I suppose we're all creatures of habit, or at least we're led to believe that attributed to some anonymous philosopher. The good news about taking some time off is that it exposes us to a place outside our comfort zone, at least on our way to finding that perfect vacation spot. I'm always looking for content ideas to keep you informed or, at the least, entertained, so why not share a few thoughts with you from the road?

Most Americans, like truckers, seemingly live on the interstate highway system and use the highway system to get to and from work. But like the veins and arteries in our bodies, the entire system of roads is made up of stops along the way where hotel workers check us in, tour guides sell us trinkets, and who knows what else.

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I've always wondered what it would be like to work in one of those tourist towns where folks spend their vacation time and money. My first stop on the trip west was Pendleton, Oregon. No, I didn't go to the Wildhorse Casino, but I have been there a few times. This time we decided to break up the endless trip to the Oregon Coast into two nights.

Our shelter for the night was the Holiday Inn Express. Pendleton is known for their whiskey and rodeo, so while some hit the pool, I decided to take a look around. Then again, if you know me, I got lost on my way to the Wal-Mart. What I did see from my tour of Pendleton is a dusty town with old and some burned-out buildings. I saw the world-famous rodeo arena and wondered how many people cram themselves into this dated community year after year.

The people seemed very down-to-earth and blue-collar. There wasn't much more to describe except a series of old buildings that may or may not have been occupied. The next day, we were back on the road heading west. Once again, a stop a truck stop close to the Dalles caught my attention. I noticed several old buildings that had once been the lifeblood of fellow travelers who took these lonely roads hoping for a better life or just doing their daily jobs.

You never know what to expect when stopping for food along the road. The local Red Robin served the desired meal of burgers and endless fries near an overpacked outlet mall. Customers consumed or inhaled their food before looking for the following best deals on school supplies.

Arriving at our destination and after unpacking, I volunteered to get the supplies—another chance to see the brilliance of the American worker serving others outside my comfort zone.

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