May 29, 2012

Take the Rabbit Trail

Most of us travel a lot by vehicle, and we typically take the most "recommended" ways according to our GPS or Google Maps. I've been driving to a soccer tournament that is 110 miles from where I live, and yesterday I took the recommended route and accomplished it in about 2 hours. On the way back along the same roads, I stopped counting the State Police cars at 20. Today I engaged something my grandfather taught me, which was "never travel the same path twice in a row, lest someone catch and punish you."

I would be remiss to not share that he was referring to the fact that he imprinted that on my mind since I was a very young boy. I will drive to the grocery store on one path, but return by another. I noticed it yesterday because I took the same path back that to used to get there, and stopped counting the state trooper cars when I got to 20. Today I decided to get off the highway and take some rabbit trails (back-country roads) instead. I saved the $7 tolls by not taking the highway, reduced my mileage by 20 (which is one gallon of gas on my vehicle, saving me $3.55), only increased my travel time by 28 minutes, and that presented me with some discoveries about the surroundings of where I live.

What I discovered today by doing that:

  • A drive-in movie location that has been operating since the 50's that is showing the CURRENT releases. Yeah, I'm going there next weekend to watch the new Three Stooges & Avengers double header.
  • Stopping on a side road, I got to watch a mother opossum and her 2 babies walk across the road
  • I spied a man on a scaffolding of 3 ladders lashed together by rope in the back of a pickup bed, freshly painting a Mail Pouch Chew ad on the side of a barn built in 1816.
  • A diner that started in a 1950's streetcar trolley that is still open and offering breakfast all day long. It had a police car from the 50s on the roof.
  • Stopping on the road apron to watch 2 bulls butting heads. It was a TRUE bullfight. They were butting heads, locking horns and really going at it. Have YOU ever seen that happen?
  • A true "home-made" frozen custard stand. Yeah, I'm not a big Dairy-Queen fan, but you give me frozen custard, I'm ALL about that. And it was served from the same building in the shape of a cone that became popular in the 50's.
  • The main production of Heinz ketchup is less than 70 miles from where I currently live. To quote some web research and based on the fact that Heinz is headquartered where I grew up:
Heinz is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the company has been located since 1890, and the company's "keystone" logo is based on that of Pennsylvania, the "keystone state". However, a majority of its ketchup is produced at a factory in Fremont, Ohio.
So, in summary, I suggest that you look at your atlas (instead of relying on the GPS), find a rabbit trail, and take it. You'll discover a lot more about what is going on in life around you by doing that... Life is about experiencing and discovering... not about just getting the job done...

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