For the past fifteen years, I have had been doing this thing that I have referred to as “Random Road Trips” as a way to discover new things and places. I started these trips back when I lived in Flora, IL and recently began taking them again with the boys at the Baptist Children’s Home as a way of discovering new places. I did not know what to expect with those boys as I had never really done these random trips with anyone other than myself.
They loved them!
Okay, so here’s how a Random Road Trip works. Obviously, it is completely random. At this point, you might ask, “How do you randomize a road trip? You would have to have some sort of destination right? You couldn’t just drive somewhere without any input.” Here is how this goes. In order for the trip to be truly random, the driver has to have no input whatsoever in regards to the destination. In order to do that, there has to be some other deciding factor that makes those decisions for you. In my system, those factors are stop signs and my trucks clock.
Anytime that I pull up to a stop sign or stop light, I look at the clock. If the last number on the clock. If that number is odd (1,3,5,7 or 9) then I make a left turn. If the number is even (2,4,6,8) then I turn right. If the number is 0 then I go straight. However, if there is no road that goes straight then I turn right. At this point, you are doing one of two things. You are either laughing at how silly my mind works or you are marveling at the simplicity of this structure and considering taking on some random trips of your own.
Since moving to Virginia, I have been unpacking, cleaning, putting together doll houses and learning a new job. There simply had not been enough time to go out and drive until yesterday. So, after church and a fantastic lunch at Pino’s Pizza in Brookneal, we set out for the road.
In Illinois, you can drive for about five minutes before you hit a stop sign as many towns and intersections are crammed together. Virginia, or at least the area we are in, is not that way. I drove for quite a while (probably an hour) before I even hit the highway. I think Sydney was starting to get bored as she stopped looking out the window and started playing with her mother’s phone.
Eventually, through a random process of turns, we stumbled across a place called the Staunton River Battlefield State Park. Oh my goodness. This place was a pretty amazing find for being random. The park is a Civil War historical site where an army of 5,000 Union soldiers were held of by a group of 700 Confederate soldiers. The bridge at this site was of absolute importance to General Lee (the soldier, not the Dukes of Hazzard car) as it allowed passage by train into the south.
This first cluster of pictures were of the walk back to the bridge. On either side of the path were open fields where four different battles were fought in one day. I loved that quote in the top left corner. I can only imagine the field full of horses and gunfire. With minie balls tearing out of the muskets and through the air, it would be a terrifying experience. The man pictured below was Colonel Henry Eaton Coleman. He had the top of his head shot off by a minie ball and survived.
At the other end of this field was the bridge that stretched out over the Staunton River. The original bridge was burned by the Confederate soldiers following the surrender of their army. This bridge was built in 1902. However, the original bridge was used by Confederate President Jefferson Davis as part of his escape route from Richmond to Danville only six days before the end of the war.
So, that was our random trip. Fun times were had by all who participated and now that includes you. Also, just in case you were wondering, lizard earrings are indeed back in style.
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