I have no schedule, no itinerary. I call locals at random restaurants, police stations, hotels, and visitor's centers to ask what I should see as I pass through their cities. Then, I stop at anything (and everything) that I think I may want to tell my grandkids about some day. (I've done the World's Largest Cross, National Route 66 Museum, and the Oklahoma Riverwalk just today!) Of course, by that time, it will sound much more precarious (and more awesome) than it actually is: "When I was a young whippersnapper like you, I had to
Uh, where was I? Oh, right, the undisclosed location wandering around aimlessly and talking with random locals. I have met some great people out on the road today, but it's funny, the one questionable person I met was from back home. (It's California. Why am I even surprised?)
I had stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up dog food around 11 p.m. It was an ... ethnic ... part of town. I'm not judgin'. I'm just sayin'. As I stood in the checkout line, the Mexican man in front of me answered his phone and spoke English, which somewhat allayed my fears that 1) I had actually taken a wrong turn in Texas and ended up in Mexico or 2) they had moved the border. His conversation went like this, "Hey, dude, I'm in Texas. Yeah, Texas, dude." In other (less slang-y) words, the stranger I happened to be right behind in the Little Mexico Wal-Mart also wasn't from Texas.
How random, I thought. I struck up a conversation. I shouldn't have.
Me: I gather you're not from around here either.
Wal-Mart Creeper: Naw. You're not from here?
Me: No. I'm just traveling through.
W. Creeper.: I'm from Los Angeles, on my way back there now. Where're you headed?
Me: How crazy! I'm from an hour east of LA, and headed back! Small world, isn't it?
W. Creeper: Are you traveling alone?
Me, now realizing the guy is a creeper but still not willing to lie: Yes, well, with my dog. (It occurred to me later I should have said, "No, Jesus is always with me." I'll use it on the next one. There's always a next one).
W. Creeper: Where you staying at?
Me (thankful that my procrastination habit was finally good for something): I have no idea. I haven't picked a place yet.
W. Creeper: Oh yeah? Well, I'm up at the Motel 6 right around the corner. Nice place.
After that, nothing more needed to be said. Of course, there was more said. He went on to introduce himself as Daniel, at which point I squelched an urge to tell him I hoped he got lost on the way back to the Motel 6 and found himself in a ... lion's den.
As long as we're on the topic of road trips and Bible-references (you thought you'd escaped them for a post! *Cue losing sound from game show*), you've got to read this story. Not long ago, a Florida man went on a cross country journey--in a covered-wagon. Why? Read the whole story:
Man, Mules, and a Message.
These words appear at the end of the story. I couldn't think of a better note to end the day:
“A trip ends. But a journey goes on forever. It’s all about an eternity with Jesus. I will continue this journey until I die, telling other people about Jesus.”
*My mother fears I have blog stalkers who may try to kidnap me en route to California. I tell her that she doesn't need to worry--even if they did take me, it wouldn't be long before they'd realize the mistake and put me back.