Every Road Trip Needs a Detour

photo by ediamond

We leave for Go East Again ’10 in 20 days. W00t! The closer the trip gets the more our excitement builds. On the second year of our trip (Go East ’08) we instituted the detour card. Each of us is allowed to declare a detour at any point in the trip to change its course. The closer we get to leaving the more we think about the perfect spot to play the card. John and Donna have very different styles of playing this card. John usually goes bold and plays it with confidence significantly altering the trip. Donna is more conservative pondering when she should play, often waiting to play, and even trying to have John give input about possible detours. One thing is for sure: our detours have taken us to some great places and have become a favorite part of our trip.

Here are some highlights of previous detours.

Let’s forget Quebec and go to Vermont! The highlights of this detour, played on the third day of Go East ’08, were getting incredibly lost on our way to Vermont, a very sweet  lady at the rest stop in Vermont who offered us cheese and coffee while wearing the rubber gloves she just used while cleaning the bathroom, and John dropping Donna’s clothes throughout the hotel lobby.

We were nearing the end of Go East ’08 and Donna still hadn’t decided where to play her card. She sat at Bubba Gump in Gatlinburg and asked John if they should head to Nashville or Cincinnati. Unfortunately, negotiating and collaborating aren’t allowed with the detour card, so she ultimately played the card and the Corolla headed north to Ohio. Highlights of this detour include discovering the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, learning the man at the American Sign Museum will not get phased even as Donna trips and comes dangerously close to causing a domino chain of neon signs, and experiencing the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

During Go Farther West ’09 John and Donna were swimming in Scottsdale when John decided to play his detour card. Instead of going to the Grand Canyon they headed to San Diego. This was a great detour that allowed us to see some amazing petroglyphs, try date shakes and realize that dates do go on trees, took us so close to Mexico we picked up their cell phone signal, and spent a great day strolling the streets of San Diego.

Halfway through Go Farther West ’09 Donna played her card and turned the trip toward the coast and up to Bandon, Oregon. On our way we discovered some quaint wineries, saw spectacular redwoods,  realized that it is difficult to find dinner in a small town after 9:00, listened to the waves crash outside our window, and waited for morning to see the beautiful scenery.

Every road trip needs a detour. Where will we end up this year? That remains to be seen.

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