THE HIGHWAY

“Life is beautiful if you are on the road to somewhere.” ~ Orhan Pamuk

It’s felt like such a hard slog to venture forth this year. Part of that is basic covid fatigue—endlessly hearing about it, the signs, the masks, the lack of services. Part of it though, at least for me is the knowledge that this is the New Norm. New-Norm. NewNorm. We live in a world of incompetent political leadership at all levels when it comes to the big issues like climate change, sanctioned and unsanctioned violence, disease/healthcare…. So I am traveling now in spite of the inconvenience, because it is not going to get any better folks. Maybe here and there, now and then but that’s all. Sorry about that. It’s NewNorm time.

And I can’t wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

And it’s best if you’re traveling with Willie Nelson on a highway in Texas. 

Road trips are not everyone’s cup of tea or coffee. To me traveling backroads, two-lane highways, in a reliable car (have done many of these trips in extremely unreliable junkers…does add a bit of drama to the whole enterprise) by myself is maximum enjoyment. Oh sure, you get tired and lost and can’t find anything to eat that’s not been packaged a very long time and the motel you booked turns out to be s**t, but when are you more free, have more choices–your own choices, when better to think about the country you live in, and wonder why you didn’t study geography? There’s some music that’s tolerable for those long-day jaunts through the trees or prairies or mountains. The sound track to Oh Brother for example or anything by Terry Allen. Dylan’s good, Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright…. The most important thing is to stay away from interstates; the spirit of adventure will be instantly gone. You’ll be bored. Don’t be bored. Take a two-lane.  

 

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