French Fries and Gravy, Sir

Super Troopers is the first thing that pops into my head any time I hop into the car for a long road trip, and last weekend was no different. The blog is a couple of days behind schedule this week because my buddy needed some help moving from Indianapolis, IN to Loveland, CO (quite an upgrade if you ask me). While driving through some of the most boring parts of this country may not sound appealing to any of you, having the chance to fly out to Indy and drive back with my friend for a couple of days was amazing.

Since college, I have had a fairly good history with road trips. It all started in 2010 (maybe?) when 2 of my 3 best friends hopped in a purple minivan with me and drove from Atlanta to Niagara Falls during our fall break from school. The “Purple Palace” served admirably on that first trip as we drove through the Smokies, met up with our 3rd best friend in Maryland, and slept in a Walmart parking lot somewhere in New York.

The Purple Palace in all her glory. Complete with baby face college kids.

The “Purple Palace” had an illustrious career and is currently living a quiet and well deserved retirement in Georgia. She took us from Atlanta down to Orlando and may or may not have broken 100 mph. Probably the most aggressive trip she ever took was when our group of 4 made our way from Atlanta to Denver in ~24 hours, so that one of us could see about a girl (Good Will Hunting is also a great movie). On that trip we gunned it out to Colorado where we spent a day hiking The Garden of the Gods. We then booked it south, driving through New Mexico where we slept in a random farmer’s field in our sleeping bags under one of the most beautiful night skies I have ever experienced. The farmer drove by at about 630 AM and must have decided we posed no threat, since we weren’t shot on sight. The trip continued through Amarillo, TX where we ate stupid amounts of steak and rocky mountain oysters, and on to College Station, TX where we ate some Whataburger and checked out the A&M football stadium. We finished up the whirlwind of a trip by driving to New Orleans, surviving a minor incident of driving while all four of us were asleep, and eating a delicious breakfast before heading back to Atlanta.

When you see an open field in Oklahoma (which is all of Oklahoma) you frolick.

Those trips were some of the best times of my life, as we all talked, laughed, and bonded in ways that only a long road trip with not enough sleep can produce. This weekend was no different, as my friend and I were able to talk about life in ways that we haven’t in a long time. It was life giving and absolutely key for building a healthy community in my life. I am grateful for the real, intimate conversation driven by intentional time together in a Uhaul (pun intended). So next time you’re dreading a long car ride, I encourage you to see it as an opportunity to connect with someone in a way that is deep and real.

Sunrise in New Mexico with some great friends.

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