Off the Interstate
Today I went off the great I-80/90 taking a wrong exit,thanks to some road construction that got me confused. I was in no particular hurry and also I was armed with lethal arsenal of AAA maps; so I did not panic. I have come to grief often and so have many who have taken a Mapquest prinout of directions. Its great if you follow it, but if you take a wrong exit or miss one, you are lost, lost as a babe in the woods.
I am great fan of the Interstates, but they are boring after a while. Extremely soporific to say the least. The smaller highway that I found myself on was so different. It passed by houses of people working in their yards, children playing basketball. I had to stop for a goods train to pass. I saw self-styled 'historic' towns, of quaint antique shops and local restaurants. There was so much happening around that I was not watching the road anymore.
I was about 10 miles away from the US 23 Interstate before my detour ended and I saw a local restaurant serving ice-cream. I stopped. It was about 8pm and the sun was setting in the horizon, as I stepped in this homely place run by Scott. For a few moments I got this feeling of being some cowboy passing through this town. How brown guys stopped by this place in shorts, a straw hat and a half sleeved leather hunting jacket? Yet I felt like home. Hero served me the stuffed potatoes and French fried mushrooms. I saw a kid hug a wooden statue on his way out. I wondered if I had stayed on the Interstate I would have probably eaten at a McDonalds, or a Arby's or one of their junk ilk.
The route that I took was not a scenic one or even the road less travelled. It was just different and it was worth it. We miss so much more by flying on the interstates, skirting around the small towns and places to where we want to go. Wonder if it is always worth it? A read a sign in some deli which said, "Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers." It was a bit like that.

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