Last week my family and I drove out to El Paso to visit my brother and his family. The normal drive from Phoenix to El Paso is 99% I-10 going through Arizona, New Mexico, and finally, Texas.
Arizona is the most beautiful state in the country. I will have words with anyone who says otherwise. However,I will admit that the drive along the I-10 can get slightly tedious.
On our return drive, we needed to drive to Hereford, which is just on the Mexico/Arizona border. The shortest route was to take the I-10 to just north of Hereford, giving us the same view on the way
home that we got on the way there. Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed. Truck. Rest Stop.
But in a moment of road-trip adventure, we decided to take a two-lane highway bypass. While this added some time to our trip, we got to travel through a new part of Arizona that we had never seen before.
I could have spent hours stopping every mile or so to take a picture. I could have paused in the towns along the way (few and far between, but adorable). I wanted to explore the old church that we passed that seemed to be a hundred years old. The kids loved seeing the clouds descending on us and feeling the mist they contained. It was really an eye-opening drive for me.
And it made me wonder how many times I focus so much on the destination that I forget about the journey. Sure I enjoy the time spent in the car with my family. We have wonderful road trips together. But what if the time that we spend in the car together is not just travelling the same roads that we usually take? What if the next time we go to the mountains we take the back roads? It may add an hour or so, but what will we experience that we would otherwise miss?
So the next time you're taking a journey, maybe take out a map and find a route that you haven't taken before. If you're in Arizona, make sure you have a copy of Andrew Peterson's Nothing to Say queued up on the radio, slow down, and take in the sites. You might just find a hidden gem.