new perspective

Day 13 – Clinton, Oklahoma to North Little Rock, Arkansas

An Epic Journey

We started the day off by stopping at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma.  I figured it would be a tourist trap that was designed to only suck your money away.  I was wrong.  It was an adorable, yet small, museum dedicated to preserving the history of Route 66.  The displays included quite a few authentic photographs, props and even cars of the time.  I am really glad we stopped as it was informative and fun.

I love the history of Route 66!!  It is true Americana! I love the history of Route 66!! It is true Americana!

While driving in the west, one cannot help but notice all the casinos along the way.  I totally understand that those casinos bring tourist dollars into the community, provide decent wages to local people and they allow people to better themselves.  I get it, I really do.  But when you look around and you see big, bright and shiny casinos surrounded by…

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“Too much time on my hands, It’s ticking away with my sanity…” Written by Tommy Shaw (Styx)

The clock clicks ever slowly when one anticipates a major change.

The clock clicks ever slowly when one anticipates a major change.

A wise friend once told me that only boring people get bored. I always agreed with that statement until now, because right now I am so utterly bored and I do not believe it is because I am boring. I have been planning my Epic Journey on and off for approximately 37 years. I have wished and wanted for this trip, anything to get out of the rut my life so conveniently fit into right from the start.

During the last few months it looked like the dream might come true and planning began. The exhilaration from this trip finally happening has been amazing. Then one thing by another has tried to rain on the parade that is my journey; financial setbacks, illness, self-doubt…you name it. I am trying to stay positive, which is not in my nature. I always felt it was easier to be a pessimist and never be disappointed, then to be an optimist and always be disappointed. Let’s face it…life very rarely works out like you imagine it will. How many dreams have you had that have had to be re-thought, picked apart, or just plain forgotten? Me, I have had plenty.

Now I am less than a month from my projected “Launch Date” for my trip and I am still working out some things. There may be a slight delay, but it looks like it is still a “GO.” The problem now is the waiting to-go part. My new-found sense of adventure has taken over my ability to continue doing the mundane things in life like laundry, cooking, cleaning and dishes. I am so completely bored with it all. I could just scream. I know I have some romantic notion that everything having to do with my Epic Journey is going to somehow be exciting and new. That is totally unrealistic and I logically know it. But my heart is feeling something different.

I feel like I have too much time on my hands, yet I am still working, trying to sell off my gift shop inventory, preparing for the trip, trying to keep up with the minimum in housework and just get through each day. Please do not get me wrong, my life is not horrible. It has just been the absolute same for a long, long time. The same type of work, the same house, the same sort of life and I am ready for a change. The only thing I do not want to change is my husband, he is awesome; everything else is fair game to alter!

I suppose this is what a mid-life crisis feels like? I never dreamed that I would go through a mid-life crisis. That was always someone else’s issue. But here I am at almost 53 years old and I am ready for the epic change. I probably never mentioned that during this trip, I hope to find a new place for Mike and me to live.   We want, maybe, a Tiny Home or some sort of downsized lifestyle that will allow us to explore some dreams we have while we are still physically able (not too old).

I am banking on a lot of things to come out of this one journey. Maybe I am expecting too much. I am sure I am not thinking about the hours of monotonous driving during this trip, only concentrating on the fun and excitement. I have romanticized how fun it will actually be to sleep and live in the back of my SUV day after day. No, I am sure I am overthinking this trip and all I will walk away from it with. But this is my first intentional foray into optimism. I guess if that is where my mid-life crisis takes me, I could be doing worse.

As far as having too much time on my hands, I have decided that travel creates that feeling inside the traveler. For if it was not for the longing for change, no one would have ever left home. No discovery of new lands, no inquiries into other cultures, no new discoveries would have been discovered. Boredom, now as I see it, is the very reason for travel. My soul has reached its current level of mediocrity and it must now move on to another phase or chapter in order to remain. So for now, I will look at my boredom as a gift, the gift that is making this trip actually happen. I may have too much time on my hands right now, but it will not be that way for long.

Destination: Willoughby, Ohio

Countdown to Launch: 55 Days

Day trips are practice for my epic driving trip. Yesterday, Mike and I went on a small excursion to Willoughby, Ohio, to scout a restaurant for a meeting we are having next week with the President of the Historic US Route 20 Association, Bryan Farr.   This is a wonderful grassroots organization dedicated to the preservation and awareness of the historical significance and the economic growth of US Route 20. We hope to do some collaborating. Please check out his website at

Outside Rider's Inn -- A historic sign

Outside Rider’s Inn — A historic sign


We had burgers and iced teas at Burgers-N-Beer (4027 Erie Street, Willoughby). It is a bar but with good food. There were couples, families, little league teams and other groups dining during the afternoon hours. It had a safe and happy atmosphere. Our waitperson, Katie, was awesome and helped me pick a gluten free option for lunch. It seemed like the kind of place you could just linger and catch up with old friends. I enjoyed myself very much.




We walk up and down the street, before the rain came, and did some window shopping at the many unique retail options. We also visited the park nearby.

IMG_4956 IMG_4951 IMG_4949

Then it was off to do some trip business. Last week, Darlene and the staff at the Solon AAA Office completed an entire Trip Tik for my journey. They provided paper maps, Tour Books as well the Trip Tik itself. I was amazed at the comprehensive job they did and I just wanted to thank them here. It took a lot of work and I am extremely appreciative. In today’s world, paper maps may seem antiquated but I do not agree. Having them is providing me with piece of mind and an assurance of being able to find my way around this beautiful country.

Trip Tiks, Maps and Tour Books

Trip Tiks, Maps and Tour Books

Since some of my side trips are still in the works, I did not have Darlene plan for them. So we decided to get a GPS as a backup and for the side trips. We went to Best Buy in Mentor. We were assisted by Tyler who spend a lot of time showing us the different options and models until we were happy. He was a great help. We then turned the Garmin on and proceeded down US Rt. 20 to Perry using the GPS. It was my first experience with a GPS and I was very impressed. Now I feel confident that between all of Darlene’s work and the GPS I should be safe and on track.

I also need to send a shout out to my boss, Avery, who has so graciously let me borrow her camera. The pictures are going to be much better than what I was taking before and I appreciate having it as I believe the scenery on the trip is going to be epic!!

Even though this was just an afternoon jaunt, there were things I never saw before and places I had not been. It was an interesting way to spend a few hours.