Before I traded my practical SUV in for a not as practical, but lots more fun convertible, on some Fridays, as a special treat to my then five-year-old, we would take the “Adventure Way” home.
We discovered this not-recommended shortcut after I’d spent some time on Google maps searching for a quicker route from office to driveway. On the satellite image it looked perfect: a straight, two-lane road that cut about seven miles off my commute.
Things looked a little different in person. I slowed down and read the warning signs. Twice. Now, I learned to drive on dirt roads at my grandparents’ place in Louisiana, so the “unpaved road” portion of the warning didn’t bother me. It was the “TRACTORS ONLY” part (in all caps no less) that made me pause.
A voice from the back seat piped up, “Where we goin’ Mommy?”
Maybe it was the optimism that accompanies the start of the weekend. Maybe I needed some adrenaline to recover from the long week. Maybe I just didn’t want to turn around. “You want to go on an adventure?” I asked.
I gripped the wheel of my sporty little SUV and down the hill we went. Large oak, maple and bois d’arc trees arched in a canopy over the road (ahem, path) letting in leopard-like spots of sunlight. About the time I heard, “Wow Mommy! We really are on an adventure… Do you think there’s bears in these woods?” we came to the impassable-when-wet part of the journey.
Thankfully it had been several weeks since the last hard rainfall, but foot-deep trenches in the hard clay told tale of mired tires and wrench-required escapes. We proceeded slowly, cautiously, avoiding the need to invent a plausible explanation for my husband regarding a missing muffler. Up the hill we climbed, out of the dense shade and into the sunshine.
“We made it! We made it!” came a one-boy chorus. A glance in the rear-view mirror revealed a bouncing blonde head with an ear-to-ear grin.
So whether your plans this week include much-needed downtime, can’t-put-off-any-longer chores or a trip across the country, whenever possible take the Adventure Way.