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  July 2, 2010
Road Trip Across America

Road Trip Baby

My daughter attends a small college in Ohio.  She lives on campus in student housing and on rare occasions she takes a local bus or borrows a friend’s car to ride into the small town to visit the local grocery store to buy snacks and supplies to bake cookies.
While having dinner a few weeks ago, she asked politely if she could take my second car (the one I have for the kid’s use) back to Ohio.  She explained that she had been at the university now for three years and really hasn’t been able to go off and explore much of the Midwest as she had hoped.
My first thoughts were of all the reasons why this request was unreasonable.  What happens if the car breaks down?...the weather in Ohio during winter could be extreme and unpredictable (as compared to San Diego), did I want her out on the road in the snow?...would it become a "community car" with her friends asking to borrow it all the time?... how would my son get to school each morning?.
After thinking about the idea for a few days, I decided that it might be good for her to do some exploring and adding to her educational experiences.  I reluctantly agreed to let her take the "kids" car to Ohio for the year.
The next several days were spent discussing the logistics of transporting the car to Ohio, insurance and registration issues, and contingencies in case something was to go wrong.  It was decided that she and her brother would drive the car to Ohio at the end of the summer.  This would accomplish two things:  Allow them to share the driving, and hopefully create a memorable sibling experience for the both of them to remember the rest of their lives.
There are only three major thoroughfares leaving San Diego (excluding the border crossings to Mexico) - I-5 to Los Angeles, I-15 to Las Vegas, and I-8 to Arizona.  However, once you have passed through these bottlenecks, the possible routes to Ohio are practically limitless. 
My kids and I have spent several hours already trying to chart a course for them in order to create the most noteworthy and scenic tour.  America has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, points of historical significance, and popular tourist attractions.  
The total trip for them will take about 6 days and cover approximately 2,500 miles allowing for several stops along the way.  The trek isn’t so much about getting to the destination as it is about the journey.  It is about seeing new things, meeting new people, sharing time with ones you love, and learning about the world around us.
The way I look at it, the road trip is really just an extension of life itself.  We may plan to arrive at a certain destination over a given time but there are surely to be detours along the way.  Although there may some limitations in the beginning, ultimately, there are an infinite amount of paths we can take to get us to the same place. 
What’s most important is the journey...
Experiencing new things...meeting strangers and inviting them to become friends...seeing the natural beauty in all that surrounds us... continuing to move forward in spite of the ever-present dangers... growing and learning...sharing quality time with loved ones...giving thanks for all that we have and freedoms that we enjoy...
Please enjoy your long weekend as you try to live life to its fullest... marvel at the fireworks and celebrations...and try to remain safe and sane..
Thank you very much for your continued support of OptiFuse where we are glad you are on the journey with us...

Jim Kalb

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