Upon getting settled in for Monday at work today, I was asked what I did this weekend. I responded that Earl and I jumped in the Jeep and went for a ride. When asked our final destination, I told them about our trip to Martinsburg, W. Va.
“Oh, do you know someone in Martinsburg?”
“Uh no.” (Come to find out we know someone that lives in that general vicinity but that’s another story).
“Then why did you go there?”
I really resisted the urge to say “because it’s there” and instead responded with the fact that it was near 50 degrees, the sun was shining brightly and there was no snow on the ground.
My co-workers shook their head in disbelief. “You drove seven hours in one direction for that?” The funny thing is Earl and I didn’t think twice about driving seven hours in one direction for unlimited ribs and a few beers at a chain restaurant called “Texas Steakhouse and Saloon”. Since I had a few beers at dinner on an empty stomach, that’s essentially all we ended up doing, though I had good intentions to do more after supper.
There’s just something about riding in a vehicle and exploring the countryside that is very, very appealing to me. I think some of it has to do with my childhood; my family would often go for a Sunday ride in our ’78 Impala and those rides hold very happy memories for me. When I was younger, we’d pile into the ’71 Heavy Chevy and make the 75-mile round trip trek to my grandparents “in the city”. My other grandparents seemed to be a happy couple, and they went for rides all the time, driving 100 miles in one direction for supper in an out of the way restaurant in Gouverneur (look at a map of New York, you’ll see how ‘out of the way’) and drove the country twice a year (“south” and “west” in February, “north” and “west” in September). I remember them holding hands at brunch almost up until the day my grandmother died.
When Earl and I got together for our first date, we spent that entire weekend together. On that Sunday long ago, we drove in my Hyundai Excel up into the mountains of Vermont, just simply talking and getting to know each other. I felt like I knew more about Earl that day than I knew about my first two boyfriends combined. I remember feeling so lucky on that day, having found someone that seemed to enjoy going for a ride as much as I did. And you know what? Even though that first ride together was just shy of 10 years ago, to this day Earl and I still discover more about each other and thrive on exploring the country side by side in the Jeep or whatever.
I could spend my life on the road and not complain about it. There is so much out there to discover and experience. And we are going to continue to experience all we can.