Good Thursday morning to you from historic Route 66 in the middle of the country. Yesterday I moved out of the state of Illinois and into Missouri. Route 66 is notable because it goes through towns instead of bypassing them as the Interstate Highways do today. I love the treasures that you find in these small towns along the way and as each day goes by, I’m finding more and more great things to just stop and see.
Last year when I was traveling up the west coast in northern California, I came across some other bikers out for a weekend trip. We had dinner together at a seafood restaurant in Eureka, California. That is the three of us in the picture. While spending time with them, I was told of a place that I needed to go visit on my trip: Crater Lake, Oregon. So I changed the plans I had made and went inland to visit this wonderful treasure, and to see the beauty of the deepest fresh water lake in the USA.
Two things happened on this side journey I took to see something I was told was worth it by people I’d just met. First, I found a small motel in town that had recently been rebuilt and I stayed there. It was about 70 miles from Crater Lake. The great thing was the man who worked there was also part of the Christian Motorcyclist Association that I’m part of. We had a great time hanging out and chatting.
The second thing was to actually see the lake itself. To see how blue this water was, to actually walk around and see a great treasure hidden off the beaten path was definitely worth the side trip. I spent an afternoon just riding around the lake, stopping at various spots to see the lake from different views. It would have been a shame to come within a 100 miles of such a beautiful sight and not have gone to see this natural wonder of our country.
So I’m sure someone in your life is telling you that you need to do something. You are thinking about it, but consider it a distraction from your plans. I have had just a few distractions from my plans this trip home. The other night I went 15 miles out of the way to stay with some people from couch surfing. Jan and Scott were great hosts and it was definitely worth the side trip. They were excited to actually meet someone from Couch Surfing as I was their first surfer. The greatest thing about the visit was I found out that during the 1990s Scott and I lived less the ten miles from each other in southern Pennsylvania. Our high schools are about 15 miles apart. Yet we are in our 40s and now live miles from where we grew up, almost 900 miles from each other, and we just now met.
This brings to my mind a couple of great movie lines about stopping to enjoy life and what it gives you.
1. “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” It’s from the movie, Forrest Gump. When we heard those words on the big screen, we thought they were such wise words from such a simple man. Many people can joke about that but it’s true that you never know what life can bring you, until you open the box and let it unfold.
2. “Life goes by pretty fast. Every now and then you have to stop, take a break, and enjoy it.” That’s from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Yes we need to work towards our goals. But if you’re working really hard towards achieving a goal – “I need to make more money,” “We need to pay off the car, the house, the credit cards” – you still need to take a break every now and then and smell the flowers.
As I was headed down Route 66 in Illinois the past few days, I noticed a section that was fixed to be a walking path with great information boards about the history of the road. You could not drive your car past them; you had to get out and walk. It was just a walking trail.
So today I suggest that you get out of the car, off the bike and take some time to just enjoy the journey. I was in awe of the beauty of the Notre Dame campus a couple of days ago in South Bend. I loved seeing the great sites of Route 66. And the visit to Crater Lake, Oregon was a highlight of a wonderful six-week road trip last summer. So what are you going to do to take your break; what have you been missing because you’ve been too focused on just one thing, excluding everything else?
I’m Tim Gillette the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time for you to Live the life you always wanted, Love what you do and those you share life with. How can I help you be the RockStar in your world?