The kids here go back to school in a week and a half and as I look back over the summer, it feels like one long road trip. And since my favorite show is also one long road trip (and because the Winchester boys are never far from my mind) I couldn't help but draw parallels. My husband pointed out that in the span of two weeks, we had traveled the entire highway of Interestate 85, from where it ends up north in Virginia to where it dead-ends into 65 south of us. We've been through Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Tennesee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and DC--but how did our travels stack up against Sam and Dean's? I've broken down a few of our road trip moments and rated them accordingly (points on a 1-6 scale).
Clearly, we could have earned more Winchester points if we'd been driving in my husband's very cool Mustang convertible, but alas, trippin' with the kids required the big blue, scuffed up (but paid off) minivan. Then again, who else understands making sacrifice for the family better than Sam and Dean?!
On our first big road trip day, we pulled into a diner for "brunch" (we like to start driving around 3 am so the kids sleep...by 10 am we've generally been on the road for what it feels like a full day.) AC/DC was on the radio! ("Back in Black" and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" are two of my six year old's favorite requests.) And the diner could have totally been a setting for an SPN show! Even the waitress looked familiar. I gave the place 4 Winchester points. We would've got 5 if the waitress had dropped the hot sauce (6, if my husband had then caught it).
Later that same day we sat in traffic on I-10, listening to Collective Soul's "Tremble My Beloved." Followed by the Jonas Brothers. And eventually a Pokemon movie on the DVD player. Have you ever noticed that the boys, for all the time they spend in the Impala, never seem stuck in construction or traffic? Winchester Points: 0 (Although, speaking of traffic? This summer was my first ever experience with driving in DC. The traffic there is worse than anything Allistair can dish up! Seriously, you want to see a good man go Dark Side, put him on Dupont Circle. The change in my husband was not unlike Sam's growing rages throughout the show's arc.)
Around Lafayette, we couldn't take being in the car anymore. Ended up spending night in semi-crappy hotel (Winchester-like, but no magic fingers bed). Filled up for gas and later learned of the "blue phantom" with multiple sightings and internet mentions (google Lafayette gas station phantom). Winchester points: 5 out of 6
Next day, crossed over to TX border, where we--former Texas residents--made way to nearest Whataburger with all possible haste! (Jared and Jensen would be so proud. And while I realize Jared and Jensen are real and Sam and Dean are...slightly less real, I still give us 5 Winchester points. Jared mentioned Whataburger by name in an interview.)
We made many stops in Texas, including to Victoria where the actual city newspaper, I kid you not, has devoted multiple articles to possible El Chupacabra sightings in the past year. Of course, local scientists and zookeepers keep insisting it's coyotes with mange, so...Winchester points: 2.
After our Texas trip, we were home less than a week before setting out again. At 4 am. During a storm, on dark deserted streets, while I (the only person awake) listened to Kansas. Definite 6 out of 6!
As we crossed into South Carolina, the sun not quite rising behind the drizzle, I spotted more and more fireworks signs. One had a vaguely creepy clown on it, but the next one was for Phantom Fireworks and had a genuinely disquieting logo. As I passed it (listening to Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine"), my son sat bolt upright in the very back of the van. Now, apparently it was just to say he had to pee, which in and of itself isn't that chilling, but I had glanced out the windshield at the creepy phantom board and then back to my mirror--where suddenly a face loomed! Come on, you know how many times evil entities have popped up in the reflection behind the hero, or in the backseat of a previously uninhabited car? Winchester Points, 6+.
In North Carolina, we passed near the county that boasts the Brown Mtn. Lights phenomenon. Very well documented with numerous theories discussed and discredited...but at the end of the day, it's basically some flickering lights that aren't hurting anyone. Not what you would call bloody Mary scary. Winchester Points: 2.
Passed through a town called: Spotsylvania. Hee. It's like they merged Mystery Spot with Transylvania. I'm envisioning a town where vampires listen to a lot of Asia...
In Virgina, we were 20 miles outside of Clifton where there are ghost stories about a local murderer and other phenomena that all seem connected to a haunted, long-ago asylum. Shudder. Winchester points: 5
And I have to say, I have new respect for Sam and Dean, driving cross-country with each other for 4 seasons! I was sad this season that they were at each other's throats so often, but now I'm amazed that they've made it this far. Nothing like roadtripping with my entire family all summer to make me feel like I'm destined for an asylum!
Hopefully, not a haunted one.