I love road trips. I credit my dad for this passion. He jumps at any chance he can get to drive a long distance. When Brandon and I moved from Arizona to New Jersey for seminary, there was no hesitation that he was going to join us on the journey. When we moved from Arizona to Montana, he was quick to volunteer to drive one of our vehicles.
Interestingly enough, the first long road trip my family took was from Arizona to Montana when I was in middle school. My great Uncle lived outside of Glacier Park and we headed up with my Grandmother in tow to spend a week taking in the national park. Some people plan out a road trip and determine the quickest way to get from their starting point to their destination— for these people they could make this trip in one day (if they were willing to drive all night). Most families “fast” would mean breaking it down to two days of 10/11 hours in the car— a lot of driving time, but you get the drive behind you and get to focus on your destination. That is not how my dad does it. We spent just as much time— if not more— driving to Montana as we did at our destination. We zig zagged through the southwest making our way north— stopping in Vegas, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park… those are just the highlights that I remember now. At each place we saw the sights and did some sort of activity— rafting in Yellowstone was my favorite. My dad also isn’t one to commit to driving only on the main interstates either. In order to get to all of the destinations he wanted to hit, we found ourselves on a bunch of tiny back roads— or as he termed them “short cuts”. I remember one such leg of our journey took us on switch back roads, in the fog, up one of the tallest mountains I had ever seen. I don’t remember a guard rail (though my recollection due to trauma could be imperfect), but I do remember my mom sobbing in the front seat as she covered her eyes and told us all to be silent until we made it through (I got my fear of heights from her). Well… we made it.
It wasn’t the fasted route to our destination. It wasn’t the most uneventful route either. It was memorable and it was my dad’s way.