Wendy Wortham on Road Trips and Rest Areas- Travels of the Texas Twins Events Team…
As we often load up the Texas Twins SUVS, Cindy and I are less able to travel long distances without a bathroom break the older we get, the worse the “emergency.”
Many years ago, I rode with Cindy and her husband, Steve Daniel along with my son, Robert Christopher and her daughters, Leigh Andrea and Stephanie Rene to San Antonio, TX. My family still laughs about this trip for many reasons although the main reason would be my brother in law “making good time to get there.”
You see for over twenty years, Steve was a truck driver for Albertsons and “making good time was a priority for drivers, especially interstate driving” explained my brother in law during this family excursion to his favorite city.
The problem started perhaps an hour out of Fort Worth for me. You see I’ve always drank water due to a suggestion from my doctor after a car accident and ensuing kidney issues thirty years ago. Back then no one wore a seat belt and my forehead bears the scars of my body lurching over the steering wheel and nearly knocking the windshield out from the force of being rear ended into the car ahead of me in a traffic jam. My doctor went on to tell me that driving with a full bladder is another huge mistake for long distance drivers that can lead to ruptured kidneys or worse, cancer of the kidney. After being held for five weeks in the hospital, my habits dramatically changed- I never left home without water and, I never waited to go to the bathroom either.
Riding with my brother in law, Steve a good hearted country guy who you would be surprised is a careful driver, I was shocked when two hours after waiting we still had not pulled over for a rest area break!
“Hey sis, can you just hang on until Austin?” Was he kidding? No, he actually set the clock leaving the city and prides himself on arriving on time much like the father on A Christmas Carol changing a tire.
Finally, we stop at perhaps on of the filthiest rest areas I had ever seen so many years ago. You see at the time I was accustomed to well accommodated rest areas in California that we had stopped at as children heading to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm in the family Open Road. Although we had a restroom, my dad knew that getting us out kept us from going stir crazy and my Aunt Shirley often made stops too if for no other reason than to break the monotony of 3 boys and 3 girls arguing every chance we had with each other. Today when playing Canasta, we still do.
Back then everyone had respect for their fellow travelers. You never saw a roll of toilet paper floating in the toilet or worse, a toilet no one bothered to flush! What has happened when there is a blatant disregard for property that does not belong to you? Is this how you treat your restroom at home? I seriously doubt it.
I finally made it to San Antonio and back without rupturing my kidneys but, firmly advised Steve that the next time, I’m driving. I now drive almost everywhere we go as it affords me the opportunity to stop whenever I wish and, to knock around the occasional truck stop searching for magnets and souvenirs.
I drove my sister Cindy back to Texas from Beverly Hills a few weeks ago after she lost her license and we were forced to forfeit our first class tickets and find a one way rental “cave buggy” that stalled on the smallest incline and, attempted to die while idling. What a POS that car was but, we made it back even after running out of gas and having to push it in Arizona. We also visited the filthiest rest area I’ve ever been to in my entire life in Yuma Arizona.
I went in first, coming back out I immediately poured my bottle of alcohol on my hands and shoes and even slapped some on my face to clear the fumes out of my nostrils. Cindy walked out wheezy herself and told me the next time, just pull off on the side of the road!
Walking past a passed out patron only added to the drama since we didn’t know if he was dead drunk or permanently disabled in the desert heat. I called out “hey buddy are you ok?” He mustered himself up and said “sure, I’m homeless and got nowhere to be ma’am.”
We left him with several snacks from our dashboard and two bottles of water- why not? If that rest area was the only place he could call home, he deserved every bit of help we could manage!