Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My college friends and I were very spontaneous - back in my younger days. I remember one time on a Tuesday, a friend of mine said, "Hey, you want to go to South Dakota this weekend?" And just like that, 2 car loads of us left that Thursday around midnight to drive 12 hours and see Mt. Rushmore and the Bad Lands.

Another time a friend was looking into transferring to a different college. She was considering Steubenville, OH, but didn't want to make a decision without seeing it, so she set up a tour, and once again we hopped in the car and drove 12 hours east this time. Once we were there, someone said, "You know, Niagara Falls is only 5 hours away." Our next step was obvious to all of us. Since we were so close, we had to keep going. By this point in the trip, however, we were a little delirious from lack of sleep, so we stopped at a hotel. Once we were there, we had to be mindful that it was a 17 hour drive back and one friend had to be back Sunday morning for her sister's First Communion. Just like the South Dakota trip, we had left Thursday around midnight. We toured Steubenville, ate supper in Pittsburgh, saw Niagara Falls (both U.S. and Canadian view), and made it back to MO by Sunday 9 a.m.

Crazy. Spontaneous. Adventurous.

In college, some friends and I also managed a trip to Utah for a week of hiking in the national parks.

Let me say that not a single one of us had much money. We pulled our pennies together for gas, fixed our own food most of the time, and slept in tents when we could.

These trips were also spiritual. In South Dakota and Utah, we'd hike to a waterfall or climb a mountain and then pray together when we reached our destination. We also prayed in the car or in the tents. We'd read the daily readings or commentaries and then discuss them. It was impossible for us to be surrounded by such beauty and not pray. I remember waking up early one morning, climbing this treacherous mountain with a friend, and then seeing the most pristine water on the other side. It's still breathtaking as I recall it.

Nowadays, I don't jump in a car and go off on 12 or 17 hour weekend road trips, but I do still love adventure. On Saturday, I was watching the Travel Channel, and they were featuring Edward's Drive-in in Indianapolis. That's only 2 hours away, so I asked a friend if she wanted to go. She's adventurous too, so after our 7 mile mini-marathon training (remember, I'm trying to be faithful), we hopped in the car to check out Edward's Drive-in. Their food really is good. On TV, they featured their pork tenderloin and onion rings. Either go extremely hungry, plan to take some back with you, or split with someone.

It was a great adventure that reminded me of my younger years. :-) If anyone is up for a road trip, just give me a call.

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