- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
The Rest Stop
Good Old Fashioned Road Trip
My family is no stranger to a good old fashioned road trip. Since December, my family and I have traveled about 6,500 miles! We drove from the Green Bay area to Southern California when we moved mid-December. Then recently, we went from Southern California back to Wisconsin roundtrip for spring break. We have put on a few miles over the past couple months, and let’s just say with traveling comes the occasional visit to the dreaded Rest Stop.
We left the house at 4:30 p.m. We were heading in the direction of Las Vegas. That wasn’t the final destination, but it was the first point we were looking toward. What can I say, when you break down the destinations when you have 2,100 miles to go, it makes the trip go much faster. Going 300 miles is a lot easier to swallow at a time then the whole 2100.
By about 10 p.m., my husband was starting to yawn… by about 11 p.m., I finally convinced him to let me drive so he could take a nap. Usually when we go on road trips, we drive straight through until we get to our destination. Rarely do we get a hotel room, only if the weather starts to get bad or we are driving separately. It makes the price of the entire trip drop significantly. You also get much better driving in at night when all the children are sleeping and not asking every couple hours, “Are we there yet?” or “Can we stop? I have to use the bathroom!”
A must for every Road Trip
With a big cup of good coffee, a bigger jug of water, and a handful of licorice, I was in the driver’s seat. The music was blasting and the rest of the passengers were snoring to the beat. That left just me and the road. An hour later I had to stop. It was bathroom break time.
An hour after that, I had to stop again. What can I say, with the combination of coffee and water, I had the smallest bladder in the world. But, I was very much wide awake!
An hour later… you guessed it… I needed to stop again.
By the time it was about 4 a.m. and we were well into Utah. We had tackled about a third of the drive and once again, I needed another bathroom break. I pulled into another rest stop area, bouncing in my seat. My husband barely opened an eye to ask, “Are you still okay!”
“Yes, I am fine!” I shouted as I opened the car door and ran up the hill to the bathrooms.
I did a quick survey around me. There were several truckers with their trucks running, obviously taking a break from the road. There were a couple of cars, passengers slumped over the driving wheel too tired to continue driving. Overall, the parking lot was pretty much empty. It was slightly lit in a spooky kind of way, and my mind started running in its own direction. I am a writer after all, so thoughts are always running through my head.
I walked into the bathroom and headed for the first stall. Nasty.
I peaked into the second one. Nasty. I guess it has been awhile since they had cleaned up.
Third stall was finally in decent enough condition. (If you haven’t figured this out by now, I have an issue with public bathrooms!)
As I was doing my business, the movie Rest Stop and The Hills Have Eyes came to mind. Don’t ask why. I really don’t have a good answer. Then I realized I also didn’t have my cell phone on me. These thoughts were starting to give me the creeps. If someone were to come in to the rest stop and try to kidnap me, I would have no way of calling for help. Suddenly I heard a loud noise.
Oh my God, someone was coming after me! And I was without my phone!
A moment later and a few deep breaths, I realized I was going crazy. Maybe it was the lack of sleep. Maybe it was radiation from using my cell phone too much while driving. Maybe it is my creative mind going into overdrive. Maybe it is the excessive amount of scary movies my husband forces me to watch at bedtime. There is obviously way to many maybes in this story and only one real answer!
For the Traveler
After calming myself down a little bit, I realized my overactive imagination made me think someone was trying to get me in the rest stop. But the likelihood of that happening was probably pretty slim. After all, this wasn’t some B-rated scary movie.
The noises I heard were actually caused by me. Since I had checked the previous two stalls before settling on the third, the big bangs I heard were the doors slamming shut… after I had opened them!
With my imagination finally under control, I quickly washed my hands and ran out of the bathroom and straight to the car. I opened the door and locked myself in. While I know there was no one chasing me at the Rest Stop, I was also not taking any chances.
Thankfully, the next Rest Stop would be in the sunlight.