I love that story by Jack Kerouac - "On the Road". Have you read it? It is a classic. My sister, Sherri, gifted me a copy many, many lifetimes ago. I read it three times. It was written in 1951, but holds its relevancy so well.
On the Road portrays the story of a fierce personal quest for meaning and belonging. It is an epic journey across America...
I love the part where he is cruising through Tucson, down Ft. Lowell...
If you haven't read this one, do. Anyways, I gave the copy to a friend, the Duff Man, who did his own epic journey from the shores of Beach Haven, L.B.I., where Kim and I loved to lay on the dunes, out to Denver, CO, where he once visited us and he got lost in the Rockies...or something like that.
Sorry, got a little off the track there...The point being, that, whatever Kim and I did, we made fun. When we would drive across the country, we'd always come up with a few things that we wanted to do as we hurtled across the US freeways. Once, it was simply to hit as many McD's as we could, to try to win a grand prize in their Monopoly game. We ate more McDonald's in those couple days than we probably had up to that point in our lives!! And, we managed to win a few Big Macs and some fries for our efforts.
We weren't complaining. We had made it fun!
Each journey would start with making a tape...Later a CD...of tunes we both loved. As I wrote last night, the Wallflowers "One Headlight' was one of them. (remember, I added it to the playlist, feel free to queue it up!).
We actually tried to go see the 'largest ball of twine' while trying to survive the miles spanning MO to CO...a relative barrenness called 'Kansas', in which at the very first 'rest stop', we were quizzed by the local antiquestrians about our religion. I think they were trying to convert us..."To what Dave? Children of the corn?" Kim quipped. I loved her selfless giggle!
Once, while taking the northerly route, we enjoyed St. Louis. While not by any means our favorite city on our journeys, we explored the 'Gateway to the West', rode a riverboat on the mighty Mississippi, toured the Bud brewery and saw the Mets v. the Cards, back in the Darryl Stawberry, Ron Darling of the Mets and Jack Clark of the Cards.
And we got Strawberry's autograph!
We hiked Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs...and watched the sunset there....
Watched eagles soar at Tallequah, OK.
Drove beneath to golden arches of the country's largest McDonald's in Tulsa, OK. The arches span Rt 40!
I remember traveling across with our first pup, Cajun. When we did stop at a motel, we'd always ask for ground floor so it would be easier to sneak Cajun in and to walk her when she needed to go out. Once, in Amarillo, TX, we successfully snuck her in, but the noise level of the motel was too much for Cajun and she barked and barked until we were busted. Hard time in Texas for dog fraud.
We fell in love with Cracker Barrel on the open road. Stopping at many. One time, in Tennessee, while driving in the wee hours of the morning, we saw a Cracker Barrel and decided to stop for breakfast...they weren't even open yet. There was a blinding rainstorm, so, instead of continuing our drive, we stayed in the parking lot, huddled together to stay warm and ended up falling asleep!
We always wanted one of those large, double rockers that they sell there and have on their front porch. Over the years, scheming on how we could roadtrip to the closest one in Texas and strap it to the top of our car to get it back to Tucson so we could rock on it and share it. Eventually they opened here in Tucson and we did invest in a chair...for the bambini!
They still cherish it to this day, taking turns getting comfortable in it when we watch movies together.
Columbus, Ohio was a fun city to visit. We walked the downtown area and ate a sidewalk cafe. And once we saw a beautiful stone bridge, naturally formed over a canyon, somewhere in Virginia.
I remember visiting Sherri, when she lived in Muskogee, OK - the halfway point- for a meal, a nap, a shower and on the road! Having played with our nieces and nephews at the elementary school, a block down from her house. And her little pup, Nittany, tirelessly leading the way. And, when we moved out to Tucson over 18 years ago, we stopped at Sher's and I whacked the big tree in front of her house with our moving truck, which I thought would clear the lower branches of the tree...but did not. Incidentally, I did get our security deposit back when I convinced the attendant here in Tucson that the dent had already been on the truck when we picked it up in PA.!
Albuquerque was always one of our favorites. My younger sister, Lauren, lived there while her husband, Jason attended New Mexico U for grad work. The Sandia mountains being so pretty. Jason introduced me to the beer, Fat Tire while they lived there!
We used the road to entertain us. I'd often try to convince Kim how much safer it is to fly and how much time we would save..but, I always enjoyed our roadtrips together. Kim made them fun and memorable....