To Nashville (The Long Way)
From December 30th, 2007, to January 7th, 2008, I went on a road trip with two of my close friends, Syd and Dan. They came from Dallastown, Pennsylvania to pick me up in Pasadena, Maryland. We proceeded to drive out west to Elmwood, Illinois, and then down south to Nashville, Tennessee. It was arguably the most fun trip I’ve ever taken, despite what anyone else says.
Okay, so there were some setbacks. See, Syd and Dan are older than me, but they were only sixteen at the time. Turns out you can’t rent a motel room until you’re twenty-one, and we had nowhere near enough money to spend on an expensive hotel. Our trip was a little unplanned. So, we spent five days in a Chevrolet Trailblazer. We didn’t even have a place to take a shower!!
The biggest setback was our near-death experience in beautiful Elmwood, Illinois. Yes, it’s very pretty, even when it snows. But for those of you who have never been in that part of the country, the snowstorms are exceptionally brutal. We were travelling along I-74 West when Syd and I noticed that we were low on gas. Our lovely GPS took us to an exit, proceeded to confuse us by giving out late directions, and led us onto I-74 East. Panicking that we didn’t have enough gas to go all the way down to the next exit (it’s like no man’s land there!), we decided to take an exit off of the east-bound interstate. Unfortunately, the roads were all snowed-in and there wasn’t a snowplow in sight. We didn’t realize this until we were on said snowy road. Yeah, we crashed. The snow was so deep it was up to my thigh. I know I’m short, but come on! Syd and I had to stay in a silo (we were in a rural area) while Dan, the only one really properly equipped for winter, had to walk a mile and a half to the nearest house, because the one that we crashed in front of just so happened to be a house that the residents only used in the summer. I don’t blame them, knowing how the weather is now.
Well, we were rescued by a lovely couple and their father who pulled our SUV out of the snow and back onto the road, and then was even kind enough to give us some gas from their lawn mower so we could make it to the gas station, plus escorting us there to make sure we got there okay. If we had crashed in Pasadena, we’d have been dead, because nobody really has any sort of hospitality there.
I mean, it was really fun too. I got to see the Midwest, which I’ve always wanted to do. It’s beautiful out there, but it’s a little too sparse for my tastes. I got to spend a week with two of my best friends. Nashville’s really a great city, we got to see a lot of it during our three days there. There were a lot of sights, like the skylines in all the major cities. We had a game to find the weirdest town names too, like Kickapoo in either Illinois or Iowa, or Normal, Illinois and London, Ohio.
What have I learned from this situation? A number of things, really. Cheesecake is only good on occasion, not when you have to feed off of it for five days because you have no stove and no microwave. Just because it only snows two inches where you’re from doesn’t mean that the climate’s the same everywhere else. And most important: PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIPS.
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