Sunday, June 23, 2013

A road trip

Although a lot can be said for rail, air and even bus travel, there's nothing like an old fashioned car trip to see the real America. On the road you get to fill up your own tank, pass large trucks on the highway, stay in cheasy motels and re learn your vending machine skills, in case you have forgotten them. You also get familiar with ice buckets and motel ice vending machines.

Traveling with the family as a kid I was told to fill up the family cooler with the hotel ice machine. I also got to swim in motel swimming pools with motel towels. We never stole towels, just overused our ice privileges. Instead of eating at Howard Johnsons on the road, we ate sandwiches that Mother made and Dad was allowed a can of beer. We consumed our meals at those rest stops on wooden picnic tables.

As an adult I have thrown caution to the wind and become an aficionado of travel courts. What great places. My last trip an old man was traipsing up to the entrance rolling an oxygen tank. A travel court comedian yelled, "Don't worry, I left my iron lung in the car!" I met a Cub Scout pack that was selling coffee from a stand. They were impressed when I told them I once was part of Pack 19 in New Jersey. And of course there are those bargain motel books. I leafed through one last weekend and selected an Econolodge with $59 a night coupon. Sometimes I wonder if they add $5 to the price when someone walks into the lobby with one of those books.

Of course there are always the signs on the road. One read "take off your sunglasses" which I dutifully did and soon I was driving through a tunnel under part of the Pocono Mountains. After leaving another tunnel I saw a sign that said "are your lights on?"  and mine were. I put on my sunglasses too, although nobody told me too. I also passed a caravan of two thousand motorcycles. That was fun. Details in a future blog. Happy Summer!

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