Saturday, August 25, 2012
John Russell's sports column appears Sundays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by John here.
Steamboat Springs Packed the toothbrush.
The pajamas and a clean shirt are in the suitcase.
I’ve got a little cash in my wallet, and enough gas in the tank to reach my final destination.
Sure I’ve spent a few weekends on the road for work the past 20 years, but this will be the first time I’ve hit the pavement for a night on the road for something other than work since I was a senior in college.
Sure I’ve been on family vacations and long weekend’s to Denver during the past few years, but this trip is different. It’s a few hours on the road, one night in a hotel and then back home. Not the kind if trip I normally put a lot of thought into.
The chance to hit the road as a college student normally consisted of throwing a few — hopefully clean — clothes in a duffel bag. The trip would require me to raid my limited savings account, which was normally hidden away inside a shoe in the corner of my closet, to pay for a tank of gas and my share of beer.
I put even less thought into my work trips: Something to write with, something to write on and my camera were at the top of my list. Oh yeah, I usually managed to throw in a change of clothes.
But this weekend, my traveling partner was my 10-year-old daughter and our travel agenda didn’t include a single college-town bar or any other place where you would find beer. There was no reason for a computer because I didn’t have to file a story.
Instead, our entertainment was anchored by a couple of youth soccer games and the chance for my daughter to hang out with her friends in the hotel pool between games.
I’m not complaining.
For me, this road trip was an educational experience — the first of many where I will learn the ins and outs of youth soccer.
But for many parents, the weekend road trip is a tradition just like putting up a tree during the holidays, hiding Easter eggs in the spring or watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Many parents in our town have perfected the art of the weekend road trip and make driving their children to every corner of the state look easy. They have discovered ways to cut the cost of the trip, they have become more efficient at packing than UPS and FedEx, and they know the location of more soccer fields than Garmin.
So yeah, this road trip may be a bit more overwhelming than it was when I was a few years younger.
These days, I have to make sure my daughter shows up for the game on time and in a clean uniform, I have to make sure that she has her soccer ball and cleats in tow, and I’ll be in big trouble if I forget to pack that swimsuit. This trip means making sure that we have enough food, water and other essentials to get us both through a long weekend in the sun. No skipping meals on this trip in order to make a deadline.
But something tells me that when this trip is over, there will not be enough room in the trunk of my car to carry all the memories.
To reach John F. Russell call, 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com