the debris began to rain down we realized with horror it was chunks of fleshy, wet dead meat. Apparently it was slaughtering day at River Valley Farm and this truck was taking the left over parts on to whatever unfortunate place receives such things after the butchering is finished.
A good road trip affords you the opportunity to mark an item or two off your Bucket List. We travel through St. Louis at least a couple times each year. For the longest time it has been my goal to snap a photograph of the St. Louis Arch as we pass through. In my mind's eye this is an iconic photo. The Arch rises above the skyline which shows a glimpse of the industrial, river city that grew up alongside the Mississippi River.
The last time I was in the city, I attempted to mark that photograph off my Bucket List. Look, there is the Arch in the photo above (behind the street sign right above the 2 and the 8).
Here is a shot of it on the other side of this humongous billboard that appeared out of nowhere. And below is an attempt to capture it with some of that skyline I was hoping for. The way I imagined it, the skyline would enhance the Arch rather than obliterate it.