Half of my trips have been as a passenger or second driver – easy co-piloting roles and company to keep me occupied. The solo drives are a different story.
It’s all about planning and spontaneity-knowing where to stop for gas and gas station snacks, and fully embracing fast food (true story: yesterday, I bought fries and coke at McDonald’s and then went next door to Culver’s for chicken tenders and 2 dipping sauces – because I’m high maintenance – and ate my meal while in Drive–the dipping sauces did not spill).
It’s about passing college towns and cabin towns – farms, fields, and forests – and enjoying their simply astounding beauty during morning light, full day time sun, and purple skies with orange highlights at dusk.
It’s about somber drives past cities synonymous with Jacob Wetterling; a story, a boy, so close to our Minnesota hearts and homes.
It’s seeing signs for towns you’ve never visited but feel like you know because that one kid from college was from there. It’s wishing you could keep driving or stop in a different town. It’s getting to your destination and experiencing its newness all while missing the familiar. It’s watching the seasons go by out your window-yellow sunflowers waving as you pass and green fields turned golden as the summer fades to fall.
It’s cruise control set at top speeds and only braking for construction and super slow drivers. It’s passing cars on one lane highways and slowing down to 30 mph for small town charm.
It’s blaring your favorite 90’s tunes and wishing you could go back to those simple years. It’s keeping the car at an ideal cool temperature and utilizing stay-awake-tricks when you feel road weary.
It’s thinking about people, places, and things from your past, present, and future. It’s wondering what your next move should be and praying for an answer on the side of the road.
It’s taking that drive time to just be alone. To be ok with aloneness and adventure, and the joy of returning home and appreciating where you’re from.