Out and Back

We are focused on miles, I have to admit.

Since we have family back East, we know the number of miles just to get there – about 900 of them to Buffalo, where most of them reside. We know the roads, the landmarks, and the pit stops that have clean bathrooms, and hot cups of coffee!

We know the trip to Iowa State like the back of our hands, too! This one is shorter. About 240 miles, one way. There is a large truck stop exactly halfway there, in Minnesota. It is a great place to stop, gas up, visit the lady’s room, get a treat and resume the trip.

IMG_1923 (1)

I know the trip to another spot in Iowa, McGregor, a small town that sits on the edge of the Great Mississippi River. It is 70 miles away but does take longer than an hour to get there due to going through all the tiny towns that line The Great River Road or Highway 35. This is a very scenic drive and the extra travel time is not a bother due to the great river views you see as one travels along side one of the most famous rivers in American history. More than once I have imagined Mark Twain’s Huck Finn gliding along on a makeshift raft on the open water and hiding in the sloughs.

Yesterday, was a trip that took us out and back to Fargo, North Dakota, where our middle son attends college. It is 400 miles one way! We were in the car 13.5 hours, which is an hour and a half longer than usual,  as we traveled to retrieve him for the holidays and semester break.  The travel started out somewhat dangerous as the roads here were ice-covered. Soon after crossing the border into Minnesota, we saw a tractor-trailer completely laying on its side, obstructing the two oncoming lanes! It was a sight! We must have just missed it as we noted that the emergency crews were just arriving on scene. No, I do not have a photograph, as we try not to gawk at someone else’s misfortune.  It was a lesson in slowing down and taking one’s time when travel is treacherous. Unfortunately, few were heeding this warning, even after seeing this horrible accident.

IMG_1910 (1)

Yes, we’ve counted miles, lots of miles, over the years. Sometimes, the miles are too many.  Rarely, they are too few. I love that my boys have been adventuresome in traveling to other states for their education. It allows us all to view life from another perspective.  But, there are many places to visit close to home as well. I am looking forward to some shorter trips “out and back” to new locations as we explore colleges with our youngest son, and my newly retired husband and I start taking day trips of our own.

The great thing about going out and that you can always come back!

Both ways are enjoyable!