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Taking The Road Less Traveled… Literally

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFSP chapter.

The drive between home and school is pretty much a straight shot for me. Since I’ve now done the drive countless times, I can tell you the exact exit numbers and everything.

So what happens when the route that I know like the back of my hand is unavailable?

Well, I didn’t think that would ever be the case. The first highway I take is one of the busiest in the state. There was no way it could be completely shut down.

Until it was.

I was trapped going back to school on I-4 West and not even halfway back to campus. If you have ever seen the “Malcolm in the Middle” episode where the family gets stranded on a highway during an accident and all of the cars are parked so the passengers can walk in the road, it was pretty much that.

I sat in the traffic for about thirty minutes. In that time, I maybe moved .2 miles, due to the fact that cars were turning around and hopping on I-4 East.

When the white SUV in front of me chose to turn around, I decided that my tiny 2001 Toyota Corolla and I should probably follow suit. We cut across the grass median on I-4 (it’s a miracle I didn’t get stuck!) and merged onto I-4 East. I got off at the next exit, as I remembered that I had used this road to go to this city on the west coast once. I typed the address of campus into my maps app and chose to avoid highways.

This is where the fun started. I stayed mainly on these two roads for the duration of the trip. I had never taken this route back to St. Petersburg before and it was very interesting. What made this route so interesting was that, unlike the highway, it’s overly desolate. When I would think that I reached a city (i.e. seeing a gas station, a fast food restaurant), I thought that I was back in normal civilization. But once I drove the few extra blocks back towards St. Pete, civilization was gone again.

Here are some of the things I saw on this road less traveled:

  • A church called THE ROCK, which I don’t think is worshipping Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I wish it was though… How funny would that be?

  • MULTIPLE signs on the side of the road advertising “gator sausage” for sale. Now, as a native Floridian, I have heard of a lot of different gator foods. However, I had absolutely never heard of gator sausage, and I am totally fine with never trying it.

  • Halfway through my drive, I ended up on this highway that ran right by a bunch of houses. There were no business by these houses, except a bar. The bar looked like it had previously been a house and someone decided to convert it. The sign outside of it literally just said BAR.

  • I literally saw a woman riding a horse next to me on the side of the road. That’s when I really knew I was out in the country.

Obviously for the sake of time, I do not think I would take this route again unless I truly had to. However, I really enjoyed seeing a part of my state that I normally would not have seen. So next time you’re stuck on highway, hop that grass median and find yourself a road less travelled.




Danielle Lysik is a senior at USFSP majoring in Marketing with a minor in Mass Communications. Danielle's main passion in life is music and loves going to concerts whenever possible. Aside from music, Danielle loves to read and spend time with her family and friends. 
A Mass Communications Major with a passion for inspiring others.