Why I Want to Take a Back Road

Photo Credit: June Marie (Creative Commons)

Ah, the open road.

I’m pretty sure that Americans have perfected the road trip.  There are times I wish we had more public transportation like they do in Europe, but at the same time I wouldn’t want to give up that feeling I get when I turn a corner or come to the top of the hill and the road stretches out in front of you for miles and miles and miles.

Since moving to Memphis, I’ve become very experienced with the Interstate system between here and Dallas and Austin.  Gone are the days when the 3.5 hour drive from Austin to Denton made me tired; that feels like a quick afternoon getaway compared to the 11 hour drive from Memphis to Austin.  Even so, there are plenty of times where I enjoy the solitude and the scenery.

On my way back from our family vacation in Hot Springs yesterday, I found something I might like even better.  There is currently construction on a stretch of I-40 in Middle-of-Nowhere, Arkansas that causes crazy traffic.  On the way to Hot Springs I actually put my car in park for about 5 minutes, which is probably one of the least fun things I’ve ever done in my life.

On the way back I decided that I would rather drive down some state highway that might take longer than sit in that traffic again.  So when signs appeared warning of delays and suggesting an alternate route, I exited at Carlisle, Arkansas and made my way to Highway 70.

And you know what?  It was fantastic.  Sure, I had to slow down for a couple of small towns and yes, I did at one point actually get stuck behind a tractor, but it was so nice to take a break from the monotony and traffic and drive through some really beautiful country.  Say what you will about Arkansas (and I’ve said plenty), but it’s actually pretty gorgeous in a lot of the state.  It was especially beautiful yesterday because it was really cloudy, which always makes things look more green and lush.

I spent about 40 minutes on Highway 70 before heading back to the Interstate, blasting Rodney Atkins and wishing I had more country music on my iPhone (or Spotify Premium).  It may have made my trip a little longer (although I missed all the traffic, so who really knows), but it definitely made it more enjoyable.

So the next time I make a long drive I’m going to schedule in at least one slight detour and take a back road for a little bit.  It’s good for the soul.

*Photo Credit: June Marie (Creative Commons)

Leave a comment


  1. sarah9188

     /  July 27, 2012

    Back roads and country music – doesn’t get much better than that. Rolling down your windows and belting out those lyrics, I guess. :)

  2. sarah9188

     /  July 28, 2012

    I have to put mine down because the AC doesn’t work in my car….overwhelming heat does take some of the fun out of it. :p

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