I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that our painted car has drawn strangers into conversing with us at rest stops and hotel parking lots. We’ve been getting lots of questions about our plans, how long we’ve been gone, and more than a few “wows” at that fact that I’m alone with this kids for this leg of the trip. Most times these new friends will also share some of their travel highlights and/or miseries; there’s no end to complaining about cramped legs and loud kids. It’s like we’ve joined this vast fraternity of fellow road-trippers, and I’m loving it.
On Tuesday we drove from Las Cruces, NM to Flagstaff, AZ and stopped for a picture at the Continental Divide, just along historic Route 66.
Once we got back on I-40 towards Flagstaff, we saw another car with painted windows indicating they were on a road trip as well. They had put two cell numbers up with the message “Call/Text Us.” When they saw our van, they got so excited and started waving and hollering at us, filming us with their camcorder and taking pictures. They were three young 20-somethings packed into a tiny car on a trip from Florida to California. We ended up texting them, and had a conversation back and forth for quite a while on I-40 West! We’ve been keeping each other updated little by little along our trip.
Just before getting to Flagstaff, we were enticed by the road signs to check out a massive Meteor Crater.
While there, we met a dad and his two kids who were taking a month of vacation together to travel from West Virginia to the West Coast. We discovered that both our families would be touring the Grand Canyon the following day, so we jokingly said “See you there!” Wouldn’t you know it – we did see them there!
At the Grand Canyon, we also saw another family we had talked to during breakfast at the hotel that morning. And probably one of the funniest things – in line at the entrance gate to the Grand Canyon, we pulled up directly behind another car from Texas that had a bumper sticker from my daughter’s rival high school in the exact town we’re from! Small world!
It’s been so fun to join this greater community of travelers, who are from different corners of the US, but have the same idea of adventure and family time. I can’t wait to see who else we meet on the road!