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Hot summer nights in the city call out to the young and adventurous. The heat rises from the ground after being trapped all day. The air is mostly stagnant. What little breezes there are do little by way of relief.

The whooshing of cars on pavement call out, “Come play!” Lights twinkle from cars passing by different objects obstructing an observer’s view. Streets have a wet appearance from the lights reflecting off the blacktop. Why do streets always look so wet at night? And why does it stir a desire in me to go out and do something? Summer nights like this sound like an open window of possibilities. One night I gave in to the restlessness.

“Let’s go play!” one of my roommates suggested.

Playing would require some creativity. It was after 10:00 pm in Cedar City, Utah. It’s a college town full of restaurants and hotels. Practically the whole city shuts down at 9:00. We just wanted to get out and do something. So four of us piled into a car and off we drove to Mesquite, Nevada. We had no plans. Just an impromptu road trip.

The radio was cranked. We laughed and talked. South of Cedar City, the city lights of St. George glowed like friendly waves from friends. Soon there were more mountains surrounding the freeway than city lights.

When we got to Mesquite there was nothing to do. We realized it was a small town like Cedar City. Should we continue on to Las Vegas? That city never sleeps. We didn’t debate long. It was late and in the end the journey was more enjoyable than the destination. The car was again filled with young college kids and turned back home. It was so late when we got back. A few of us had to go to work in a couple of hours. The adventure was worth it. Every time I see a nightscape like that pictured above I remember road trips and a sense of summer restlessness to be anywhere but inside.