There comes a time on every trip when you know it’s time to pull up stakes and head home.
For this vacation, that point came when I had to wrestle the rhinestone-studded tweezers from Louises’ hands when I feared she was going to stab a stranger who tried to mansplain to us how to back up to the gas pump on our 177th fill up somewhere in Missouri. It didn’t end well for our unfortunate stranger.
While it wasn’t our original plan, after we pulled out of Moab at 8am on Monday and had dropped two groups of people off at airports in Colorado, we just kept going. Instead of one last night at a campground outside of Denver, we figured we’d push it until the middle of Kansas. Maybe that was less of a choice and more that my right foot was fused to the gas pedal after trying to drive through the Rocky Mountains at 38 mph, but we stopped at a motel just long enough for one more puking session by our youngest traveler and a few hours of restless sleep. The thought of our own beds, showers and adequate Wi-Fi was just too much of an incentive to stop anywhere short of our driveway, so we pushed our limits and pulled in the neighborhood 3,237 miles older on Tuesday before midnight.
The gas station mansplainer had tried to brag that he was 4 hours into their roadtrip–Louise cackled and asked him how many kids were on board and if he ever crossed Texas with no A/C or if there was a wasp’s nest in his sewer hose bumper? Did he know how to fix the generator or start a campfire in the rain? Was he a KOA VIP member and did he have a working rearview mirror? After he slowly backed away and we heard the click of his automatic door locks, I realized the road can change a person.
Or if you’re lucky, you change the cliché road trip fiasco into great memories of family adventures that you’ll treasure always.