Yeah, I missed out on Tuesday’s blog post – I’ll make it up to keep the posting on schedule with two posts over the weekend. For today’s post, I wanted to take a little tour around a particular idea I’ve always harbored in my mind, combined with one of my favorite classic rock songs of all-time.
I’ve never made a secret of how much I love travelling, especially in the mid-western part of this huge expanse of a country. Or as Cat Treadwell once commented: “America is a big place.” Living in Texas, you get a fairly good idea of how much that statement can be. Plus, everywhere in Texas is different than somewhere else in Texas. Houston, easily one of the worst places I’ve ever visited in the state is very different from its big city cousin to the north – the Dallas/Fort Worth metromess. In between those two masses of too much population in too small of a place, there’s countryside. Pastures full of cows, horses, long-horned cattle, wheat, corn and more for as far as the eye can see on the side of the road. In some places, the view is punctuated by miles and miles for forests (in the east) or lands that are pock-marked with ridges suddenly punching towards the sky (to the west) or miles of blue sea (to the south). Depending on where you are, you can make out the distant tall peaks of the southern Rockies. All of it can be seen from the thousands and thousands of asphalt and concrete and dirt roads in the state. All of it just makes me want to continue beyond the state lines of this giant piece of land with its fscked up concept of civil administration.
Bob Seger, on his 1982 album “The Distance” has a song called “Roll Me Away” which talks about that desire that pulls me beyond the borders of wherever I’m at. That desire to be on the highway, going wherever the front tire of the motorcycle may take you. Of course, all of that requires money, time, and most importantly health. The late Neal Peart did something similar after his first wife died. Just got on his motorcycle and rode – for a little over a year.
Stood alone on a mountain top
Starin’ out at the Great Divide
I could go East, I could go West
It was all up to me to decide
Just then I saw a young hawk flyin’
And my soul began to rise
And pretty soon
My heart was singin’
Roll, roll me awayBob Seger, “Roll Me Away”
I’m gonna roll me away tonight
Gotta keep rollin’, gotta keep ridin’
Keep searching ’til I find what’s right
And as the sunset faded, I spoke
To the faintest first starlight
And I said next time
We’ll get it right
Not a lot of people know or understand this about me. I like to drive. I took a trip from Texas to Glacier National Park up near the border of Canada in western Montana state. I didn’t fly. I drove. All three days of fourteen or more hours in a vehicle. I had the time of my life. I drove north along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains until I reached the northern crossover in Wyoming. I saw the Rockies in a way I had never dreamed of, and I never got out of the vehicle except to take rest breaks, meals, and to stop for the night. But then, any driving excursion I have taken has always been a joy for me. Seeing the world out of the windscreen is just an amazing thing for me. The only disappointments only any such trip comes from the fact that I can’t always stop at all the nearby attractions that I pass by. Thus, I have always had the fantasy of just driving throughout the United States – just to see the United States. No arrival dates, times, or places. Just a vague idea of where I was headed – Denver, maybe – enough clothes for a few days, enough food for a day or two in the truck, and a working credit card with a bank balance that can handle the monetary dent such travels would provide.
Reality brings a lot of that to a screeching halt. I have responsibilities that I have to manage. Bills, new house payment, my truck payment, responsibilities to a job (hopefully something soon), the ability to be there for certain folks should they have need, and my continuing list of health issues.
This year brings the move to Arkansas, which happens in about two weeks. I’m already laying down ideas for travel to places I couldn’t readily reach from Texas. Mammoth Cave in Kentucky ranks high on my list. Toltec Mounds just outside of Little Rock is already on my “revisit” list, given that its about a thirty-minute drive one way for me. There’s always a trip to St. Louis to see my beleaguered Reds in “enemy” territory. A trip to my parents’ grave sites is less than an hour trip. A trip to the cemetery that holds a large majority of my deceased family in Acorn, Kentucky is just an eight-hour trip. A trip to Indiana to visit living relatives is a full day’s drive (instead of two days) distance. I’m likely to surprise a few people, should I arrive for a few family get-togethers. 😊 Its always a surprise when a black sheep comes back to the flock. LOL
Little trips like that will sate my ever-growing desire for the road. My understanding is that there are plenty of trails in the nearby forests to walk. Another aspect that will make the Pagan and Druid in me happy. So this move certainly holds a lot of potential for various adventures. Still, I hear that beckoning call of the road. The desire to slip behind the wheel of the truck and just point myself in a direction – and go. Just imagine if I was in the UK or Europe. Oh boy, that’s tempting….more than you really realize.
The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can.Bilbo Baggins, “The Hobbit”