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I got a great gift from my wife for my birthday last week, and I can’t wait to give it a whirl on our next road trip: a 4 port adapter for the cigarette lighter port in my car.  I had mentioned wanting something like that despite the fact that I have the power ports in both the front and back seats of my kick-ass Sunburst Orange Chevy HHR.

Now, one may question the need for such a thing, but bear with me.  When we road trip there is at minimum our GPS, our iPod with our entire music collection on board, and an iPhone.  Trying to keep all the devices powered and ready is a trick when you only have one port in the front and a second tucked away in the back seat.  With my new toy, we can power everything off one outlet.

This got me thinking.  When we road tripped in my youthful days, it was just 2 adults, 3 kids, and maybe a map or some written directions.  We didn’t have satellite navigation and digital music.  We were dependent on either being able to decipher the map, knowing where we were going, or someone else giving us valid directions.

It made for some interesting trips.

I remember one jaunt down to Myrtle Beach in particular.  It was one of the yearly (give or take) gatherings of my dad’s colleagues for a company outing and was always a good time.  In this particular case, one of the attendees provided to everyone written instructions on a foolproof way to cut hours off the travel time.  You can imagine how well that worked out.  Now, I realize it was years ago and I was younger, but I swear while we were traipsing along rural backstreets in South Carolina we saw some men wearing bed sheets burning a cross in front of a remote house.  We didn’t pause to check it out, but I’ll let you do the math.

These days our front seat is like NASA’s ground control in Houston.  Never mind the additional gadgets the car actually has as part of its repertoire, we have supplemented that with an array of wires, touch screens, music, and directions blurted out every so often in a tinny female voice.   There’s something to be said for the good old days in a lot of areas.  But, I’ll keep my GPS thank you very much.

It’s easier to avoid the Klan rallies.

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One Comment

    • runswithcarrots
    • Posted September 10, 2009 at 11:21 am
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    • Reply

    ACK! That was the longest trip to Myrtle Beach EVER. And I remember the run-in with a certain organization to remain nameless, as well. There were a LOT of old Cadillacs parked along the side of the road in front of that house.


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