chelsea cookIt is a very long trip from Wewoka, Oklahoma to Anywhere, Canada. Many years ago we made that trip and camped across Canada with three kids. That was not the only long road thrip we made with those kids, but it was probably the longest. We also used our Volkswagen van and pulled a “pop-up” trailer from Wewoka to the east coast and did a “historic” tour of many of our nation’s famous places. Road trips used to be an exciting event to plan for and a never ending adventure while undertaking attempting to read maps, choose roads. find proper eating places and referee fights at 65MPH.  When we took the tent or took the “pop-up” we also had to choose a camping location that appeared safe enough to risk our children. We were teachers in Oklahoma and that meant we were at the very bottom end of the nation’s pay scale and had to be careful in how we allocated our resources. As an aside, Oklahoma’s teacher pay has slipped even further but, thanks to Mississippi, is not the lowest in the nation.
When we left a camp ground north of Boston, after doing all the things Boston had to offer, and then drive through Boston to get to our next destination. That was really an experience. Picture an orange Volkswagen bus pulling the aforementioned trailer through thousands of autos hurling at it at breakneck speed while it attempted to dodge every way possible. The Brady bunch did not have trips like this. Oldest child was assigned to watch the rear, next was assigned the left side (Dad also had a mirror over there), smallest child took the right side to help Mom watch. The route had been carefully studied and memorized which was good as Massachusetts did not have the good signage that the family was used to in Oklahoma. Mom, Dad and Oldest also watched ahead for turns and intersections. The CB radio was no help as people back there were not as friendly as “out west.” You will not be surprised to know that we were not killed and made it out of there and several more stops before returning home.  
Another time, our family Canadian adventure ended by going across Canada and then south to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. This was a tent trip so we got to camp in those mountains which made it special - to at least two of us. One day was like a scene from a movie. We camped beside a small mountain stream in a clear spot next to the forest. In the morning Oldest and I built a fire and breakfast was cooked over that open flame. That was after I had made the coffee, of course. It was a great start to a great day. Then we went on to Mt. Rushmore and saw that amazing structure. The day was beautiful, cool and some very white clouds in a brilliantly blue sky. Just sitting/standing and looking at those famous faces carved in the side of a mountain was enough to raise goosebumps, but the clouds floated by making an unforgettable mental picture that I still carry. Somehow we made it home after a long road trip from there back to Wewoka.
As much as we did enjoy those trips, (OK-- four out of five of us) I am not too sure I would risk my family’s lives again on a very long road trip. Recently, just Herself and I were on a busy interstate highway headed home. As I gained the passing lane a large, white yodidodee pickup truck came up behind me at warp speed. I was going just over 75MPH to get around two “semis.” The yodi came so close to me I could not see his bumper, so I speeded up to get out of his way. By the time I got around the semis I was speeding past 85MPH which is way faster than I want my old car going.  Actually, it is way faster than I want my old body going. When I got back in the right lane, there was a long string of vehicles behind the truck and all going (probably) 90 - 95 MPH. Yessir, I also wondered where the highway troopers were as they could have made a great deal of money for the state coffers. Who would have guessed that 75MPH (legal speed limit) was too slow for the turnpike?
I still enjoy long road trips and getting to see other views, different agricultural styles and real scenery other than commercial buildings. Watching the trees change their foliage and seeing different fields is always a great sight to me.  But seeing a truck approach at 95MPH is not one of my favorite things. Your responses and comments are always welcome. Please send to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  It would be great to hear from you!