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The Amazing Two-Lane Road Trip

It’s interesting how life can take you far from home.  I call Oklahoma “Home”.   I lived here nearly half of my life, but I’ve lived in many states growing up and during my adult life.  I’m originally from North Dakota, so technically that’s “home”.

Welcome home

Whatever I call it, we don’t get the chance to go back to North Dakota often enough- even though I have tons of family still there.  We seem to be on the five-year plan for visiting, and this year happened to be year five!

One of my younger relatives was getting married this spring, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend a good old fashioned German wedding (which by the way- should be on everyone’s bucket list!).  So, dates were marked on the calendar, and plans to visit both sides of my family were made.

But….the best made plans don’t always pan out.  We had originally planned to tow our 5th wheel travel trailer and stay in it along the way.  Our trailer is quite large and for the most part we have to stay on major highways.  In planning the route, it didn’t look like we would have many opportunities for interesting stops, so Jan and I changed things up and began planning what we now referred to as the Amazing Two-Lane Road Trip!

Our new objective was to travel from our home in Blanchard, OK to Mandan, ND and avoid the Interstate highways as much as possible.  We can proudly say MISSION

ACCOMPLISHED!  Of our nearly 2400-mile trip, we only traveled about 250 miles on the interstate.

To say it is amazing when you see when you slow down and see our great county is an understatement!  We made it a point to drive down Main Street in every town we drove through.  We stopped at every roadside marker, and if the town was home of the world’s largest frying pan, we

stopped to see it!  Did you know there is a replica Statue of Liberty in the middle of Kansas on Hwy 281?  (Google it!- There are actually about 200 of them as part of a Boy Scout project in the 1940’s.)

Growing up, my dad worked for Montgomery Ward.  He managed a succession of larger and larger stores that resulting in us living in nearly a dozen small midwestern towns.  We traveled to as many of them as we could, driving past dad’s old stores, our old homes, and my old schools.  I had lunch with my best friend from high school.  I hadn’t seen him in nearly 25 years!

My first real job with a paycheck was working at a movie theater/drive-in combo.  Along the way we took photos of old downtown movie houses and both abandoned and operating drive-ins.  In Winner, SD, we met Betty at the Winner Drive-In.  Her husband built the drive-in 60 years ago, and she still owns and operates it today!

So you might ask- “What does all this have to do with real estate?” Not a lot really.  However, I was struck that every piece of property, along every Main Street and highway along the way is owned by someone.  And, most everyone of

those properties has a story that goes along with it.  From the farms with barns hand-built years ago by uncles and grandfathers, to the historic homes lived in by former Governors and Congressman, to the turn of the 20th century bank buildings on Main Street- all of them have stories to tell.  This got me to wondering- does our current house have a story to tell?   Yes, it does- but that’s a blog for another time!  We are blessed to live in a country that affords us the right to own property and the ground under it.  That is not a right we should take lightly.

By Terry Erhardt

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