Like many people I know, I have found the movie “Animal House” to be a continuing source of inspiration throughout my life.
Even when the situation was especially dire for the boys of Delta Tau Chi, after they were placed on double-secret probation and were dealing with the twisted maneuverings of those mean guys from the Omega House, Boon, Flounder and the rest of the guys didn’t give up. They went on a road trip.
Well, first they had a toga party. (And launched an incredibly weird college trend that I believe still exists today on certain especially exuberant campuses.) But with maturity, there’s wisdom. I’ve since learned that not everyone can pull off a toga. Or should. And “friends,” seriously, if that picture shows up on Facebook we will have some words.
But my point is when it looked like all that the Delta Tau Chi’s valued in their world could soon disappear — their beer, their friendship, their girlfriends, their beer — instead of giving up, they gave in to the call of the open road. On their way, they experienced the hospitality of an authentic roadhouse, enjoyed some regional music and even met some charming locals.
Sometimes when life gets too hard — or too weird — I take a lesson from the brothers of Delta Tau Chi and go for a road trip too. Here in Cody, it’s easy to head out on a road trip. The hard part is choosing the road. From our little town, there are five scenic loops that show off our wildlife, local color and historic sites.
If you’re in the mood for wildlife, you might consider road tripping through Yellowstone’s northeast gate. As you travel through the park’s Lamar Valley you might see just about any of the park’s permanent residents – wolves, bears, coyote, bighorn sheep, moose and an amazing number of birds.
Or if you fancy a drive for driving’s sake, you could head west over Sylvan Pass. If you have time, park the car at a pull out and look over the edge and down at the road cars used almost 100 years ago. That old road was so steep that it circled back on bridges over itself to create a corkscrew effect. Vehicles often traveled backwards because it was so steep that gasoline would only flow from the gas tank to the carburetor that way.
You can also take the northeast route through Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Bighorn Canyon and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, where you’ll see more than 100 free-roaming wild horses. Or you can go south and check out some hot springs. Or go east and check out some dinosaur fossil beds.
Whichever route you choose, you may find the same thing that I find when I take a road trip. Somehow when you drive, the miles are like troubles, and they fade away. And when you return home, you just might feel like you can tackle the world again. You might even want to go to a toga party.
Until next time, I’m lovin life and gassing up…