The Road Goes on Forever…

And the party never ends. At least the fishing doesn’t.

Having just finished the 19-hour drive from Michigan to Colorado with the Mrs., my 8-year-old son, two dogs, and a car full of fishing gear, I’ve had time to collect my thoughts a bit.

Those long drives are ultimately healthy experiences. A pain when you do them. But it doesn’t matter where I go–driving through the Arizona desert, down the Pacific Coast Highway, along I-95, or through the heartland– I inevitably gain a deeper appreciation for how beautiful this country is.

I also learn things along the way. Here are some examples of what I learned this time:

When in southwestern Iowa and the emergency broadcast network breaks over the radio with a tornado warning… and you pull off the highway to hide under an overpass… it’s not a cool parenting move to suggest to the 8-year old in the back seat that he look out the window and see if he can spot a funnel cloud. Other lessons…

Not a whole helluva lot in common between Victor, Iowa, and Victor, Idaho.

Looking for a game to keep the kids occupied? Have them try to spot some white wall tires. Nobody drives with white wall tires anymore.

The Amazon Kindle reader is a sure-fire way to completely disengage your wife from any and all conversation for 90 percent of the drive. Depending on your spouse, that can be a good thing or a bad thing.

The best beef jerky in the world comes from M-37 Meat Shack in Michigan.

A diet of beef jerky, sunflower seeds, and Diet Coke is not for sissies.

You realize that smell the 8-year-old blamed on the cattle farm in central Illinois didn’t really come from cows when it resurfaces on the Tri-State Tollway in Gary, Indiana.

Fly fishers might be the only people who analyze with great care the the smears and bug carcasses on the windshield, e.g. “look honey, I think that was a gray drake!”

There is no greater multi-state road trip soundtrack than the complete recording collection of Robert Earl Keen. (Feel free to disagree with me).

And there is not prettier, more majestic site than the silhouette of the Rockies after driving through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and eastern Colorado. (You can disagree with me on that one too).

I’m interested in hearing any of road lessons you may have learned…