May 032009

Yesterday started out windy here in Show Low, Arizona, but by noon it had calmed down quite a bit. My daughter Tiffany and her family stopped by for a visit in the early afternoon, and it’s always a treat to spend time with them.

My son-in-law, Jim, crawled under our Ford van to unbolt the winch we had mounted between our bucket seats to pull my motorcycle inside the van. With the bike gone, the winch was in the way, and Jim can use it on his ATV, so I told him if he’d remove it, he could have it. Jim also replaced a leaky gasket on the cap of the power steering reservoir on our bus, getting himself nice and dirty in the process.

Meanwhile, our two granddaughters, Hailey and Destiny, kept Terry and their mom busy, turning over rocks to look for bugs and taking a walk down to the playground here at Show Low Lake Campground.

Later in the evening we went to Tiffany and Jim’s house for a delicious pasta dinner Miss Terry made. My granddaughters have an endless supply of energy, and they just love crawling over their Grandpa. They are always coming up with something, including decorating me with their little plastic hair clips. The things I do to entertain those girls!

We have had a great time visiting our family and friends here in our old hometown, but Terry and I are both getting a bad case of hitch itch, and we’re looking forward to getting back on the road in a little over a week.

I’ve been looking at routes we can take to Sedalia, Missouri for the Escapade rally, and though we can get there in two or three days if we push it and take the interstates all the way, what fun is that? I think we’ll take Interstate 40 as far as Tucumcari, New Mexico, and then follow U.S. Highway 54 across the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and into Kansas.

U.S. 54 will actually take us across Kansas and into Missouri, within an hour or so of Sedalia. But, depending on our schedule, we may detour north toward Kansas City for a visit with Terry’s cousin Carolyn Henley and her husband Mel on the way. I have been doing some researching on the internet and have found several places I’d like to stop along the way to gather stories for the Gypsy Journal.

Whenever we can, we always prefer following the U.S. Highways and two lane roads in our travels. They are never as fast as the superslab, but we enjoy the slower pace, and that’s where we have found the real America.

Let’s face it, a Denny’s restaurant in Flagstaff, Arizona and a Denny’s in Toledo, Ohio are pretty much the same. My late friend Dave Baleria referred to it as Generica, the one size fits all cookie cutter land of corporate franchises that you can find at every interstate highway off ramp in the country.

We much prefer the small town diners and Mom and Pop businesses we find on the back roads. If you have lunch in any small town diner in America and do a little eavesdropping, by the time you finish your dessert, you’ll know who’s cheating on who, who just got their pickup truck repossesed, and who’s kid just got expelled from school.

And besides, the blueberry pie always tastes better in those places than the cardboard fare they serve in the chain restaurants!

Thought For The Day – Lead your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “We’re Getting Hitch Itch”

  1. Nick,

    I thought you said you wanted to get off of the interstate system and smell the roses? Allowing only 2 or 3 days from Show Low to Sedalia isn’t much time.

    On the way, check out Greensburg, KS and their rebuilding efforts. Or stop at Lyons, KS and the museum they have. They even have relics of when the conquistadors were in the midwest (and a nice free city park with 30A).

    We’ll tell them to leave a light on for you!


  2. You get BIG POINTS for sitting still. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since you like small town diners and traveling the back roads, you might like to participate in Small Town Snapshot Sunday. We do it every week and it’s great fun to see everyone’s small town shots. We could use more participants!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Nick, you look good in clips! Maybe you’ll start a new fashion trend among gentlemen with more hair on their chin than on the top of their head! Do enjoy your trip across the country this year. We sure wish we could go with you. Next year maybe.

  4. Hey Nick, the hair clips are a good look for you. You should consider them as part of your every day fashion regimen. I look forward to the time I have grandchildren to do those kind of weird things with. Have fun.

  5. The Elks Lodge in Tucumcari NM is a good place to stop… nice folk around the bar and $7 a night for the first, free for the second (water and electric…pool after Memorial Day)! Good “small town” conversation… We’ve stopped in twice and received a great reception both times. I believe they bought the first round.

  6. Gene,
    I think you misread my post. I said we could make it in 2-3 days on the interstates, but what fun is that? Instead we’re taking U. S. 54 from New Mexico across Kansas.

  7. Do you know what Mamma puts in her blue berry pie?….

  8. Nick,

    You are so fortunate to have grandchildren and they are so fortunate to have a grandfather who indulges the silly and so lovable things that little kids do.

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