I suppose it's safe to say that there are several unwritten "truths" regarding a looooooooong trip in a car. "Road Trip Truths," if you will!

For example:

Packing the trunk efficiently (for optimal use of space) is a lot like a game of Tetris. Truth.

Ice-cream and chocolate are almost always bad selections when choosing a road trip snack. Truth.

Backseat brawls amongst tired and crabby siblings is obnoxious, but to be expected. Truth.

Driving through the Nevada desert is slightly unnerving due to the notion that there might be dead bodies among the sage brush. (Lilly's "truth," not mine!)

With the top, number one road trip truth (in my opinion) being:

Gas station restrooms--particularly in very rural areas--are SKETCHY as hayl!

We discovered this several months ago as we embarked on a road trip to Disneyland with our little family. If you Google map your drive from Salt Lake City to Anaheim, you'll see you're about to clock ten hours of drive time. If you have small children, who frequently have to go potty, you're looking at twenty hours! (I wish I was joking.)

We stopped in the middle of the Mojave desert, where the gas station there lacked traditional plumbing and was on a well system. Which basically meant that toilet paper could not be flushed.

We stopped in gas stations that lacked toilet paper and hand soap, but had an over abundance of rabbit foot key chains and camo-print purses with embossed pistols on their fronts.

The strangest experience we had was in a gas station out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere just outside of Barstow.

Lilly and I went into a dusty and lone gas station off the freeway to use the restroom. The door to the toilet seemed to be unlocked so we turned the knob and opened it. We were met with shock and confusion and utter embarrassment as a man, in the middle of his tinkle, started yelling, "Sorry, sorry, sorry!"

I quickly slammed the door shut and looked at my daughter, whose eyes were the size of saucers. I double checked the metal plate bolted to the wall outside the door. Sure enough, it said, "Women." What the heck!?

The door flew open again and the man in there started apologizing profusely. He grabbed a long strand of toilet paper and started wiping the seat. "Look! Look!," he exclaimed, "I'll clean up for you! I'll clean up for you!"

At this point, Lil and I were stuck in a sort of state of paralysis in the small hallway. She wasn't blinking or saying anything, and I wasn't sure I wanted to use the facilities after Weirdo had been in there. A quick glance at his pee all over the floor only reconfirmed that.

As he was leaving the women's bathroom, he walked past us and shrugged and said, "Sorry, I've got problems."

Later, as Lilly and I were returning to the car, she stopped in her tracks and looked at me and said, "I wonder what kind of problems he has."

"I'm not sure," I said, "but I do know this, Lil...We all have them! We all have problems and struggles and hard things to overcome. We are not perfect people; not even close. Life is perfect for none of us. I think that's why it's so important to show patience and compassion to all we encounter."

Lilly was quiet a moment before opening the door to her side of the car. As she slid into her seat she said,

"Yea...or we could just hold it the next time we have to go to the bathroom."


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