Take the road less traveled

Take a right at the corn field ahead...

When I was a kid, my family had a running joke that for every short-cut my dad took, our trip time doubled.  Looking back now as an adult, a part of me thinks that perhaps Dad had an ulterior motive when it came to those infamous short-cuts.  Was he really trying to save time, or did he simply enjoy meandering through windy, quiet back roads as opposed to taking a more direct, well-traveled route?  Perhaps being distantly related to one of the world’s most famous explorers, Merriwether Lewis,  played into his travel decisions.  We may never know the truth of the matter, but I choose to believe that my dad helped cultivate what is now my own love for new adventures along back roads (perhaps it’s in my genes too…I mean I am related to Merriwether Lewis, the “greatest pathfinder this country has ever known” :)).

Since moving to North Carolina and purchasing my first new car (fuel efficient Jetta TDI!), I have made several road trips across this beautiful state.  Before heading out, I often thumb through my road atlas to find alternate routes that will take me through the small towns of NC and allow me to appreciate the countryside.  I only rely on the GPS on my phone for emergencies, and firmly believe that GPS devices will ultimately kill our sense of direction (if we let them!).  While highways serve a definite purpose and their signage is often times superior, I just find  my trips to be so much more enjoyable when I get off of them!  I love the unpredictability of it all.  You never know what you will see or find along the way.  For example, the other day as I was driving through the rolling farmlands of southern VA, I looked out to my right and saw a very new foal trying to stand up after an afternoon nap in the field.  His mother patiently watched from a short distance as he got his long skinny legs beneath him and found his balance.  It’s not everyday you get to see that (unless you live on a farm I suppose), and it made me smile.  I would have never seen something so simple and beautiful along I-95.  On a recent trip to Asheville, DH and I stumbled upon a store called River Trail along the 2-lane portion of 64W.  We stopped to get gas and I left with a brand new pair of Lucchese boots, a handmade wooden fire truck for my nephew, and that exciting feeling you get when you’ve made a new discovery.

My most vivid memories from road trips are those that have happened while traveling on back roads.  For that reason alone, I will continue to take the road less traveled.  So for all of you who race to get to your final destination, take some extra time to appreciate the greatness that lies off of our interstate highway system.  I can promise that you will find some of the coolest stuff you never knew you were looking for, and gain a greater love for the simple things in life.


April 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life, Travel.


  1. That shortcut guy replied:

    Kelz: I think you are right…you are genetically predisposed to take the back roads of life. Enjoy every mile. So I wasn’t kidding anyone about those shortcuts? So everyone knew they were all about slowing down a little to smell the roses? You should see the path Murphy and I are taking to/from the Salmon River this summer. After all, I am retired…and Murphy won’t mind so long as we stop to smell the bushes too.

    • phdubs3 replied:

      Hahaha…good ol’ Murph! So glad you have a road trip buddy who appreciates the long way 😉

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