Looking out at the road rushing underneath my wheels. –– Jackson Browne
One thing you have a lot of while you're driving across country is time. Time to look. Time to think. Time to talk. Some observations from a lot of highway.
Scenery. As I said before, this vacation didn’t permit long treks into gorgeous National Parks, but we did see a pretty interesting swath of the country. Time would roll on and we would round a bend and there would be hills, or mountains, or desert, or we’d be immersed in a forest.
I have to say that I think I like the barren desert landscapes of the southwest the most of all. Maybe that’s just because you can see so far.
Travel Bingo. We had a set of travel bingo, which we started to play after our date-shake stop. Now, you’d think this would be a nice way to while away the time, but you’d be surprised how – err – competitive some people are about travel bingo. There may have been times when a decision about what constituted a “bridge” or “farm”, etc. became a little contentious. I won three straight games (even though I was driving, which some might consider a disadvantage with having to keep your eye on the road and all) and for some reason, we didn’t play travel bingo anymore.
Americans. I have come to believe that a large majority of Americans are a cheerful, friendly people. Everywhere we went we were warmly welcomed. Folks were uniformly curious about our trip – where we’d been, where we were going. On the way out, nearly everyone wished us a “Merry Christmas” – which makes me think this whole PC-not-PC “Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas debate” is yet another stupid media trick to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Sidenote: I must admit that when we were driving through the mid-south, particularly Tennessee and Arkansas that we tried to keep a tally of the number of “Jesus” billboards versus the number of “XXX Adult Store” billboards. There were (to me) a surprising number of both. I’m pretty sure that Jesus won, but not by much.
Keep on truckin', baby — Eddie Kendricks
Time alone. Circumstances at the end of our trip dictated that The Beloved wasn’t going to be able to make the whole return drive because she needed to get back for a commitment that she could not defer. So, one bitterly cold morning, we dropped her off at the OKC airport and Penny and I continued on together.
The parting was sad, but Penny and I got in the groove of the road. I finished an audiobook that we’d downloaded for the trip, thought about the events of our trip, and listened to music and tried to figure out which songs I would be capable of singing the next time I played RockBand.
We made great time – getting from OKC to the middle of New Mexico in one day and on the next we road from sun-up to sunset to make it home. We were pretty gassed but were happy to all be reunited. The adventure and everything that went with it drawn to its end.