December 2, 2011

Road Trippin' Mama

I love me a good road trip. Like I say over there on the right, on my new “About Me” page, nothing makes me happier than riding shotgun on a long Sunday cruise to nowhere. “Nowhere,” maybe being some little hamlet where I can buy an ice cream cone, or get out to stretch my legs and smell the fresh grass and sage.

I love road trips and day trips and vacations so much, and have taken enough of them in my life, that earlier this year I had the brilliant idea to start up a whole new blog, in addition to Reading Nest. A travel blog, which I called “The Roadrunner Mom.” Roadrunner, in honor of my late dad, the original great road-tripper. Roadrunner was a word he deeply identified with, using it for his short-lived antique shop, his e-mail, and his Ebay handle. Plus, he loved Arizona and the deserts of the Southwest. And “mom,” because obviously, 90% of my own road trips involve my kids, and usually revolve around them (and their schedules, if nothing else). 
At Diamond Valley Lake
 Well. I wrote a few posts for my Roadrunner Mom blog, but they were loooong, and took forever to compose. They were trip reports, really. I have three posts devoted to our week-long exploration of Arizona this past summer, and another on my anniversary weekend in Palm Springs. My plan was to go back and do comprehensive, informative reports on all the big family trips we've taken: to Big Sur, to Yosemite, to Hawaii, to Oregon. On top of that, I would include all the short little trips we take on weekends, to San Diego and Orange county and anywhere but here. Like this one, that appeared here on this blog a couple years ago, when we drove less than an hour away to a rare car museum in the hills north of Escondido. 
Diamond Valley Lake, Hemet
 But it turns out, that's a hell of a lot of writing, and linking, and sorting through my own photo archives. I decided I couldn't do it well, and still do the other writing that's even more important to me: posting more often here on my this blog, scribbling away sporadically on my memoir, and just keeping my house and life in the order I need to maintain and not feel crazy. So, no more Roadrunner Mom, at least not in its current incarnation.(I'm linking to it here, but don't have any permanent links from my main Reading Nest page any more.)
Wildflowers, Diamond Valley Lake
 In the meantime, I've added a new label to my posts, for “Roaming.” And I hope to share here a lot more of the roaming that we do as a family. Although frankly, we haven't done as much cruising-to-nowhere in the last couple of years as I'd like. As the kids get older, it's harder to find the time between activities and parties and soccer. Add in the fact that my son gets a little carsick, and we're less likely to jump into the car just 'cause.

The photos throughout this post were taken on great, memorable Sunday drive a couple years back. We had driven out to check out Diamond Valley Lake, a huge man-made reservoir on the outskirts of Hemet. It's less than an hour's drive for us, and we've made the drive to that area often, as it's the same back-door route that we take to Palm Springs. So, why, as I griped to my husband on the way out there, why the hell do you need to keep checking your GPS? (Because he a tech geek. A tech geek who can't NOT use the technology right before him.) I griped, I groused. A true Sunday drive does not come with directions, with maps, with a freaking GPS! crowed the daughter of the original Roadrunner.
Dirt road, outside Diamond Valley Lake area, Hemet
Still he kept pecking away at the screen, looking, checking to see precisely where we were on the planet. And in doing so, he found a secret route home. According to his GPS, there was a way back home, over narrow, winding rural roads, that would lead us not merely home to Temecula, but to practically right on a major street near our house. The drive, on a late Sunday afternoon, was wonderful. It led us past farms and rural homes that felt impossibly isolated, even as we knew we were merely a couple miles from major roads, at least as the crow flies. Sticking to the exact route, we went up some steep gravel and dirt roads, laughing at our own nuttiness.
Farm along dirt road outside Hemet/Winchester
Overlooking... Anza? Winchester?
Our car, a mid-size SUV that does not have four-wheel drive, shook and bounced as we drove over gullies and small boulders. What was possibly craziest of all, is that the GPS led us into the last stretch before home onto a long road that we both knew from experience turns from blacktop into dirt, then dead-ends into a metal roadblock before re-connecting back in town. We took it anyway, and then had to reverse on the dusty road, to get back, finally, onto the highway. This was all less than 5 minutes from home:
Metal roadblock. Beyond begins our corner of suburbia, with its white-fence "horse path."
While we probably aren't the only crazy people in town who've taken this "secret" dirt road, we are among the few, and personally I'm pretty sure we're the only ones in our circle of acquaintances who would choose to spend a Sunday afternoon this way. Hopefully we'll get to explore a lot more, and soon.  I'm feeling long overdue for some meandering roads to nowhere, paved or not. 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger Template by Designer Blogs