Every ten years or so – usually after we’ve bought a new car – we embark on a road trip. This year’s route: across U.S. 50 and then south to Utah’s Monument Valley, and back west via Arizona and central California.
● The most important aspect of a road trip is a full tank of gas. The second most important aspect of a road trip is a back seat full of snacks.
● Not to be disrespectful, but is every overpass and interchange in America now named for some poor schmo who died in the line of duty?
● Do road workers have any sense of shame that they block off miles and miles of lanes on a two-lane road, and then stand around conferring over one little patch of asphalt?
● As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become far less interested in being the fastest driver on the road. I also can’t sit for as long as I used to (can’t do double features anymore for the same reason).
● Who would have thought we’d have dinner at a restaurant named Sassafras in Carson City, Nevada, that was so good, we delayed our departure to have lunch there too?
● Favorite highway sign: “Please report any noxious odors in this area.”
● Whoever designated U.S. 50 across the Great Basin of Nevada “the loneliest highway in America” was not prone to hyperbole. No billboards, no Stuckey’s, not even shoulders to pull over on, just scrub brush, straightaways, and an occasional climb over a small summit. I kept thinking of the Twilight Zone episode where the astronauts think they’ve crash landed on an asteroid but eventually find out they’re somewhere east of Reno.
● Whoever had the idea to put CD players in cars has my undying gratitude.
● Favorite example of local Nevada humor: “You know you live in Ely if, after you’ve watched a movie, you call the video store, find out who’s reserved it next, and drop it off at their house.”
● Why is the graphic designating an airport on highway signs a jet, no matter how small the landing strip?
● If they’re not going to standardize the remote controls in motel rooms, can they at least make the buttons bigger?
● I also hate “do not disturb” signs that fall off the handle when you open the door.
● We must lead charmed lives. Southern Utah and northern Arizona are known for amazing national parks. We might have been out of luck, except we made reservations months ago at a hotel on a Navajo Indian reservation, and so not subject to the shutdown. The highways have been pretty lonely.
● I think this will be our last long road trip for a while. This is not my decision alone. My butt also got a vote.