A lot of the time, though, it’s the small, weird and unusual, or just the difference between here and there (wherever you are) that can make a road trip memorable.
It’s a shame not to pay attention. Not to keep your eyes open and your other senses honed. These are the things that make the journey fun, until you get to wherever you're headed, if you're headed anywhere, that is…
Some are fun and thought provoking! Here are a few oddities I’ve managed not to miss:
-A town where there is a prison museum- also sported a big flashing road sign that said not to pick up any hitchhikers because there was a recent escapee.
-Lumber companies have such lovely names such as: Forest Land Svc, Evergreen Tree Experts, Environmental Forestry Svc.
-There is a town called Inkom (pronounced income) that is a remnant of an old oil town. Dead and in the Red.
-On the road, why do I see only 2 blades of a giant windmill go by on those incredibly long trucks? Where is the third blade?
-And I have seen animal tunnels under the road. Really? How do they know where they are? Wouldn’t it be great if you were a mountain lion? Just wait on the other side for something tasty to come through.
– I saw a man with 2 prosthetic legs with dollar bills all over them. I’m guessing they were very expensive.
– Watched a lady walk down the highway with an American Flag.
– A terrible name in a small town was Century High School. I would not want to go there. I don’t know if anyone makes it to graduation.
-Drove past a water park at Dry Creek. HMMMM?
-Saw orange robed Buddhist monks at a small town (population 132) café in the Ozarks. Very surprising.
– In Idaho, a town was having porcupine races.
– I got to touch real mammoth bones in a small museum in Nebraska while a college student was prepping them.
-Went to a very cool, very creepy insect museum near Colorado Springs. Not to be missed. Some were bigger than my head so I’m glad they were dead and under protective glass.
-Saw a TV ad in Idaho. “If you buy a car from us, you get a free gun!”
-Saw a sign on the highway for “Beetle Cleaned Skulls”. Ewww.
-Drove over Drinkwater Pass right to Stinking Water Creek.
-Atomic City is right near some old volcanoes that could erupt anytime in the next 10,000 years.
-Watched a dung beetle push a large ball of you know what, about 20 times the size of the beetle, with it’s hind legs backwards and upside down. (Now that was pretty cool!)
-Listened to a big pack of coyotes up in northern WI, while laying in my small and very thin tent, which turned out to be wolves.
-Listened to an eerie banshee screaming at the same lake- super scary- that turned out to be a loon.
– Had my white t-shirt turn solid black with lake flies up in Minnesota. (Could skip that one.)
-Saw 1 ½ million geese fly in to managed wetland area in one day!
So- Listen in on a conversation at the mom and pop cafe in Small Town or to the night sounds.
Taste a strange local dish you haven’t tried- (the fried pickles and gator in Louisiana are delicious).
Feel the moss, wind, or the sponginess of a giant slug between your toes .
See the jillion stars on a clear night in the wild. Look up, down and sideways.
Smell the freshness after a rain in the desert- or the pungent odor of a feedlot.
Ponder the mysteries of the road.