Summer road trips; an American tradition dating back to the completion of the Eisenhower Interstate highway system over a quarter century ago. My annual summer road trip takes me across that patchwork quilt of land that air travelers look down on as they soar across the country. They don't know what they are missing. Most of this trip is on the open road, lined on either side by green fields of corn, soybeans and other foliage that feeds the nation. The term "Road Trip" suggests a carefree independent cruise on the open road. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Road trips are always full of surprises. For example, you might pass by a random business, like Monkey Joe’s bar and grill, nestled between these fields where, some might say, is in the middle of nowhere. You can bet Monkey Joe's fills with regulars on Friday and Saturday nights. Or you might catch the sight of a stray barn sitting alone in the middle of a field as if forgotten. It crumples and decays almost unnoticed, a sign of days gone by. A careful observer might notice the telephone booth sitting outside the Stop N Go. Or you might pass by the place where telephone pools are made. Who knew?
Historical markers also dot the patchwork landscape in the middle of the country. Reminders of moments long since passed, but too important to be forgotten.
By mostly, driver’s see large expanses of open prairie that stretch on for miles. And that's just fine with me. Europe can keep its backpacks. Touring America requires a car, a cooler stocked with Coca-Cola (diet please) and a good playlist for the stereo. Cruise control is also helpful.