I’m tucked in with my laptop, comfy in my bed at our hotel in Amarillo. It’s been a day of driving through high winds, trying to stay clear of the “biggest in history” storms that threatened Oklahoma, as we headed west out of that state. It’s also been a day that has run the gamut between meeting some fabulous women on the road, and meeting a state trooper on the road, who, I’m sure, is also a fabulous woman, but seemed a lot less excited about our Great Girlfriend Adventure than anyone else we’ve met thus far.

When we were driving down the mountain from the beautiful camp grounds that hosted our first stop, I saw a sign that read “Scenic Detour.” It surprised me, not because it wasn’t scenic, but because I’ve only ever seen “Detour” signs, or “Scenic Outlook” signs. Not the two, together.

Scenic Detour.

It has been my experience that detours, in general, are not particularly scenic. They usually involve unexpected delays, or even cancellation of plans. They can even find you terribly lost, if you abandon the detour and try to find a better way yourself.

Trust me on this.

Today, in that attempt to miss the storms, we took a detour offered up by our Garmin GPS. It was less direct, took longer and was not actually on Route 66. It went through tiny little Oklahoma outposts and West Texas towns, dropped down to two lanes frequently, and provided the backdrop for the aforementioned encounter with the State Trooper. However, if we hadn’t taken the detour, we would’ve missed out on plains grasses rolling like waves all the way to the horizon. We wouldn’t have seen the red clouds of good Texas earth, churned into the air by hard working farmers. We would’ve missed the rugged outcropping of canyons and road runners trying to keep pace with tumbling tumbleweeds.

We would’ve missed the scenery.

This trip is providing me with the powerful reminder that while detours may not always be convenient, or even comfortable, there is always beauty to be found on the road less traveled…gifts to be had when you welcome the scenic detour.


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